Juventus is again the biggest favourite to win the champion’s title. The team dominates the Italian football scene for years and is the best in eight previous seasons. Juventus wins titles mostly in a very dominant way and secures the 1st place well before the end of a season. That was the case last year, when the title defence was completed six rounds before the end, and Juventus had 11 points more than runner-up Napoli. Two rivals from Milan, for example, had more than 20 points fewer than the Old Lady, which still cannot be fully satisfied with the season. They didn’t achive much in the Champions League as they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by Ajax, against whom they were big favourites to pass the round. They also ended early in the Coppa Italia after Atalanta eliminated them. Since they defended the title so much in advance they could relax in the finish of season when they didn’t win anyone in last five rounds and when they lost two out of four matches in total. Juventus didn’t occupy the 1st place only after the first round but later on no one was able to remove them from there anymore. They changed the manager this summer and they brought Maurizio Sarri who replaced Allegri. It will be interesting to see how he will manage team full of big stars.
Ronaldo’s arrival to Juventus at the beginning of the previous season was the absolute hit, but this summer they didn’t buy such a big star. Ronaldo didn't actually help Juventus in its attempt to win the European throne and now they have a new chance having additionally strengthened their already excellent defence. They bought stopper de Ligt from Ajax and with experienced Bonucci and Chiellini it is now a really great defence. They sold J. Cancelo, or more precisely Danilo arrived from Manchester City in exchange, and they somewhat unexpected sold young striker Kean, as well as left back Spinazzola. On the other hand, young left back Pellegrini came it the opposite direction from Roma, and there is one more stopper, Demiral who comes from Sassuolo. When it comes to the midfield, two big reinforcements are Ramsey from Arsenal and Rabiot from PSG, who admittedly didn’t play for a long time. Huguain is back from loan to Chelsea as well as goalkeeper Buffon from PSG.
Probable lineups Juventus: Szczesny – De Sciglio, de Ligt, Bonucci, A. Sandro – Pjanic, Rabiot, Bentancur – Bernardeschi, Ronaldo, Dybala
Forecast: Quick glance at the starting line-up reveals how strong and powerful Juventus is this season. They have practically two equally strong teams and that is why probably no one in Italy will be able to parry them. The season is long but Juventus has wide choice of high quality players and it would be a great surprise if they don’t win the title.
Inter cannot manage to squeeze into the top of Serie A for years and in two previous seasons they won only the fourth place, while in eight previous seasons they didn’t manage to do better than the 4th position. Given Inter’s reputation that was very weak and now they hope that the time has come to fight for the title. They spent practically the entire season in the third place last year and then dropped to the fourth, which was high enough to qualify for the Champions League. The problem is that champion Juventus had even 21 points more, and they had 10 points fewer than runner-up Napoli. Inter hadn’t done a thing in Europe and was eliminated after the Champions League group stage, while in the Europa League they were eliminated soon after that. Manager Spalletti left after two seasons and now Antonio Conte is at the helm, who once led Juventus and will now try with Inter to parry his former team.
The biggest reinforcement that Inter brought this summer is striker Romelu Lukaku from Manchester United, and that should improve efficiency and solve the problem called Icardi, who didn’t play for a larger part of the previous season due to conflict with the club management. They wanted to bring Dzeko from Roma but the choice fell on the Belgian forward. They bought Politan from Sassuolo, while Lazaro from Herthe is also reinforcement as he can play at several different positions. Midfielders Barella and Sensi are borrowed from Cagliaria and Sassuolo, respectively, while the biggest reinforcement to the defence is experienced Godin from Atletico Madrid. They also borrowed Bastoni from Parma, while regarding departures Perisic is loaned to Bayern Munich and Nainggolan to Cagliari. Inter might buy another big name and A. Manchez from Manchester United is mentioned in those rumours. They are stronger than they were last season, but it is not likely to win the title.
Probable lineups Inter Milan: S. Handanovic – D'Ambrosio, Skriniar, Godin, Asamoah – Brozovic, Vecino, Politano, Barella – R. Lukaku, L. Martinez
Forecast: Inter again strengthened its ranks and they hope to join the title race. Their problem is that Juventus also brought reinforcements which makes racing with the reigning champion much harder. It is more realistic that Inter improves its position for one or two places and finishes in the 2nd or 3rd place. They shouldn’t be positioned lower than that.
