US Palermo vs. Atalanta Bergamo / Serie A – This weekend’s fixture for the Serie…
Serie A 2016/17 Preview
Italian Serie A starts this year a little earlier than usual (20th August), so at the very end of the transfer period we certainly expect from them several important transfers, especially when it comes to teams that are traditionally struggling to be in the top. However, the “Old Lady” from Turin was absolutely dominant in the last five years, so we highly doubt that anyone can throw them off the throne, but this time, together with Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina, we finally expect the duo from Milan in the fight for the Champions League, which got a fresh capital from the East, while we conclude that group of teams that should fight for the top with the Roman Lazio, which last year failed completely.
On the other hand, positive surprises were Torino, Chievo and Empoli, but we nevertheless decided to put these last two teams in the most vulnerable group, because they lost several key players during the summer, while a similar situation happened to Sassuolo, and therefore we give them very little chance for European positions. Otherwise, we have in the second Seeding group, besides Sassuolo, placed six teams, which includes those that should eventually end up in the middle of the table, while that most vulnerable group has six teams, including all three new Premier League members.
As it is our custom, we will start presenting teams from the Italian Serie A with those which will in our opinion struggle to survive. This time we have put six teams in the group and among them are definitely three which played in the Serie B last season. Crotone in the only debutant, while Pescara and Cagliari are back in the elite after a short time spent in the Serie B. Out of three remaining teams that we put in the endangered group someone will be probably surprised to find Chievo and Empoli in it, given that the two teams ended last season around middle of the standings. Given they made nothing significant in the summer transfer window and have some of smallest budgets in the league it is in fact logical why we expect to see their dramatic downfall in the standings, while the sixth member of the most endangered group Palermo had desperately struggled last season to survive, so it is no wonder why we forecast a similar fate for them in the new season.
We have said that Crotone is the only debutant in the Serie A this season. They qualified for promotion to the Serie A immediately after end of regular season as they ended at second position in the Serie B, having nine big points more than third-placed Trapani. For all those who more carefully follow Italian football Crotone’s promotion to the Serie A is in fact just logical consequence of their ever better performances in seven consecutive previous seasons spent in the Serie B. On the other hand, very few expect that will leave a significant mark in the Serie A this season, as besides experience they lack better players and have by far the smallest budget of all teams in the league and simply couldn’t afford to bring better ones in the summer transfer window.
Besides, creator of the historic success, Croatian coach Ivan Juric left the team during the summer and moved to Genoa, while instead of him have arrived 43-year old Davide Nicola, who previously led Bari and Livorno, with which he was relegated from the Serie A three seasons ago. Regarding Crotone’s team for the new season, first of all we must stress that out of last season’s starters the team left defenders Yao and Modesto, midfielders Sabbione and Ricci and forward Budimir, as well as defenders Balasa and Garcia, midfielders Torromino and Voltan and forward Delgado. On the other hand, new names in the teams are defenders Sampirisi from Vicenza and Ceccherini from Livorno, midfielders Rohden from Swedish Elfsborg and Mazzarini from Modena, and forwards Tonev from Frosinone, Natalini from Salernitane and Simi from Portuguese Portomonense.
Probable starting lineups: Cordaz – Sampirisi, Ferrari, Claiton, Martella – Capezzi, Rohden, Salzano – Tonev, Simy, Stoian
Forecast for the new season: Of course that Crotone, debutant with modest roster and new coach, who already has one unsuccessful season in the Serie A in his career, is in fact the first candidate to move back to the second league.
Relegation (bottom 3): 1.57 at bet365
This is another returnee to the Serie A. Pescara is back after four years of exile but if we judge according to what they have done in the transfer window it is really hard to expect that will stay in it for long. Besides, we must stress that Pescara returned to the elite thanks to plenty of luck, as they ended previous season at fourth place but have managed to eliminate Novara in the semi-final of promotion play-off and Trapani in the final. For their success probably the most deserving individual is young coach Massimo Odd, who took over the team at the end of season 2014/2015, after they were eliminated from the final of promotion play-off by Bologna.
This year they managed to rectify that and are finally in the Italian elite but just what we said for Crotone we can freely say for Pescara too; they have very small chances to avoid express return in the second league. During the summer it was quite busy in their locker-room and out of newcomers we can say that true reinforcements are only former Inter’s forward Manaj and midfielder Cristante who arrived from Benfica. Besides them to Pescara have arrived experienced goalkeeper Bizzari from Chievo, defender Biraghi from Inter and forward Nicastro from Juve Stabia, while several players have returned from loans but they will in the coming period mostly sit on the bench. Regarding departures, we must mention the best scorer of the Serie B in previous season, Lapadulo, who moved to Milan, while besides him the team has left only experienced forward Cocco. Loans have expired from midfielder Torreiri and Mandragori, and forwards Verde and Pasquato.
