It may have taken Antonio Conte two seasons at Inter, but the veteran tactician appears to have found the winning formula in Milano. The Nerazzurri have been in emphatic form in recent months and have since run away as title favorites. With both Milan and Juventus struggling for form, Inter is now well on its way to its first Scudetto in 11 years – but how have they got here?
Initially, Inter sporting director Giuseppe Marotta backed his manager heavily in the transfer window. The likes of Nicolo Barella, Romelu Lukaku, and Achraf Hakimi were all brought in and remain crucial pieces to the puzzle. That being said, it still takes a manager to put it all together.
Conte has toiled with a number of different lineups and setups before finally establishing his winning formula. The veteran tactician has since gone with Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni, and Milan Skriniar at the back, offering the side some much-needed stability. The trio possesses an interesting blend of experience and youth and are all capable of playing from out from the back.
Beyond its staunch backline, Inter boasts one of Italy’s best midfield units. Conte has a number of options on the bench including Stefano Sensi and Arturo Vidal but appears to have finally decided on his best lineup. The former Azzurri boss deploys Marcelo Brozovic from the deepest role and flanks him with Christian Eriksen and Nicolo Barella.
The former was almost on his way out in January but has since undergone a resurgence of sorts. Eriksen has played a crucial role for Inter in recent weeks, adding creativity between the lines. Brozovic is tasked with sitting back and dictating the tempo, while Barella is Inter’s all-action midfielder. The former Cagliari man is a constant menace in the final third and is always looking to combine dangerously with Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi.
Moving forward to the attack. Inter’s one-two punch of Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez is among the very best in football. The Belgian international has taken his game to another level under Conte and enters the final stretch of the season in sensational form. Martinez, on the other hand, is arguably playing the best football of his young career, stringing together a number of positive outings together since the turn of the new year. The duo possesses the necessary speed, power, and skill to unlock any defence and could very well prove to be the difference for Inter.
An article on Conte’s Inter would not be complete with a brief discussion on the wingbacks. Hakimi marauds the right flank at will, tormenting defenders, while Perisic’s improvement as a left wingback has been notable. Both wingbacks offer Inter the stability and creativity they need from the wide areas.
With Juventus in a transition season, the title is very much Inter’s for the taking. The Nerazzurri have been the best side in Italy this season and have shown no signs of slowing down. When Inter initially brought Conte in, the goal was to dethrone Juventus. With just 14 games left, the Italian tactician is set to deliver.
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