The start of the 2019-20 Italia Serie A season is only a few days away!
Juventus has dominated the league for eight straight years now and are looking for their ninth Scudetto in a row. At this point, can anybody bet against them? Well, yes, you can.
According to the best soccer betting sites, Juventus is currently the betting favorite to take the Italia Serie A with 4/9 odds. Following La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady), we have Napoli in second place at 6/1. Coming in third, we have Inter at 9/2, and afterwards it’s AC Milan placed at 20/1 in fourth. Rounding out the top five for us is Roma with a hefty 33/1 odds. The next five to take us to the top 10 are Atalanta (50/1), Lazio (66/1), Torino (100/1), Fiorentina (100/1) and Sampdoria (150/1).
Let’s go over the favorites to take the 2019-20 Italia Serie A, and then I’ll give you my official prediction to take the league, as well as my long-shot pick to ride with for a possible big payday. If interested, you can also check out my preview and prediction for the English Premier League.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, but for another season, Juventus enters as the top-dog favorites to claim the Italia Serie A. And not just that, but they’re the favorites to win a ninth straight Scudetto, something that has never happened before in the league. That alone is hard to bet against, but it gets worse: Pinnacle has given Juventus a 69% chance of winning the Serie A, which is pretty overwhelming odds in their favor.
La Fidanzata d’Italia (The Girlfriend of Italy) was absolutely dominant last season, having an undefeated season all the way up to March 17. At that point, however, the title was already in Juventus’ hands. They would have a steaming start posting a record of 8-0, and during this stretch, they would take a convincing 3-1 victory over Napoli — their rivals and consistent title contenders themselves.
The highlight of Juventus’ 2018-19 season was Cristiano Ronaldo’s first with the team, and he did exactly what La Madama (Madam) wanted him to do. Winning the Balon d’or five times, Ronaldo would come into the Serie A and put himself as the top scorer of Juventus. In total, he would tally 21 goals and eight assists for a very successful campaign. Ronaldo would put up those numbers in 31 matches in the league.
Already an elite club, Juventus would go out and spend even more money this past summer to add talent to Ronaldo and staff. They would pick up Luca Pellegrini, Aaron Ramsey, Matthijs De Ligt, Adrien Rabiot and they would bring back their legendary goalkeeper in Gianluigi Bufon. What those acquisitions assured for I Bianconeri (The Black and Whites) is that they’ll now have two first-team options in literally every area of the pitch now. The dominant just became even more dominant, and you can tell they’re doing this to gear up for the UEFA Champions League, so you better believe they should roll through Serie A.
Another thing that makes Juventus so scary is their numbers from last season. Though they were still expected to win the league with dominant statistics, they actually exceeded those expectations by a great margin. This would include gaining 19 more points than they were forecasted to get, and they would also outdo their XGA and xG.
As you see, it should be a lock for Le Zebre (The Zebras) to win the league, but at the same time though, there are some factoids that need to be mentioned.
First off, even though Juventus dominated statistically, they were actually outperformed by both Napoli and Inter in the xPTS category. That could play a factor this season. Another thing that could come into play is La Signora Omicidi’s (The Killer Lady) strong fascination with the Champions League — a tournament they haven’t won since 1996. With that being their main focus, a power like Napoli could end up stealing the league by a narrow point or two. On top of that, new Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri (coming from the English Premier League’s Chelsea) has never won a Serie A title, and the club will also have to grow accustomed to his 4-3-3 system.
If anything, those factoids certainly create some interesting headlines for Juventus and make you feel a bit more comfortable riding with someone like Napoli or Inter Milan. With that being said though, you still have to place Le Gheuba (The Hunchback) as the heavy favorite, because let’s be honest, those highlights of interest I brought to the table just a moment ago is grasping at straws a little bit. I mean, come on, this is Juventus that we’re talking about.
For Inter Milan, it was nothing but drama last season, stemming from all of the controversies that was around former captain Mauro Icardi and his threats to sideline their campaign.
His antics would prove to be effective as Football Club Internazionale Milano would struggle to score. As a result, they would barely land a spot in the Champions League, only grabbing it by one point over their main rival AC Milan.
Entering the new season, Inter Milan has brought in fresh management in the form of former Juventus and Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. Conte is a winner of three Serie A championships, and he also has one Premier League title on his resume. This is a massive upgrade from former head coach Luciano Spalletti.
Not only did La Beneamata (The Cherished One) upgrade their management either, they also did very well in the summer transfer market. They would strengthen their midfield with Nicolo Barella and Stefano Sensi signings, and they would also step up their defensive game picking up both Valentino Lazaro and Diego Godin.
Really focus in on Inter Milan in the final third of the season though, that’s when we’ll be able to tell how truly great they are.
Going back to Icardi, you can expect him to leave the club soon. As a result, Il Biscione (The Big Grass Snake) will be on a mission to bring in another striker to replace him. In the last few weeks, both Romelo Lukaku and Edin Dzeko have been rumored to head to Inter Milan. Keep an eye on Lukaku in particular, especially after the deal to Juventus fell through.
A player to keep an eye on is the developing Lautaro Martinez. Last season, he was able to score six goals in 27 Serie A matches, however, he’s only 21. With the potential being there and his development continuously progressing, the time may be now for him to get settled in and rack up double-digit goals.
Inter Milan would be an underwhelming club in the 2018-19 campaign, but with the fresh management, added talent, and renewed chemistry, you can expect Internazionale to have an elite season that will have them in the race for the Serie A championship.
