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Italy Football Predictions – follow our Italian football section for the latest free football predictions, picks and news from Serie A, Serie B, Coppa Italia and more.

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Serie A 2017/18 Preview

Serie-AWe don’t expect radical changes in the Italian Serie A in the new season given that Juventus is alone at the top of Italian football in last six years. The Bianconeri had routinely won the newest Scudetto last year but their great desire was to win the Champions League, where they reached the final but lost to Real Madrid. That is something that Napoli and Roma might try to exploit, as the two teams were Juventus greatest rivals in last couple of seasons, and it is expected that duo from Milan also joins the fray for the very top. Under this we primarily have in mind Milan who brought the most players this summer out of all teams in the Serie A, while Inter wasn’t so active but it is certainly expected that new coach Spaletti brings several good players before the end of transfer window.
We would add Lazio Rome to those five teams in the strongest group, which doesn’t have many famous names on its roster like its competitors but it compensated that in last couple of season with fierce combativeness and collective play, which is why we definitely see them this time at one of positions that lead to Europe. Unlike them, we have put Fiorentina this time in the middle of table, just like Atalanta that was the most pleasant surprise last season as it ended at the fourth position. There are five more teams in the second strongest group and we don’t believe that any of them is strong enough to go all the way to the top but at the same time neither of them should worry about its survival. On the other hand, in the group of most endangered teams we have listed all three teams which played in the Serie B last year and four other teams that had spent a larger part of previous season in and around the relegation zone.

Relegation

Benevento

Benevento is the only debutant in the Serie A this season. This team is specific at it played in the Italian third division just two years ago but it managed in its first year in the Serie B to reach the most prestigious Italian league. True, all that didn’t come easily as they ended the regular season at the sixth place, which is why they had to play even three play-off rounds, facing Spezia, Perugia and Carpi. However, they lost none of five matches and have fully deservedly earned promotion to the Serie A, where the competition is much stronger which is the main reason why they are primary candidate for relegation.

In order to avoid that the club management has brought even 10 new players this summer in cooperation with coach Baroni, for whom this is just second season with Benevento. Some of players were loaned from other teams last year and Benevento bought their contracts. We need to say that not all newcomers will be starters at the beginning of season but some of them will be for sure like; goalkeeper Belec, defenders Costa, Letizia and di Chiara, midfielders Cataldi and forward Coda, while goalkeeper Brignoli, stopper Djimsiti and midfielder D’Alessandro are among most serious candidates to join the starting line-up. On the other hand, out of last year’s starters Benevento left defender Pezzi and midfielder Buzzegoli, while loans expired for the team’s first goalie Cragno and second-best scorer Falco.

Probable starting lineups: BelecLetizia, Lucioni, Costa, di Chiara – Viola, Chibsah, Cataldi – Ciciretti – Ceravolo, Coda

Forecast for the new season: As we have said in the introduction Benevento is the only debutant in the Serie A this season and at the same time team with the smallest budget in the league, so it is quite logical why this team is seen by everyone as the main candidate for moving in the second division.

Relegation (bottom 3): 1.50 at Unibet

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SPAL

Unlike Benevento SPAL from Ferrara has qualified for the second time in its history to play in the Serie A, but they had been waiting for the second chance for even 49 years. SPAL played the last time in the top Italian league in 1968/69 season and were before that a stabile first-division team for a couple of years, while in 1961 they even managed to reach the final of Italian Cup. However, SPAL was hit by crisis in the coming period and it recovered only in 2013, when its run toward the Serie A started. In just four years SPAL managed to go from fourth division to the Italian elite football rank and they did it in such manner that they won each league in which they competed. Last year SPAL effortlessly won the first place in the Serie B and thanks to that they avoided always stressful promotion play-off.

Of course, one of most deserving individuals was coach Semplici, who has been with SPAL for almost three years, which means he knows the team very well. True, reaching the Serie A means brining additional reinforcements which is why SPAL brought even 11 new players and extended loan for young goalkeeper Meret with his loan club Udinese. Out of fresh players the most famous names are defenders Felipe, Oikonomou and Konate, midfielders Viviani, Grassi and Rizzo, and experienced forward Paloschi, who arrived from Atalanta. Regarding those who left the club, out of more important players those are defenders Gianni and del Gross, midfielder Castagneti and forward Zigoni.

