Italy’s Serie A kicks off in two weeks, and the title race is set to be more thrilling than ever with two or three clubs set to challenge defending Champions Juventus for the silverware.
The Turin giants are still the firm favourites to bag another domestic victory, but with Roma and Napoli set to strengthen, we evaluate the chances of last season’s top 3 clubs and make a prediction of their final positions in this campaign.
The Old Lady are the leaders in terms of recruitment in the current transfer window as they have spent money on several players, the majority of which is likely to be funded by the expected record-breaking sale of Paul Pogba. Below is a list of players who joined Juventus this summer.
List of players who joined Juventus:
|Marco Pjaca||Dinamo Zagreb|
|Medhi Benatia||Bayern Munich|
List of players who left Juventus:
|Alvaro Morata||Real Madrid|
|Hordur Magnusson||Bristol City|
Adding Pogba’s name to a list of possible losses’ and Blaise Matuidi’s name to a probable additions’ list, we can state that the holding champions have saved the majority of their cornerstone players and were able to find matching replacements for those who have departed.
Higuain can replace Morata without any hesitation, while Matuidi’s imminent arrival will help Allegri to fill the gap in midfield. Juventus can be pleased with their business this window.
Following Gonzalo Higuain’s move to rivals Juventus, the Neapolitan side have seen their chances of succeeding in the league campaign fall severely. The team’s newcomer Arkadiusz Milik will find it hard to replace the Argentine, as his young age (22) and lack of top league experience are almost guaranteed to take their toll.
List of players who joined Napoli:
List of players who left Napoli:
Napoli, having the league’s top-scorer Higuain in their squad, had a huge advantage over Juventus last season. But such is the dominance of Juve, that was an advantage they were only able to have for the one year, as the Old lady snapped up the striker to ensure their dominance in Serie A is likely to remain.
It will now be much harder for Napoli to compete with Massimiliano Allegri’s men with Gonzalo on the opposite side of the river.
The Wolves’ primary activity in the ongoing transfer window has been securing last season’s loan players on a permanent basis, as Mohamed Salah, Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy, Antonio Rudiger have all signed multi-year contracts with the club.
Just as Napoli lost Higuain, Juventus have also taken Roma’s stongest player in Miralem Pjanic, a loss they have attempted to overcome with the signings of Gerson from Fluminense, Diego Perotti from Genoa and Alisson from Internacional.
List of players who joined Roma:
|Juan Jesus||Inter Milan|
List of players who left Roma:
|Antonio Sanabria||Real Betis|
In order to succeed, Roma will probably be counting more on their manager’s ability than their players’ this season.
Luciano Spalletti is famous for his ability to compete in long tournaments, and if Juventus are to be toppled from the top of Italy’s tree, then it will be thanks to Serie A becoming Spalletti’s greatest achievement.
Combining his presence with the quality of young players Roma have and the balance of experience provided by the squad’s older members, Roma can be of threat to Juventus’s title hopes.
Juventus will celebrate another Serie A victory as their squad is much stronger and more balanced than their opponents, as well as including the best player of each of their rivals’ squads from last season. Most probably, Roma will occupy the second place and will leave Napoli in third position.