Serie A Season Preview, Tips & Analysis

Serie A Season Preview, Tips & Analysis

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The 2019/20 season is finally here and it seems that Serie A is shaping up to be one of Europe’s most competitive and intriguing leagues to follow over the coming months. After Juventus enjoyed something of a monopoly on the Scudetto in recent years, their rivals have made major steps to ensure they are ready to give her much more of a fight this time around. An interesting season of football betting lies ahead.

Nowhere has that been more true than at Inter. Just as Giovanni Trapattoni and Jose Mourinho did in the past, new boss Antonio Conte arrives with the hope that his relentless dogmatism will push the black and blue half of Milan back into contention.

The club have supported him fully in the transfer market, investing heavily in Valentino Lazaro (€22 million), Stefano Sensi (€27m) and Nicolo Barella (€37m) to ensure the team is ready to play in the tireless manner their coach demands. He will also be helped by the presence of former Atletico Madrid skipper Diego Godin, a tough defender who will bring a much-needed winning mentality to the side.

Napoli will enjoy continuation under Carlo Ancelotti, retaining almost the entire squad that finished second last term. They have improved the defence by signing Kostas Manolas from AS Roma, and still hope to secure the services of Real Madrid outcast James Rodriguez before the end of the transfer window.

For the other big clubs it looks set to be a season of rebuilding and re-evaluating, new managers at AS Roma and AC Milan not expected to be in title contention in their first season at the helm. The Rossoneri have brought in former Sampdoria boss Marco Giampaolo, giving him a young team to shape exactly the way he wants.

It is the same in the capital where Portuguese boss Paulo Fonseca – fresh from winning three consecutive league titles with Shakhtar Donetsk – will be charged with overhauling a disappointing Roma side. The Giallorossi have signed promising young defender Gianluca Mancini from Atalanta, as well Jordan Veretout, Amadou Diawara and Leonardo Spinazzola, all of whom are proven Serie A performers.

Above all, there has been massive upheaval for the reigning champions, coach Max Allegri departing after five seasons to be replaced by Maurizio Sarri. Having never won a league title, the ex-Chelsea boss will be judged on his ability to galvanise the squad he has inherited which, at the same time as installing his intricate playing style, leaves the 60-year-old with a difficult balancing act to perform.

He too has lots of new faces to integrate, with Matthijs de Ligt foremost among them. Arguably the most sought-after commodity this summer, the former Ajax skipper opted to join Juve in a €75 million deal. His skill set seems a perfect fit in Sarri’s possession-based system, while the club have also welcomed Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Merih Demiral, Luca Pellegrini and, of course, the return of Gigi Buffon.

Top Goal Scorer

While that all points towards a vastly unpredictable season, the race to be Serie A’s leading goal scorer seems to be blindingly obvious. Cristiano Ronaldo was unfortunate not to clinch the honour last term, his tally of 21 goals only beaten by career years from Fabio Quagliarella (28 goals) and Duvan Zapata (23).

Neither man looks likely to replicate that level of performance, while other contenders like Milan’s Krzysztof Piatek will not get the chances that Sarri’s Juve will create for Ronaldo. Indeed, even at his inaugural press conference, the new Bianconeri boss could not hide his glee at being in charge of CR7, revealing his ambition to see the Portuguese megastar break the league’s scoring record.

“I’ve trained great players over the years, but with Ronaldo I move on to the next level, a player who is at the top of the world,” Sarri said at his official Juve unveiling back in June. “This is a lad with every record in world football and I’d like to help him set another, knowing I contributed to it. I trained a player with the all-time Serie A record for goals in a single season (Gonzalo Higuain at Napoli). I’d like to make that two. It’d be an enormous satisfaction.”

With that in mind, backing Ronaldo to clinch the honour seems like a wise option, and it is one available at odds of 15/8 with Bet365.

Bologna To Finish In Top 10

Last season saw Bologna get off to a horrendous start, winning just three of their opening 26 matches in the league. That ultimately cost Pippo Inzaghi his job and his replacement Sinisa Mihajlovic oversaw a turnaround of incredible proportions, the Rossoblu recording eight wins, two draws and two defeats in their final 12 outings.

That was good enough to finish 10th, and makes backing them to once again secure a berth in the top half of the table well worth considering. 888Sport are offering best-priced odds of 5/2 on Bologna finishing in 10th place or higher, good value given they managed that last term despite such poor performances in the first months of the campaign.

Relegation Battle Worth Monitoring

The action at the top end of the table usually dominates the headlines, but last term saw a very exciting battle play out at the bottom too. Fiorentina only avoided the drop on the final day, but there are some other big clubs who could well struggle to retain their top flight status when 2019/20 comes to an end.

Newly promoted side Brescia have yet to make any signings this summer and may yet lose star man Sandro Tonali before the transfer window closes. The club are owner by former Leeds United chairman Massimo Cellino, while manager Eugenio Corini has failed to complete a full campaign in any of his previous seven jobs.

Paddy Power are offering odds of 6/5 on Brescia returning to Serie B at the first time of asking, but those looking for even better value might do well to consider Genoa. The Grifone only survived last term courtesy of their head-to-head record with Empoli after both amassed just 38 points, and there are serious questions surrounding the club’s ownership status.

Current chairman Enrico Preziosi is looking to sell Genoa as quickly as possible, while the squad remains largely devoid of top level talent. As such, the odds of 6/1 being offered by Paddy Power them to be relegated are hugely tempting, and provide an option that bettors would do well to consider.

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