Inter’s charge towards the Serie A title has been made far easier by the Nerazzurri’s lack of injuries, a report in the Italian media argued today.
Gazzetta dello Sport’s print edition highlighted that the Nerazzurri had managed to limit the number of physical problems in their first-choice XI this season, with only COVID-19 causing them real disruption.
While Inter’s lack of traumatic injury problems can be attributed in part to good fortune, the report said, the club’s medical and fitness coaches deserve credit for preventing any muscular injuries with their preparation.
As a result, Antonio Conte has nine players who have played more than 2000 minutes during the current campaign, with only the left wing-back and left-sided midfield positions – now occupied by Ivan Perisic and Christian Eriksen – ever subject to uncertainty.
Conte has done a brilliant job of ensuring Inter’s fringe players feel involved in their Serie A title push, the Milan-based paper explained, but his success this season has come from picking a fixed starting XI and persisting with it whenever possible.
Nicolo Barella and Marcelo Brozovic have always been untouchable in midfield, Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have been irreplaceable up front and Achraf Hakimi is improving constantly on the right wing.
Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Alessandro Bastoni have formed a rock-solid three-man defence, meanwhile, with Samir Handanovic the obvious choice in goal.
Perisic and Eriksen are the only two players in Inter’s first-choice XI who have played fewer than 1500 minutes this season, having forced their way into Conte’s thinking from January onwards.