With eight games played in the 2023/24 Serie A season, Inter Milan are well placed to mount a serious challenge to win the Scudetto title.
Judging by their results up to this point, city rivals AC Milan will likely be the main obstacle to Inter’s hopes of claiming their 20th Scudetto.
Online bookmakers agree with that viewpoint, as they currently rate Milan as the second favorites to secure the top spot at the end of the season.
Although the Rossoneri currently have a two-point advantage at the top of the table, most popular football betting sites believe Inter will win the title.
Their stance is based on the most recent meeting between the two sides. Inter romp to an impressive 5-1 victory at the San Siro.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan (2), Marcus Thuram, Hakan Calhanoglu and Davide Frattesi were on target as Inter secured their fifth consecutive win in the Milan Derby in all competitions for the first time in history.
Inter allowed Milan to dominate possession on that occasion before picking them apart on the counter-attack whenever the opportunity arose.
Derby Results Could Be Pivotal In Scudetto Race
While the result remains Milan’s only defeat this season, it left the impression that Inter are a good bet to win the Scudetto for the first time since 2020/21.
A 3-0 victory over Milan proved to be pivotal during that campaign, with Inter eventually romping home in the title race by a whopping 12-point margin.
Milan gained their revenge the following season, taking four points from the two derby games on their way to pinching the title off the defending champions.
With one Derby victory already in the bag this term, Inter will rightly believe they deserve their status as Serie A title favorites.
Their summer transfer business was impressive. The club moved on several veteran players and replaced them with younger talents.
Frattesi and Thuram showcased their ability in the Derby, while Yann Sommer and Benjamin Pavard have also been impressive this season.
They have injected some vigor into the squad. This created a knock-on effect on several of Inter’s established players. Striker Lautaro Martinez undoubtedly falls into that category.
He has relished his new role as club captain, weighing in with ten goals and two assists in eight league appearances this term.
The 26-year-old’s red-hot form has attracted praise from Argentina head coach Lionel Scaloni, who recently described him as one of his team’s ‘best players’.
Martinez’s efforts for the national team often go under the radar despite him averaging almost one goal every two games for La Albiceleste.
Milan New-Boys Showcase Their Talents
Inter were not alone in revamping their squad this summer. Milan also made numerous signings to boost their hopes of winning their 20th Serie A title.
Christian Pulisic, Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been particularly impressive, bringing more physicality and intensity to Milan’s midfield.
They have played a key role in helping Milan shrug off their Derby disappointment with victories over Verona, Cagliari, Lazio and Genoa.
Aside from their dismal showing against Inter, a feature of Milan’s early season form has been their defensive strength. The Rossoneri only conceded three goals in their other seven outings.
At the other end of the pitch, Rafael Leao has produced several stellar performances to demonstrate why he deserves to don the iconic Number 10.
Milan were heavily criticized for looking unbalanced last term, with most of their attacking threat coming down the left flank via Leao and full-back Theo Hernandez.
Pulisic’s arrival has changed the dynamic, with the winger finally showing the form that prompted Chelsea to pay £57.6 million to sign him from Borussia Dortmund in 2019.
Loftus-Cheek has also benefited from the switch to the San Siro, with head coach Stefano Pioli deploying him in a position where he is more effective.
Several Chelsea managers were guilty of playing Loftus-Cheek in unfamiliar roles or leaving him on the sidelines, but Pioli has given him the freedom to express himself.
If the duo continue in the same vein, Milan will unquestionably be the biggest threat to Inter’s hopes of winning Serie A.
Scudetto Race Could Go To The Wire Between Inter And Milan
Given how the two Milan clubs have started the new campaign, a season-long battle for the title looks extremely likely to unfold.
With some of their other rivals underperforming, the path is clear for the Milan pair to go head-to-head for the Scudetto.
The second Derby meeting between the two sides next April could hold the key to the race. If Inter complete the double over Milan, they will be tough to stop.