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Will this be Inter’s year?

Nerazzurri hope for a flying start against Fiorentina

The Italian Serie A kicked off last weekend and there are already some considerations to make. Juventus are, once again, the clear favourites – with new coach Andrea Pirlo, the bianconeri saw off Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria with a very convincing three-nil win. Napoli also showed their strength, with an away victory at Parma, while Milan look to be solid and – thanks to an evergreen Zlatan Ibrahimovic – bagged all three points against Bologna.

Inter start their season this Saturday, with a home game against Fiorentina. Last season, Inter finished second in the league, just one point behind Juventus, and reached the final of the Europa League. After some end-of-year rumbling, coach Antonio Conte stayed on, with the quest of ending Juventus’ dominance.

Towards that aim, Inter aim for a flying start against Fiorentina. They have strengthened their squad considerably, with new signings Achraf Hakimi, Aleksander Kolarov and Arturo Vidal all eyeing a place in the starting 11 on Saturday.

Up front, Belgian powerhouse Romelu Lukaku – who had a brilliant spectacular debut season at Inter, scoring 34 goals in all competitions – will lead the attack with fellow striker Lautaro Martinez. And in midfield, Christian Eriksen and Marcelo Brozovic have a lot to prove – the first that he still has the talent he showed at Tottenham, and the second, that he is worthy of staying at Inter.

Not to mention Ivan Perisic, who returned from a very positive spell at Bayern Munich, where he won three trophies, and who will be wanting to show that Inter made the right call to bring him back.

And at the back, the nerazzurri have one of the strongest defences in Europe – a mix of experience, brave youth and the spectacular saves of Samir Handanovic.

Giuseppe Iachini has built a solid side – and their first outing against Torino, which they won one nil with a goal by talented midfielder Gaetano Castrovilli, showed they can aim for a good midfield finish. The only downside is that traditionally, Fiorentina are not good travellers, and struggle in their away games.

Judging by their pre-season performance – during which they scored 19 goals and conceded none – Inter will have the better of Fiorentina. Still, Inter have only won once in their last five outings against Fiorentina, back in 2018. Moreover, Fiorentina will do their best to spoil Inter’s party.

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