The battle to topple Juventus from the summit of Serie A will begin again on Saturday, and over the last few years we have been teased with the possibility of a super competitive Scudetto race, unfortunately it never fully materialised.
However, the 2020/21 Serie A season is shaping up to be the best one yet, Juventus with a new coach in Andrea Pirlo, who has never taken the reigns of a team before, at any level.
Inter having strengthened their squad and have another year of Antonio Conte, plus AC Milan on the rise, Atalanta still looking strong, Lazio, Roma and Napoli all with another year of continuity under their belts.
This could prove an exciting recipe.
Andrea Pirlo – Gamble or Genius?
Possibly the first time in history has a coach of the biggest team in Italy received his coaching qualifications days before the first game of the season.
All eyes will be on Juventus to see how they fare with Pirlo and the style in which they play, there is now a demand to not only win but to win in a certain manner and of course try and crack the code for the Champions League.
Everybody associated with the club will be hoping his coaching career is similar to his playing career – glittered with trophies.
Will Inter end Juventus’ nine-year reign?
Inter look to be emerging as the team who could really get themselves fighting until the end with Juventus.
Conte’s first season really set some positive foundations after finishing fourth the year before, Inter were only a point behind Juventus at the end of the 2019/20 campaign. .
They have added new signings in key areas to bolster their squad further and will naturally be hoping Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku connect as quickly as they did last season.
The Chasing Pack
Immediately we look at Napoli, Roma and AC Milan. We should now add Atalanta and Lazio to the mix after their impressive campaigns last year.
They have all recruited in some manner in the off season to try and improve what they already have. If these cannot keep up with the title challenge they are definitely going to have the top European places as their objectives.
The stand out recruitment wise has to be Milan with the signings of Brahim Diaz, Ante Rebic on a permanent, the evergreen leader Zlatan Ibrahimovic and one of the brightest young stars in Italian football Sandro Tonali from Brescia.
Cristiano Ronaldo Effect
Serie A biggest star without a doubt. Can he keep producing despite age not in his favour? The numbers say he is extremely important to his team and that showed in his last official appearance against Lyon scoring two goals in their Champions League defeat. One thing is for certain after two seasons of not winning the Capocannoniere award he will be itching to claim it after losing out to Lazio striker Ciro Immobile last year.
Fight for the drop?
The newly promoted clubs Crotone, Benevento and Spezia have all been tagged favourites to go back down even though the first two have had some experience of the league in the recent years so should be better prepared.
The pitch could tell a completely different story, Genoa could easily be in a relegation battle if they do not improve as they only managed to stay up last season by a 4 point difference.
A surprise candidate could be Udinese, who have plateaued over recent seasons without looking to regain some of the credibility that saw them hit Europe some years back after the Pozzo family began directing their resources to Watford.