Inter Milan striker Samuel Eto’o believes Saturday’s Milan derby will not determine the eventual winner of the Serie A title.
AC Milan have led the way for much of the 2010-11 campaign, but Massimiliano Allegri’s men have stumbled in recent weeks and were held to a 1-1 draw at home by bottom side Bari on March 13 before slumping to a 1-0 defeat at Palermo.
Inter, meanwhile, endured a difficult start to their campaign under former manager Rafael Benitez, but since he was replaced by Leonardo in December, the reigning Italian and European champions have gone from strength to strength.
Their league record since the Brazilian took over has been impressive, with 12 wins, two losses and a draw seeing them sitting just two points behind Milan with eight games remaining.
Eto’o has been a key man for Inter this season, with 19 league goals – including four in his last four Serie A games – and he feels that with seven games left after Saturday’s crunch fixture, there are still some twists left in the tale.
“The derby is a game that can change the course of the championship for just one week,” Eto’o told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“After the game there will be another seven matches to go and only the last four rounds will decide who wins it.”
“But it all depends on Milan because they are first at the minute. If they win all of their remaining games then they will take the title.”
“They are the favourites, the favourites are always the team who are first.”
Milan will go into the game without the suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but the former Barcelona player is happy with another absent striker for the league leaders, Filippo Inzaghi, who misses out with a knee injury.
“It’s good that my great friend Pippo Inzaghi isn’t available,” he said.
“He’s one of the best centre-forwards in the world, one who hurts you when you least expect it.”
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