2012/13 Inter Milan Season Preview

Posted by Don Nerazzurri

The start of the Serie A season is fast approaching. Over the summer there have been quite a few changes, not only to the Inter squad but also to most of, if not all the top teams in Italy. We still have a few weeks left of the Mercato to go too, so there may be many changes still to come.

I am really excited for the start of this season's campaign with Inter having many fresh faces ready to do battle in our sacred colours of Black and Blue. Also with the young and talented Andrea Stramaccioni officially at the helm we can be sure of some entertaining and exciting football for the Nerazzurri in the coming months.

In the pre-season so far, there have been a few Inter players that are making a good impression and I hope to see them stamping their authority over the Italian league throughout the season. Some of the names that have been impressing the most are:

Coutinho-

Our young Brazilian attacking midfielder spent the second half of last season on loan at Espanyol and during this time has come on in leaps and bounds with his confidence on the ball and ability, now back with Inter he has dazzled Interista with his fantastic performances throughout our pre-season and even won the player of the tournament award during the Tim Trophy against our traditional rivals AC Milan and Juventus.

Fredy Guarin -

Fredy spent the second half of last season on loan with us from Porto, but he spent much of that time recovering from a bad injury. Though the few appearances he did make were enough to convince the Inter management that he belonged in the Inter squad. Over the summer Guarin has lost a bit of weight and in the preseason is looking focused and driven to do well within the squad. In my opinion he is going to prove to be a very important player for us and will become the engine of our new look squad and formation. I would even go as far as to say that if he can prove himself well enough he may inherit Javier Zanetti's captains armband in the future. On an additional note after watching his performances in the preseason I've been very impressed with his tenacity when chasing the ball and he doesn't stop running for the whole match, in this way he reminds me a lot of the footballing legend Edgar Davids who was famous for displaying similar qualities. My one criticism would be that he either needs to work on his long shots or look for better passes instead before trying them.

Ibrahima M'Baye -

The young Senegalese defender has been promoted to the first team from the Primavera squad that won the Next Gen Series last season, he has looked very promising at right back in the pre-season. Despite him only being 18, I'm hoping he will be given plenty of chances to prove himself in competitive matches over the coming months especially if Maicon does leave as expected, I think it will help him grow as a player and eventually maybe even emulate his hero, Giacinto Facchetti, whom he has paid tribute to by choosing the shirt number 33.

Obviously I have faith in all our players to do well and I could go on all day about them but in my opinion these three will be the ones to watch for Inter this season and represent the future and the new look of the club.

The upcoming Calcio season could be one of the most exciting and closely fought campaigns we have seen in recent years, with a lot of clubs moving away from the stereotypical defensive style of play to a more flowing, attacking and modern style. This is partly down to clubs like Inter and Roma employing attack minded and forward thinking tacticians like Andrea Stramaccioni and Zden?k Zeman who employ entertaining tactics like the 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1.

My prediction for the season is that the top three spots this year are going to be fought over by Inter, Roma and Juventus and the Scudetto could go to any of them. Obviously I'll be backing Inter to claim their 19th Scudetti! I also think that the under-acheivers of the season will be AC Milan who this summer have lost a wealth of talent and experience and I believe are heading in to a period of transition like the one Inter has faced for the last couple of seasons.

I think Inter's chances of competing for the Scudetto are completely achievable with our current squad but ideally Inter do need to make a couple more quality signings this summer to reinforce the weak points in the team. The two main areas they need to concentrate on are a center back and a fast striker, the center back is needed because although we have got five players already for just two places, only Silvestre is a consistent performer, both Chivu and Samuel should only be considered backups and Ranocchia and Juan Jesus still need to prove they are ready to be our first choice in defence.

The need for another striker speaks for itself with the expected departure of Pazzini we are left with just an aging Milito and two unproven youth strikers in the form of Livaja and Longo as his back up. Of course if push came to shove we could use Palacio as a striker but I get the impression that Stramaccioni wants to use him in the attacking midfield mainly, a fast striker with an eye for goal would be a perfect purchase to fill the lone striker role in our 4-2-3-1 formation.

I'm expecting Inter to have great runs in all competitions this season but as much as we all want to see silverware back in the black and blue half of Milano, our number one target must be a top three finish in the league and a return to the champions league next season.

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