This year Inter and Juventus played the derby d’Italia unusually early. Both teams arrived having won their first two matches in convincing fashion. During the summer, Juventus, already the strongest team in Italy, acquired Tevez and generally seemed to get even stronger and ready to make a run for the Champions League. Inter, on the other hand, made a few minor acquisitions and seemed to be waiting for its injured players to come back. Inter is not playing in any European competitions this year as it arrived in 9th place last year.
Given the context, and the fact that a strong Juventus has a knack for winning at San Siro, Inter fans were probably worried about the chances of a disappointing defeat. At least I was. But the match ended in a 1-1 tie in which Inter scored first and Juventus tied within two minutes during the second half. Inter showed that it is capable of rising to the challenge, but it couldn’t go past that and dominate a strong opponent while playing at home. If Inter doesn’t lose its focus like it usually does, it can reach one of the top three spots this year (the third spot is the one I have in mind).
In the meantime, Roma and Napoli had a strong start this year by winning their first three games. They are sitting at the top of the table with nine points. Napoli is definitely a championship candidate that is poised to do really well: they look unbeatable. Fiorentina, like Inter and Juventus, is in third place with seven points and will give everyone a run for their money. Lazio with six and Milan with four got a slower start. Milan has a strong squad that doesn’t seem to get it together and their acquisition of Kaka was soured by an injury in his first game that will keep him on the sidelines for more than a month.
I think that this is going to be a very interesting campionato to watch. I enjoy that there are no big expectations for Inter: I am almost guaranteed not to be too disappointed this year.