Since 2012, no Serie A teams apart from ‘Old-Lady’ Juventus have won the league title. They have dominated the league like no other team and often without any real contenders to match their brilliance.
However, last season proved to be a little different for the Turin club. Under head coach Maurizio Sarri they managed to win the league but not in the usual dominant way the fans have been used to seeing. They clinched the Scudetto by a fine margin of just a point. It’s safe to say that not everybody was on board with ‘Sarri-ball’ and a shocking exit from the Champions League against Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon meant the end of Sarri’s association with the club.
With club legend Andrea Pirlo, someone who has no managerial pedigree from before, in charge of the club from the 2020-21 season onwards, and other Serie A teams steadily strengthening their squads, this year’s title race could be a fascinating one. Here we take a look at the top contenders:
The clear favourites to win the league yet again, though, it’s still unclear which system Pirlo will deploy. He fielded a back three in a recent friendly but can easily adapt to a back four as well. Goalscoring seems to be a key issue which Pirlo will need to address. They managed just 76 goals in the previous season and were the fifth-highest in the list of goalscoring.
Cristiano Ronaldo has had the primary responsibility upfront, but he’ll definitely need some help in this department as in the previous two seasons, he has failed to finish as the leading goalscorer in the league. The introduction of Arthur in the team will provide them with the flexibility needed in the midfield to keep the ball moving. It’s certain that if he adapts quickly to the Italian league, then he has all the abilities to become the next Pirlo for the team.
Antonio Conte made his frustration about the lack of signings last season quite public. After losing in the final of the Europa League, there was a lot of speculation about his future with the club. Inter Milan fans will be relieved to see Conte taking charge in yet another season.
They are finally looking like a team who can consistently challenge for the league title and knock Juventus off their perch. Their attack looks lethal with Romelu Lukaku in the form of his life and the club able to retain the services of Lautaro Martínez. The midfield seems like a complete puzzle and defensively they have improved with the signings of Achraf Hakimi and Aleksandar Kolarov at the wing-back positions. The matches against Juventus will be the key and could be potential title-deciding clashes.
Atalanta was an attacking powerhouse last season as they finished the domestic season with 98 goals, the most amongst Serie A teams in the league’s history. The way they play under Gian Piero Gasperini is a joy to watch for any football purist. The success in the Champions League will give them the confidence to go for a trophy in the upcoming season.
They have managed to retain all their keys players from the previous seasons and have already added a couple of signings in the midfield. If they can concede fewer goals this season then they can be the outsiders for winning the league, as they were just five points away from the league leaders last season.
It was a great season for Lazio even though they finished fourth on the table. They looked like title contenders until the season was suspended unexpectedly due to COVID-19. After the return, they simply did not look to be the same team. They could not continue to rally the points needed to challenge for the title and finished fourth behind Juventus, Inter Milan and Atalanta.
Ciro Immobile was the best striker in the country last season and remains their talisman for the upcoming season as well. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic had a breakthrough 2019-20 season with Lazio and it seems like they have managed to keep a hold of him for yet another year.
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