With the season a mere 11 games young, the 2015/16 Serie A season is off to a flyer and is as competitive as it’s ever been. Amidst the abundance of talent in leagues across Europe, the Italian top flight has been slated in recent years of being a ‘2 horse race’ between AS Roma and last year’s champions Juventus, however after 2 months of football so far it’s clear to see this won’t be the case. So who will prevail in glory come the end of the season?
Currently sitting acutely at the top of the table are Paulo Sousa’s Fiorentina team, who’ve made no faults in showcasing their goal scoring prowess with Nikola Kalinic and Khouma Babacar contributing 11 goals between them, just under half of the team’s total goal tally so far. The big Croatian is in red hot form, scoring 7 in 11 league games, which is what was expected of the former Dnipro powerhouse after switching the bold Ukrainian 1st division for the Florence club in the summer. The former Swansea City manager has his team playing a high pressing, attack minded style of football, which could see them be genuine challengers for Roma and Juventus this year.
Rewind 5 years and Javier Zanetti was lifting the famous Champions League trophy among a packed Bernabéu in Madrid, yet we fast forward 284 weeks later and Roberto Mancini is trying to revive Inter Milan‘s status and bring back the glory days. The Italian giants haven’t had the greatest seasons in recent years, however the Nerazzurri’s see themselves just behind Fiorentina in 2nd place, hoping to push on for the league title, let alone a European spot. With Mauro Icardi and Stevan Jovetic leading the way up top they pose a real threat and could potentially be up there at the end of the campaign, which all depends on how Mancini organizes his men when the injuries come knocking.
Having made a bewildering start, reigning champions Juventus have a challenge on the cards. Some compare their start to Chelsea’s in the Premier League, however the Turin side can justify the argument with the loss of top scorer Carlos Tevez and talisman Andrea Pirlo. Massimiliano Allegri’s men sit bang on mid table in 10th having already lost more games this season than they did in the entirety of last year’s title winning campaign, which proves how much of an essential role Tevez’s 18 league goals played in the club’s successful title triumph. It’s always hard to replicate their goal scoring power of last season after losing such a figure yet new signing Paulo Dybala has flourished up top, netting 5 goals already. All in all i feel the black and whites have the capability of retaining their trophy with the current set of players they have, although this all depends on whether or not the club can keep their hands on midfield prodigy Paul Pogba.
It goes without saying every season that AS Roma will be going all out in trying to win their 4th Serie A title, a feat that was last achieved a staggering 15 years ago. Their status as giants in the beautiful game are knocked down each year they don’t achieve domestic greatness yet this year there seems to be a real sense of nonchalance within the squad. Rudi Garcia has installed an attacking mentality into his men which has prevailed as they lead the goal scoring leaderboard so far this season, having netted 25 goals with Carlos Bacca, Miralem Pjanic and Gervinho all on 5 goals. However, their defence is leaking goals in fairly unconvincingly which could be crucial come the end of the season when the 3 teams at the top are all equal so goal difference comes into the equation.
Realistically S.S.C Napoli come as real outsiders when it comes to genuine challengers for the title as they haven’t come close since 2012 where they finished runners up. Having won it for the 2nd time in 1990 in one of the closest encounters for the championship in Serie A history, head coach Maurrizio Saurri has his eyes set on proving critics wrong and leading the Naples club to glory. Since his arrival in June, he’s managed only 1 defeat which came against Sassualo on the opening day and 6 victories, setting Napoli up among the the top 4 in Serie A. Former manager Rafa Benitez handed him a gift of a squad, with depth and plenty of attacking options with Gonzalo Higuain being arguably one of the most clinical forwards in the division. Never the less, it’ll be interesting to see how they manage to get on.
With many other team’s in the mix for a crack at Serie A Supremacy, it’ll without a doubt be one of the most competitive and exuberant campaigns of recent times.