Napoli, Inter, AS Roma, & AC Milan: Who’s challenging Juventus for Scudetto this season ?

Who's challenging Juventus for Scudetto this season ?

Who’s challenging Juventus for Scudetto this season ?

After winning back-to-back seven Scudetto’s so far, it’s no longer about Juventus winning the title anymore but rather, the team who can present a credible challenge to the increasingly dominant Massimiliano Allegri’s side.

With three matches now played into the new season, Juventus themselves have been slow to find their winning form of last season meaning the Old Lady of Turin does pose the question whether there’s any team who can challenge the reigning champions for the top spot this year. ?

Napoli

Napoli, with Carlo Ancelotti appointed as new boss, looked somehow weak in defence but still no one would argue they odds for new challenge with Juventus with two wins versus Lazio and AC Milan. The Partenopei’s next outing is against Sampdoria who they’ve beaten five in their last six attempts and are odds to earn all three points.

This will give Ancelotti time to find a solution to his side leaky defence, in getting used to a new playing system having formally been under the tutelage of Maurizio Sarri, and to decide whether to utilize between 4-3-3 and 4-2-3-1. A starting lineup of 4-3-3 could see Amadou Diawara instead of Marek Hamsik in midfield alongside Allan, while Napoli’s trio of last season Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon backing up Arkadiusz Milik who should lead the attack.

All this being said, it’s much work to be done for Napoli at Stadio San Paolo and the challenge for the Scudetto this season is a long way off but if there issues at defence can be resolved in time, Juventus would see a new breed of challenge from Napoli this season.

Inter Milan

After a summer of spectacular activities in the transfer market, Luciano Spalletti has in his ranks wealth of great resources to choose from but rather it was a defeat in the opening round and a disappointing loss of a 2-0 lead to only draw at home to Torino. Inter, however, bounced back to winning ways when they played Bologna with a 4-2-3-1 and this will surely help Spalletti sort his team and make up his mind on time.

That said, Inter are heavily tipped to finish second in Serie A this season, but early performances show achieving this kind of form is a long way off. With fixtures against Barcelona, Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven in Champions League Group B, it’s going to be a tough season for the Nerazzurri’s. However, Inter’s keen attention could be on the Scudetto this season with no assurance of playing pass the group stage in Champions League.

AS Roma

It was a summer in which AS Roma saw three of their first-team regulars – Alisson, Radja Nainggolan and Kevin Strootman – face the exit doors. Fans showed strong optimism in the club’s transfer expert Monchi and manager Eusebio Di Francesco.

Yet it has been met with dissapointment with Roma acquiring just four points from their opening three matches, their last match before the international break see them suffer a last-gasp defeat to rivals AC Milan. Worrying news for Giallorossi fans is seeing Di Francesco in a frustrated and indecisive face in the duguot, blasting and broken a bone in his hand during Roma’s 3-3 draw at home to Atalanta.

Just Inter Milan, AS Roma must decide between his preferred using a 4-3-3 and a 3-4-1-2 lineup that would guarantee Javier Pastore a more playing role in midfield behind strikers Edin Dzeko and Patrik Schick.

AC Milan

With AC Milan looking no changing from 4-3-3 formation, Gennaro Gattuso must work out on how to giving Gonzalo Higuain more room to flourish. After joining the Rossoneri from Juventus in the summer, Higuain has often looked a frustrate figure, going deep to receive the ball in areas where a large hole exists that should be occupied by a teammate looking to set him up.

Indeed, it was the Argentine himself that delivered a pass to Patrick Cutrone for aforementioned last-minute winner versus Roma, but Gattuso clearly needs to work out how to get his star player firing once again.

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Bertrand Francois

Bertrand Francois is the editor of Football Weeks. An experienced online and print journalist, Jamie has worked for IRAIW, Arsenal Presser, Soccerlens and countless other media sources over the years. He is from Republic Du Benin and lives in the busiest town Cotonou. - Facebook and Twitter