It's somewhat surreal to think that, less than two weeks ago, Juventus effectively ended Inter's title chances with by beating them 2-0 at an empty Allianz Stadium.
At that point, the coronavirus outbreak was on everyone's minds and the game was a reminder of how insignificant football can feel sometimes. It was a Derby d'Italia, a game between two teams competing for a title, yet no one seemed to care all that much.
Regardless, it's expected that the 2019/20 Serie A season will be completed in some form. Whether it'll be through play-offs or whether games will be extended into the summer to allow clubs to fulfil their fixtures is currently unknown.
With this in mind, here's a look at how Inter's season has gone so far, how it could potentially go should the season continue, and what the long-term future holds for the club.
As it Stands
Antonio Conte's side hit a little bit of a rough patch before the break from football was enforced. Top of the table as recently as February 9, they subsequently faced Lazio and Juventus - two games they'd hope to get at least a point from to keep their title challenge going.
Instead, they lost both of them, and Inter dropped to third place, eight points behind the seemingly unstoppable Lazio in second place and nine points behind Maurizio Sarri's Juventus in first.
I Nerazzurri do have a game in hand over Lazio and Juventus, but their title prospects now rely on both of those sides losing their momentum, which seems unlikely.
Regardless, after nearly a decade in the footballing wilderness, Conte has transformed Inter into a side respected across Europe again, and they can be proud of the advances they've made on the pitch this season - even if they end up only qualifying for the Champions League.
They're still in the Coppa Italia, with the second leg of their semi-final clash with Napoli set for March 5 postponed. Inter suffered a disappointing 1-0 home defeat in the first leg and will be hoping to overturn that result when they visit the Stadio San Paolo for the second.
Inter, following their defeat of Bulgarian side Ludogorets in the round of 32, have reached the round of 16 of the Europa League, where they are set to face La Liga side Getafe.
Azulones have very much proven that they are a team not to be underestimated, as evidenced by their victory over last seasons Champions League semi-finalists, Ajax, in the round of 16. Given Inter's standing in the competition, however, they'll be confident of seeing out Getafe and going all the way.
Injury Status and Potential Returns
Stefano Sensi's loan spell at Inter, despite occasional flashes of brilliance, has been plagued by injuries. His latest problem is a foot injury and it is not known when he'll be available for Conte to pick again.
This enforced break may be a blessing in disguise for Sensi, however, as he may have time to regain his fitness and be available to fulfil Inter's remaining games should they go ahead.
Remaining Fixtures and Season Projection
Inter's league season was paused with 13 fixtures yet to be fulfilled. Though it is still unknown what option the footballing authorities will pick in terms of completing the season, let's say, theoretically, that they allow 2019/20 to be completed in full.
Listed below is a prediction of how their remaining fixtures will turn out, how many total points they'll accumulate and where they'll end up in the league table.
|Hellas Verona (A)||Draw|
Total Points Projection: 85
Predicted Finish: 3rd
Having already faced Milan, Lazio and Juventus in this half of the season, Inter have a relatively trouble-free end-of-season run-in, with seven of their 13 fixtures being against teams in the bottom half of the league,
Player Contract Status
Ashley Young has impressed for Inter since joining from Manchester United in the January transfer window and it looks likely that the club will activate their option to keep him on for another year. However, Young's former United teammate, Alexis Sanchez, probably won't be signed by the club permanently following a disappointing loan spell at San Siro.
Inter have options to make their loan deals for Victor Moses, Stefano Sensi and Cristian Biraghi, permanent in the summer. Other contract expiries include fringe, ageing, players such as Borja Valero, Daniele Padelli and Tommaso Berni.
Inter currently have over 20 players out on loan. Yann Karamoh, at Parma, Andrea Pinamonti, at Genoa, and Matteo Politano, at Napoli, will not be returning to the club as their loan deals included an obligation to buy clause.
The loan deals for Mauro Icardi, Ivan Perisic, Valentino Lazaro and Joao Mario include a clause in which their clubs have an option to buy, though regardless of what path those clubs choose, their time at Inter appears to be over.
Summer Transfer Plans
Potentially outgoing, however, is Lautaro Martinez. The young striker has been sensational for I Nerazzurri this season, forming a deadly striking partnership with Romelu Lukaku. These performances have reportedly resulted in interest in the Argentine from Barcelona, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
The long-term target for Inter, after so many years of struggle, is to compete again for league titles and become a formidable outfit in Europe. It's early days, of course, as demonstrated by this season's struggles in the Champions League and recent inconsistency in Serie A.
They are a club very much on the up though, and expect them, as they further strengthen their squad under Antonio Conte, to eventually unseat Juventus from their supremacy of the Italian top flight.