Probable starting lineups: Fiorillo – Zampano, Fornasier, Zuparic, Crescenzi – Memushaj, Verre, Benali, Cristante – Caprari, Manaj
Forecast for the new season: We have said in our detail analysis of Pescara that they are alongside Crotone in fact the closest to quickly return to the Serie B, although they could be quite unpleasant for their opponents with its good attack, and especially if young Manaj manages to adequately replace Lapadulo.
Relegation (bottom 3): 2.50 at betsson
This is another returnee to the elite football league but we give them much better chance in the survival struggle than Pescara. We must have in mind that Cagliari had spent more than a decade in the Serie A before last season’s relegation to the Serie B. On top of it they routinely did the job in the championship and several rounds before the end of season Cagliari has qualified for express return to the Serie A. Ahead of coach Rastelli and his team is in fact the most difficult task and in order to stay where they are now they must play maximally seriously and without big mistakes as the competition is exceptionally fierce.
In order to succeed in their intention in Cagliari were very active this summer and they have brought five new players, although even three of them are near end of professional careers. Those are stopper Bruno Alves who arrived from Turkish Fenerbahce, former Juventus midfielder Padoin and forward Borriello who played last year for Atalanta. Besides them, to Sardinia have arrived midfielders Ionita from Verona and Pajac from Croatian Inter. We need to add that young midfielder Barella has returned from loan to Como. On the other hand, those who left were mostly borrowed players, like it was the case with defender Barreco, midfielder Tello and forward Cerri, while defender Balzano will also not carry Cagliari’s jersey any more, just like midfielders Fossati and Cinelli. Let’s add that experienced forward Melchiorri will skip the first part of season because of injury.
Probable starting lineups: Storari – Pisacane, Bruno Alves, Salamon, Murru – Padoin, di Gennaro, Ionita – Joao Pedro – Farias, Sau
Forecast for the new season: Given that most Cagliari’s players have rich experience in the Serie A it can be expected that will be in fact one of their biggest advantages in the survival struggle, just like playing at home where they traditionally play much better than away. However, our estimate is that Cagliari will be for the most part of season around the drop zone, so they will certainly need a bit of luck in order to escape another move to the second league.
Relegation (bottom 3): 4.50 at BetClic
Behind Palermo is very stressful season, given they spent larger part of it in the relegation zone, but thanks to good results made in the very finish they had managed to escape moving to the second-league. Most deserving for that is of course coach Ballardini who took over the team from Sicily just six rounds before the end when it was in quite hopeless situation. However, with him at the helm they finally played as it was expected from them and in last five rounds they won three matches and drew two, which resulted with 16th place in the standings, where they had just one point than 18th-placed Carpi.
Right because of that absolutely no one doubt about Ballardini’s staying but he will in the coming season again has significant problems to keep the team in the Serie A, given they lost even four standard starters during the summer. Goalkeeper Sorrentino, midfielder Maresca and forwards Vasquez and Gilardino are no more with Palermo, and on top of it loans for midfielders Cristante and Brugman have expired. At the moment it is perhaps the biggest problem for Ballardini that he hasn’t adequate replacements for goalkeeper and lone striker positions so several new names are expected to arrive to Palermo before the end of the transfer window. For the time being those who arrived are only defenders Rajkovic from Darmstadt and Aalesami from Goteborg, experienced midfielder Gazzi from Torino and forward Nestrovski from Croatian Inter, while stopper El Kaoutari, midfielder N’Goyi and forwards Embalo, Cassini and Malele have returned from loans.
Probable starting lineups: Posavec – Gonzalez, Rajkovic, Andjelkovic – Rispoli, Gazzi, Hiljemark, Lazaar – Quaison, Trajkovski – Nestorovski
Forecast for the new season: Even if they manage to bring a famous name by the end of thr transfer window, we definitely expect another bitter survival struggle for Palermo, especially if they don’t dramatically improve performances when playing at home.
Relegation (bottom 3): 4.00 at BetClic
Unlike Palermo, Chievo has behind itself one of best seasons in its history given that despite weaker games in the very finish of championship they ended in the upper half of standings, or more precisely at ninth place. What is especially interesting is fact that they at one point were even candidates to reach Europe, which was certainly a surprise having in mind fact that Chievo had the oldest team in the league. Right that rich experience and good leadership by coach Maran had brought one more season without stress so it was no wonder that the team underwent almost no changes during the summer.