Probable starting lineups: Meret – Oikonomou, Vicari, Felipe – Lazzari, Grassi, Viviani, Mora, KonatePaloschi, Floccari

Forecast for the new season: Regardless of fact that SPAL practically walked through Serie B last year this time we see them locked in the bitter survival struggle, mostly due to lack of experience in this very demanding league.

Relegation (bottom 3): 1.73 at betway

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Crotone

This is second season in a row in the Serie A for Crotone, which was the only debutant last year and in the end it managed to survive. At one point, Crotone was practically written-off as it lagged so much behind other team but it played excellently in the finish of season when it out of last nine matches won six, drew two and lost just one, which happened when Crotone faced old/new champion Juventus in Turin. True, in the last round there was possibility to end up at 18th place but already written off Palermo did them a favour when it defeated Empoli at home, while Crotone won so much needed points when it defeated Lazio in front of its fans.

We need to stress that despite all those oscillations last season coach Nicola has managed to keep his job and it is quite logical that he takes them into new Serie A adventure. Loans for even five starters from previous season expired this summer and Crotone jersey won’t wear any more defender Rosi, stopper Ferrari, midfielders Crisetig and Capezzi, and excellent forward Falcielli, while experienced defender Mesbah left the team. However, Crotone didn’t sit idly and has brought adequate replacements; Faraoni, Cabrera, Mandragora, Izco and Budimir, who in fact returned to the team with which he made historic breakthrough to the Serie A two seasons ago. Besides abovementioned five players Crotone also brought stopper Ajeti and midfielders Kragl and Crociata, and extended loan for forward Trotte who has contract with Sassuolo.

Probable starting lineups: Cordaz – Faraoni, Ceccherini, Cabrera, Martella – Rohden, Mandragora, Izco, Nalini – Trotta, Budimir

Forecast for the new season: After they luckily secured their survival in the Serie A only in the finish of previous season we expect that modest team from Crotone be one of most serious candidates for relegation to the second division.

Relegation (bottom 3): 2.10 at betway

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Hellas Verona

This is returnee to the Serie A after just one year of absence, but they seriously played with mental health of their fans all the way till the last round. Although Verona lost just once in last 15 rounds in the Serie B it ended at the second place in table and it earned promotion only thanks to having better goal-difference than third-placed Frosinone. The most important thing for them is that they succeeded and consequently young coach Pecchi has got another chance to prove himself in much stronger league, which is why he was forced to significantly reinforce the team with four famous names.

This summer to Verona arrived stoppers Caceres from Southampton and Heurtaux from Udinese, and wingers Cerci from Atletico Madrid and young Verde from Rome, who played very well as loaned player in second-division Avellin. Besides them Verona has brought experienced goalkeeper Silvester from Leeds, defender Felicioli from Milan and midfielder Buchel from Empoli, while after one-year loan they bought contracts for stopper Cherubin and midfielder Fossati. On the other hand, out of starters the team have left only defender Pisano and forward Siligardi, while loans expired for stopper Boldor, midfielder Troianello and forward Ganz.

Probable starting lineups: Nicolas – Romulo, Caceres, Heurtaux, Souprayen – Bessa, Fossati, Zuculini – Cerci, Pazzini, Verde

Forecast for the new season: We expect from this returnee to the Italian elite league to play much better than two years ago when it ended as the last team in the Serie A table, but despite bringing four very good players this summer we still see them firmly in the survival race.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.00 at bet365

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Chievo

We regularly list the second team from Verona in the group destined to fight for its survival but Chievo also regularly proves that we are wrong and instead they pretty early secure their survival in the Serie A. True, they lowered their position last year for even five places as they ended at 14th place but we should bear in mind that Chievo hadn’t been in the drop zone even for a second and only because of somewhat weaker results made in last four rounds they had five points fewer than 10th-placed Sampdoria. Chievo is kind of miracle in last couple of season as it regularly has one of smallest budgets and one of oldest teams in the league but that was not obstacle for coach Marano in last three seasons to make Chieve a stabile first-division team.

Right because of that his primarily objective this summer was to retain the team’s main players, which he partially succeeded as out of irregular starters only stopper Spolli and midfielder Izco left, while loans expired for midfielder de Guzman and winger Gakpe. Besides them, Chievo jersey will not wear this season veteran goalkeeper Bressan and defender Sardo, who has finished career in the meantime. On the other hand, Chievo traditionally wasn’t overly active in bringing new players and the only real reinforcement is forward Pucciarelli who arrived from Empoli. Besides him they brought defender Jaroszaynski from Cracovia, midfielder Gaudin from Bayern and forwards Garitano and Rodriguez from Cesena. Let’s add that the first part of season will skip injured midfielder Hetemay and forward Meggiorini.

