The Serie A kicks off this weekend. It’s been an interesting summer with plenty of movement in and out from both players and managers. But who is in the best position to take the scudetto?
Champions Juventus are the favourites to retain their title once more at 4/5 (Betfred, Ladbrokes). They have spent a bit of money to strengthen in the summer, with Carlos Tevez from Manchester City being the most notable addition to the bianconero squad. He and other new signing, Fernando Llorente from Athletic Bilbao, will be a dangerous proposition to many a defence so Juve will be strong again this season.
Their main challenge for the league title appears to come from AC Milan and Napoli.
Milan are always one of the elite sides in Italy and with Mario Balotelli in their side, they will continue to make headlines both on and off the pitch! He is a match-Winner so if he has a good season, alongside fellow Italian international striker Stephan El Shaarawy, then there’s a good chance that the rossoneri will do too. They are second favourites at 5/1 (Bet365).
Napoli have a new face in the dugout. Former Liverpool, Chelsea and Internazionale manager Rafael Benitez has taken the reins and he has invested in some very good players in the transfer window. He has made an astute loan signing in goalkeeper Pepe Reina from Liverpool and has spent big up front with Gonzalo Higuain arriving from Real Madrid. They have, of course, lost Edinson Cavani, which is a blow, but they still look to have a strong squad and I fancy them to be there or thereabouts this term at 7/1 (StanJames).
Elsewhere, Fiorentina, Internazionale, Roma and Lazio, who you would fancy to be the best of the rest, all have lost key players who will be difficult to replace. And given there’s only just over a week before the transfer window shuts, it’s unlikely that those teams will be able to strengthen enough to be able to sustain a title bid.
At the other end of the table, and favourites for relegation are Livorno at 11/10 (BetVictor), Sassuolo at 13/10 (bwin) and Hellas Verona at 6/4 (888 Sport). None of those sides have made any real impact in the transfer market and will find it tough to remain in the division come the end of the season.
Chievo are next in the betting line for the drop at 5/2 (BetVictor). On paper, their squad doesn’t look fantastic and their goal threat continues to come from veteran Sergio Pellissier, who is now 34. Can he continue to score the goals to keep them afloat?
Bologna and Cagliari comes next in the betting queue at 5/2 (BetVictor) and 3/1 (bwin) respectively. Bologna should have enough firepower in the likes of Alessandro Diamanti and Robert Acquafresca to remain in the league, while Cagliari’s main hopes lie with Chilean Mauricio Pinilla and I can’t see them being in the drop zone.