Thu. Feb 27th, 2020

Serie A 2019/2020 Season Preview and Predictions

Serie A

The transfer window for Serie A does not complete until September 2nd. Teams are actively pursuing players, so teams may change before the first match on Saturday. 

Top Table Preview 

What’s at stake for finishing in the top of the table? The top four teams will qualify for the Champions League. The 5th and 6th teams qualify for the Europa League. There is a hefty monetary incentive for qualifying and potentially winning these. There is a 7th team awarded to the Europa League. It is determined by the Coppa Italia winner. If the winner is already qualified, the team 7th in the table is appointed. Let’s dive into how the table will look in May. 

7. Lazio

The season will be on Ciro Immobile shoulders once again for Lazio. In the two seasons he scored more than 20 goals, they finished 3rd and 5th. Last season when he scored 15 goals, they finished 8th. The transfers brought in by Simone Inzaghi fit his style and should help Immobile’s chances at goal (Manuel Lazzari and Pedro Neto). However, there is not enough depth in this squad to battle for the top four and will finish shy of Europa qualifications. 

6. AC Milan

Milan will have fresh legs this season with no European League competitions. This is favorable in a season under new coach Marco Giampaolo. In his style, the attacking midfielder is critical to their success. This duty is on Suso for the upcoming season. His pace does not fit this role to the dot, but he will contribute with his finishing ability. Krzysztof Piątek and he should create plenty of goals for Milan and finish them 6th. On the defensive side, Gianluigi Donnarumma looks to remain for the season and to be a top Keeper in Serie A behind star center-back Alessio Romagnoli. 

5. Atalanta

Atalanta was last year’s surprise team that took the biggest jump. But they will drop back slightly this season. Teams that are able to isolate their defenders or create on the counterattack can break down this side. Also, Franck Kessié and Bryan Cristante were summer transfer that leaves large shoes to fill. However, Atalanta’s attack will be potent once again which will keep them securely in the top 6. 

4. Roma

Key Additions: Leonardo Spinazzola (LB), Pau López (GK), Amadou Diawara (CDM)

Key Departures: Konstantinos Manolas (CB), Luca Pellegrini (LB), Stephan El Shaarawy (LW), Daniele De Rossi (CDM)

Given the above moves, how long it takes to develop chemistry can dictate this season. There is familiarity within the squad to help these players transition into their roles. The defense could be the culprit of this team if it produces at the same level as last season. Therefore, Roma will rely on their youth of Nicolò Zaniolo, Cengiz Ünder and Justin Kluivert to produce their attack. Each is 23 or younger so they will be depending heavily on the young boys to step up and qualify for the Champions League. 

3. Napoli 

This defense is going to be top notch, finally. Costly errors in the back has cost them season over season. Kostas Manolas, summer transfer from Roma, and Kalidou Koulibaly are a title contending back pair. Look for Napoli’s back line to be clean this season. The offense will be prolific with chances yet again, powered by Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Arkadiusz Milik. Finishing them is the bigger question relying heavily on Milik. The drop in position will be due to Inter’s progress rather than Napoli’s regression. Expect them to finish close to 80 points again. 

2. Inter Milan

Antonio Conte has full reigns of Inter and he is acquiring players that fit his 3-5-2 style. Diego Godín (CB) will need to be the anchor of the defense. Up top, Romelu Lukaku has been Conte’s most wanted player for a while and finally, he lands Lukaku at Inter. Lautaro Martínez and he will be a deadly attack in the goal scorer’s league. The player that will benefit most out of this formation change is Kwadwo Asamoah. He will be pressed higher up the wing which will allow  him to cross the ball into the box with more frequency. They have built a solid depth this transfer window and do not look to be finished. If Mario Icardi remains on Inter, it will be interesting to see how he incorporates him into the XI. Conte has had success in Serie A by winning three straight Scudettos with Juventus and look for that to come in the near future for Inter. 

1. Juventus 

Maurizio Sarri takes over at Juventus after a year stint at Chelsea. Back in his native Italy, Sarri will have success once again. His style, “Sarri-ball”, will click with this squad. Giving Ronaldo free reign to create chances at goal is never a bad idea. He has a playmaking midfield to support him in Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic. To add more power to the eight straight champs is Matthijs de Ligt. The highly sought after center back chose Turin at a large fee. The title race will not be decided as early as last season, but I expect Juventus to win the league by 5 points with 85 points.  

Odds via bwin 

Juventus -278Atalanta +6600Bologna +75000Parma +150000
Napoli +500Lazio +8000Sassuolo +100000Cagliari +150000
Inter +550Fiorentina +10000Spal +100000Brescia +250000
AC Milan +2500Torino +30000Genoa +100000Verona +250000
Roma +4000Sampdoria +50000Udinese +150000Lecce +450000

Relegation Teams

The three bottom teams in the table are automatically relegated to Serie B. 

20. Hellas Verona 

19. Lecce 

18. Spal

Two of the newly promoted sides will be headed back to Serie B. The talent and depth on Verona and Lecce is too inferior to stay in Serie A. In the Italian League, unlike other leagues, newly promoted sides do not receive a bonus to bring in the talent necessary to compete. Spal will be the third team relegated. They will be in a season long battle with Brescia and Parma for this deadly spot. No key significant additions have been made in the transfer window. That should be a cause for concern for a side that barely fought off relegation last season. 

Top Scorer (Capocannoniere)

Ronaldo +150Piatek +500Zapata +800Quagliarella +900Milik +1400
Lukaku +400Icardi +600Martinez +900Immobile +1100Dzeko +1400

Last season saw a surprise winner with Fabio Quagliarella. Ronaldo’s first season saw him favored to win but finish in 4th, 5 goals behind Quagliarella. For the 2019-2020 season, Ronaldo will be the Capocannoniere. He in Sarri’s style, where he will be given the freedom on the field, will score over 25 goals. The other bet that is tempting is Piatek. For Milan to finish in the top four, Piatek will need to build upon his 22 goals last season. In Giampolo’s style last season, Quagliarella won and I expect Piatek to enjoy the same success this year. 

The Pick: Ronaldo +150. 

Who Will Finish Higher, Head to Head 

Spal (-223), Brescia (+155)

Spal and Brescia do not have much separating the sides talent wise. At a decent plus odds and the signing of Mario Balotelli, Brescia will avoid relegation. Back in his hometown, Balotelli will score 13 goals this season which will give Brescia the needed bost. Also, Spal has a weaker defense so I expect their goal differential to be worse than Brescia which could come into play. 

The Pick: Brescia (+155). 

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