What the Serie A will look like at the end of the season will shock most of you. Will Andrea Pirlo guide Juventus’ to domestic success again? Will AC Milan return to Champions League football? Can Conte lead Inter to their first Scudetto since 2009/2010?
Having finished second to recording breaking Benevento, Crotone earned their second promotion to the Serie A. Of course the ambition will be to survive, but it won’t happen. Making their third appearance in Serie A, Crotone will be relegated again. It took a magnificent end of season comeback to keep them alive in the 2016/2017 campaign, but they were relegated the following season after minimal investment.
A great story last season, with manager Vincenzo Italiano taking charge before the season and guiding the team to a historic promotion. Relying heavily on loan deals, it’s hard to see Spezia being able to stay up. They’ll try their best, but the difference in quality may just be too much for them.
Only 3 teams conceded more goals (71) than Genoa last season. All of them are now playing in Serie B. It will be the same story this year, and unfortunately Genoa will be relegated. Constant coaching and player changes have led the club to this point. With investment into the squad being almost existent, don’t expect much from Genoa this year.
If not for Luca Gotti’s timely arrival mid-season, Udinese could be playing in Serie B. Fans (rightly so) have become very frustrated with the resources allocated to the club by the Pozzo family. Udinese have been nothing short of medicore since their 5th place finish in 2012/2013. It’s sad to see really, and I don’t see the club finishing any higher than 16th. Expect them to be fighting against relegation the entire season.
The loss of Dejan Kuusveski will prove costly for Parma, but not relegation costly. A busy window saw Parma bring in Alastra (Pescara), Giacomo Ricci (Juve Stabia), Dezi (Entella) and Alessio Da Cruz (Sheffield Wednesday). Most recent rumors have Gervinho leaving to Inter to back up Lukaku, but nothing is official so we have Parma falling 4 spots down to 15th.
Torino’s ambitions will be to challenge for Europa League places, but it looks they will fall well short of that. No “signature” signings have really come in, and Giampaolo has his work cut out. Once one of the hottest strikers in the world, Andrea Belotti looks a shell of his former self, though he did manage to hit 16 goals in 36 Serie A matches last season. Torino will need all the goals they can get this year if they look to improve on their poor points total from last year (40), where they were only 5 points clear of the relegation mark.
Having taken over mid-season, Sampdoria fans will get their first full season of Claudio Ranieri. The man who led Leicester City to their improbable triumph in 2015/2016. We expect Sampdoria to improve from their low 42 point total last season, and could make a push along with Torino to be closer to the middle of the pack.
Potentially one of the best stories of Serie A this season. Benevento’s enter their second ever Serie A campaign. Pippo Inzaghi led the team to a magnificent 2019/2020 campaign. Benevento were 20 points clear of second place in Serie B, and I expect them to surprise teams early on. With 5 new signings, Benevento end up finishing 13th in our predicitions.
Bologna’s greatest weakness was their terrible finishing. The amount of chances it would take to create before scoring a goal was hard to watch. That weakness was somewhat improved with the arrival of Musa Barrow from Atalanta in January. It’ll take a much improved defense for Bolonga to finish any higher than 11th.
Verona tied for 7th in fewest goals conceded (51) last campaign. They were able to take points from Atalanta, Juventus, Inter Milan and Lazio respectively. This is a side that is far away from competing for Europa League positions, and could easily be a bottom-half table team with a loss of form. positions 10-13 are a coin flip this year, and it’ll be interesting to see which teams push for the top-half table positions.
One of the more intriguing teams to analyze for the upcoming year, Cagliari will look to finish in the top half of the table. Eusebio Di Francesco will look to improve the sides fluidity by switching to the 4-3-3. With Radja Nainggolan’s future at Inter still in the air, it would benefit Cagliari tremendously for him to have another season on loan. Rounding out at 10th, expect a Cagliari side that plays above average against the bottom half of the table.
Fiorentina is not good enough to be considered with the top teams of Serie A. However, they do have the potential to fight for the final Europa League position depending who wins the Coppa Italia. They’ll need more goals, and once “Wonderkid” and famous Football Manager prospect, Patrick Curtone will look to add just that. The team was able to keep Milenkovic in the heart of their defense, but will need more offensive signings to have a consistent year.