Probable starting lineups: Sorrentino – Cacciatore, Dainelli, Cesar, Gobbi – Rigoni, Radovanovic, Castro – Birsa – Pucciarelli, Inglese

Forecast for the new season: Although Chievo regularly proved in previous season that we are wrong as it secured its survival far earlier than expected we still believe that this slow and old team can have big problems if injuries become more frequent, and that is the biggest reason why we have again listed it in the group of most endangered teams.

Relegation (bottom 3): 5.50 at bet365

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Cagliari

This is second season in a row in the Serie A for the team from Sardinia. They did a good job last year under leadership of coach Rastelli when they ended at for them excellent 11th place in the table. The most important for them was that they secured their survival a lot sooner than expected, which allowed them to play under no pressure in the finish of season and slowly start preparing the team for the new season. Right because of that it is no wonder that they managed to take several big scalps in that period, which happened more frequently when they played at home, where they traditionally play better.

Regarding changes in the team before the new season, out of regular and occasional starters the team have left defenders Isla, Bruno Alves and Murru, and midfielders di Gennaro and Tachtsidis, who were anyway just loaned from Torino, just like goalkeeper Gabriel who returned to Milan. On the other hand, talented Cragno has returned to Cagliari, who was loaned to newcomer to the Serie A Benevento, and he will be surely the first goalkeeper in the new season, while out of newcomers we expect to see in the starting line-up stopper Andreolli, who arrived from Inter, and experienced midfielder Cigarini, who previously played for Sampdoria. Besides them, young stopper Romagna arrived from Juventus, while defender Balzano and forwards Cop and Giannetti have returned from loans. Let’s add that experienced striker Melchiorri will skip the first part of season due to injury.

Probable starting lineups: Cragno – Padoin, Pisacane, Andreolli, Miangue – Barella, Cigarini, Ionita – Joao Pedro – Sau, Borriello

Forecast for the new season: After excellent finish of their first returnee season in the Serie A we expect from Cagliari to continue with good results in the new season, especially as the team didn’t change much, although this time we see them closer to the drop zone than the mid-table.

Relegation (bottom 3): 3.75 at bet365

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Bologna

We can repeat many things that we said about Cagliari for Bologna, which is in the Serie A for one year longer but it played previous season in a similar fashion and ended at the 15th place in the table. We should bear in mind that Bologna was never in danger of relegation and it spoiled a bit its position after losing three times in last four rounds. True, in that period their coach Donadoni had given chance mostly to players who didn’t have many minutes, which was the main reason for bit weaker results made in the very finish of season.

Bologna didn’t suffer much in the transfer window and only departures worth mentioning are of three players who moved to new Serie A team SPAL, Greek stopper Oikonomu, and midfielders Viviani and Rizzo, while near the end of previous season experienced Swiss Dzemaili left the team but he should return in December when his loan to Canadian Montreal expires. On the other hand, Donadoni was very active in regard of bringing new players. He brought two new experienced stoppers, Gonzales from Palermo and de Mai from Anderlecht, and midfielders Poli from Milan and Faletti from Paraguay, while three returnees from loan should be candidates for the starting line-up, midfielders Crisetig and Falco, and winger Mounier.

Probable starting lineups: Mirante – Torosidis, Gonzalez, de Maio, Masina – Poli, Nagy, Taider – Verdi, Destro, Krejci

Forecast for the new season: Given that Bologna seems stronger than last year it is realistically to expect that will secure its survival earlier than one year before, while in the best-case scenario it might reach the mid-table.

Relegation (bottom 3): 6.00 at Unibet

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Mid-table

Udinese

For the third season in a row Udinese ends up in the lower part of table, although it secured its survival a bit earlier last year and wasn’t under pressure in the finish of season. Right because of that it is no wonder that Udinese won just two points in last five rounds, both at home, where they traditionally achieve much better results than away. Anyway, the final 13th place doesn’t satisfy Udinese fans, especially as not so long ago this team played in European competitions, and it is expected that experienced coach Delneri returns Udinese this season in the upper part of table and race to the European positions. He was with Udinese from beginning to end of latest preparations unlike previous season when he took over only around beginning of October, and since the expectations grew higher.

