Published on January 18th, 2018 | by Vieri Capretta0
Napoli or Juve: 5 big questions for Serie A as Italian football returns
As one of the only open title races in Europe, all eyes will be on Serie A this season to see if Napoli can kick off the party of the century with a Scudetto win
1) Can Napoli win the Scudetto?
In 2017 nobody got more points than the Partenopei, but now it’s a matter of keeping up the rhythm until the very end. Juventus don’t want to stop chasing them, and Maurizio Sarri’s almost non-existent rotation means his players might slow down at some point.
He will be hoping they can continue entertaining Serie A fans and the world of football with their spectacular style of play for a little while yet and be at the top of the table come May. The crucial, decisive clash will be in Turin against Juventus. The feeling is the Scudetto race will be decided then.
— Official SSC Napoli (@en_sscnapoli) January 7, 2018
2) Will Inter return to the Champions League?
The Nerazzurri currently sit in third on 42 points, so keeping up the good work done so far should see Luciano Spalletti’s men return in Europe’s top football competition. Inter are the last Italian side to have won it, back in 2010, and the aim this season is to go back.
But the months of December and January have seen a decline in results, with the Nerazzurri picking up just three points in five games, after going unbeaten until 16th December. The game against Roma that opens up the second half of the season is already a decider: a negative result would see the Giallorossi catch the Nerazzurri, making things a lot more complicated for Inter.
3) Are Juventus still the best Italian club?
Well, if Napoli were to win the league, an argument could be put forward against Juventus being the best Italian club. But we’re talking about a team that managed six consecutive Serie A titles and two Champions League finals in three seasons: difficult to change the status quo with just one season.
That’s especially considering that Juve are currently just one point behind the Partenopei, have beaten them in the direct clash in Naples and have reached a European dimension that makes their main aim the Champions League. Juventus are probably the best Italian club regardless of whether or not they win the league this year, but a decline in the second part of the season could make this change.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 17, 2018
4) Have AC Milan done anything right this season?
An impressive transfer window and the victory in the Coppa Italia derby are the only two highlights so far this season for AC Milan fans. The Rossoneri have been a huge disappointment, after being pumped by the media all summer following the enormous spending in the transfer window and the intention to return immediately to Champions League football. Right now, it would already be a great result if Milan confirm last season’s Europa League spot and will have to push for the Coppa Italia win, in order to make it an overall satisfying season.
5) Will Benevento complete the miracle?
Just one point in the first 18 games of their first ever Serie A season, then six out of six in the most recent two games. Benevento remain bottom of Serie A with just seven points, the worst attack and worst defence in the league, and still eight points away from safety.
But last year Serie A fans witnessed the miracle of Crotone, who managed to achieve safety in the final half hour of the season. So anything can happen, and Benevento are on a rise. If they can get some key additions in the transfer window and make the most of their momentum, the Witches will be one to watch for the rest of the season.