Serie A title battle heats up
With the Christmas break finally over it is all starting to heat up in the race for the Serie A title race as Juventus continue to march forward in the league. All of the usual contenders are up there and the climax to the campaign could be one of the most entertaining in years.
It may be a tough ask to make Serie A predictions at this stage. Napoli are the shock leaders at the top, Juventus are closing like an express train and you just know it is impossible to rule out the likes of Roma and Inter Milan. But who will be sitting pretty at the top come the end of the season?
Napoli have always been in the mix over the past few seasons but finished way back in fifth last term. The appointment of Maurizio Sarri seems to have worked wonders in Naples and the club are two points clear of their nearest rivals having won 13 of 20 games. The form of Gonzalo Higuain has been a catalyst in Napoli marching forward to the title, with the Argentina international already bagging an incredible 20 league goals.
If the former Real Madrid man suffers an injury then it could prove curtains for Napoli, as the closest to him in the goalscoring charts is Lorenzo Insigne with eight. But after being knocked out of the Coppa Italia in midweek the club will be able to focus on their league form, which is a luxury some of their rivals don’t have.
Juventus seem unstoppable at the moment. The defending Champions have now won the last 12 domestic fixtures on the bounce and look to be the favourites despite trailing Napoli by two points. Paulo Dybala appears to be finally paying back the huge price that Juve paid Palermo for the hitman last summer and he could be the key man as the title race draws to an entertaining end. Having picked up 22 points on the road from just 11 games, Massimiliano Allegri’s side have the best away record in the division and this could be key to successfully claiming their fifth title in a row, possibly a safe bet to put on at http://www.sbat.com/.
In Roberto Mancini Inter Milan have a manager who has certainly been there and done that when it comes to winning titles. The Italian was the man in charge of Manchester City when they claimed the Premier League title for the first time, and Nerazzurri have the tightest defence in Serie A having only conceded only 13 goals in the opening 20 games. If Inter are to surprise their rivals and win the league they will certainly need to improve their home form, with three defeats already at the San Siro. Mauro Icardi has only scored eight goals this term and has struggled to revive his sensational form from last season which saw him linked with a number of English sides. Icardi needs to start finding the net frequently if his side are to be there at the end.
Fiorentina weren’t considered as potential title contenders before the campaign started but an outstanding start to the season saw the Viola challenging for top spot. A recent run of poor form has seen the club drop to fourth and they will certainly need to turn around the three defeats in five games suffered recently. If Fiorentina are to win the title they will need a huge end to the season, and much of that could depend on Nikola Kalinic, with the former Blackburn man the club’s top scorer with 10 strikes.
Roma and AC Milan are the big outsiders for the Serie A title, with nine and 12 points separating them from Napoli respectively. Unless something spectacular is pulled out of the bag by either, they will have to settle for challenging the Champions League spots instead.