Serie A 2017-2018 Preview #93

 

1.Juventus

DYBALA

Finally we have the 6-Time Reigning  Champions on top for at least one more year but it does seem their dominance is coming to an end but not just yet. Juventus won Serie A last season but for the first time in the few years they were challenged not a major challenge but this year I think we will see the Old Lady feel real pressure as Roma and Napoli will mount a serious challenge. However with the signings they made it will be hard to see anyone else win the Scudetto. Juventus brought in Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich,  Federico Bernardeschi from Fiorentina ,Blaise Matuidi from PSG and Wojciech Szczęsny from Arsenal . Some massive deals that will prove to be the difference this season. with Pjanic, Dybala and Gonzalo Higuaín already in the team it should be another great season in Juventus. Juventus is not a team with very many cracks their very strong really all over. Last season they scored significantly less goals than usual I see that changing with the singings they made. I see Dybala having a breakout season he has the quality to be a top 10 scorer he allready has 2 goals and the club will likely get him the ball in as many dangerous situations as possible they midfield is also so strong a team full of proven winners. I think their defense will be a bit venerable this is with the departures of Dani Alves and Leonardo Bonucci which will be their main weakness this season . They didn’t start the best as they lost to Lazio in the Super Coppa but they shouldn’t be worried too much because they have the depth in their squad to manage both the champions league and the league. I also think they with Douglas Costa and Matuidi it will make them very hard to beat and I think they could go on a very deep champions league as far as the league they will be challenged but The league belongs Juventus Until further notice.              

2. AS Roma

Week 20

This will be Roma’s first season without their Iconic Legend Francesco Totti Roma are another club that have gone through a lot of changes this season. They lost their Manager  over the last two seasons in Luciano Spalletti to Inter Milan they lost key players in Mouhamed Salah to Liverpool, Antonio Rudiger to Chelsea and Leonardo Paredes to Zeint. They also have added 5- Time Europa League winning Sporting Director Monchi as well as Appointed former Roma player Sassuolo boss Eusebio Di Francesco as manager. However much like Napoli Roma have also been disrespected in the Media. They did lose some key players but they have replaced mutually all of them. They spent 55-60 Million and signed 8 players. Spending so much less than Milan and the players Roma signed are close to the same ability. They brought in Hector Moreno from PSV, Rick Karsdorp from Feyenoored, Cengiz Under from İstanbul Başakşehir, Brought back  Lorenzo Pellegrini from Sassuolo, Grégoire Defrel also from Sassuolo,Aleksandar Kolarov from Man City Maxime Gonalons from Lyon, and have retained Bruno Peres and Fazio from their loan deals. Roma also have given new contracts to Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman and Danielle De Rossi. Their coming off a year where they broke countless team records and finished 2nd in the league we saw Dzeko score 29 goals to top the league and 39 in total i see them getting 2nd again. Their midfield is arguably the best in Serie A with Nainggolan, Strootman, De Rossi not to mention Perotti, El Shaarawy and all the depth they have off the bench epsically having another striker option will be huge this season. Roma  have the best Striker in the league in Dzeko and the best player in the league in Radja Nainggolan. They scored over 100 goals last season in all competitions  and you can expect them o do it again they have also made upgrades on defense and Kept Manolas and have Florezni coming back from injury this is a team capable of greatness next season I think Juventus still has a slight edge but only just Roma will make it very hard on them.            

 