They brought instead of 38-year old goalkeeper Bizzari one year younger Sorrentino from Palermo, so remaining 10 players from the starting line-up could easily get chance to play in the new season too. We need to stress that they bought contract for defender Cacciatore and forwards Floro Flores and Mpoku, while three players who are back from loans will increase competition in the team, forward Lazarevic and offensive midfielders de Silva and Sesta. Regarding those who departed, besides goalkeeper Bizzari only goalkeeper Bressan and midfielder Ninkovic have left, while loan for young defender Mattiello has expired.
Probable starting lineups: Sorrentino – Cacciatore, Cesar, Gamberini, Gobbi – Hetemaj, Rigoni, Castro – Birsa – Meggiorini, Floro Flores
Forecast for the new season: After extraordinary good season from Chievo is certainly expected to end above the relegation zone but given they have by far the oldest team in the league, which might cost them dearly in case of troubles with injuries, we wouldn’t exclude them from the group that will struggle to survive.
Relegation (bottom 3): 4.50 at bet365
Just like Chievo, Empoli had surprised absolutely everyone with great results made for the bigger part of last season and in the end they finished just below Chievo in the Serie A standings, or more precisely at 10th place. In that way they confirmed once again that they shouldn’t be underestimated regardless of constant defile of coaches and even some important players. Right before beginning of previous season they lost experienced coach Sarri, who two years ago had returned them in the Serie A after seven years of absence, while his replacement Giampaolo has decided to change the team this summer and take over more famous and popular Sampdoria. Empoli’s management didn’t seem worried about that and they decided to trust the team into hands of Giampaolo’s former assistant Martusciello, which indicates that playing style of the team shouldn’t change much.
On the other hand, there were quite some changes among the players and the team have left even five standard starters; defenders Tonelli and Mario Rui, midfielders Zielinski and Paredes, and goalkeeper Skorupski, although three last ones were only borrowed. Besides them, loans for stopper Ariaudu and forward Livaja have expired, while young midfielder Camporese has decided to seek more minutes in some other team. On the other hand, Empoli didn’t lose too much time and it quickly replaced all these departures with defenders Bellusci from Leeds and Pasqual from Fiorentina, midfielder Tella from Juventus and experienced forward Gilardini from Palermo, while even six players have returned from loans including robust stopper Barba who should be in roster for the starting line-up. Besides that, they made a good job when they bought contract for midfielder Buchel from Juventus.
Probable starting lineups: Pelagotti – Laurini, Costa, Bellusci, Pasqual – Buchel, Diousse, Croce – Saponara – Maccarone, Pucciarelli
Forecast for the new season: Regardless that Empoli had a great previous season we expect that will struggle to survive this time, given that besides coach Giampaolo they lost even five standard starters.
Relegation (bottom 3): 3.25 at bet365
The mid-table group consists of seven teams for which we believe all should avoid survival struggle but at the same time hardly any of them can seriously engage in race for the very top of Serie A. True, it shouldn’t be exclude that some of the teams finds itself at one point at positions that lead to European competitions, like Sassuolo which last season even ended at sixth place but in general their capabilities are fairly limited and in the end they should content with positions around mid-table. Besides Sassuolo we have again put in this group of so called “safe teams” duo form Genoa (Sampdoria and Genoa), then Torino, Udinese, Bologna and Atalanta.
In opinion of many Atalanta could very easily struggle this season to survive but if we have in mind that last season they played well in its finish than we can expect to continue in the coming period in the same rhythm. That is even more probable as instead of Rej they brought from Bergamo very good coach Gasperini, who is known to prefer formation 3-4-2 which he used last season to lead Genoa that in turn effortlessly finished around mid-table of Serie A.
In order to easier realises his tactical ideas, Gasperini made quite some changes last summer in Atalanta’s team, so out of the starters the team left midfielders Cigarini and de Roon, and experienced forward Borriello, while besides him loan for stopper Paletti has expired. Loans have also expired for stopper Cherubin and wingers Gakpe and Diamanti, while experienced defenders Bellini and young forward Monachello got free hands. On the other hand, two big reinforcements are stopper Zukanovic from Roma and forward Paloschi from Swansea, while besides them new names on Atalanta’s roster are wingers Spinazzola and Caezas. We need to add that large number of players have returned from loans, but out of them in combination for the starting line-up are only stopper Caldara and midfielder Kessie, who had a great last season in Cesena.
Probable lineups: Sportiello – Masiello, Toloi, Zukanovic – Conti, Kessie, Kurtic, Drame – D’Allesandro, Paloschi, Gomez
Forecast for the new season: As we have said Gasperini didn’t have much trouble to secure Genoa survival last season and we certainly expect to do the same this season with Atalanta, especially as he took over the team immediately after end of previous season and by that he had enough time to reconfigure the team alongside his ideas.
