GdS: Milan and Inter early pace-setters – what will be key in the Scudetto race

By Oliver Fisher -

Talking about two teams pulling away with 31 games to play and 93 points available is far too soon, but there is no doubting AC Milan and Inter are the early pace-setters.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) recall that one year ago Napoli were in the lead after seven games and they not only remained there but went on to pad their advantage over the months that follows.

A year ago, Milan and Inter had 4 and 6 points less respectively, so they have grown. Signing 10 players and changing so much did not help Stefano Pioli avoid losing the fifth derby in a row, but paradoxically those five goals helped a young team grow.

They have learned a new humility and now have a different tactical prudence. Milan’s optimism is this: seeing itself in the lead and knowing that it has a greater margin for improvement than Inter.

Tijjani Reijnders, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Christian Pulisic are already certainties, but the best of Samuel Chukwueze, Yunus Musah and Noah Okafor is yet to come. Pioli deserves praise for quickly shaping a new identity for the Rossoneri and rotating with courage.

He had no other choice really. Only with a deeper squad that has more quality can Milan wage war on a squad like that of Inter. Staying with the same 13-14 players like last season was not an option.

Then there is Rafael Leao. The derby helped him grow too, because after the horror back heel against Newcastle, Rafa produced several decisive plays that he hadn’t had before.

Pioli and Simone Inzaghi’s timing and execution of squad rotation will be huge. Pioli fielded a heavily altered line-up in Cagliari and he was rewarded, while Inzaghi lined up the starters against Sassuolo and Inter imploded with tiredness, including Lautaro.

From 22 to 28 October Milan host Juventus, then travel to face Paris Saint-Germain and Napoli. Inter, from 26 November to 3 December, face three torrid away matches: Juve, Benfica, Napoli.

This Scudetto is a grand prize that can also be won in the pits, with the right strategies. Rudi Garcia and Napoli also face a tough stretch from 25 November to 8 December is also thrilling as they have away games against Atalanta, Real Madrid and Juventus plus Inter at home.

For Juventus, not having European football can be an advantage in managing work loads but they deserved to lose against Atalanta and don’t give the impression of being formidable just yet.

Speaking of Atalanta, they are a team to watch. The signings of Holm and Bakker plus a resurgent Muriel were significant. Scamacca is ready to return, De Ketelaere has done well and all of a sudden Gasperini has a squad to call upon.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Our first objective must be to upgrade the squad year by year and not scudetto.
    Scudetto should be product of squad quality raise.

    After Tonali exit I think now we have better squad than last season.

    Yes we lost Sandro in midfield but for him we got Ruben, and Reijnders, who in total have same statistics with goals and assists (in combined) like Tonali last year.
    Also we got Musah who is much much better than Vranckx Bakayoko and we can tell Pobega aswell.

    In defence I hope that Tomori and Thiaw would play better with Kalulu who must improve or he is near exit in next seasons.

    And attack is most important. Origi and Rebic was awful last year, that Okafor now have scored almost like those two combined in whole season.

    Diaz Saelemaekers and Messias, eventually should have lower tally impact compared to Pulisic and Chukwueze. Pulisic scored 3 with 1 assist, and now time is for Samuel to start having some impact.

    Diaz with Saelemaekers and Messias scored in combined around 17 goals, it will be interesting to see if Pulisic and Chukwueze can scored 8 goals each. Pulisic is above average for that amount for now.

    1. Serie a is very competitive. Squad quality isn’t enough. First objective, for now anyway, is building a new stadium, but they gotta try and win trophies as well.. After that is done shît gonna be much easier i think. By shît i mean having cash to reinforce the team.
      I don’t expect them to buy 10 players each summer. Hope we raise some talent aswell from primavera

  2. It is entirely possible that having demolished us in the derby, Inter can still lose the SCudetto in the long run. At the end of the day, the Derby was only worth 3pts. SO long as we don’t succumb to the minnows and collect the points we are supposed to, we can fight till the end of the season and see how it plays out.

    Last year the lack of depth was our undoing. Hopefully this season plays out better for us. But the schedule has been tough. A lot of big clubs we are having to face in the first 10 matchdays… Plus Europe. Hopefully we avoid serious injuries and stay in the fight.


    1. Literally what I said after the derby. Just take care of the small and it wouldn’t matter how we do against the big teams. Man Utd literally won a tittle this way

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