The Serie A returns this weekend, and the major question is can someone over take Juventus. The Italian giants have won the last 5 Scudettos. They will look to make history as the first team to win 6 titles in a row. Juventus had previously won 5 titles in a row between 1930 and 1935. The other two teams are Torino from 1942 to 1949 (with a break for WWII between 1943 and 1945) and Internazionale from 2005 to 2010.
Juventus are the title favorites again this season, despite the loss of Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata. Using the money from those sales, they brought in Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic, Marko Pjaca, Mario Lemina, Medhi Benatia, and Dani Alves. They are going to be a very strong team this season again. The other two big teams this season are Roma and Napoli. Both of these clubs will hope to end the Juventus reign. Roma has also splashed big money this offseason bringing in Gerson from Fluminense. They also made permanent deals for Mohamed Salah, Stephan El Shaarawy, Antonia Rudiger, and Edin Dzeko. Napoli will look to build on their second place finish last season and possibly move one step up the table. They did lose their leading scorer but have brought in Arkadiusz Milik from Ajax and Piotr Zielinski from Udinese following their performances for Poland in the Euros. This will be a huge year for Lorenzo Insigne as he will look to step into the shoes of Higuain. The Milan teams are rebuilding, but they should not be able to challenge for the title just yet. They might be able to finish in a Champions League place.
The Three Promoted Teams
The first team to earn promotion to the Serie A was Cagliari Calcio as winners of Serie B. They won the league by one point over Crotone. They had a very strong attacking side and could help them stay up. The club was in Serie A in 2015 and had spent 11 straight seasons in the Serie A before going down in 2015, but came straight back up. Crotone had a remarkable season as they earned their first ever promotion to the Serie A. It will be interesting to see how this team copes to a new league and with a new manager. The final team promoted for this season was Delfino Pescara. They were last in the Serie A in 2013. They finished fourth in the Serie B and qualified for the Serie A by winning the promotion play-offs.
This summer has been a busy one as half the teams in the Serie A have changed managers and one team did so twice. The big ones are the two Milan clubs as Cristian Brocchi (AC Milan) and Roberto Mancini (Internazionale) both left their clubs. Frank de Boar was poached from Ajax to take over at Internazionale. Vincenzo Montella was the manager of Sampdoria last season but is now the manager of AC Milan. The most entertaining managerial position has been Lazio. Simone Inzaghi saw his time as interim manager of Lazio end on July 6th as Marcelo Bielsa was named manager. Then just two days later, Simone Inzaghi was back in the job as Bielsa resigned. Sampdoria replaced Montella with Marco Giampalo who left Empoli. Empoli then hired Giovanni Martusciello. Atalanta sacked their manager Edoardo Reja and hired Genoa manager Gian Piero Gasperini. Genoa then signed Ivan Juric as their manager. He was the manager of Crotone. The newly promoted side then hired Davide Nicola former Livorno and Bari manager. Udinese also replaced Luigi De Canio with Giuseppe Iachini. It has been an interesting merry-go-around this season.
5 Big Incoming Transfers
Gerson – Fluminense to Roma (€16.6m)
Arkadiusz Milik – Ajax to Napoli (€32m)
Gonzalo Higuain – Napoli to Juventus (€90m)
Ever Banega – Sevilla to Inter Milan (Free)
Ciro Immobile – Sevilla to SS Lazio (€8.5m)
5 Big Outgoing Transfers
Paul Pogba – Juventus to Manchester United (€105m)
Adem Ljajic – Roma to Torino (€8.5m)
Stephan El Shaarawy – Milan to Roma (€13m)
Miralem Pjanic – Roma to Juventus (€32m)
Antonio Candreva – Lazio to Inter Milan (€22m)
My Pick – Juventus
Brad’s Pick – Roma
Champions League Places
My Picks – Roma, Napoli
Brad’s Picks – Juventus, Napoli
My Picks – Crotone, Genoa, Pescara
Brad’s Picks – Pescara, Empoli, Cagliari
My Picks – Mauro Icardi, Inter Milan
Brad’s Picks – Gonzalo Higuain, Juventus