The Italian Serie A will begin at the end of this month, and like the rest of the European football leagues, many people are looking forward to the season ahead. Juventus have now won the title for the last eight seasons in a row, and have won a record number of 35 titles. The odds for the Serie A winner this season are in Juventus’ favour once more and can be found here with Paddy Power: https://www.paddypower.com/football/italian-serie-a. Aside from Juve dominating the league, what else can we expect this season in Serie A?
This summer saw quite a few big transfers between the clubs in Serie A and the rest of Europe. Mario Balotelli has returned to the league with Brescia so it’ll be interesting to see if he can still have a big impact on the scoreline like he used to. Romelu Lukakau left Manchester United to join Inter Milan and there are rumours about whether ex-teammate, Alexis Sanchez will also join him in Italy. Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey has joined the elite club Juventus as well this summer, so it’ll be interesting to see how much game time he gets and whether he can make more of a name for himself in Serie A than he could in the Premier League.
Due to the one-horse race for the title in Serie A, a lot of managers have the added pressure of knocking Juventus off of the top spot. At the end of this season, we saw managerial changes from many of the top teams. Inter Milan let go of manager Luciano Spalletti after just 720 days in charge to welcome Antonio Conte, despite finishing 4th in the league last season. At AC Milan they said goodbye to Gennaro Gattuso, even though they finished 5th last season. 6th place finishers Roma also dismissed manager Claudio Ranieri to make way for Paulo Fonesca, but the biggest surprise came from champions Juventus.
Massimiliano Allegri had been in charge of Juventus for 1810 days and had won the league with the club five times – that’s every year since he took charge in 2014. However, the manager has left the club with rumours stating that it is due to his lack of Champions Leagues titles in Europe. Although the dominating reign of Juventus began before Allegri, it has continued to thrive under his command. Could this change damage the future of the club?
Fight or flight
As with most European footballing leagues, the fight to get into Serie A is just as hard as the fight to remain in the top tier. For clubs who have just been promoted from Serie B to Serie A, including Brescia, Lecce and Hellas Verona, the quality of play will be stepping up and they’ll have to put in some serious leg work to stay up and not bounce back down at the end of the season. Those who are in danger after last season’s performances include Genoa, Fiorentina and Cagliari. The main focus this season will be on Genoa as they only managed to stay in Serie A last season due to one point in goal difference. These six are the most likely do go down to Serie B at the end of this season, so it will be interesting to see who manages to stay and fight, and who will be flying to the second tier in May.
Although Juventus remain a strong side they could be vulnerable this season under new management. Will we see teams like Napoli, Atalanta and Internazionale take advantage of the opportunity or will Juve walk their way to the top of the table once more?