Inter saw themselves crash out of the Champions League after a 2-1 loss to Barcelona. It compounded what was a disappointing group stage campaign for Inter coach Antonio Conte, considering Inter had chances to have qualified in their regard. Conte said, “You can see from the group standings that we fought for it until the end, despite it being the most difficult group of all.” Source: USA Today
Elsewhere in Italy, Juventus qualified for the round of 16 as usual, but in hindsight, Inter’s exit from the competition was the last thing the Bianconeri needed.
Yes, it’s fun for Juventus fans to get to enjoy the misfortune of Inter Milan, but in this case, their bad luck could be a curse for Juve as well. It is leading to the thought that Inter’s exit should make Juve’s pursuit of a ninth consecutive Scudetto more complicated than it had already become this season. Online slots https://freeslotshub.com still have Juve as clear favorites to lift the title, but Inter could now have an advantage.
The biggest reason why Juventus could maintain their dominance over the league for so long is that they have much more depth than anybody else in the league. Reliable backups in almost all positions meant the Bianconeri could rotate the team effectively while still keep a strong squad to challenge in different competitions.
However, that advantage has already started to disappear this season as their injuries have piled up, leaving them with limited options in their starting lineup. Also, unlike them, their competition won’t have to worry about depth.
With Inter being eliminated from the Champions League, that now leaves both them and Lazio competing in the Europa League. It is clear that if either of them has a shot at the Scudetto, they’ll be playing their bench in the knockout stages of the Europa League. Something Inter, in particular, would fancy at this stage.
That will mean that they can keep their starting lineups much fresher than Juventus and won’t have to worry as much about potentially wasting opportunities to beat the lesser competition because they had to rest starters.
It is still unclear if Lazio could keep themselves in the race for the Scudetto all season, but Inter is the front-runners right now. When you kick off from competition a strong opponent, it makes it difficult for Juve to catch you.
While the Europa League has a certain prestige of its own, Conte’s real success this season would be snatching the title of the hands of his former employers. That fact alone would be enough to fuel the Italian to take the league like a “Champions League,” considering they are already out of the latter and can pull all their primary resources towards that.
While Juve may end up in situations where they have to rest their players before or after a Champions League match, Inter will be able to start their first-choice squad as often as possible. It will become an even bigger issue if Juve makes it to the CL quarter finals. They would end up playing both legs of their quarterfinal matchup with Torino, Milan, and Atalanta all in the space of two weeks.
It doesn’t mean Juve won’t be able to catch Inter this year or that Juve fans shouldn’t take some joy in watching one of their rivals fail, but it will make the Scudetto race more robust for Juve down the stretch.