Relegation (bottom 3): 4.00 at bet365
Finish in the Top 3: 351.00 at NetBet
This is second season after return to the Serie A for Bologna. They did well last season and for the bigger part of championship they were quite far from the drop zone. However, they spoiled the impression in the very finish and ended the season at the 14th place in standings, having just four points more than 18th-placed Carpi. True, during those last matches, when it was known that Bologna had secured its survival, coach Donadoni had given chance mostly to players who by they didn’t have much minute, which was in fact the main reason for weaker results in the very finish of season.
At the same time that helped him to once again check on whom he can count in next season, so during the summer free hand have gotten goalkeeper Stojanovic, defenders Constant and Morleo, midfielders Zuculini and Brighi, and forward Mancosu, while at the same time loans for defender Zunigi and winger Giaccherini have expired, where the latter was in fact the only starter of all listed players. It means that his place in the new season should cover newcomer from Czech Sparta, Krejci, while remaining of starting line-up should stay the same like last year. We must add that in the transfer window to Bologna have arrived stopper Boldor from Lanciani, midfielder Nagy from Ferencvaros, and forwards Verdi from Milano and di Francesco from Lanciani, while stopper Cherubin have returned from loan to Atalanta.
Probable lineups: Mirante – Mbaye, Rossettini, Gastaldello, Masina – Diawara, Taider – Mounier, Rizzo, Krejci – Destro
Forecast for the new season: Given that not many things changed in Bologna compared to previous season, it means that their results should be fairly good in the coming period and they again should secure their survival without much problems.
Relegation (bottom 3): 5.00 at betsson
Finish in the Top 3: 301.00 at NetBet
Udinese is for the second season in a row one of biggest disappointments in the Serie A, given that had secured their survival only in the finish of season. Unlike two years ago when they literarily did that in the last round this time they had a positive period in April and March so even if they won just one point in last four rounds it was enough to end in the standings right above 18th-placed Carpi. However, those weak results in the season’s finish had cost coach de Cani his job and instead of him to Udinese has arrived a bit younger Iachini, who last season led Palermo on even two occasions.
Regarding the team, out of starters only Paraguayan defender Piris has left the team, while besides him have left stopper Domizzi and Coeff, midfielders Guilherme, Kuzmanovic and Pasquale, and the team’s icon 38-year old forward di Natale. On the other hand, from the partner club Watford have arrived stopper Angallo and young Venezuelan forward Penaranda, then stopper Musavu-King from Lorient, midfielders Fofan from Manchester City and de Paul from Valencia, and forwards Ewandro from Sao Paolo and Tunisian Harbaoui from Belgian Lokern. Besides them, large number of players traditionally returns to Udinese during summer and it is quite realistic to expect that some of them again decide to temporarily leave the team. Let’s add that stoppers Wague and Musavu-King, and midfielder Faraoni will skip the first part of season because of injuries.
Probable lineups: Karnezis – Heurtaux, Danilo, Angella – Widmer, Badu, Fofana, Fernandes, Adnan – Zapata, Thereau
Forecast for the new season: Although they have been struggling a lot in the Serie A in last two seasons, we expect from the rejuvenate team to earlier secure its survival, while with a bit of luck they might even end in the upper half of standings.
Relegation (bottom 3): 7.50 at betsson
Finish in the Top 3: 125.00 at betsson
We can freely say that Sampdoria had underperformed last season given that compared to season before they went down for even eight positions in the standings. In the end they were positioned just three places above the drop zone, having just two points more than 18th-placed Carpi, although we must stress that they had secured their survival a bit earlier and right because of that had played last three rounds quite carelessly and consequently won no points from them. Doria played fairly variably throughout the whole season, which was the reason why they replaced the coach and given that Montella, in opinion of many, had made quite a good job in the second part of season he was very sought for this summer and in the end he has found a new employment in one of team with most titles in Italy, Milan.
Instead of him another rising Italian coach has arrived to Sampdoria and that is Giampaolo, who last season ended at great 10th place with fairly limited Empoli. Of course, from him is expected to do something similar with the new team, which will not be easy at all given that during the summer Sampdoria lost large number of players. For the time being those are defenders Moisander, Cassani and Diakite, midfielders Soriano, Fernadno and Krsticic, and forward Ponce, while loans for defenders Ranochi and Dodo, midfielders Correi, Carbonero and Christosdoulopoulos, and forward Rodriguez have expired. Given that most of these players had very small minutes in previous season it was quite logical why Sampdoria was very active in trading this summer so new member of the club are defenders Castan and Pavlovic, midfielders Cigarini, Linetty and Djuricic, and forwards Budimir and Schick, while reliable defender Regini, and midfielders Torreira, Campano and Eramo have returned from loans.