Regarding the team, certainly the most important departure is of forward Zapata who was anyway just loaned from Napoli. Instead of him they brought from Turkish Konyaspor member of Bosnia-Herzegovina national team Bajic, while Lasagna returned from loan to Carpi where he played excellently last season. Worth mentioning are also departures of stoppers Heurtaux and Felipe, and midfielders Badu, Faraoni and Kusma, who was in fact loaned from Watford. On the other hand, Udinese brought two experienced stoppers, Nuytinck from Anderlecht and Wague from partner club Granada, while talented defender Pezzela arrived from Palermo and he should immediately get place in the starting line-up. Competition in the midfield was intensified with arrival of young Swede Ingelson and Czech Barak from Slavia Prague. Besides them several players have returned from loans. Let’s add that standard stopper Samir, new midfielder Barak and forward Perica will skip the first part of season due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Karnezis – Widmer, Danilo, Nuytinck, Pezzella – de Paul, Fofana, Jankto, Balic – Thereau, Bajic

Forecast for the new season: Combination of youth and experience, led by veteran coach Delneri can surly do much better than last year’s 13th place, while survival struggle is out of question.

Relegation (bottom 3): 21.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 10.00 at Unibet

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Genoa

Team from Genoa had a stressful season given so many ups and downs, where the latter ones were more frequent and it is no wonder why Genoa ended up at just two places above the relegation zone last season. Around mid-season it didn’t seem that Genoa will have any survival problem, as it had sound point advantage over teams in the danger zone but then Genoa had seven-game winless streak of even six defeats and just one draw, and seven rounds before the season’s end the situation got complicated. Because of that Genoa management returned coach Juric, who had led the team till Febrary, and was replaced in the meantime by experienced Mandorlini. However, only after Juric returned Genoa started to play better and with two home victories in last four rounds it finally secured its survival in the Italian elite football league.

In order to avoid all that stress this season Genoa brought even seven new players this summer, out of which we would single out duo that was loaned from Milan, midfielder Bertolacci and forward Lapadul. Besides two to them, Genoa loaned Zukanovic from Roma. Others who came to Genoa are experienced stopper Spolli, who came from Chievo, young Chilean midfielder Rodriguez, who played last year for Argentinian Banfield and forwards Centurioin and Galabinov, who arrived from Sao Paolo and Novara, respectively. On the other hand, out of starters only stoppers Burdisso and Munoz, and young midfielder Cataldi, who was anyway loaned from Lazio have left the team. Besides them goalkeeper Ruginho, defender Orban, midfielders Ntcham and Beghetto, and experienced forward Pinilla will no longer play for Genoa. Let’s add that since mid-October suspended stopper Izzo is ineligible to play, while currently out of action due to injury is just forward Palladino.

Probable starting lineups: Perin – Biraschi, Spolli, Zukanovic – Lazovic, Rigoni, Bertolacci, Laxalt – Simeone, Lapadula, Centurion

Forecast for the new season: Far better result is expected from Genoa this season than last year’s 16th place, especially as the Genoese did a good job in the transfer window.

Relegation (bottom 3): 12.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 16.00 at Unibet

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Sampdoria

The second team from Genoa did much better last year than its city rival, especially as they didn’t live in fear of relegation even for a second. In fact, at one point Sampdoria was even competitor in the race for Europe, but it lost steam in the finish and ended the season in mid-table, at 10th place. Sampdoria decided to continue cooperation with coach Giampaolo, as the club management was generally pleased with what was achieved last season, especially as they managed to promote in the meantime several excellent young players like stopper Skriniar, midfielders Torreire and Linetty, and forward Schick.

However, Skriniar moved to Inter this summer, while Schick was just one step away from moving to Juventus but he failed medical exam and for the time being he is listed as Sampdoria’s player. It is expected that he will eventually change team and Sampdoria brought Capriari from Inter and Kownacki from Polish Lech as his replacements. Newcomers that will wear Doria’s jersey in the new season are stopper Ferrari, who arrived from Sassuolo, defender Murru who played last year from Cagliari, and Uruguayan midfielder Ramirez, who last year played for English Middlesbrough. Of course, several players who returned from loans will compete for a place in the starting line-up and among them we should single out midfielders Verrae, Capezzi and Ivan, and forward Boanazolli. Regarding departures, besides Skriniar out of starters the team have left midfielder Fernandes and forward Muriel, while Sampdoria’s jersey will not wear in the coming season midfielders Cigarini and Palombo, and forward Budimir.

