The past two years has seen Juventus’ long run of terror atop Serie A give way to new champions. The Italian soccer giants nine-year run atop the league has given way to championships by Inter Milan and Milan in the previous two seasons.
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However, there is a feeling as the 2022 season gets underway that Juventus may be ready to finish atop the table again. While Inter Milan is the betting favorite, Juventus is right behind them. How each team responds as the season winds through the schedule will make for interesting theatre.
Prodigal Son returns
Inter Milan is +150 to win the league after finishing a close second last season. One of the biggest surprise player movements was when Chelsea loaned Romelo Lukaku back to Inter. Unfortunately For Lukaku, his time at Chelsea was considered a flop.
But Inter won’t care about his English experience. Lukaku’s return will open things up for Lautaro Martinez to get on the attack. Lautaro and Lukaku work well on the attack together. One thing Inter will have to keep an eye on is their goalkeeping. Andrea Onana came over on a transfer from Ajax and will replace Samir Handanovic in net.
Ready to be bullies again
Juventus, which is +160 to win the championship, grabbed the last Series A spot in the Champions League by placing fourth last season season. When it came to goal scoring last season, Juventus wasn’t up to snuff compared to the other top teams in Serie A. Juventus only scored 57 goals, which was significantly less than Milan (69 goals), Inter Milan (84) and Napoli (74).
To help add some punch, Juventus brought in Di Maria and Paul Pogba on transfers. In addition, Juventus raided Torino for Gleison Bremer. Juventus will hope for greater contributions from Dusan Vlahovic, who came over on a transfer from Fiorentina.
Defending a surprise title
Bookmakers aren’t too hot on Milan defending its title last season as they are being pegged at +400 to win the league. What has led to some of the pessimism is what has gone on during the offseason. Franck Kessie left for Barcelona during the transfer window.
Zlatan Ibrahimovi? had a knee surgery and won’t return in 2023. New arrival Divock Origi will also be returning following an injury. What Milan is hoping that bringing in some young blood may be enough to stay on top. Milan brought in Bordeaux’s Yavine Adli and Club Brugge’s Charles De Ketelaere to help spruce up the roster.
Trying to spring back
Atalanta captured the fascination of a lot of world football fans with their attacking style that earned them a spot in the Champions League for several seasons. However, everything came crashing down to Earth last season for Atalanta, which is +2500 to win the league. Atlanta scored 65 goals last season, which in a vacuum isn’t a terrible number.
However, Atalanta had scored 90 goals the season before. What Atalanta will need is for Colombian star Duvan Zapata to return to scoring form. Last season, Zupata missed most of the season due to injury and the offense suffered as a result. What Atalanta has focused on was bringing in speedy transfers to help get things moving again.
Atalanta added Ademola Lookman on the wings and attacking player Ederson to bolster the offense. If Atlanta can once again start to pile up goals, they could once again challenge for European competition.
Mourinho causing trouble
Jose Mourinho taking over as manager at Roma, which is +600 to win the league, resulted in immediate results. Roma won the Europa Conference league to score the club’s first major European title. That success resulted in some transfers being willing to join the squad.
Argentinian Paulo Dybala came over on a transfer. Adding him to a roster that includes striker Tammy Abraham, who scored 27 goals for Roma last season, could once again make Roma a team that is primed to catch teams off guard.