3. Napoli

NAPS

Down in Naples we have Serie A’s most exiting team from a season ago are still equally strong coming off a season where they scored 94 goals in the league proving to be one of the highest scoring teams in Europe. However they still are being disrespected in the Media as many claim they wont get top 3 I strongly disagree with that notion. They haven’t brought in that much but they haven’t needed to Adam Ounas and Mario Rui have been their only signings. It doesn’t matter their attack is still among the worlds best Marek Hamšík,Lorenzo Insigne,Dries Mertens,José Callejón and Arkadiusz Milik. Mertens will be the one to watch this season he finished 2nd in the league in goals last season with 28 goals only one goal behind Roma’s Edin Dzeko. This attack will score at least 85 goals this season arguably the very best attack in Italy. They are also strong in the back and are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. they will have a very successful season i think Roma and Juventus are still a little bit stronger but not by much they very much will be challenging the league again this season. Their biggest issue is having to come up big in the important games Roma and Juve will be fighting just as hard for the title the final three will all be in the title race. Napoli has everything they need to win the league they have the quality but i still fancy Roma and Juve to finish a little bit higher than Napoli but this will be a close Race if they go through to the champions league which it appears they will having a 2-0 lead after the first leg of their qualifier. It will take his tole but if they are healthy and firing around all sliders I see another strong title challenge from Naples.      

4. AC Milan

AC

Last season AC Milan got back into Europe with a 6th place finish but overall wasn’t the best season they started really well but a loss to Roma in December started a downs spiral and Milan walked straight out of the title race ending up in 6th which was a disappointment after starting so well. This season their has been many changes to Vincenzo Montella’s side and Milan also got new owners. They splashed the cash like no boddies busness.Spending over 200 Million this summer. They signed Andre Silva from Porto,Richardo Rodreiguz from Wolfsburg, Hakan Çalhanoğlu from Bayern Leverkusen,Leonardo Bonucci from Juventus, Lucas Biglia form Lazio, Fabio Borini from Sunderland and Franck Kessie and Andréa Conti from Atalanta. They will do a lot better than last season but I’m not buying the hype Napoli, Juve and Roma before this summer we already were so far ahead of them all Milan has done with these signings was closed the gab. They are doing good business here but this could go very wrong they are inducting 8 new starters into their lineup these guys have never played with each other they will do well but they aren’t  as good as people are saying they will be. They did manage to pull off the signing of the summer in Andrea Conti and we able to keep their young keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma but I believe that 4th in the league is there ceiling a major improvement but not quite contenders yet.   

5. S.S Lazio

LAZ0

After missing out of the champions league and finishing 8th the season before S.S Lazio got themselves back where they need to be in a quite successful season last campaign getting a 5th place finish and made the Coppa Italia final. When Simone Inzaghi took over last season he got them back to challenging for champions league. Got them back into a competitive state the club would get back into Europe with qualifying for the Euopa league. The club also split with their Rivals down the road brining The Derby Della Capitale back to life after Roma had dominated it for years prior. The Signing of Circo Immobile headling their success as he would score 26 goals for Lazio and has become one of the most dangerous strikers in the league. This season will be no different as they will retain their 5th spot once again despite losing Lucas Biglia to AC Milan they still have held on to Immobile and added Lucas Leiva from Liverpool. They have already started off very well winning the Supercoppa Italiana over Title holders Juventus. Not to mention this team already has Keita Balde and Felipe Anderson their attack could be quite dangerous this season. They will compete with the top 5 but i think they don’t have quite enough to get champions league.   

6. Inter Milan

IT0

Another team going through changes is Inter Milan after going through two different managers last season due to their poor form they have appointed a very successful manager in Roma’s Lucaino Spalletti a very good hire by Inter but i don’t believe its enough to really be able to challenge the top 4. Their transfer business this summer has be questionable at best as we have seen the majority of the team in the top 6 bring in quality while Inter Milan have just sat on their hands almost all window. They brought 7 players but a lot of the signings are either young talent for Irrelevant. However they have brought Sampdoria Center back Milan Skinner and Nice Left back Dalbert Henrique to sort out the defensive issues after failing to sign Rudiger and Manolas.They did also brining in a pair of solid midfielders from Fiorentina in Valero and Vecino a good few singings but they haven’t done enough to complete with the likes of  Roma and Juventus. They have a good manager in but i see them starting slow to the season. With players like Mauro Icardi who score 26 goals last year and Ivan Perisic who added 10 as well Joae Mario in that midfield .  This will get them Top 6 but I don’t see them doing more than that they just don’t have the quality.        

