Welcome to a new batch of league predictions! This post will be centered around the Serie A in Italy and will feature teams 20-11! Leave your thoughts in the comments and don’t forget to subscribe!
20th Place- Chievo Verona
Coming off a 13th place finish last year, Chievo had a summer of uninspiring transfer business. They sold one of their better players in Lucas Castro and brought in a number of rotational players to try and replace him. Across the globe, opinions of this Chievo team are not high. They were also involved in a messy situation off the field involving inflated profit numbers. For a team already near the bottom of the table, this is a distraction they don’t need. Expect the Flying Donkeys (what a nickname!) to be in Serie B next year.
Freshly promoted to the Serie A, I expect Frosinone’s joy to be short lived. A couple solid signings in the defense and midfield may be enough to help them reach that all important 17th. However, the sheer lack of attacking quality will be what dooms this team in my opinion. They offer very little going forward and the signing of Joel Campbell from Arsenal won’t be enough. Relegation is the only place I see Frosinone headed for this season.
18th Place- Parma
As badly as I want this year’s Cinderella team in Parma to avoid relegation, I can’t see it happening. They simply don’t have the financial power after being bankrupt just three years ago. The club was revived and has made a miraculous run back to the top flight but the climb was too fast. Parma aren’t equipped with enough quality to stay up and don’t have the money to change that lack of quality. Unfortunately for fairy tale lovers, this Cinderella won’t have a happy ending.
17th Place- Empoli
Empoli is another team that could possibly be going down this year. However, I believe they survive by the skin of their teeth and the sweat on their brow. Like most clubs that have been freshly promoted, Empoli can’t compete in bidding wars for players. Instead, they did their homework and brought in some solid Serie A veterans mixed with youth from other European leagues. A name to remember is forward Samuel Mraz. The young Slovakian scored over 20 goals last season in his home country and has already found the back of the net for Empoli. I expect solid transfer business to be the reason Empoli survive the drop.
16th Place- Bologna FC
Don’t get me wrong there is quality in this Bologna side. However it is not among the forwards. Midfield to goalkeeper are not a problem for Bologna. They are solid in midfield with Erick Pulgar, Adam Nagy and Godfred Donsah to anchor. New keeper Lukasz Skorupski is quality between the sticks and the defense is a veteran group. The forwards are what lets this side down and will be what keeps them down this year. I expect Bologna to get by through their quality in all positions except up top. If those forwards can find the goal scoring touch, I could see this team overshooting my prediction.
15th Place- Cagliari
Youngster Nicolo Barella will be the key to Cagliari’s success this season. The Italian midfielder is a highly rated prospect throughout the football world. If he is on his game this team has a much better shot at winning. Cagliari also did a solid job of addressing needs in defense and at forward. After a 16th place finish last year, I see this side basically staying put as a near relegation candidate.
14th Place- Genoa
Losing your best player always hurts and that’s exactly what happened to Genoa. Twice. Winger Diego Laxalt was sold to AC Milan for about $16 million while keeper Mattia Perin went to Juventus for roughly $14 million. A slide is inevitable when stars leave their old clubs and that’s what I expect to happen. However, Genoa spent their money pretty well this summer, focusing on an attack that only scored 33 goals last season. 3 forwards were brought in to kickstart this offense which will keep Genoa in a solid lower mid-table position.
13th Place- SPAL
Call me crazy, but I like this SPAL team that finished 17th last year. They had a productive summer in which they were able to hold onto many of their key players. They also permanently signed a number of players they had in on loan last season. Consistency is key and that is what SPAL has accomplished. Alfred Gomis is a solid keeper and the midfield has been bolstered by the return of Jasmin Kurtic. I expect SPAL to improve on last year and begin to climb the Serie A ladder.
12th Place- Udinese
This is an Udinese team that finished only 5 points above relegation in 14th last year. However I’m predicting a bit more of a comfortable stay this season. They kept hold of many key players and brought in talent that will propel them closer to mid-table this season. 5 defensive signings were brought in to shore up a team that conceded a whopping 63 goals in 38 games last season. I expect more consistency and less stress for Udinese this year.
11th Place- Sampdoria
In a coin flip between 11th and 10th place, I’m placing Sampdoria here for the last pick of this prediction batch. The top 9 teams in Italy will be so tough to crack and I don’t think Sampdoria has the quality. The losses of midfielder Lucas Torreira and striker Duvan Zapata will hold this team back. However, the development of high potential signings Ronaldo Vieira and Jakub Jankto are crucial to Sampdoria in their quest to push up the table. This is an intriguing side but I do not see them cracking into that top 10.
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