Probable starting lineups: Viviano – Sala, Silvestre, Ferrari, Regini – Linetty, Torreira, Barreto – Ramirez – Schick, Quagliarella

Forecast for the new season: Given that Sampdoria adequately covered all vacant positions it can be expected to be one of most stable teams in the Serie A, especially as coach Sampaoli has become more familiar with the team.

Relegation (bottom 3): 18.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 18.00 at Unibet

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Sassuolo

Sassuolo is typical mid-table table where it in fact ended in last couple of seasons. It played in the Europa League last year but couldn’t pass the group phase, which hadn’t been taken as a failure as Sassuolo did a decent job in qualifications. Regarding the Italian championship, despite departure of two very important players, defender Vrsaljko and forward Sansone, Sassuolo continued to play disciplined football that is their trademark in last couple of years, for which is probably the most deserving individual coach di Francesco. Under his command Sassuolo ended at solid 12th place in table last season.

His good work was closely watched for some time by almost all great Italian teams. Roma made a concrete move this summer and brought this ambitious coach to Rome. His replacement is former Perugia’s coach, Bucci, who will surely have difficult task to continue where di Francesco stopped, regardless that the team stayed more or less the same. True, Sassulo again lost two starters, midfielder Pellegrini and forward Defrel, who went their former coach to Roma. Another experienced midfielder also left the team, Aguilani but he was anyway just loaned from Pescara. On the other hand, they brought stopper Goldaning from Palermo and young midfielder Cassato from Juventus. The biggest reinforcement is returnee from loan to Crotone, forward Falcinelli.

Probable starting lineups: Consigli – Lirola, Acerbi, Cannavaro, Peluso – Missiroli, Magnanelli, Duncan – Berardi, Falcinelli, Politano

Forecast for the new season: It is natural that departure of long-time coach de Franceso must leave its mark on Sassuolo performances but given that the team is not much weaker than last year we again see this team around mid-table.

Relegation (bottom 3): 21.00 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 6: 16.00 at Unibet

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Atalanta

Atalanta from Bergamo was definitely a pleasant surprise in the Serie A as it spent the whole last season in the upper part of table despite having an average team. Atalanta ended the season at the fourth place, which means it directly qualified for the group phase of Europa League. It is of course a great success for experienced coach Gasperini, who took over the team after everyone got scared by relegation two seasons ago. Gasperini made an excellent job last year when choosing new players and he made a respectable team with just a few reinforcements that was very dangerous at home.

Of course, good performances of the team from Bergamo didn’t slip unnoticed and this summer Atalanta lost standard defender Conti and midfielder Kessie, who moved to Milan, besides defender Konko, midfielders D’Allesandro, Cabezas, Molina, Migliaccio and Raimonid, and forwards Paloschi and de Paula, while loans for Zukanovic, Grassi, Mounier and Pesic have expired. Therefore, it was inevitable for Atalanta to bring large number of new player and for the time being they brought defenders Castagne from Genk, Palomino from Ludogorets and Gosens from Heracles, midfielders Haas from Luzern and Schmidt from Sao Paulo, and forwards Ilicic from Fiorentina, Cornelius from Copenhagen and young Orsolini from Juventus. Also, large number of players have returned from clubs to which they were loaned. Atalanta made a good job when it bought contract for goalkeeper Berisha and extended loans for second goalkeeper Gollini, stopper Caldare and midfielders Spinazzola and Cristiante.

Probable starting lineups: Berisha – Toloi, Caldara, Masiello – Castagne, Freuler, Kurtic, Spinazzola – Ilicic, Gomez – Petagna

Forecast for the new season: Although Atalanta ended last season at high fourth place in table, our forecast for them is mid-table this season, especially as Atalanta will have an additionally burden of playing in the Europa League.

Relegation (bottom 3): 41.00 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 6: 3.00 at Unibet

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Torino

Torino played much better the first part of season than the second one last year. Before winter break it even occupied European positions but later on problems with injuries started to pile-up and it ended in mid-table, or more precisely at 10th place. Everyone expected better position, especially as they brought experienced coach Mihajlovic before the season’s start and several very good players, but things didn’t develop as planned and now Torino will again try to reach European positions. Mihajlovic got one more chance, he is more familiar with the team, which is why it didn’t undergo many changes.