7. Samdoria

SAMp

Sampdoria I see as the team that could shock everyone they got the quality that Atalanta has but I believe that they have the depth for a breakout season. The club only lost one player during this years transfer window Luiz Muriel to Sevilla, Milan Skinner to Inter and Bruno Ferenandes to Sporting. They were very good players and they will miss them but considering what they already have an what they added I think they can have a surprisingly successful season. I see them going up three spots from last year to finish 7th. The team added Gianluca Caprari from Inter and excellent left back in Nicola Murru from Calglari and the Polish youngster Dawid Kownacki. However the biggest move of Sampdoria’s summer has to be retaining Patrik Schick their star striker who was on the verge of a move to Juventus but collapsed . The Czech scored 13 goals for Sampdoria last season proving to be one of the young stars in Serie A. Sampdoria also has the likes of    Dennis Praet, Fabio Quagliarella, Lucas Torreira and Filip Đuričić to their disposal. With the team they have and the players they have they have all the essentials  for a underdog story no distraction of Europe will help them achieve greatness this season projecting a 7th place finish a see a big year from Schick I don’t think they will challenge the top 6 but they  are in for one of their best seasons in recent memory the reason they finish above some of the other teams in this ranking is they have a star player.   

8. Atalanta

@A

Last season Atalanta made history making Europe for the first time in the club’s history finishing 4th in the league a season go finishing ahead of the likes of Lazio,Inter and AC Milan they were the underdog story of the season I loved this team last season personally. However the proposition of European Football is completely different than they are used to I think they will have a hard time balancing the schedule which makes me think their Form in Serie A will dip. Not to mention they lost their best player Andrea Conti as well as their vibrant youngster Franck Kessie  both to AC Milan. They however have added Josip Iličić from Fiorentina who is a proven scorer and they welcomed back Marten de Roon from Boro. Despite that i think they will find things very difficult this season Alejandro Darío Gómez still remains an Atalanta player which subjects they should have still quite a successful season but with out Kessie and COnti they will find things more challenging this year but i still think they will get a top 10 finish even without them they are a top 10 side in Italy but wont be able to repeat success.            

9. Torino

Team

Il Toro looks for another season of an all out attack as there manager hasn’t changed. Their  philosophy has remained the same. They were some how able to hang on to their young superstar and newly appointed captain Andrea Belotti the 23-Year old banged in 26 goals in Serie A last season ended the season as the 3rd highest scorer in the league behind Napoli’s Dries Mertens and Roma’s Edin Dzeko. Belotti will be leading this dangerous attack keeping him in Torino is a bit surprising as it was thought that he would be heading towards the exit door but due to his price tag he has stayed. He has already got off to a great start scoring two goals in the Coppa Itaila. He will be playing this year for that big move away or a bigger contract you will see a different animal from Belotti this season I see him as the league top goal scorer this season. He will have help he’s not the only attack option he will be joined by Daniele Baselli to supply the chances from Midfield as well as loan signing from Juventus Thomas Rincon their attack is set up for another great season. However their down fall will be their defense a defense that let in 66 goals last season. Torino defense needs to tighten up if they improve defensively they will get a top 10 finish.    

10. Fiorentina

Fioentina  Coming off their worst season in several years they are going through many changes and transitions down in Florence the question becomes can new Manager Stefen Poli turn things around he takes over the Voila after spells at Inter and Lazio. After losing Josip Iličić  to Atalanta, Federico Bernardeschi to Juventus, Borja Valero to Inter Milan, their starting goal keeper Ciprian Tătărușanu to Nantes and  captain Gonzalo Rodríguez to San Lozano. That is a huge amount of losses that’s 20 less goals between them. They have made some decent signings Vitor Hugo and Marco Benassi which are very good signings but I feel they will struggle this season. They have a good enough team to keep them into the top 10 but I don’t feel they have enough to push higher than that they were still able to keep arguably their best player Nikola Kalinić who has 27 league goals in the last two seasons. He played a big part in the Viola not finishing lower than 8th last season at times they were awful and he got them to goals who kept them in the top 10. With all their players leaving  Kalinić will have to carry the load. They also will have to throw their young goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski into the sharks they have a good team but  their team lacks experience it which will be a problem  they do have a good team but I don’t feel they have enough to really challenge the top.          

