There are very few things you can rely on in football, but getting preseason predictions wrong is as sure an occurrence as any. My latest attempt at not making too big an embarrasment of myself (and maybe even trying a little jinxing here and there...) is now here.
Without further ado, here we go.
- Milan (Champions League)
- Inter (Champions League)
- Juventus (Champions League)
- Roma (Champions League)
- Napoli (Europa League)
- Lazio (Europa League)
- Fiorentina (Conference League)
- Hellas Verona
- Salernitana (Relegation)
- Cremonesese (Relegation)
- Lecce (Relegation)
Let’s start at the very bottom. With the exception of Monza and its Silvio Berlusconi-inspired spending spree, the newly promoted teams look a step or two behind the pack and are favorites to head back down. The battle for the third spot will be a bit of a coin-toss however, with Salernitana (now lacking a number of key pieces from their miracle survival last season), Sampdoria (boasting the least exciting roster in the league), Hellas Verona (who lost its coach and a handful of its key players over the summer), and Thiago Motta-less Spezia in the mix. While a Sampdoria relegation would be the ideal outcome, I think Salernitana will be the one to go down once Davide Nicola’s escape magic wears off.
The top of the table looks as enticing as ever after an especially hectic summer. Both Rome clubs (albeit to a lesser extent Lazio) took major steps forward and are in Year 2 under new managers, while Napoli is full of question marks after a tumultuous market. Long-term pillars like Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly departed in exchange for younger foreigners who are a bit of a mystery so far but have the potential to be stars on their own. Fiorentina brought in a number of much-needed reinforcements but also lost key starters from last season and now has to deal with two games a week in the Conference League. That will still be enough to snag 7th over Atalanta who has had a surprisingly low-key market and might be growing stale under Gasperini. Juventus has also made improvements across its starting XI but remains a question mark defensively after De Ligt’s sale and will be without Federico Chiesa until January. Last but definitely least, we arrive at Milan which kept its Scudetto-winning XI one piece and added the attacking midfielder it desperately lacked last year in the form of Charles De Ketelaere.
Note - these aren’t necessarily the awards I expect Serie A to hand out in May, but rather my own league-wide predictions
Capocannonieri - Ciro Immobile (Lazio)
MVP - Paulo Dybala (Roma)
Best U-23 - Charles De Ketelaere (Milan)
Best Coach - Paolo Zanetti (Empoli)
Newcomer of the Season - Luka Jovic (Fiorentina)
Most Improved - Nicolo Zaniolo (Roma)
What do you think? How do you see the Serie A table ending up come next summer? Let us know in the comments below.