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Can AS Roma and Napoli halt Juventus' domination?

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By Football Italiano

Wednesday 12 July 2017

A brief look at the Serie A table of last season would suggest that Juventus overcame strong challenges from AS Roma and Napoli to win their sixth consecutive league title.

However, anyone who followed the Italian football last season would tell you that the Turin club were never really tested by their opponents, and in the end, it turned out to be another comfortable title success for Massimiliano Allegri's men.

As both Milan powerhouses struggled to match up their ambitions on the pitch, it was once again down to both Roma and Napoli to challenge Juventus' domination in Italian football. However, both clubs continue to fall short year after year, and it doesn't appear that Italian football will take another direction in the coming years.

A look at the bookmaker guide from KickOff suggests that of the current top three clubs in Serie A, a huge gap exists between the champions and those in pursuit. While, Juventus have the unique ability to rob their rivals of their tops talents – Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic come to mind, Roma and Napoli continue to lose their top talents to the richer clubs in Europe.

Napoli looked like challenging them for a brief period last season, but the real blow came at the end of the season when Juventus signed Gonzalo Higuain by activating his release clause.

The same pattern continues to unravel itself this summer for Roma and Napoli. The Rome club have already lost manager Luciano Spalletti to Inter Milan while star players such as Mohamed Salah and Antonio Rudiger have departed to Premier League.

New manager Eusebio Di Francesco, who has arrived from Sassuolo, will have a real job on his hand to keep Roma among the top clubs this season as both Milan clubs step up their efforts to regain their lost reputations under their respective Chinese owners.

Napoli haven't yet lost any of their important players this summer, but the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne are never really far from a big-money exit from the club.

Meanwhile, Juventus have found real stability under Allegri, and they continue to strengthen their team season-after-season. Like other Serie A clubs, Juve might lose some players to richer clubs from Spain and England, but you can be certain that Allegri will never allow the key players of his squad to leave. Paul Pogba's world-record transfer to Man Utd last summer can certainly be considered a bit of an exception.

Juventus were the second-best team in Europe last season, and remain miles ahead of the rest of the competition in Italy. At the moment, it doesn't appear that any other Serie A side is ready to challenge their domestic supremacy yet.

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