True, after expiration of their loans the team left goalkeeper Hart, stopper Castan and winger Iturbe, as well as reserve goalie Padelli, defenders Carlao and Ajeti, and young midfielder Benassi. On the other hand, they brought experienced goalkeeper Sirigu from PSG and young Milinkovic-Savic from Lechi as his back-up, defenders N’Koulou from Lyon and Lyanco from Sao Paulo, and winger Berenguer from Osasuna, while stopper Bonifazi and winges Parigini and Aramu returned from loans. Let’s add that Torino managed to keep, for the time being, its best player and scorer from previous season Belotti, while arrival of fast Berenguer should mean change of formation to 4-2-3-1.

Probable starting lineups: Sirigu – Zappacosta, Rossettini, N’Koulou, Barecca – Valdifiori, Baselli – Falque, Ljajic, Berenguer – Belotti

Forecast for the new season: After ending up at the ninth place last year more is expected from Torino this season, especially as in the meantime coach Mihajlovic has become familiar with the team and managed to keep excellent striker Belotti.

Relegation (bottom 3): 34.00 at bet365

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Finish in the Top 6: 3.50 at Unibet

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Fiorentina

In several previous years we rightfully listed Fiorentina in group of teams that was supposed to fight for the very top of table but this time we must be realistic and say that reaching the Europa League will be a great success for them. The Violas underperformed last season and ended up at mere eight place, while this summer the team underwent huge changes caused by budget reduction which was imposed by the club owner. Right because of that the first to leave was young and ambitious coach Paulo Sousa, and instead of him has arrived a bit more experienced Stefano Pioli, who hadn’t exactly done a good job during his short stint as Inter’s coach.

He will try with to improve Fiorentina result from previous year but that will be everything but not an easy task as the Violas lost enormous number of players this summer, mostly starters. For the time being the team left goalkeeper Tatarsanu, defenders Rodriguez, Salcedo, Miletic, Diks and di Maio, midfielders Vecino and Valero, wingers Bernardeschi, Ilicic and Tello, while departure of team’s first striker Kalinic for Milan seems more and more probable. True, they brought even six fresh players, while returnees from loans midfielder Fernandez and winger Rebic will certainly increase competition for the starting line-up. New names on Fiorentina’s roster are defenders Gaspar from Guimaraes, Victor Hugo from Palmeiras and Milenkovic from Partizan Belgrade, midfielders Veretout from Aston Villa and Benassi from Torino, and 19-year old winger Zekhnini from Norwegian Odd.

Probable starting lineups: Sportiello – Gaspar, Vitor Hugo, Astori, Olivera – Benassi, Badelj, Veretout – Chiesa, Kalinic (Babacar), Saponara

Forecast for the new season: We have stressed in our analysis that is hard to expect from Fiorentina to make better result this year than previous one, when they ended up as eight in table, especially as Fiorentina lost large number of starters this summer.

Relegation (bottom 3): 101.00 at betway

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Finish in the Top 6: 3.00 at Unibet

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Top 6 and Title

Lazio

We start analysis of the strongest group with Lazio from Rome that ended previous championship at excellent fifth place and in that way returned at the European scene. Besides, Lazio played in the final of Copa Italia where it lost to untouchable Juventus, but it showed what it worth in previous two rounds when it eliminated Inter and great city rival Roma. We need to stress that Lazio spent a larger part of season at positions that lead to the Champions League but the team lost steam in the very finish. Even Atalanta overtook them but both teams directly qualified for the Europa League. Weaker results made near the end of season were quite certainly the best possible indicator for coach Inzaghi what to change this summer, especially as competition doesn’t sleep and Milan and Inter harbour the highest ambitions.

In the meantime, another starter left Lazio, midfielder Bigilia, and Lazio brought experienced Brazilian Leiva from Liverpool instead.  Besides him, one of most serious candidate for the starting line-up will be new defender Marusic who arrived from Belgian Oostende. Other newcomers in Lazio are former Cagliari midfielder de Gennaro and experienced defender Caicedo, who played last season for Espanyol. All in all, team that coach Inzaghi has at his disposal has potential, especially if they manage to keep excellent forward Keita, for whom London’s West Ham is very interested. Let’s add that defender Radu and offensive midfielder Anderson will skip the beginning of season due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Strakosha – Bastos, de Vrij, Wallace – Marusic, Parolo, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic, Lulic – Immobile, Keita

Forecast for the new season: We certainly expect from Lazio to fight for European positions, but having such strong competition the Champions League should be again out of reach.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.85 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 4.50 at bet365

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League Winner: 67.00 at bet365

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Inter

Inter from Milan was probably the biggest disappointment in the Serie A in previous season as it was the only team out of great Italian teams that didn’t reach Europe, although that might come handy this season in their attempt to return at the very top of Italian football. Inter will be able to focus solely at the Italian championship and given that it experienced a fair deal of problems in the group phase of Europa League last year it is perhaps better not to waste time in that competition. Because of very weak results made in previous season it was no wonder that they changed even three coaches, Dutch de Boer and Italians Vecchi and Pioli, who lasted till the end of season. Already in that period many rumours circulated on subject who should replace Pioli and the decision was made this summer to bring former Roma’s head coach, Luciano Spaletti.