11.Chevio

Good enough

The Flying Donkeys come into the season with several question marks it could go very good or really bad. They a lot of time are an underrated they don’t have a star player but they some how some way they are able grind it out good results. They are a team that doesn’t have many top scorers they spread it around the lack of top scorers could be a cause for concern but I think that they have enough going for them for a respectable finish their defense was not very good last season but if they are able to match that with goals we could see them do quite well I think its a team that shouldn’t be underestimated but things could go very bad if the defense isn’t sorted and their not scoring goals.    

12. Sassuolo

US Sassuolo v FC Luzern - Third Qualifying Round Europa League

There have been a lot of changes at Sassuolo over the summer as Roma pooched them of a lot of different pieces. first their manager Eusebio Di Francesco left to Replace Lucaino Spalletti at Rome. Then Lorenzo Pellegrini retuned to Roma as the Rome side activated his buyback clause. As well as their top scorer Grégoire Defrel heading that way as well however they would get a Roma player in exchange as Federico Ricci would remain in Sassuolo making his loan permanent. They have lost a lot of parts but the team still has Alessandro Matri and their superstar Domenico Berardi so as far as this coming season goes they should have enough fire power to give them the goals necessary to not get dragged to the bottom of the table. They also have a new unproven manager in Cristian Bucchi I think they will stay in their 12 spot once again despite losing quality there’s no Europe this year which should help them maintain 12th.            

13. Cagliari

Cagliari - Modena

If asked me a few years ago about Cagliari I would of said Relegation favorites but my opinion has changed about them. They have drastically improved over the last few years. When Radja Nainggolan left for Roma a few years ago he left Cagliari without a star player he became a power vacuum. There not going to overshoot what they are but they have gone from very bad to average. But at the end of the day they are still an average team and are unlikely to do anything special Marco Sau will be counted on to get the goals something that he is capable of but the #1 issue will be the defense they were scored on 72 times last season they first and foremost need to handle their defense if they do not deal with it you could see them finish a lot lower I fancy them do enough for a midtable finish. But if the Defense becomes an major issue we could see them  fall into a Relegation battle.           

14. Udinese

UDINE

Undinese is the definition of a mid-table side every season they end of somewhere in the middle of the table. They have quality players but don’t have world class in their squad either every season they wont challenge the league but wont need to be worried about relegation. Last season they finished 13th despite having a poor start they got it together to get higher up the table.  It looks like a similar type of season yet again I don’t think they have gotten and worse or better they are very much the same they simply put are just an average team. Rodrigo De Paul and Cyril Théréau are the engine of the team the reason I have them higher than some of the teams below them is because of that duo. I think Rodrigo De Paul is in for a breakout season as far as the team goes don’t see much change from last season Middle of the table is where they will be once again.      

15. Hellas Verona

Verona

After just one season removed from Serie A they are back Hellas Verona return to Italy’s top flight. Verona finished 2nd in Serie B with 74Points narrowly missing out on the Serie B title. They did a good job getting back to the top flight they have the ability to have a fairly successful season I have much more faith in Verona than the other Promoted sides SPAL and Benevento. They have almost the same team that was sent down to Serie A as I mentioned teams that are going to survive need a good defense and a proven goal scorer. They have both those things which is why they wont be going down and I’m not sure they will be even threatened by Relegation I think they will hover around it but wont be roped into the reason being that have a player that’s been around the block a few times that can score for them. What happens to them this season rests on the shoulders of Giampaolo Pazzini  despite being 33 years old he has shown he can score goals even in his 30’s. He was the top scorer in Serie B with 23 goals. He has scored again and again and again in this league. Giampaolo Pazzini has scored 130 Serie A goals he knows has to score in this league having done it with Atalanta,Inter Milan, Fiorentina, Sampdoria and AC Milan. As long as he is healthy Verona will be safe this season.     

