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Angelo Di Livio: Inter can challenge for title

Inter-Fans2Inter Milan are firing their way into contention for the Scudetto, according to three-time Italian champion Angelo Di Livio — but he warned AC Milan will struggle to finish in the top five.

A 2-0 win over Livorno on Saturday night edged the Nerazzurri up to within three points of third-placed Napoli, with Juventus a further three points ahead, one behind league leaders Roma.

There has been much talk of Serie A turning into a three-horse race, but former Italy international Di Livio, who played for clubs including Juventus and Fiorentina, suggests Inter can still throw their hat into the ring.

“I think that this Inter side are being overlooked by everybody, yet they are silently, with the excellent job being done by Walter Mazzarri, doing some really amazing things,” he told the Gazzetta dello Sport’s Gazza Offside programme.

“I think that Inter, like Roma, Juve and Napoli, have every chance of entering into the group that can win the Scudetto.”

To back up Di Livio’s belief, Gazzetta has run an analysis of the Nerazzurri’s season so far to produce some statistics that suggest the 2010 champions could well force their way into the reckoning.

Inter have the strongest attack in Serie A with 29 goals, spread across many players and scored in a variety of ways, and 17 of the goals have come in the second half, demonstrating the team’s stamina.

They have scored 18 goals away from home, which was inflated by the 7-0 win at Sassuolo — a side that nevertheless held Roma and Napoli to 1-1 draws away from home.

On the other side of the city, though, AC Milan are struggling badly, already 11 points behind fifth-placed Fiorentina, 15 adrift of the top three and 19 points away from Roma with nearly a third of the season gone.

Di Livio feels the Rossoneri may well miss out on Europa League qualification, as Inter had after finishing ninth last season.

“It’s illusionary and pointless [for Milan to think about finishing in the top five],” he said. “Qualifying for Europe is going to be very difficult for them this season.”