Football is back folks, and over the next week, all four of Europe’s big leagues are set to start their new domestic seasons.
The Premier League and La Liga kick off this weekend and then the Bundesliga and Serie A follows on next week, and it feels like they have never been away!
We’ve already taken a look at the opening fixtures in England and Spain, so now we turn our attention to the Italian League.
The big question on everyone’s mind is whether anyone can stop Juventus from winning a historic 10 consecutive Scudettos.
Well, the teams with the best chances of wrestling the title from the Old Lady’s grasp are Inter Milan and Napoli.
Inter will have to wait until the 26th September to open their campaign, but Napoli are in action next weekend so we’ll take a look at their opening fixture.
But first let’s head to Verona where a potential upset might just be on the cards.
Hellas Verona vs AS Roma
Roma has been among the Italian football aristocracy for decades and last season they proved they can mix it with the very best, earning an impressive victory over Juventus in August.
But they failed to make the top four, finishing in fifth place and so they are settling for Europa League football this season.
Head coach Paulo Fonseca has strengthened his squad with the signings of Atalanta defender Gianluca Mancini for £13-M and French midfielder Jordan Veretout in a £16-M switch from Fiorentina.
Former Chelsea attacking midfielder Pedro has also signed, but the Serie A 2020 betting odds don’t have a lot of confidence in Roma to make a top four place, while somewhere around the sixth and seventh looks more likely.
Ivan Juric’s Verona performed well in their return to the top flight last season, exceeding expectations with a ninth-placed finish, and they were in the hunt for European football throughout the campaign.
Verona have recruited 19-year-old Manchester City midfielder Ivan Ilic and the Serb U21 international will hope to make a speedy impact.
Hellas are at 3.35 to win this game here at SBOTOP with Roma at 2.06. And if the hosts show their form of last season, they will give the Romans a good run for their money.
Parma vs Napoli
Last season was a case of what might have been for Napoli as they made a late run up the table, but they fell short by finishing in seventh place.
It’s been a period of consolidation under head coach Gennaro Gattuso and now they could be ready to challenge again this season.
Gli Azzurri are third favourites at 11.00 to win the Scudetto and a fast start to the season will give their fans something to dream about.
They haven’t won the Scudetto since 1990. However, with the quality of Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens in the squad, Gli Azzurri can be a match for anyone.
And Gattuso secured a marquee signing when Lille’s highly-rated 21-year-old striker Victor Osimhen turned down Manchester United in favour of a move to Napoli for a fee rising to 84-M Euros. He is sure to be in the Serie A 2020 news in the coming weeks.
Fabio Liverani’s Parma had a decent season last term.
Since the beginning of September, he has spent around 30-M Euros in transfer fees to bring in midfielders Hernani and Alberto Grassi, Napoli reserve goalkeeper Luigi Sepe, and Roma striker Gregoire Defrel.
Napoli are at 1.66 to win this game with the draw at 3.50, but can Parma catch them cold and pull off a shock? Odds of 4.75 say it’s possible but I favour the draw.
Genoa vs Crotone
Serie B 2020 champions Benevento and the third team to make it to the top-flight in Spezia will have to wait until the following week before they begin their campaigns, but Crotone kick off their second stint in the top-flight with a winnable away trip to Genoa.
Head coach Giovanni Stroppa guided Gli Squali back to the top-flight, which they achieved with a 5-1 hammering of Livorno. And that means they have another chance to impress at the top table having reached Serie A for the first time in 2017.
While we have one of the promoted teams away to an established Serie A side, there isn’t much to choose between the two teams. The hosts narrowly escaped relegation last season, finishing in 17th position.
Crotone have moved to strengthen since their promotion, bringing in Eduardo Henrique from Sporting Lisbon and defender Andrea Rispoli from Lecce, while Red Star midfielder Milos Vulic has also joined the newly-promoted club.
But Crotone have only beaten Genoa once in 13 attempts, losing the last three by a 1-0 scoreline.
The hosts are at 1.89 to win again. But at 3.88, Crotone certainly has a chance. Again, the draw at 3.20 might be the answer.
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