16. Crotone

Crotone

The Greatest escape artists in league history will have a much improved campaign this season. Crotone was rock bottom only getting 4 points in the first 10 games it had looked that they were heading right back where they came from but they went on a late surge to secure safety beating Lazio on the last day of the season convincingly 3-1 getting 17th last year after having looked dead in the water. I think they will be much better this season having played a year in Serie A already I think they will be more comfortable season I still think they will struggle but you would expect that from a small team I think they will be able to fix some of their issues they have gotten a couple of loan deals in from some of the bigger teams they will be a fun team to watch this season I still find it unlikely they will do better than 16th but another year of survival would be considered a success for this team. In order to achieve that they will need to score a lot more goals but if they are able to find the back of the net consistently it will help them drastically their defense is pretty decent so if they score they survive   

17. Bologna

Bologna - Napoli

Another team that will likely struggle is Bologna they always seem to flirt with Relegation every season without completely getting roped into it. They very much remind me of West Brom in the Premier League they play boring football they struggle but they always seem to get just enough not to be relegated. They finished 15th a season ago but the same problems remain. Their defense is still a major problem being scored on 64 times last season this will be their down fall. They however they can scalp victories out of the bag getting points in games they should lose. They can score goals which is why they wont go down this season but they serious lack a star player which is why they might be threatened of relegation but they will get lucky once again extending their say in Italy’s top flight.             

18.Genoa

Genoa CFC v Bologna FC - Serie A

Italy’s oldest current team Genoa I think will have some serious trouble this season this could go several ways next season. Despite playing well in their last two games prior to that they were in horrid form a large part of the season epsically after January. They were losing left right and center their form was so bad they couldn’t buy a game. They Dropped games against many inferior opponents including a 5-0 loss to 20th place Pescara. They have really fallen drastically over the last few years they used to be a side that challenged the top 8 often considered a mid-table side But due to their management selling their most prominent  players it has caused them to fall they have been in Serie A for a very long time and I think their good for the league but it think it ends this season. They do have some talented in the squad with the likes of Teenager Pietro Pellegri, Giovanni Simeone and  Darko Lazović but will they still be there by the end of the season if even none of them gets sold they are screwed. If  they stay they will get goals but their defense is horrid they got scored on 64 times last season despite earing survival with a 16th place finished last season it just seems like the fall will just continue and will have to rebuild saying good bye to Serie A.   

19.Benevento FC

PROOO

 Benevento another new team added to the Italian top flight this season and another team making their first ever campaign in Serie A. They did things the hard way last season finishing in an less than impressive 5th place last season finishing the season with 65 points posting 18-12-12 record. However they made it count during the playoff beating Bari to earn promotion coming up big when it mattered most. Much like SPAL I see them struggling as they have similar issues with lack of defense to hold off these Serie A counter attacks and I feel they will have problems scoring goals as well it is hard to score against a lot of these teams in the league and they will really struggle with that. However they do have a player capable of scoring between 10-15 goals for them next season Fabio Ceravolo scored 20 goals in Serie B last season I see him being able to carry his good form into this season and his goals could give them a small chance to survive but I just frankly don’t see it his goals alone it just wont be enough Benevento’s first experience in Serie A will be a rough one as they will finish 19th one spot above SPAL the heath of Ceravolo will be the difference this season for them as it appears they will be in for a rough ride.    

20. S.P.A.L

SPAL2The newly promoted side from Northern Italy make their first appearance in the top flight after winning the Serie B title a season ago one of the feel good stories of the year they were top quality last season as they looked like the team to beat from the first game. Last season in Serie B they earned 78 points posting a record of 22-12-8 which worries me in 42 games to only get 78 points seems low. However Serie A is a different beast I’m afraid the story will end here I think they will really struggle to get going this season. A Team that survives need two things a solid defense and players that can score. They seemed to lack both of those things at the moment They just  don’t have the team to go the distance and survive this season where are the goals going to come from? They just don’t have enough scoring options to make it through the season even though they have Mirco Antenucci who scored 18 goals in the league last season he is 32-years old and I’m not sure he will be able to repeat that success here SPAL wont be able to deal with the physicality and they will be heading right back down.

 

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