The Serie A season kicks off tomorrow (or today depending where you live) and just like every year, fans and pundits have been discussing which clubs will finish where. At this point of the year, we have a pretty good idea for what teams will look like this season, although the transfer market is still open for about another week, allowing teams to still make significant changes that could otherwise alter the league table.
This 2015-16 Serie A campaign is expected to be the most competitive season we have seen in recent years. The top half of the table is very tightly packed together and many will agree that the balance of power in the Italian top-flight is evening out. It’s difficult to judge where teams will fit in but I did my best.
Here’s my prediction of what the Serie A table will look like by the end of May 2016.
- Juventus: It’s going to be five Scudetti in a row. The Bianconeri have lost some very key players in Tevez, Pirlo and Vidal but they have also had a fantastic transfer market as well bringing in Dybala, Zaza and Mandzukic among others. Still a notch above the rest.
- Roma: Going to be closer to what they were in 2013/14. Edin Dzeko is a great signing for the Giallorossi and could finally be the remedy to fix their striker woes. A healthy Strootman should be key as well.
- Inter: The Nerazzurri are going to the Champions League. With a proven manager and a solid transfer market that included Kondogbia and Jovetic, Internazionale are much improved and poised for European play.
- Napoli: Will be stronger, unfortunately, everyone else got stronger, too. Sarri at the helm should improve their club but it may not be enough to qualify for the Champions League.
- Milan: The Rossoneri made some very solid additions and might not be done yet. With a new, demanding manager, Milan will be much improved. Building the foundation for the future starts in 15-16.
- Lazio: Will still be a force to be reckoned with, but going to be left behind slightly.
- Fiorentina: The firing of Montella is going to hurt. Their window to get into the top 3 has passed. Going to be a rough season for La Viola.
- Torino: Not really sure what this team is going to be. Hard to predict how good (or bad) they will perform but they did manage to bring in some quality talent after selling one of their best in Matteo Darmian.
- Sampdoria: Losing Mihajlović, Romagnoli and possibly Soriano, Sampdoria have taken a massive hit this offseason. The possible arrival of Balotelli to be paired with newly acquired Cassano could jump them up a couple places though.
- Sassuolo: They’ve retained Berardi but have lost Zaza to Juventus. Gregoire Defrel could help soften the blow of Zaza’s departure but not enough to do anything drastic in the league. Enjoy having Berardi while it lasts, Sassuolo fans.
- Genoa: Mid-table team not really going anywhere. No big signings or losses. Just sitting there.
- Palermo: Since getting promoted again, Palermo has been making a concerted effort to stay in the top flight and they’re doing a good job doing that.
- Udinese: Similar to Genoa, not really going anywhere. A very minimal change to their squad from last season will cause them to sit towards the bottom.
- Hellas Verona: Luca Toni is still going. The ageless wonder is going to carry this team for another (last?) year but repeating his 2014-15 capocannoniere performance will be tough.
- Bologna: Newly promoted and have made some very solid signings this summer including Mattia Destro from Roma. They’re going to survive for another season in Italy’s top league.
- Empoli: Losing Maurizio Sarri as their manager and Mirko Valdifiori to Napoli will hurt. Can Riccardo Saponara carry the squad? Relegation watch for the Azzurri.
- Atalanta: This club is not showing any sign of life. Offloaded two of their best assets in Davide Zappacosta and midfielder Daniele Baselli to Torino. Edy Reja’s side will be relegated if nothing changes.
- Chievo Verona: Finally, the most boring team on the planet is going to be relegated. They somehow avoid it every year, but this is it.
- Frosinone: For personal reasons, going to be sad to watch them get relegated, but very exciting to see them in Serie A.
- Carpi: Much like Frosinone, a joy to see a team like them in Serie A, but will definitely be relegated in a much improved league.
The beauty of this game is that we can sit and make predictions prior to the opening whistle of the first match on Match Day 1, however this game isn’t played on paper. Sit back and enjoy the months full of competitive calcio ahead of us!