Inter Milan are in a peculiar situation of whether to make a serious run at the Europa League or neglect it in favour of achieving their Serie A objectives.
If they were to snub Europe's second-tier competition, there would only be two scenarios where it would be worthwhile. The first would be if Inter could mount a title challenge whereby each and every match would become paramount to their chances of claiming the scudetto that Massimo Moratti covets so much.
Andrea Stramaccioni is probably too inexperienced to guide this Inter side to the title when you consider that his squad of players is no match to that of Juventus.
The second scenario where Stramaccioni might decide to forfeit the Europa League is if he believes that his side is incapable of comfortably securing a top-three place in order to qualify for the Champions League. With last year's capocannoniere, Diego Milito, a rejuvenated Antonio Cassano and Rodrigo Palacio to return from injury, Inter contain a strike force that should be capable of comfortably delivering a top-three finish.
It is therefore feasible that Stramaccioni will decide to roll the dice in Europe, where Inter are easily good enough to win this competition. Especially when you consider that there are numerous members of the side that triumphed in the Champions League two years ago.
Inter are in the process of transforming their tactics under the former Primavera coach who has opted for the fashionable 3-5-2 formation, which has provided a stable foundation for the side's array of attacking options to shine.
24-year-old Andrea Ranocchia will eventually develop into one of Italy's most outstanding defenders and Stramaccioni will envisage a similarly bright future for the Brazilian centre-back Juan Jesus, who represented Brazil at the Olympics this year.
Walter Samuel's career appears to be reaching the end and Matias Silvestre has not settled since his move from Catania, so there is still work to be done in order to improve the defence. Walter Gargano and Esteban Cambiasso are capable of screening the back three to limit their defensive deficiencies from being exposed.
It might serve Inter well to try and win the Europa League, as I feel it could provide a springboard to a new generation at the Beneamata, which can be carried through to the next season in order to develop a winning habit that is so often overlooked by clubs these days.
Of the current sides involved in the Europa League, Inter can legitimately say that their squad would be equal or superior to them all in terms of quality.
Inter must progress from a group that contains Rubin Kazan, Partizan and Neftchi Baku, a task which will almost certainly be a formality. This is crucial, as it will allow Inter to concentrate on the league until the knockout phase begins.
If Inter can build a suitable lead on the fourth-placed team in Serie A, then Stramaccioni may well opt to go against the norm in Italy and divide the club's efforts between the league and the Europa League.
Inter have a rich tradition in this competition, winning it on three occasions, a feat that is only matched by Juventus and Liverpool. Luigi Simoni last delivered this title for Inter in 1998, triumphing 3-0 against Serie A rivals Lazio.
There is a trend that links the past two winners of the Europa League and that is that the top goal scorer, Radamel Falcao Garcia, has played for both sides. The Colombian won this tournament with Porto before a huge transfer to Atletico Madrid, scoring an incredible 29 goals over the two campaigns.
Inter possess one of the greatest strikers in Europe over the last decade in Milito, who can be the catalyst for the Nerazzurri to triumph in Europe once more.
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