After finishing just 11 points behind Juventus for the league title, you can expect Napoli to be in the hunt yet again for the championship this season.
Gli Azzurri (The Blues) would make a power move at the manager position replacing Maurizio Sarri with Carlo Ancelotti, and it would show obvious improvement with Napoli contending for the Serie A title against Juventus. In the transfer market, they would go for even more improvement, bringing in talent such as Kostas Manloas from Roma. Not only will this step up Napoli’s defense by a good level, but it’ll also create one of Serie A’s best center-back duos with Manloas alongside Kalidou Kouilbaily. It should be mentioned that Kouilbaily is one of the best center-backs on the planet, putting Manloas with him makes Napoli deadly.
I Partenopei (The Parthenopeans) will be entering this season with a ratcheted-up roster, and this coming from an absolutely great campaign from them in 2018-19 that saw them outdo their xPTS. If Juventus wasn’t Juventus and hadn’t had such a power season, Napoli might have stolen the league with their numbers.
Last season would be Arkadiusz Milik’s first healthy one with the club, he’s been with Napoli for over three years now. In the 2018-19 campaign, an injury-free Milik would light up the opposition and would tally 17 goals for the season, which would be one ahead of teammate Dries Mertens. For Mertens, he would also hit double-figures in assists with 10.
You can expect Mertens, Milik and Lorenzo Insigne to lead the attacking threat for Napoli. If they can make another acquisition to strengthen their backline, Gli Azzurri could be a legitimate threat to dethrone Juventus.
I Rossoneri (The Red and Blacks) would get off to an average start last season, but when December arrived, it would be a different story. From then all the way until March, AC Milan was in tip-top form. After they would sign Krystof Platek in January, they would even go 10 games being unbeaten.
When mid-March arrived, Il Diavolo (The Devil) would take a nice-sized hit in the form of a Derby della Modonnina loss. Afterwards, they would only win two matches in their next eight, and in the process, would allow Atalanta to control their own destiny en route to a spot in the Champions League.
With AC Milan missing out on the top four by just a single point, their main mission will be to make a return to the UEFA Champions League. However, in order to do that, they’ll need Platek to at least repeat his 18 goal performance, if not do better, in his first full season in Serie A.
Another player who will be vital to AC Milan’s success this season will be Suso. Last campaign, the Spaniard would mark up seven goals and 10 assists in the league and would do so from wide areas.
After a quite disappointing 2018-19 season, Roma would undergo massive changes in the summer. This would include every change possible in the form of boardroom changes, a managerial change, as well as arrivals and departures on the team. As you can tell, you can expect to see a much different Associazione Sportiva Roma S.p.A. than last season.
At the manager position, it’s Paulo Fonseca coming in to replace Eusebio De Francesco, while former veteran captain Daniele De Rossi, Kostas Manolas, Stephen El Shaarawy, and Luca Pellegrini have all moved on from the club. All four were key to Roma’s success over the years.
Just look at the revamped team: In the goalie position, they would recruit Pau Lopez. Gianluca Mancini and Leonardo Spinazzola have been added to the defense, while Amadou Diawara and Jordan Veretout are now the center of Roma’s midfield. Altogether, they create a whole new look Roma 11.
After finishing in the Serie A top three for consecutive seasons, I Giallorossi (The Yellow and Reds) were underwhelming in their last campaign. That’s why you see the drastic changes, particularly on the backline. With Roma having the worst goal protection out of the Serie A top eight last season, they’re hoping the defensive acquisitions will clean that up.
Not only would Atalanta have a great season in 2018-19, but it would also set shock waves across Italy with nobody seeing their performance coming. When things got kicked off for Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio S.p.A., it would be a dismal start, but things would change when we would arrive to Matchday 9. From that point, Atalanta would rise up the Serie A table and find themselves in European qualification. From Matchday 20 to the end of season, La Dea (The Goddess) never fell out of a spot for a European tournament.
Despite their summer transfer budget not being the highest, their manager Antonio Percassi was brilliant in leading his club to over-exceeding expectations. Genius play from Papu Gomez, Duvan Zapata, as well as an aggressive press would also allow Atalanta to take out Serie A powers as well.
They were literally the only team, with the exception of Genoa, in Italia football to be able to challenge Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus, and did so on a consistent basis. With that being said, however, Genoa’s second game against Juventus would come during La Vecchia Signora’s stumble.
Keep an eye on this club for the future, because their ability to play Champions League competition in Serie A will bold well for their opportunities in Europe. Coming into this season, you can expect even more improvement from their last campaign, and as a result, they’ll be able to gain funding to be able to defend their position and continue to try and climb up the table.
The key for Atalanta’s opposition will be to contain the movement coming from their offense, because I Nerazzurri (The Black and Blues) main focus will be to overwhelm their competition’s defense with constant attacks from central midfielders and wingbacks. Gomez will play deep and will be in multiple central midfield positions, and as a result, the attack will be able to consistently progress. With the wingback overloads, they will help differ both the angle and dynamic of their attack. Also, with the overlapping midfielders and wingbacks, as well as the passing ability of Gomez, Atalanta will be able to change the direction of their attack on multiple occasions and could do so with the same attack.
Another thing to pay attention to with Gasperini and his plan are the midfielders, which will also be vital to Atalanta’s success. Their movement into the box creates space for Zapata, and the more space for Zapata, the more likely that goals get scored for Atalanta.
Expect another fabulous season from Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio, despite there being an increase of matches on their schedule. The club should achieve more improvement, and get even closer on their mission to achieve hardware.
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