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Race for the Scudetto

british footballer on pitch

There is currently a three-horse race for the Italian Scudetto with Inter Milan, Juventus and Lazio all involved. Inter Milan are sitting at the top of the table with 54 points, Juventus is the second position level on points with the league leaders Inter whiles Lazio are in third place on 53 points. This three-way battle has been intense and competitive for the neutral football fans, many of whom had lost interest in the league after seeing Juventus win it eight seasons in a row. The title race has been very open and is a good sign of progression for Italian football.

Can Inter put the brakes on Juventus’ Supremacy?

Inter Milan is playing brilliantly under Antonio Conte so far this season. Inter Milan’s stunning 4-2 comeback against their bitter rivals Ac Milan last weekend was a statement of intent from the team chasing their 19th Scudetto. A league title victory this season will be their first title since 2010 under Jose Mourinho. Conte has undoubtedly molded the Inter Milan team in his image and has suffered just a single defeat this season against defending champions Juventus. His Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku has quickly rediscovered his goal-scoring form following a disappointing spell with English giants Manchester United. Lukaku has scored 17 goals in 23 league appearances this season. He has proved to be the difference on countless occasions, netting match-winners in games against Bologna, Napoli, and Udinese. He will have to maintain this form to help Inter challenge for the Scudetto. It isn’t just in front of the goal that he is excelling, but he also wins aerial duals to create space for his teammates. His link-up play with the Argentine Lautaro Martinez has been very crucial in the attacking third. Lautaro Martinez has 11 Serie A goals to his name this season and has impressed to the extent that big clubs like Man United and Barcelona are reportedly monitoring him. Inter took advantage of the January winter transfer window to strengthen their squad with three premier league players, namely Christian Eriksen from Tottenham, Ashley Young from Man united, and Victor Moses from Chelsea. They have also become the biggest threat to Juventus this season. The Europa League will serve as a distraction for Inter and would have a significant effect on the Scudetto race as the competition requires Inter playing on Thursday nights. As such, Inter would have to prioritize winning the Scudetto over the Europa. Conte’s preferred system of 3-5-2 has been his calling card and has worked perfectly for him. Conte’s reputation as a winner and his experience in Serie A will be crucial for the club this season. From the way Conte’s side are playing this season, the title race looks likely to go down the wire.

Can Lazio pull a surprise?

Lazio has become the big surprise of the season after mounting an unexpected challenge at the top of the table. Their win over Parma last weekend set a new club record of 18 Serie A games without a defeat. Their recent loss in Serie A came on September 25, 2019, against Inter Milan and are keeping their dream of winning the Scudetto after 20 years alive. In-form striker, Ciro Immobile leads the league’s scoring chart with 25 goals, five goals ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Immobile’s blistering form can help Lazio challenge for the Scudetto. The active link-up play between Immobile, Luis Alberto, and Milinkovic-Savic continues to blossom match after match. Lazio’s failure to advance to the Europa League round of 32 is a big advantage for them, meaning they can fully concentrate on the Serie A and also have enough rest. Lazio could also benefit from the fact Inter and Juventus remain in three competitions, but one thing Lazio will need to avoid is injuries since they have limited options on the bench. Manager, Inzaghi needs to manage his squad to the best of his ability. They have shown resilience under their manager Simone Inzaghi, and this may also be down to the fact that they have been able to keep their key players in recent years together, which has helped them build chemistry in the squad.

Can Juventus make it nine in a row?

Juventus’ 2-1 defeat to Hellas Verona last weekend blew the title race wide open, and manager Maurizio Sarri has come under severe criticism for his failure to impose a clear and convincing style of play. For the past eight seasons, the Scudetto has been the “birthright” for Juventus despite their obsession with winning the much-coveted and elusive Champions League. Juventus are spoilt for choice and also have the squad depth to challenge for both the Scudetto and the Champions League. The Ronaldo factor is a significant advantage for them. He is a proven winner and has already rediscovered his scoring boots.

What’s Next For The Title Contenders?

Juventus takes on relegation battlers, Brescia, while League leaders Inter and Lazio will face each other.

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