What more is there to say? Inter are now trailing Roma in the title race, and this weekend represents their best chance of gaining the points that they need, but to do that they need to beat la Vecchia Signora, Juventus. Should Inter win tonight, it would mean that they go back to the top of Serie A until Roma face Lazio on Sunday afternoon, piling extra pressure on the Giallorossi ahead of what is promising to be a particularly feisty Derby Della Capitale.
For Inter though, beating Juventus will be no easy task, largely because the Bianconeri, despite all their recent troubles, will want to cast what could be a fatal blow to the title challenge of their rivals. It is an old cliché that form does not count in these sorts of games, but it so often proves to be true, as the motivation that the struggling team has been lacking suddenly comes back when they know that they have a chance to get a result that could make a difference in terms of the title race. There would be no better prize for a struggling Juventus than to beat a the team they consider to have stolen their league titles and displaced them at the summit of Italian football.
The Nerazzurri have every reason to be confident going into tonight’s game as they are playing well at the moment and have the advantage of the tie being played at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza where 80,000 Interistas will be cheering them on. They also possess a squad that is very near full fitness, allowing Jose Mourinho to pick any side that he wants, although the trident attack that has been serving them very well over the last few weeks is likely to be his formation of choice. Whether a Juve back line that has been struggling to contain anything thrown at it recently will be able to handle any three of Mario Balotelli, Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito and Goran Pandev will be the key to whether the Bianconeri will pose a danger to the champions.
Of course, if the stories coming out of the Calciopoli trial are to be believed, then whether or not Inter win lo Scudetto this year is the last of the worries that the club should have at the moment. It is not looking like la Beneamata will come out of the process as clean as they were at the beginning, and there have even been suggestions that they could be relegated if the evidence presented by Luciano Moggi’s legal team is upheld by the court. It is very difficult to know what to make of all the recent revelations, as it turns out that many more clubs than originally thought apparently have had a hand in what went on.
The trouble is, the whole trial is extremely complicated and it is very difficult to understand what of the reams of new evidence is as important as is being suggested. The only certainty is that, whatever the outcome, Calcio will end up as the biggest loser once again. For Inter fans, they can only hope that their club is not in as serious trouble as has been reported and focus on helping their team to win another Serie A title.
The one positive to come out of this very mixed week in Milan is that Inter have reached another Coppa Italia final after beating Fiorentina 1-0 at the Artemio Franchi to secure a 2-0 aggregate victory over the two legs of the semi-final. Samuel Eto’o scored the goal to seal the win for Inter and they will now face Roma or Udinese in the final as the two sides play their second-leg tie next week with la Magica holding a 2-0 lead.