Probable lineups: Viviano – de Silvestri, Castan, Silvestre, Regini – Ivan, Cigarini, Barreto, Alvarez – Budimir, Muriel
Forecast for the new season: Departure of coach Montello will probably leave mark on the team, and they will certainly need time to accustom on Giampaolo but all that shouldn’t cause big changes in their play style and we again forecast that will end in the upper part of standings, while survival will be secured before that.
Relegation (bottom 3): 11.00 at NetBet
Finish in the Top 3: 126.00 at NetBet
Unlike Sampdoria, their city rival Genoa had ended previous season exactly in the middle of standings, or 11th place, although they oscillated a lot, especially in the second part of season. However, for them was the most important that had never lived in fear of relegation so coach Gasperini decided near the end of season to give chance players who didn’t have much minutes before. Genoa’s management didn’t like his experiments and instead of him has brought this summer young and ambitious Croatian coach Ivan Juric, who last season managed to take Crotone for the first time in their history to the Serie A.
Of course, ahead of him is a lot more difficult job, especially as he will for the first time in his life coach a Serie A team, while fact that large number of good players has left Genoa this summer definitely doesn’t come handy. First of all, we have in mind defenders Ansaldi and di Mai, midfielder Tachtsidis and winger Capela, while loans for defender Silva, midfielder Dzemaili and forwards Cerci, Suso and Matavz have expired. On the other hand, five new players have arrived to the team; defenders Renzetti from Cesena and Gentiletti from Lazio, midfielder Veloso from Dynamo Kiev, and forwards Ocampos from Marseille and Ninkovic from Chievo, while defenders Rosi and Cissokho, and forwards Gakpe and Improto have returned from loans. Let’s add that their first goalkeeper Perin will skip the first part of season because of injury and his place will cover Lammana.
Probable lineups: Perin (Lamanna) – Fiamozzi, Izzo, Burdisso, Renzetti – Rigoni, Veloso, Rincon, Laxalt – Ocampos, Pavoletti
Forecast for the new season: Of course that all these changes will affect Genoa and therefore it is really hard to expect to see them next season in race for European positions, but on the other hand they shouldn’t worry even for a moment about their survival in the league.
Relegation (bottom 3): 10.00 at BetClic
Finish in the Top 3: 101.00 at NetBet
Sassuolo was definitely one of most pleasant surprises of previous season in the Serie A as the team waited and waited for its chance and in the end it got one, thanks to mistakes of far richer and famous Milan and Lazio. Coach di Francesco’s players have done especially well in the season’s finish when they won four and drew one match in last five rounds, which propelled them to even sixth position and historic qualification for European competitions. This summer, in their debut they played very well in the third qualifying round of the Europa League when they eliminated Swiss Luzern, and now between them and the group phase of Europa League stands only Crvena Zvezda from Belgrade.
However, right those matches in the Europa League might make their job more difficult in the Serie A, especially as they lost this summer two very important players, defender Vrsaljko and forward Sansone. Besides them the team left only defender Longhi, but for the time being only one new player has arrived, stopper Letschert from Utrecth, although at the beginning of season he shouldn’t be in foreground for coach di Francesco. Sassuolo has definitely made a good job when it bought contracts for midfielder Duncan and forward Politano. We need to add that even six players have returned from loans, but out of them only young midfielders Sensi and Mazzitelli can expect to be on the roster for starting line-up.
Probable lineups: Consigli – Gazzola, Cannavaro, Acerbi, Peluso – Missiroli, Magnanelli, Duncan – Berardi, Defrel, Politano
Forecast for the new season: Regardless that they lost two very important players we still expect from Sassulo a fairly good results in the Serie A, although due to European obligations they could take a dip compared to previous season, so we see them right around middle of the standings.
Relegation (bottom 3): 15.00 at BetClic
Finish in the Top 3: 51.00 at Unibet
Regarding the last team that we listed in the mid-table group we can freely say about them that they played much better in the first part of previous season when they even occupied positions that lead to Europe. In the second part of season they eased a bit and ended the championship even in the lower half of table, or more precisely at 12th place. True, they were never in danger of relegation; despite four defeats in last five rounds they had even seven points more than 18th-placed Carpi. However, all that wasn’t enough for experienced coach Ventura to keep his job and instead of him has arrived young and ambitious Serb coach Mihajlovic, who despite his age has very rich experience in coaching Serie A teams.
In order to return the team in the upper part of the Serie A next season Mihajlovic was very active during the transfer window and he brought even seven new players, out of which at least four could immediately find themselves in the starting line-up. Those are young Albanian stopper Ajeti who arrived from Frosinone, Greek midfielder Tachtsidis who played last season in Geno, and two great wingers Ljajic and Falque, who came in package from Rome. Besides them, new Torino’s members are young midfielder Lukic and Gustafson, forward Boye who arrived from Argentinian River Plate. On the other hand, the team have left during this summer stopper Glik, midfielders Gazzi and Fernerud, and experienced goalkeeper Castellazzi, while loan expired for forward Immobile.
