Inter's 100 per cent start to the Serie A season came to a crashing halt on Sunday as champions Juventus returned to the top of the table with a significant win at San Siro.
Gonzalo Higuain's late strike sealed a 2-1 win for Maurizio Sarri's side as they inflicted a first domestic defeat on Antonio Conte since he joined the Nerazzurri ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.
There is a two-week break now for international action before the sides return to domestic duties on the weekend of October 19/20.
Here, Omnisport predicts how both clubs could fare in their first five fixtures upon the resumption of Serie A and how the table might look come mid-November.
FAVOURABLE RUN FOR CONTE'S MEN
Predictions for next five fixtures:
- Sassuolo 0-3 Inter
- Inter 2-1 Parma
- Brescia 0-2 Inter
- Bologna 1-3 Inter
- Inter 3-0 Hellas Verona
Inter will be targeting a maximum points return from their five games and there is little reason they cannot achieve that, given the mediocrity of their opponents. They do not face a team that is currently positioned higher than 10th, which should have Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez licking their lips.
Given three of the games are away from home, Conte might remain cautious but there is a great chance to crank up the pressure on Juve.
TRICKY DOUBLE-HEADER AWAITS CHAMPIONS
Juventus 3-1 Bologna
Lecce 0-2 Juventus
Juventus 3-0 Genoa
Torino 1-1 Juventus
Juventus 2-2 AC Milan
Like Inter, Juventus take on a string of sides who have started the season in less than stellar fashion. They should have few problems in their first three games, given two of those sides currently languish in the relegation zone, but it is the games against Torino and AC Milan that could prove tricky.
With speculation mounting that Marco Giampaolo could lose his job at Milan, the Rossoneri might well be under new leadership by the time that fixture rolls around, while Torino will be fired up to get one over on their city rivals. Those factors could be enough to see Sarri's side drop points and hand the title advantage to Inter.
If our predictions are correct, Inter will hold a three-point lead over Juve by the middle of November. Clearly, the race for the title will be far from over but it might just allow Conte and his men to dream about ending the Bianconeri's eight-year stranglehold on the scudetto.