Serie A kicks off with a touch of star power, Cristiano Ronaldo, and some rivals gearing up for a battle – but will it still be Juventus and the rest?
Seven Scudettos won in a row. Add to this Joao Cancelo, Emre Can and most importantly of all, Cristiano Ronaldo. How can Juventus not win the title? Only a great run in the Champions League could leave the Bianconeri with less energy in the domestic race, but the truth is that with that kind of squad depth, there’s plenty of quality to win everything.
?? The hard work continues! ? #ChievoJuve
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) August 16, 2018
Champions League Places
Some big signings and no big losses. The Nerazzurri will be right behind Juventus if they confirm the summer predictions. Radja Nainggolan is one of the best midfielders in the league, Matteo Politano and Balde Keita add pace and goals to the attack, Stefan de Vrij is a fantastic centre-back and Lautaro Martinez has the potential to become the next big thing. The Nerazzurri have bridged the gap between themselves and second spot in the table, and if it wasn’t for Juventus they could seriously think about winning the title.
Changing a lot is not always the best strategy, but Monchi has shown in the past – with Sevilla – that the teams he builds can get results. He brought in 11 new signings, selling Alisson and Nainggolan in the process. Two big losses for Roma, that could prove to be pivotal, but the team is still one of the best in the league and shouldn’t struggle too much to get a top-four finish.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 17, 2018
The same goes for Napoli: they aren’t better than last season on paper, but still good enough to secure Champions League football. Carlo Ancelotti brings in a more winning mentality, but few players changes and losing both Jorginho and Maurizio Sarri to Chelsea could prove to be insufficient to truly fight for the victory of Serie A. It is down to Ancelotti to combine his pragmatism with Sarri’s legacy: if it works, then who knows?
The jump from Serie B to Serie A football is massive. All clubs who get promoted should change at least five members of their starting lineups. If not, battling with the others is truly a challenge. Empoli have hardly changed anything from the team that won Serie B last year, and will hope the players can replicate the form in the top flight.
Losing key players without replacing them is often the precondition for a terrible season, and that’s exactly what Chievo have done. Selling Lucas Castro and Roberto Inglese means losing the best midfielder and striker, without replacing them adequately. In the second half of last season they struggled hugely, and only just avoided the drop zone. This year it might not be the case again.
Unlike Empoli, the Ciociari brought in a few new faces to attempt survival in Serie A. The problem lies in the quality of these players. None of them seem to be good enough to lift up Frosinone from the relegation scrum and give them the edge over the other clubs involved. It will be very hard to stay up.