Of course, it is expected from him to at least return Inter in the Champions League, while secretly they hope that Inter can join the race for Scudetto. It doesn’t do any good that Spaletti inherited very bad atmosphere in the locker room, while for the time being he didn’t make a particularly good job in the transfer window. However, till the moment when this text was written Inter has brought five new players; goalkeeper Padelli from Torino, stopper Skriniar from Sampdoria, defender Dalbert from Nice and two midfielders from Fiorentina, Vecino and Valero. On the other hand, out of starters the only one who left was Banega. His position should cover experienced Valero, although Portuguese Joao Mario seems like a better option. Let’s add that the Nerazzurri lost this summer goalkeeper Carrizo, stopper Andreolli and forwards Biabiany and Palacio, while stopper Ranocchia and forward Jovetic returned from loans.

Probable starting lineups: Handanovic – D’Ambrosio, Murillo ili Skriniar, Miranda, Dalbert – Gagliardini, Vecino – Candreva, Joao Mario, Perisic – Icardi

Forecast for the new season: We believe that Inter would be satisfied if it manages to qualify for the Champions League this season but that goal will not be easy to reach, as objectively Inter’s quality is good enough for something between fourth and sixth place in the table.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.07 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.83 at bet365

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League Winner: 16.00 at Interwetten

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AC Milan

The second team from Milan ended previous season just one place above its city rival Inter and thanks to that it will play in the Europa League. However, chance to play in that competition will most probably get players who are not starters in the Italian championship where the Rossoneri have the biggest possible ambitions this season. After rich owners from China bought the club the club management was very busy this summer and were not accidently called “the Kings of Transfer Window.” Coach Montella had brought even 10 new players out of which majority should be starters, while returnees from loan, midfielder Mauri and forward Niang, will certainly increase competition in the team.

The biggest reinforcement in the Rossoneri ranks is certainly former Juventus’ stopper Bonucci, who should be Milan’s team captain. Newcomers in defence are former Villarreal player Musacchio and defenders Rodriguez and Conti, who arrived from Wolfsburg and Atalanta, respectively. Young midfielder Kessie comes from Bergamo and his partner in the midfield should be former member of Lazio, Argentinian Bigila. In the attack, they brought for the time being Calhanouglu from Leverkusen, Borini from Sunderland and Silva from Porto, but there are more and more rumours about brining Belotti from Torino. We need to stress that Inter did a good job when it retained excellent young goalkeeper Gigi Donnarumma, but to do so they had to bring his brother Antonio from Atromitos. It is logical that many players departed and out of them we will mention defender de Scigli, midfielders Kucka and Bertolacci, and forwards Deulofeu and Lapadulu, while Columbian striker Bacca is at the exit door of this team.

Probable starting lineups: Donnarumma – Musacchio, Bonucci, Romagnoli – Conti, Kessie, Biglia, Calhanoglu, Rodriguez – Suso, Silva

Forecast for the new season: What else to say except that a lot is expected from new Milan in the coming period although it will be very difficult to win Scudetto. However, reaching the Champions League is something quite realistic for the Rossoneri.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.04 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.36 at bet365

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League Winner: 7.50 at bet365

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AS Roma

The second great team from Rome improved its position last year in the Serie A table for one place but it still looked in the back of untouchable Juventus. In the end Roma had four points fewer than Juventus while third-placed Napoli had just one point less than Roma, which indicates that all three teams fully deservedly qualified for the Champions League. Roma was eliminated from that competition last year already in the play-off by Porto, while in the Europa League it reached the round of 16. In the Copa Italia Roma was eliminated by city rival Lazio in the semi-final and in general it was another frustrating season, which is why coach Spaletti left the team this summer.