Probable lineups: Padelli – Zappacosta, Maksimovic, Ajeti, Bruno Peres – Benassi, Tachtsidis, Baselli – Ljajic, Belotti, Falque
Forecast for the new season: Out of all teams that we listed in the mid-table group only Torino has chance to join race for European positions, given that definitely has better team than last year and has new and exceptionally ambitious coach. However, the most realistic option is that they will too end around middle of the standings, but this time in its upper half.
Relegation (bottom 3): 19.00 at NetBet
Finish in the Top 3: 101.00 at Unibet
Top 6 and Title
Just like last season, we have also this time included seven teams in this strongest group, with the proviso that Lazio, after some very bad performances last season, could easily be found in the other Seeding group. However, considering the reputation of this Roman team, we expect that they should next year at least fight for a place in Europa League, while the same thing is expected from the players of Milan, which got new owners. The other Milan team, Inter, already went through this last year, which again brought them only fourth place in the table, so their ambitions in the upcoming period are definitely the Champions League, and maybe even Scudetto, which is a “dream” of two other teams as well, Napoli and Roma, given that the “Old Lady” from Turin was absolutely dominant in the last five seasons in Serie A.
We have already said for Lazio that they had one pretty bad season, especially since they were third a year ago in Serie A and have performed even in the playoffs of the Champions League, while they are now eight and have therefore lost even Europa League. But this should in the future only facilitate their work because they will be able to completely dedicate to the national championship, where their main goal will certainly be one of the positions that leads in Europe, while they will certainly look for a chance through Copa Italia. Otherwise, at the end of last season, Lazio has brought a new coach, 40-year-old Simone Inzaghi, instead of the experienced Pioli, who was appointed only as a temporary solution, but after he achieved some good results, the leaders of the club decided to offer him a permanent contract and it will therefore be very interesting to see how he will manage in such a role.
He has during the summer lost his best player Candra who moved to Inter, while some other players also left the team, such as defenders Konko, Gentilleti and Braafheid, midfielders Onazi and Mauri and strikers Klose and Matri, who actually was only on loan. On the other hand, new names are only young defenders Wallace from Portuguese Braga and J. Lukaku from Belgian Oostende, midfielder Leitner from Dortmund and striker Immobile from Sevilla, while also a large number of players returned from loans, but none of them should be in the starting lineup. This is why we expect a few more reinforcements until the end of the transfer period, especially since defender Radu and midfielder Lulic will have to miss this introductory part of the season due to injuries.
Probable starting lineups: Marchetti – Basta, Wallace, de Vrij, J. Lukaku – Parolo, Biglia, Milinkovic-Savic – Anderson, Immobile, Keita
Forecast for the new season: Lazio is certainly expected to perform much better than last year, especially because they will not have European commitments now, but bearing in mind the kind of roster the young coach Inzaghi currently has, it is quite clear that even a placement in Europa League would certainly be a great success for them.
Finish in the Top 3: 11.00 at BetClic
League Winner: 67.00 at Ladbrokes
This season the popular “Violas” will also be in this competition, since they last year took the fifth place in Serie A, and it was after they in the second part of the season seriously spoiled their form. In fact, they were at the end of February this year even in positions that lead in the Champions League, but later they experienced some problems with injuries and a slightly weaker form of some key players, which all resulted in only two victories in the last 13 rounds. And when we say that one of them occurred only in the last round when everything was resolved, it is clear in what crisis “Violas” were at that time.
However, despite this large drop in form, the leaders of the club have decided to continue the cooperation with the Portuguese coach Sousa, believing that he will again manage to restore the atmosphere from the first part of last season. And to succeed, he has primarily decided to keep his main players during the summer transitional period, so this team only lost the experienced defenders Roncaglia and Pasqual, while the loans expired for goalkeeper Sepe, center-back Benalouane, midfielders Costa, Blaszczykowski and Kone and striker Tello. As for reinforcements, they were not spectacular because they managed to bring only defender Dix from Vitesse, midfielder Sanchez from Aston Villa and young striker Toledo from Argentina, while a large number of players returned from the loans, so in the next period a lot is certainly expected from the experienced strikers Gomez and Rossi.
Probable starting lineups: Tatarusanu – Tomovic, Rodriguez, Astori, Alonso – Vecino, Badelj, Valero – Bernardesci, Kalinic, Ilicic
Forecast for the new season: Even though they kept all the players from the starting lineup, we have to bear in mind that “Violas” will hardly be able to repeat such a good start as it was the case last year, so it would be a great success if they at the end manage to qualify in Europa League again.