After back to back runner-up finishes, Napoli fell to seventh in 2019. It’s a similar fall from grace that Inter Milan had suffered all those years ago. We see many similarities in the transfer policy and squad capabilities. The loss of Allan shouldn’t derail their overall campaign, but it’s hard to say where exactly Napoli will finish. We have them ending up 8th, and it could be worse. Much change is needed, and it’s over the next 2-3 years that Napoli will either go into a free-fall or find their return to one of the top teams in Serie A.
The stage is set for Sassuolo to enjoy a special 100th year. The core of the side that finished eighth last campaign has been maintained while the addition of Turkish central defender Kaan Ayhan and Atletico Madrid’s Nicolas Schiappacasse being the the only core additions. Jeremie Boga’s potential departure could kill the hopes of repeating the high-scoring achievements of last season, but Roberto De Zerbi’s engineer-like attack will excite supporters again with or without Boga. If all goes to plan, the 100th year will end up in the final Europa League spot.
With an attack not featuring Patrik Schick & Nicolò Zaniolo, Roma will find it hard to push for top six again this year. Its almost certain Roma will bring back Chris Smalling on a permanent basis, which will be a big boost to the squads ambitions. Having fell 8 points short of fourth last season, this campaign sees many teams with questions marks. Giving Roma the slightest chance of sneaking into the fourth spot, although it’s unlikely. Finishing 5th or 6th are the most likeliest of finishes, but they fall to 6th as we expect Zlatan to carry Milan into a 5th place finish.
5. AC Milan
10 Wins, 3 Draws, and 2 Losses. The arrival of Zlatan resulted in AC Milan pushing into the top six last season and securing Europa League football this season. I really don’t see Milan crossing the finish line and finishing fourth, they will fall just short of their target this year. One cause for concern is the current contract situation with the world’s favorite football agent, Mino Raiola and number 1 goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma. Will the toxic negotiations derail their season? That’s yet to be seen, but something to look for.
One of the most electric teams offensively, Atalanta will look to continue their rise in Serie A. Their goal scoring threat will give most teams in the competition problems, and should finish a comfortable second this year with the expected drop in performance by Juventus. If they do plan on challenging for the Scudetto, they’ll need to continue their offensive onslaught and fix their defensive issues that saw them drop many points last season. Gian Piero Gasperini has gotten the recognition he deserved for the work he’s done with Atalanta, but we’re sure more than praise he’ll desire silverware.
Lazio seem to be the easy pick for a top 4 spot this season, and with the form of star striker Ciro Immobile Lazio could challenge Juventus & Atalanta for the third and second spots. It doesn’t seem likely that Lazio will mount much of a challenge for the Scudetto. More than capable of surpassing their 78 point total from last season, there are roughly 4-6 points to gain this year for Lazio. It’ll be a struggle but we can see Lazio just edging out Atalanta for the third spot.
How awesome it is to see players we grew up watching take charge of clubs they’ve played for (Lampard at Chelsea, Zidane at Madrid, Arteta at Arsenal,). Now with Andrea Pirlo at Juventus, he’ll be out to prove many of us wrong. We wish the best for Andrea, but this does look like the campaign where Juventus finally drop the Scudetto after 9 consecutive titles. With an attack featuring Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, Juventus will not struggle for goals. Top-3 should be an attainable objective this campaign for Andrea, and with the Supercoppa Italiana his first opportunity for silverware, Pirlo will have the chance to add to his trophy cabinet right away.
1. Inter Milan
Antonio Conte did very well in his first year in charge at Inter Milan, leading them to a second place finish (their highest finish and point totals since the 2010/2011 campaign) and a Europa League Final (which they lost). With new signings Achraf Hakimi and Aleksandar Kolarov joining the squad, as well as Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan coming back from loan. Conte has the depth needed to compete on all fronts this year. They’re the clear favorites regardless of Juventus’ dominance of Serie A, and have the squad that can reach 90 points or higher this campaign. Let’s not forget, Inter did score the second most goals (81) and conceded the fewest goals (36) last campaign.