The champions – Inter Milan
League position after Matchday 7: 3rd (17pts)
Top scorer: Edin Dzeko (6 goals)
Early star: Marcelo Brozovic
Key man in title charge: Nicolo Barella
As expected, fears over a sudden Nerazzurri decline were wildly hyperbolic. Simone Inzaghi’s side are a lite version of Antonio Conte’s Serie A victors.
The build-up structure, in possession dynamics, and out of possession shape are all similar. Inzaghi, like Conte towards the end of his spell, doesn’t instruct his team to press high and instead has his men deployed in a well-drilled mid-block. Their defensive resilience has continued despite the odd uncharacteristic error. Inter have conceded eight times in seven games, and they’re the league’s top scorers, too, with 22 goals.
Edin Dzeko has been a revelation as Romelu Lukaku’s replacement. He’s the league’s joint top-scorer with six goals. Marcelo Brozovic, meanwhile, has enjoyed a brilliant start to the season at the base of midfield, with Nicolo Barella serving as the creator-in-chief from the right half-space. The Italian has five Serie A assists already!
The smart addition of Denzel Dumfries has mitigated the exit of Achraf Hakimi, while Federico Dimarco has proved a bonus option at left wing-back. Ivan Perisic continues to go under the radar.
Overall, Inzaghi’s Inter are a watered-down version of Conte’s majestic iteration and they remain my favourites for this season’s Scudetto.