Finish in the Top 3: 11.00 at BetClic
League Winner: 51.00 at Ladbrokes
When it comes to the team of Milan, their score crisis lasts for three years, with the proviso that they have not succeeded to qualify in Europe for two times in a row, so it is quite clear that some things have to change radically this summer. And it actually happened because they took the new owners, who admittedly have not yet begun to spend too much money on reinforcements, while they in addition brought a young and ambitious expert Vincenzo Montella as a new coach, who after a very rich playing career coached teams such as Rome, Catania, Fiorentina and Sampdoria. He has actually succeeded Brocchi on the bench, which in April this year replaced Mihajlovic and in the finish of the season even had a chance to reach Europe, but in the grand finale of the Italian Cup they were still defeated with 1-0 by Juventus.
But, this has in fact only confirmed that the “Rossoneri” have a much better team than it seems on the basis of their seventh-won place in Serie A last season, so after his arrival Montella decided to keep the backbone of the team, while only the experienced goalkeeper Abbiatti, defenders Alex and Mexes, midfielder Boateng and strikers Menez and Balotelli (who was only on loan) left the team. Instead of them, they have brought only three new players, the South American defenders Gomez and Vangionni and striker Lapadula, who was last year playing for Pescara and was the best scorer of Serie B. However, we are not sure that he will next to Niang and Bacci immediately have a place in the starting lineup, while we by the end of the transfer period certainly expect more new names at San Siro, especially because defender Abate and midfielder Montolivo will be deprived of services due to injuries.
Probable starting lineups: Donnarumma – de Sciglio, Romagnoli, Gomez, Antonelli – Honda, Bertolacci, Kucka, Bonaventura – Bacca, Niang
Forecast for the new season: Of course that Milan is every season expected to at least fight for the top of Serie A, but after two years in a row, they remained even without placement in Europe, so it is quite realistic to expect that this will be their main goal now.
Finish in the Top 3: 4.40 at betsson
League Winner: 34.00 at bet365
Inter had a lot of problems last season, especially since they in the second part of the championship failed to record good results, so for this reason they again lost their place in the Champions League. However, fourth place and a comeback in Europa League is certainly a big improvement compared to the previous season, which they ended only in eighth place. But, since the ambitions of Inter are always the highest possible, especially after they were before the start of last season taken over by the new owners, it is clear why they terminated the cooperation with coach Mancini in the summer, while they instead of Ajax brought the ambitious Dutch specialist De Boer.
Of course that he will immediately upon his arrival be under a lot of pressure, but on the other hand we believe that he will still get a little more time to prove himself than Mancini, who despite heavy investment in the team last year failed to reach the Champions League. And in order that “Nerazzurri” finally achieve that, they were further strengthened in the summer transfer period by defenders Erkin, Ansaldi and Dodoma and offensive midfielders Candrev and Banega, while there are some rumours about the arrival of great Portuguese midfielder Joao Mario. On the other hand, some European giants are very interested in their striker Icardi, so they will have a hard time keeping him in the team, but if they succeed, Inter would definitely need to make progress compared to last season, especially because they during the summer lost only defender Juan and young striker Manaja, and two players who were on loans, defender Telles and strikerr Ljajic.
Probable starting lineups: Handanovic – D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Erkin – Medel, Brozovic – Candreva, Banega, Perisic – Icardi (Eder)
Forecast for the new season: As we mentioned in our detailed analysis, Inter should, with all these reinforcements, certainly record much better results in the new season, especially if they manage to keep Icardi, but it actually means that everything except placement in the Champions League would represent a major failure.
Finish in the Top 3: 2.75 at NetBet
League Winner: 15.00 at bet365
Unlike the duo from Milan, Napoli has last year managed to make great progress in Serie A and once again win placement in the Champions League, after they ended up right behind the untouchable Juventus on the table. However, they also had a couple of bad periods, but all in all at the end of this, in his debut season on the bench of Napoli, coach Sarri managed to perfectly arrange things, so their fans can be very happy. Especially because they have not lost any matches at home, and they only played three draws, so it is absolutely clear to everyone that they can hardly count on the points at San Paolo next season.
But what has in the summer saddened all the supporters of Napoli is the departure of their top scorer Higuain, who moved to Juventus, so at the south of Italy, many understood this as a big betrayal and it will therefore be very interesting to see whether this Argentinian will even try to show up in Naples. Besides him, the loans expired for three other players, namely goalkeeper Gabriel, defender Regina and midfielder Chalobah, but none of them actually had had much playing time last season. As for the reinforcements that have arrived this summer in Naples, those are defender Tonelli from Empoli, midfielders Zielinski from Udinese and Giaccherini from Sunderland and young Polish striker Milik who arrived from Ajax, but considering all the better shape of Gabbiadini (who was last year a replacement for Higuain), as well as the rest of the first team, it really is difficult to imagine that any of these four reinforcements will immediately at the start of the season get the opportunity to be in the first 11.
