Thursday, February 25, 2010

Serie A Roundup and Predictions


All of the clubs in Italy’s Serie A have completed their 25th domestic game. Let’s take a quick look at how the Serie A season has progressed, and where it is likely headed.

At the Top: Inter Milan (55 points)

Three time defending champions Inter Milan jumped out to an early lead this season in Serie A, and many expected Inter to run away with the title again. However, three straight draws in domestic play, combined with the good form of Roma and AC Milan, has seen Inter’s lead atop the table drop to only four points. Look out for the March 28th match between Roma and Inter that could be a potential title decider.

Even more surprisingly than Inter’s recent loss of form, Juventus currently find themselves in 4th place, and in the final coveted Champions League qualifying spot, despite having one of the worst seasons in recent memory. Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara was fired after only 8 months at the helm, and new acquisitions Diego and Felipe Melo were under heavy fire by Juventus supporters. Yet despite the early trouble, Juventus have put themselves in a position for success next season.

At the Bottom: Siena (17 points)

While seeing Siena, Atalanta, and Livorno in the relegation zone might not shock anyone, seeing Lazio and Udinese hovering just above it is a bit more shocking. Lazio is only a few seasons removed from a year that saw them finish third in Serie A, and Udinese boats the leading scorer in Serie A, Antonio Di Natale (17 goals) – yet both are within four points of being relegated. Lazio and Udinese will meet each other on the last day of the Serie A season, in a match that could determine who remains in the league.

Predictions:

In my opinion, the Serie A title is still Inter Milan’s to lose. The attacking trio of Samuel Eto’o, Diego Milito, and Wesley Sneijder has not even come close to maximizing their potential as a collective group, and with a little more time they should be an unstoppable force.

Also, do not be surprised if Ronaldinho is named Serie A Player of the Year for this season. ‘Dinho currently has 9 goals and 10 assists in 23 Serie A games this year, and has added three goals and an assist in the Champions League. If Ronaldinho continues to play well, he might even be considered for the 2010 Brazilian team on its way to South Africa.

I also believe that Diego Milito will have enough to challenge Antonio Di Natale for the scoring title. Natale currently has 18 goals to Milito’s 14, but Milito’s supporting cast will give him more chances to score. Plus he is just a better player. Just ask Chelsea fans.

What are your predictions for the Serie A finale? Have your say below!

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