Inter’s 2023/24 season is mere days away. Fresh off one of the longest seasons in its history, featuring total 56 games, the Nerazzurri are set to get going once more when Monza visits the San Siro. It’s been a summer of budget moves with a few moments of excitement canceled out by the exits of fan favorites that have become all too common of late, leaving the optimism and hopebrought by a new season slightly dampened.
Inter’s transfer market has been underwhelming (as is par for the course with Suning in charge), with key contributors like Andre Onana, Milan Skriniar, Marcelo Brozovic, Edin Dzeko, and Romelu Lukaku departing. In came Yann Sommer, Juan Cuadrado, Marcus Thuram, Davide Frattesi, Yann Bisseck, and Marko Arnautovic. While those names are certainly intriguing, it’s hard to deny that Inter has taken a steep fall on the quality meter with those departures. That’s not a good sign for a team that managed to lose 12 games last season. A repeat Champions League run isn’t very feasible and Coppa Italias will only go so far. In other words, Inter needs to be challenging for the Scudetto, but its roster means that will take a miracle from Simone Inzaghi. But enough doom and gloom. It’s a new season and anything can happen, and an opening day win would go a long way towards boosting the vibes around the Nerazzurri.
The team Inter will have to get the better of in order for that to happen is Monza. The Biancorossi is in its second season ever in Serie A after a hugely successful debut campaign, in which it finished 11th. Thirty-nine year old debut coach Raffaele Palladino took Monza from rock bottom after six rounds to comfortable safety and was rewarded with the permanent job this season. He had Monza playing some pleasing on the eye football as well as picking up results, which included a win and draw against Inter last season. Monza hasn’t been very active in the transfer market, at least in terms of upgrading the squad (all of the €41 million it spent was on making loans permanent) but there will be a pair of familiar faces on the pitch this weekend. Roberto Gagliardini and Danilo D’Ambrosio on free transfers were Monza’s big-name moves of the summer. The latter has already notched a goal on his debut, albeit in a 2-1 loss to Reggiana in round one of the Coppa Italia. Despite such an ignominious start to the season for Monza, Pallodino’s side will be no easy task for the Nerazzurri.
Inter has a 5W-2D-2L lead in the all time series, but as previously mentioned, went winless against Monza in 2022/23 with a draw and a loss.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter Milan 2-1 Monza
It won’t be the most aesthetic of games as both teams shake off the rust, but Inter will end up taking all three points thanks to an opening-day brace from Lautaro Martinez, although who else but Gagliardini will snag one back for the visitors.