Each team at the height of Italian football seems to be having some sort of exciting summer - not least our own AC Milan. We’re enjoying a good Mercato, but is it good enough for a top four finish?
It’s worth having a prediction! We’ve ranked the top six teams to see who stands a chance of qualifying for Europe this season.
1st - Juventus
While the Old Lady hasn’t had the busiest of transfer windows, that hasn’t changed the fact that they’re still perched atop the Serie A. After reaching the Champions League final in 2 of the last 3 years and holding the Serie A crown for the last 6 years, it seems unfortunately safe to say that Juventus will retain their Serie A title.
Key Player(s): Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala
2nd - Napoli
A side that seems to be a staple in the Serie A’s top 3 is looking to do so again this year. We expect the Naples side to play exceptionally well again next campaign, in part due to their cohesion and efficiency. Sarri has created a side that is feared across Italy and is always in every game, even when behind. Napoli had the most goals in Serie A last campaign at an astounding 94 in 38 games which makes them arguably one of the most exciting sides to watch across all of Europe, and they’re in for what looks like a UCL finish this year
Key Player(s): Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens
3rd - Roma
Another team with a relatively quiet transfer window barring the additions of Bruno Peres and Lorenzo Pellegrini and loss of Mohammad Salah. Roma can be quite the force to reckon with when in-form, and they were in scintillating form towards the end of last season, winning their final four games and thrashing Milan 0-4 with a 3-1 win against Juventus to boot. If key players (namely Radja Nainggolan) stay around for next season then expect Roma to put up a fight for the title early only to burnout a bit towards the end.
Key Player(s): Radja Nainggolan and Diego Perotti
4th - AC Milan
Rounding out the last Champions League spot, it’s Milan.
What a window it’s been for the Rossoneri. After being bought out by Rossoneri Sport Investment Lux, the red and blacks finally have money again, and boy has the transfer window been active. Signing the likes of Mateo Musacchio, Franck Kessie, Ricardo Rodriguez, Andre Silva, Fabio Borini, Hakan Calhanoglu and the expected signing and resigning respectively of Andrea Conti and Gianluigi Donnarumma, it’s likely that Milan will elevate their quality of play. Additionally, Milan will get Giacomo Bonaventura back who was out for the season and look to sign one more midfielder (Krychowiak or Biglia potentially) and cap off the window. AC Milan are looking to repair themselves, and we expect quite the finish in their first season back, though we’d also predict a rough first half for players to adjust followed by a second half in their favor. This is the minimum goal for this season, and one Milan should achieve, if their new players get off to a good start
Key Player(s): Andre Silva and Hakan Calhanoglu
5th - Lazio
A side that seems to always have its players plucked from them, the capital side still seems to always find it’s place among the Serie A’s top clubs. With a 5th place finish last campaign, we expect the Roman club, even with the likely departures or Keita Balde and Lucas Biglia, to put up another strong fight for European qualification. Immobile is coming off his best season since his time with Torino and it appears that at the least a few key players, such as Felipe Anderson and Marco Parolo, will stay with the aim of UCL, but a finish with Europa seems more than likely.
Key Player(s): Marco Parolo and Felipe Anderson
6th - Inter Milan
Much like the last two years, the Coppa Italia winner will likely be someone who already has a European slot, and Inter nearly had enough points to take the spot from Milan (63 vs. 62). I’d have liked to put Fiorentina here, but they’re constantly rumored to have players leaving, so at this point in time the projection is also based on the likelihood of losing players throughout the rest of the window. Inter will be returning quite a few players and if Perisic stays, you better believe they’ll be a lot more difficult of a side to face under Luciano Spalletti, who will look to be a more permanent manager than Inter have had in the last couple seasons.
Key Player(s): Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi