Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015-16 Season Predictions

Serie A Season Predictions
This weekend 114.edition of Serie A will begin, where 20 teams will compete, 17 teams from last season and three promoted clubs from Serie B. Juventus defend the championship title and chasing a fifth consecutive title, although this will not be easy as the league become pretty balanced. Milan clubs have experienced major reconstruction while Roman clubs waiting Juventus blunder in order to take the title. There will be 2 debutant in the league, Carpi and Frosinone with their second consecutive promotion while Bologna returned to the first division after one year in Serie B. This season will be first that uses the goal-line technology. 

Juventus is the main candidate to win a new title although they have lost several key players; Pirlo, Tevez and Vidal. Although it will be difficult to compensate for these players, Juventus brought proven striker Mandzukic, young Dybala, Zaza and Khedira with hope to adequately replace the successful trio. Transfers are not yet finished for Juventus, they still expect to sign Draxler and Siquere. But the main reinforcement is keeping Pogba who is becoming leader of the team. Although the Milan and Roman clubs significantly reinforce, Juventus is still too strong for the other teams, they may fail in domination as past years but we do expect another title for the Old Lady

Roma stands out ahead of other clubs and remains the biggest rival for Juventus. They are ready for new challenges and tries to overtake Juventus while seeking good result in Champions League also. They have very good midfield with Nainggolan, Pjanic, De Rossi and Strootman and get reinforcement in attack (Dzeko and Salah). Attacking football is expected from coach Garcia and a push for title. However, the past two seasons they finished behind Torinese and we do not see that something is going to change so we expect a continuation of winning a second place

Lazio, Napoli, Inter and Milan will fight for the third place, the last leading spot to the Champions League through qualifications. Lazio stunned last season when they finished third and led fight for second place with city rival. They kept almost all players from last season and is expected to continue with good games and repeating last year's success. It will be a tough season for Lazio because apart from the Serie A obligations, a good performance is expected in Champions League if they qualify. They have an excellent midfield who scored the most goals last season but haven’t got real replacement for veteran Klose. If they do not qualify for CL, they are our favourites for another third place. Napoli enters the season with Neapolitan Sarria on the bench who replaced Benitez and main task will be to shake up his team. They play very offensively, achieved a lot of goals but for serious results they must improve defence. The team kept Higuain, which is the biggest boost for the team, and we expect they will fight for a Champions League spot. Inter suffered a major change, a lot of players came and went, main goal of coach Mancini is to ensure the Champions League next season. Team lost Shaqiri, Podolski and recently Kovacic while getting Konndogbia, Montoya, Jovetic, Miranda, Murillo, Biabiany and expecting arrival of Felipe Melo and maybe another Croatian Perisic. Mancini is aware of difficult job and must successfully arrange team that is able to accomplish great placement, we expect them to be in fight for third place. Milan received a financial injection after Berlusconi sold most of his shares. After a couple bad seasons and selling best players, Milan is expecting better days, especially after arrivals of a few great players. Bonera, Armero, Essien, Muntari, Rami and Pazzini left club and get reinforcement in Bacca, Luiz Adriano, Bertolacci and Romagnoli. They changed almost the whole defence while new coach Mihajlovic must incorporate firm composition. Milan is without European commitments and can reach far in Serie A, prediction is battle for third place. 

Fiorentina, Genoa, Torino, Palermo and Sampdoria will try to disturb the above-mentioned four. For Fiorentina this will be transitional season, Montella on the bench is replaced by Portuguese Sousa. It is expected that new and old players will accept new ideas from coach who likes playing attacking football. They lost Savic, Aquillani and Gomez, sign Astori, Suarez, so I expect a place in the top 10 and winning at least seventh place. Genoa's attacking style help them reach sixth place last season but hardly they can achieve that success again. They lost Bertolacci, Falque and Matri, also they have a tough schedule at the beginning of the season. Torino last season’s success also cost them losing a few players, they lost Darmian while Maksimovic and Peres are on radar of Napoli, Roma and Porto. They brought Obi, Acquah, Basel and kept back Glika which gives them quality for top 10. With an experienced trainer Ventura, who is five seasons on Turin bench, we expect they can advance to the top of the scale. Palermo successfully completed their comeback season, ended up in the middle of the scale and had the opportunity to fight for a place in the Europa League. They lost Dybala but reinforce defence so predicting upper part of the scale. Sampdoria enters with a new coach in this season, Mihajlovic was succeeded by Zenga who hasn’t got successful start of new season. They lost a place in the Europa League so they will compete only in Serie A. They sign veteran Cassano, also expecting to sign Balotelli but we do not believe they can repeat last season's success. 

Udinese, Empoli, Verona, Sassuolo and Atalanta will seek to carve out the middle of the scale in order to avoid the relegation zone. Udinese had a bad last season, especially the second part where they struggled with efficiency which cost them good placement. They lost midfielder Allan who went to Roma while keeping veteran Di Natale who refused rich offers from MLS. New coach Colantuano will try to stabilise club and avoid relegation fight. Empoli has been active with transfers, lot of players left but also kept a few key players. New coach Giampolo expecting improvement over the previous season, they have quality to stay in league. Verona has one of the smallest budget in league, but they have signed experienced Pazzini who will with another veteran Toni threaten rivals. They have problems in defence and will focus on achieving goal more. Sassuolo hopes to repeat last season where they finished in 12th place. They are without striker Zaza which they replaced with young Berardi, and kept Vrsaljko who was linked with Juventus and Napoli. The team is a combination of youth and experience, but loss of top scorer will reflect on drop in final ranking compared to last season. Atalanta failed last season, they finished a place above the relegation zone and made only 7 wins in season. Coach Reya will try to get the most out of their young players and we do expect progress compared to last season. 

Bologna, Chievo, Frosinone and Carpi are the biggest candidates for relegation. Bologna returned to Serie A after a year of absence, they have a new administration and brought a lot of players. However, we expect them to fight for staying in first comeback season. Chievo's main task will be to stay in league. Although they’re solid team that is hard to beat, inefficiency costs them better placement. They lost a lot of players but defencive, strongest part of team, remained unchanged. Frosinone achieved a second consecutive promotion. They have a young coach who will try to build confidence to his players. Team lack experienced players so we do not expect them to stay in league. Carpi achieved 4 promotions in 6 years which sounds incredible. They will play in Modena because their stadium is not suitable for top football. Carpi signed 15 new players but that won’t be enough to avoid relegation in their debut season.

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