Serie A: Restart Preview

Italian government gave the green light for football to return. Serie A clubs will return in action the 20th June.

Note:

1. A league table (as things stand) is provided at the end of the article.

2-This is not about the Coppa Italia return.

The title race

If there is one league that really got stopped at a bad timing for its fans; it is definitely Serie A. 

After beating Inter 2-0 at home on the last game before suspension, Juventus had regained their first spot, temporarily occupied by Lazio. With only one point between both teams and 12 games left, things were just starting to get interesting.

Given that the second leg of Juventus vs Lazio still did not take place, there are high chances that it could be the one game to determine both clubs’ seasons.

So far, Inzaghi’s Lazio has impressed both defensively AND offensively. Being the best attack (60 goals scored) and the best defense (23 goals conceded) of Serie A so far, they can be a real threat to Juve’s aspirations of achieving a 9th successive title. 

A success due not only to an amazing coach, but also a very talented group with the likes of the goal machine Ciro Immobile and midfielder entertainers Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Luis Alberto. Not to forget the veteran defender Acerbi, who after defeating cancer, decided to give Lazio all he had on the pitch.

On the other hand, Sarri’s Juve has only been slowly finding itself. Even during what could be considered one of their worst seasons among the past five, Juve has showed to be once again above the rest of Italy. Standing first despite having set backs during the course of the season.

An outstanding Dybala shined here and there and showed his class on many occasions. Paired with the legendary Ronaldo who still continues to defy the odds and breaking records left and right. The absence of Chiellini however, along with De Ligt period of adaptibility, have contributed to a weaker Juve side defensively; something that has been improving week in week out throughout the season.

With one game less and 8 points behind Lazio (9 behind Juve), Inter can still hope for unlikely but possible points dropped from either one of the two sides. Having already seemingly secured a UEFA Champions League spot, Antonio Conte’s side will have to aim for a perfect record if they are to think of winning the league.

 

The European spots

Inter, unless big surprises, are getting closer to securing a UCL qualification. While their focus will most likely be shifted towards climbing a bit higher in the standing, Antonio Conte and his man will also have to stay clear of those chasing them.

Gian Piero Gasperini (here on the picture) has managed to build a strong Atalanta side who has surprised Europe this season in the UCL.

Atalanta will be hoping to secure their UCL qualification and maybe push to take Inter’s 3rd spot. However, despite having one game more than Roma, they will have to try and stretch the gap to secure European football.

Behind but not very far, Roma, Napoli and Milan will do their best to take down Atalanta. Although it seems unlikely and difficult.

The Relegation Battle

As for the bottom of the table, the teams threatened by relegation are Brescia, Spal and Lecce, 20th, 19th and 18th respectively. With only 16 and 18 points respectively, Brescia and Spal will most likely be playing Serie B football next season.

A particularly disappointing season for Brescia who had just succeeded in coming back to Serie A. Despite managing to keep the promising Sandro Tonali (find out more about him here) and also signing the moody but talented Mario Balotelli, Brescia have barely been able to compete in Serie A. A relegation that will cost them their most valuable player.

Lecce however, still have a chance to take down one of Genoa, Sampdoria or even Torino. With only one point behind Genoa, Lecce can still save their season and secure Serie A football at the expense of one of the previously mentioned team.

Upcoming Games:

Saturday 20th

Torino VS Parma

Hellas Verona VS Cagliari

Sunday 21st

Atalanta VS Sassuolo

Inter VS Sampdoria

Serie A table: As Things Stand

PositionClubPlayedWonDrewLostPoints
1Juventus26203363
2Lazio26195262
3Inter25166354
4Atalanta25146548
5Roma26136745
6Napoli26116939
7Milan261061036
8Hellas Verona2598835
9Parma251051035
10Bologna26971034
11Sassuolo25951132
12Cagliari2588932
13Fiorentina26791030
14Udinese26771228
15Torino25831427
16Sampdoria25751326
17Genoa26671325
18Lecce26671325
19Spal 26531818
20Brescia26441816
Serie A table before the restart