Instead of him has arrived former Sassulo’s coach di Francesco who can surely bring new energy to the Romans, especially as Roma traded a lot. True, out of starters only goalkeeper Szczesny left the team, who was anyway loaned from Arsenal, as well as stopper Rudiger and forward Salah. Besides them the team left defenders Mario Rui and Vermalen, midfielders Paredes and Grenier, while Roma’s legend Totti ended his career. On the other hand, they brought even seven new players and the same number returned from loans but out of them only goalkeeper Skorupski is candidate for the starting line-up. Regarding reinforcements, Roma brought defenders Kolarev from Manchester City, Karsdorp from Feyenoord and Moreno from PSV, than midfielders Gonalons from Lyon and Pellegrini from Sassuolo, while Under from Basaksehir and Defrel from Sassuolo should play in attack. Let’s add that defenders Karsdorp and Emerson, midfielder Florenzi and forward El Shaarawy will skip the first part of season due to injuries.

Probable starting lineups: Alisson – Peres, Manolas, Moreno, Kolarov – Nainggolan, de Rossi, Strootman – Defrel, Dzeko, Perotti

Forecast for the new season: Although they lost three starters this summer we got impression that Roma is even stronger now as it brought excellent replacement for all positions, which is why we forecast that will be equal competitor in the race for Scudetto.

Finish in the Top 6: 1.07 at Unibet

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Finish in the Top 4: 1.50 at bet365

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League Winner: 11.00 at bet365

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SSC Napoli

It is very easy to present Napoli given that the team underwent almost no changes and practically the same players will again try to win Scudetto. Last year Napoli was fairly off the mark but thanks to great results made in the finish of season they closed in on just one point behind second-placed Roma and five behind leading Juvenust, while on the other hand they had even 14 points more than fourth-positioned Atalanta. Napoli started to play better after it was eliminated from the Champions League. It was eliminated in the round of 16 to later winner Real Madrid, while in the Copa Italia they reached the semi-final but were stopped by invincible Juventus.

However, in Naples believe that their time has come which is why they decided to keep all players from previous season besides coach Sarri, while the internal competition was increased with brining defender Mario Rui from Roma and winger Ounas from French Bordeaux. Midfielder Zuniga and forward Zapata returned from loans, while return of fully recovered forward Milik is a great plus for the team. In the beginning, he will wait for his chance from the bench, given that Sarri has defined starting line-up in previous season, but we should say that, just like Roma, Napoli has excellent replacements for all positions and probable problems with injuries shouldn’t affect them too much.

Probable starting lineups: Reina – Hysaj, Koulibaly, Albiol, Ghoulam – Allan, Jorginho, Hamsik – Callejon, Mertens, Insigne

Forecast for the new season: If they play like they did in the finish of previous season the Neapolitans can hope to be equal competitor in the race for Scudetto, especially as they haven’t made many changes in the team this summer.

Finish in the Top 4: 1.22 at bet365

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League Winner: 6.50 at William Hill

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Juventus

For the end, we have left winner of six straight Serie A titles, Juventus which confirmed its domination it Italy last year with winning the Copa Italia, and we can freely say that now Juventus is the absolute football ruler in Italy. However, they are sorry for missed chance in the final of Champions League where they lost to Real Madrid, which means that the Bianconeri were for the second season in a row just one step from winning the most prestigious title in Europe. Right because of that we believe that coach Allegri will again try to win the Champions League, so in the Italian championship they might have a bit more problems than in previous years, especially as significantly reinforced Milan has become a very serious threat besides Roma and Napoli.

On top of it, the Rossoneri have managed to take their best defender Bonucci, while out of starters they lost defender Dani Alves, who moved to PSG. Besides two of them, worth mentioning are departures of reserve goalkeeper Net and midfielder Lemina, but on the other hand Juventus brought several excellent players and quite surely will be stronger in attack, although it will be hard to replace Bonucci in defence. Regarding new players, Juventus brought goalkeeper Szcsesny from Roma and he is certainly very good alternative for veteran Buffon, while they partially revenged to Milan when they brought defender de Sciglia. Two biggest reinforcements are wingers Bernardeschi from Fiorentina and Douglas Costa from Bayern Munich, while competition in the midfield become stronger with arrival of young Bentacuro from Boca Juniors.

Probable starting lineups: Buffon – de Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro – Pjanic, Khedira – Bernardeschi, Dybala, Douglas Costa – Higuain

Forecast for the new season: It is quite clear that nothing less than winning the Double is expected from the Old Lady from Turin, but stronger focus at the Champions League might create problems in the Serie A, especially as besides Roma and Napoli, they must worry about Milan too.

Finish in the Top 4: 1.05 at Unibet

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League Winner: 1.70 at Interwetten

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