Probable starting lineups: Reina – Hysaj, Koulibaly, Albiol, Ghoulam – Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik – Callejon, Gabbiadini, L. Insigne
Forecast for the new season: Even though they have lost their first star Higuain, the Neapolitans still have one of the best teams in Serie A, so if these new players managed to adequately adapt, Napoli should once again be in the closest competition for a place in the Champions League, while we believe that they can hardly take off the undisputed Juventus from the throne.
Finish in the Top 3: 1.55 at BetClic
League Winner: 9.00 at Ladbrokes
As for the other big clubs in the main Italian city, they were great at the start and end of the championship last season, but their desperate performances between that have again cost them a fight for Scudetto. In fact, during this period, they were occupied by their performances in the Champions League and they have therefore neglected their championship obligations and had a desperate series of just one win, six draws and two defeats, which ultimately led to a dismissal of their coach Garcia, so in middle of January this year they had to bring another coach instead, a domestic expert Spalletti. This has later proved to be an excellent move because they completed Serie A undefeated and with a lot more wins than draws, which ultimately was enough for third place and placement in the Champions League.
However, they were eliminated in the round of sixteen in this competition by Real Madrid which eventually won the title, but it was the first time for the Romans to win placement in the knockout phase of the Champions League. But now they will certainly have to focus a lot more on Serie A, where they want to finally break the dominance of Juventus and to in order to do that they have during the summer spend a lot of money on reinforcements, while they also purchased contracts for some key players from last season. First of all, goalkeeper Szczesny, defender Rudiger and strikers Salah, Perotti and Dzeko, while new names at Olympic stadium are goalkeeper Alisson, defenders Juan, Vermaelen, Mario Rui and Fazio and offensive midfielder Gerson. On the other hand, only midfielder Pjanic and defender Digne, who was already only loan, have left the team during the summer, while Roma can no longer count on goalkeeper De Sanctis, defenders Maicon, Zukanovic and Castan, midfielders Keita and Ucan and strikers Falque and Ponce. We should also add that defenders Rudiger and Mario Rui will miss the first part of the season due to injuries, while the insufficiently recovered Szczesny is also questionable at the start of Serie A.
Probable starting lineups: Szczesny (Alisson) – Florence, Manolas, Vermaelen, Juan – De Rossi, Nainggolan – Salah, Perotti, El Shaarawy – Dzeko
Forecast for the new season: Even though many expected Romans to finally engage in the fight for Scudetto last season, it proved to be too much for them in the end, and given that Juventus now looks even stronger than last year, then it is quite logical that the popular “Wolves” should again satisfy only with placement in the Champions League.
Finish in the Top 3: 1.45 at BetClic
League Winner: 8.00 at Interwetten
And for the very end of this announcement, we naturally left Juventus, because they have in the last season confirmed absolute dominance in Serie A and won their fifth consecutive Scudetto. But that cost them earlier elimination from the Champions League, while they in the finish of the season defended the trophy in the Italian Cup when they defeated Milan. Well, we certainly must point out that in the first part of last season, they had a lot of problems in the national championship, but they later still managed to find the right form, and they recorded even 26 wins, two draws and just one defeat, which just reaffirmed that they have no real rivals in Italy.
They are now announcing that they will finally fight for the Champions League trophy and have therefore in the summer already brought five excellent players, defenders Dani Alves from Barcelona and Benatio from Bayern Munich, midfielder Pjanic from Roma and Pjaca from Dinamo Zagreb, as well as top scorer from last season of Serie A, Argentinian striker Higuain from Napoli. On the other hand, they lost a fantastic midfielder Pogba and striker Morate, as they still went defender Caceres, midfielder Padoin and winger Cuadrado, who was only on loan. However, by the end of the transfer period it can very easily happen that they lose their young striker Dybala, but they would certainly already bring a proper substitute for him, as well as in midfield, where they soon expect at least another big reinforcement, especially considering that midfielders Marchisio and Sturaro will have to miss the introductory part of the season due to injuries.
Probable starting lineups: Buffon – Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini – Dani Alves, Pjanic, Khedira, Evra – Pjaca – Higuain, Dybala
Forecast for the new season: Of course that the “Old Lady” from Turin is expected to be completely dominant in Serie A this season, and only those performances in the Champions League might create some problems for them, because they have announced that they will finally try to win this prestigious trophy.
Finish in the Top 3: 1.03 at Unibet
League Winner: 1.50 at mybet