Napoli cannot win the title simply because they have misfortune that Juventus is their main rival, which is simply untouchable. There were several season in the recent past when Napoli threatened Juventus, however, they didn’t endure till the end. Out of four previous seasons Napoli finished three in the 2nd place and one in the third one. They were runners-up in two previous seasons, while two years ago they were very close to Juventus. Napoli was unable to keep up with Juventus in the previous season and it had won big 11 points fewer. They dropped from the title race well before the end. Napoli didn’t occupy the second place for only four rounds in the previous season but it never occupied the first. They were eliminated from the Champions League after the group stage, but they faced very strong opponents and reached the quarter-finals in the Europa League. The previous season was the first one after Carlo Ancelotti replaced Maurizio Sarri and virtually nothing has changed. Ancelotti stays on the bench in hope that will finally overtake Juventus, but most of all they want again to qualify for the Champions League.
Experienced stopper Raul Albiol has left, and they sold defensive midfielder Diawar to Roma. They also sold forward Vinicus but those weren't big losses since neither of them was standard starter. Players who were loaned to other clubs mostly stayed there, while they bought three goalkeepers who were borrowed. They retained Meret, Ospina and Karnezis, and in that way solved problem with the goalkeeper position. Stopper Manolas was brought from Rome instead of above mentioned Albiol and that is one of biggest reinforcements. They also kept stopper Tonelli and new right back is Di Lorenzo. Young midfielder Elmas, who comes from Fenerbahce, could be an interesting reinforcement. All in all, no too many new names but at the same time Napoli retained majority of best players from the previous season.
Probable lineups Napolija: Meret – Malcuit, Koulibaly, Manolas, Ghoulam – Allan, F. Ruiz – Callejon, Zielinski, L. Insigne – Milik
Forecast: Napoli has practically the same team and by that have right to hope for similar results. They were positioned right behind Juventus and they want to be there again, given it is not realistic to expect to win the title. Bigger problem are reinforcements brought by their competitions and the race for the second place is going to be fierce.
Milan is one of great Italian teams which are trying to get back to the top, but they simply fail over and over. In previous seasons Milan ended up in the fifth, sixth or seventh place and this was simply not enough for Rossoneri’s appetite since they want a lot more. They were the champions the last time in 2011 when their downfall begins, while in the meantime they finished one of seasons in the 10th place. Milan won the 5th place last season and then they gave up competing in the Europa League after they fail to qualify for the Champions League, so this season they will only have obligations in Italian competitions. They changed the manager and Gatusso left. New manager is Marco Giampaolo and he plans to reach the Champions League, and possibly to join the race for the title. However, it would be too optimistic to expect something like that after a modest last season and summer trading that brought nothing special, while some players left. They managed to reach the third position last season on several occasion but on the other hand they have completely failed in the Europa League and were eliminated right after the group stage.
Milan surprisingly sold forward Cutrone to Wolverhampton this summer, and they definitely sold midfielder Locatelli who was anyway loaned to Sassuolo. Stoppers Gomez and Zapata also left as they weren’t in the foreground. Experienced Montolivo is no longer with the team, while loan for midfielder Bakayoka expired and they didn’t want to extend contract with him. On the other hand, they bought another midfielder, Kessie, who had played at the Giuseppe Meazzi last season but as a borrowed Atalanta’s player. Replacement for Bakayoka is former Empoli’s midfielder Bennacer, and another midfielder was bought from the same team, Krunic. New forward is Rafael Leao from Lille, who will replace Cutrone and they expect a lot from him, just like from T. Hernandez, a left-back who came from Real Madrid. Stopper Duarte is also reinforcement and forward An. Silva is back from loan to Sevilla. It can be said that Milan is stronger than last season and they have reason to be optimistic.
