As we enter Week 15 of the Serie A season, it is a familiar name that leads the pack at the top of the table. Chasing their ‘18th’ Scudetto success, the Nerazzuri find themselves eight points clear of the Bianconeri. With the Derby d’Italia fast approaching, can we, or anyone for that matter, catch Jose Mourinho’s men?
As has been the case in Italy over the past few years, Internazionale continue to dominate the domestic scene. As notorious under-achievers on the European circuit, they have found themselves able to hide their failure in the Champions League amongst Europe’s elite with numerous league titles. However, in what is believed to be the year that Juventus have finally amassed a squad capable of challenging for the title, the contest between the Italian heavyweights is well under way.
This time next weekend the two titans will clash at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin. With Inter having snatched all three points this weekend at home to Fiorentina, will Juve be able to overcome the leaders when the Champions come to town? I sincerely hope so, as this in my opinion is THE game of the season.
The incredibly frustrating loss to Cagliari this weekend has left our title challenge in tatters, and so the outcome of what is well-known as the ‘Derby of Italy’, may seal the fortunes of both sides. If Inter travel home with all three points and those smug expressions etched all over their faces, they will stretch the lead to 11 points. If Ciro Ferrara can mastermind a victory over opposite number Jose ‘The Special One’ Mourinho, then the lead will be cut back to a manageable 5 points, and provide a much-needed confidence boost.
The Final Word
With the Christmas break around the corner, Juve must not fail next Saturday night. A draw will not be enough. I fear that if the gap between the two sides grows any further, despite a resurgent AC Milan, it will be a formality that Inter will once again lift the Scudetto come next May. Having shown their determination and grit to grind out results not just this season but also in those previous, the Nerazzurri will not surrender an 11 point lead. Unlike the EPL or La Liga, where the top sides seem to be in danger of dropping points most weekends, the ruthless efficiency that Mourinho has instilled in his side will see them avoid any catastrophic slip-ups over the course of the season. So...Signor Ferrara, buona fortuna...you will need it.