We are almost back with Serie A matches and thank God because I wouldn’t know what to do with myself. The league starts off with Fiorentina vs. Torino this Saturday and let’s just say we’re excited. Juventus were given a run for their money last season, making my predictions for this upcoming season much harder.
Let’s start off with the relegation teams. This season we have Benevento, Crotone, and Spezia coming up. I think out of these clubs, Benevento is the only one that will remain in Serie A next season. They absolutely dominated Serie B last year and have a strong coach in Pippo Inzaghi. I think they can finish anywhere from 12th to 17th, either finishing mid table or coming out on the top side of a relegation battle. This is Spezia’s first ever Serie A season, which is exciting for the small club, but sadly they are expected to drop back down. Sampdoria had a rough season last year and I expect it to get even worse this year. Ranieri hasn’t been able to find the same magic he did with Leceister, and Quagliarella is starting to act his age. I think they go down as well.
Now, we’ll get into the Europa League Spots. Lazio performed very well last season, but towards the end of the year teams started to figure them out and performed well against them. This may carry over into this season and see them fall to a Europa League spot. They will be competing in UCL this season and without much depth on the bench, they will struggle in Serie A. After a slow start from Napoli last season, I think they pick up the pace this year and challenge for UCL, but fall short due to other clubs strengthening up this transfer window. Roma is always in the mix for these spots, but the wild card for this season will be Sassuolo. They are a team with great young talent including Locatelli and Berardi. If they are to keep the core of their team together with Caputo scoring goals like he did last year, they will be a decent side and could fight for Europe.
Finally, we have the fun stuff; the top of the table. With Juventus appointing Pirlo as manager, there is a lot of uncertainty around the club. However, they still have the strongest squad in the league and added to it with signings Arthur, McKennie, and Kulusevski. With somehow a tougher battle than last season, they should come out on top for their 10th straight league title.
Now, we have the bold picks and you may even agree with these. Atalanta has not done much in the market thus far, but that hasn’t meant much to them over these past couple years. They are a club built on team performance led by Gasperini and they will continue to perform better as the squad stays together longer. They should finish in a UCL spot for the third season in a row with hope of another long run in Champions League.
All that’s left to round out my top 4 is the Milan clubs. Both teams strengthened their squad last season but AC Milan have gone the extra mile this offseason; signing Sandro Tonali from Brescia and extending Zlatan another season. Tonali choosing Milan over Inter could be a huge swinging point between the clubs. He believes in Milan’s project and that could bring high morale to the club or even bring in other big name transfers. Also, Stefano Pioli is looking to make more key signings before the window closes, while Inter and Antonio Conte are looking a bit slow in this market.
3. AC Milan
We’ve talked about the clubs, now let’s see some players I think will have the biggest drop off or improvement.
These are just some of the players I think will have big changes in form this season, but there are many more and we’ll see how they do as the season plays out.
Written by: Michael “TFT Mike” Cooke (@Mike_cooke3)