Probable lineups AC Milan: G.Donnarumma – Calabria, Romagnoli, Musacchio, R. Rodriguez – Bennacer, Kessie – Suso, Paqueta, Calhanoglu – Piatek
Forecast: There weren’t too many changes in the team and it can be said that Milan lost almost nothing and they have brought several interesting reinforcements, mostly in the midfield. They should play better and make progress, meaning they can fight to reach the Champions League. More than that, or more precisely the title race would be too much.
Roma underperformed last season and after five consecutive seasons of reaching the Champions League they won’t play in the elite club competition in Europe this season. They won only the sixth place last season and it's clear they are disappointed with such outcome, especially since they were never positioned among top four teams in the table during the season. They mostly occupied the fifth or sixth place, while in the Champions League they reached the round of 16 when they were eliminated. In the Serie A Roma played much better at home and they lost only twice in front of their fans, while outside their stadium they played variably. In the middle of season Roma sacked manager Di Francesco and replaced him with Claudio Ranieri, but he had to leave as well. Portuguese Paulo Fonseca will lead the team in the new season, who had completely dominated Ukrainian football with Shakhtar. They also made several changes in the team but in the end they managed to keep the team’s first forward Dzeko and with several new names they expect a better season.
Stopper Manolas left and that was the biggest loss, while young Pellegrini moved to Juventus as well. They found a substitute for Pellegrini right in Juventus and Spinazzola moved in the opposite direction, so they didn't lose much. They couldn’t find replacement for Manolas although stoppers Cetin and Mancini came but more like refreshments. Offensive midfielder El Sharaawy has also left and his replacement is Defrell who returned from loan to Sampdoria. They bought midfielder Cristante from Atalanta, in fact Roma brought the most reinforcements to that part of the team. Diawar was bought from Napoli, and Gonalons was borrowed from Seville. Veretout is also borrowed but from Fiorentina. Gaolkeeper Pau Lopez was brought from Betis since Olsen didn't quite satisfy last season. Midfielder de Rossi is no more in Roma after many years wearing its jersey, and N'Zonzi is gone too.
Probable lineups AS Roma: Pau Lopez – Florenzi, Mancini, J. Jesus, Spinazzola – Diawara, L. Pelegrini – Kluivert, Zaniolo, Under – Dzeko
Forecast: Roma brought the new manager and refreshed the team, mostly in the midfield. They hope that would be enough to again join the race for the Champions League. It is possible that will take part in it, however, it is questionable will it succeed as four teams are objectively stronger than Roma.
Lazio failed to reach the Champions League in the previous season and the last time it played in it was Season 2015/16. Season before that they won the third place in the Serie A, and after that two times the fifth place and two times the eighth. Position won last season doesn’t qualify Lazio for even the Europa League but they won the Cup and thanks to that they will play in Europe. They played almost equally well at home and away, having several ups and downs in the course of season. Lazio held the wanted fourth place at the beginning, which would lead them to the Champions League, but in the finish of the season they completely focused on the Coppa Italia and the Serie A was deliberately put on back burner so they ended in the eighth place. They have full confidence in manager Simone Inzaghi, for whom this will be the fifth season on Roma’s bench.
Midfielders Neto and Jordao were definitely sold after being loaned and both ended up in Wolverhampton. Another midfielder, Murgia, went to SPAL and Milan Badelj left the team as well, who failed to live up to expectations after coming from Fiorentina to which he returned. That would be practically it regarding departures, while newcomers are stopper Vavro from Copenhagen, midfielder Lazarri from SPAL, and forward Jony from Malaga, who stands out as the biggest reinforcement. Lazio didn't lose a lot and didn't bring too many new players. They are roughly strong the same, and having said that it is difficult to expect a breakthrough from Lazio in the new season.
Probable lineups Lazio Roma: Strakosha – Acerbi, Felipe, Walace – Lazarri, Leiva, Milinkovic-Savic, Berisha, Jony – Immobile, Correa
Forecast: The previous season would be very bad if they haven’t won the Cup. That will be hard to repeat, while regarding the Serie A we can freely say that Lazio is the weakest of the Big 6 and that is why would be a great success if they qualify for the Champions League. It is more realistic to fight for the Europa League, and even that could be an uncertain endeavour.