In lieu of the Serie A 18/19 season getting underway the 18th, the team here at AC Milan the Offside got together to give our predictions of the Top 7 and Bottom 3 for the ensuing season. The Serie A, the beneficiary of an active transfer window (thank you Ronaldo), is surely the league to watch this year.
After polling everyone, this is what the group came up with.
Juventus is the -175 favorite to win Serie A next season and is +800 in Champions League futures. https://t.co/6D5ZG3U8e3— OddsShark (@OddsShark) July 10, 2018
Yeah so while the Serie A is the league to watch for the quality this year, we didn’t think much would change in the upper echelons. With the additions of Cristiano Ronaldo, Douglas Costa (loan made permanent), Joáo Cancelo, and Leonardo Bonucci, Juventus is poised to stay atop the league’s throne. The Old Lady secured its distributor from the backline in the Bonucci/Caldara swap deal and did the unthinkable in signing Ronaldo after yet another Champions League title with Real Madrid. Mattia Perin’s switch from Genoa also provides much needed competition for Wojciech Szczesny. Juventus was one of two consensus choices in our selections.
2. Inter Milan
This one is bittersweet to write and even more bittersweet to admit I’d ranked them here too. Inter not only had the best transfer window among any team in Italy, but the structure of each deal was very much in their favor. To give a bit of insight: Kwadwo Asamoah, de Vrij, Keita Balde, Matteo Politano, Lautaro Martinez, Federico Dimarco, and Sime Vrsaljko arrived for a combined amount of €39.5 milliom. Nainggolan, their other signing, cost €38 million…and worse he adds loads of ability to the midfield (if he can stay healthy). Lautaro Martinez has bags of ability and will be sublime backing up fellow compatriot Icardi. The derby is going to be a good one this year.
AS Roma was all over in our rankings. They were selected anywhere from 2 to 5, representing the largest variance among any team in our rankings. The Roman side had quite a few additions, notably Justin Kluivert, Steven Nzonzi, and Javier Pastore. Defrel from Sassuolo, Cristante, and Patrik Shick were all very good under the radar signings, unless you follow Serie A adamantly and have gotten a chance to see the quality each player offers. After the departure of Alisson, Roma brought in 3 keepers to drum up the competition for the starting role between the sticks. Expect Eusebio Di Francesca to find his way into a Champions League spot at the season’s end.
Napoli was just barely edged out by Roma for 3rd in our discussion. They didn’t engage in much eye-catching business, but they secured Carlo Ancelotti at the helm who carries a wealth of experience and tactical knowledge of the Serie A. Sarri had the Partenopei playing beautiful football last year and it’ll be exciting to see how Ancelotti’s side pans out. Jorghino’s departure was matched by bringing in the young and promising Fabian Ruiz from Real Betis to take the reins in the midfield. Barring a managerial failure, Napoli should secure the final UCL spot, but not comfortably.
5. AC Milan
Out with the old and in with the new seems to be a typical thing for Milan nowadays, but this one is different. After a torrid start to the summer, Milan has finished in blistering fashion with key additions left and right. The Elliott takeover brought back club legends Leonardo and Maldini to fix the state of the club, and they have been busy. After arguably the coup of the window with the Higuain/Caldara snatch from Juventus, Leonardo secured low-risk high-reward signing Tiemoue Bakayoko on loan with the option to buy. Depth was brought in for the wing and defense as well with Castillejo and Laxalt. We don’t think Milan has done enough to boost themselves into a UCL spot, but we think they will make it very close. Don’t get us wrong though, we’re hoping we’ve gotten this one wrong and that a pleasant surprise is the result.
Simone Inzaghi’s men represent the other consensus choice in our rankings. The Roman outfit had some solid additions with Milan Badelj on a free transfer and Joaquin Correa from Sevilla. Acerbi will take the place of de Vrij who left for Inter after handing them a Champions League spot on the final match day of the 17/18 season. Other than that, Lazio’s strength this window was retaining key players such as SMS and Immobile, though Felipe Anderson made a €38 million move to West Ham earlier this window. Lazio is a side among the Top 7 who always seem to surprise the league with their quality performances, and this season will surely see the same.
You’d be surprised how little choices for Atalanta we had in these rankings, with Fiorentina receiving the 7th spot from almost everyone on the team. It was a quiet summer in terms of big signings, but good business came in the form of a loan deal for Juve starlet Marco Pjaca and Saponara from Empoli. Stefano Pioli has an uphill battle ahead of him because the clubs ranked higher all conducted much more business to improve their squad. That being said, we’re betting Pioli over Gian Piero Gasperini and Atalanta, though it’ll be very tight.
18 – Empoli
19 – Parma
20 – Frosinone
Parma’s climb back to the top is one of the true inspirational stories in Serie A, and now they’ve had their 5-point deduction lifted. We’d like them to avoid relegation, but they’ve got quite the season ahead of them. Let’s hope for the best.