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Football column

Diagnosis of European mega-clubs’ opening dash [Serie A].

It’s been about two months since the start of the 2021-2022 European soccer season. In this series of articles, we will be scoring the mega clubs in Europe to see how they have started the season. We will analyze their performances since the start of the season in detail, as well as predict their future prospects.

In this second installment of our series, we will be taking a look at Serie A. Last season, Juventus, who had won nine straight titles, finished in fourth place, while Inter Milan won their first championship in 11 years. What kind of start did the leading clubs in Serie A make this season? Let’s take a closer look.

Serie A Mega Club Scoring Chart

This time, I’m going to grade the top five Serie A clubs, including Inter, Milan, Juventus, Roma, and Napoli, who made a successful start to the season. Here is the scoring chart

League standings Score
Napoli 1st 100 points
Milan 2nd 95 points
Inter 3rd 80 points
Roma 4th 75 points
Juventus 7th 50 points

Let’s take a look at the detailed analysis for each club.

Napoli

  • Ranking: 1st (8 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses)
  • Goals scored: 19 goals, 3 goals conceded
  • Score: 100 points

First up on our list is the reigning league table leaders, Napoli. Last season, they fell to 5th place on the final day of the season and failed to qualify for the Champions League. So the front office dismissed Gennaro Gattuso, who had been leading the team for two years. Luciano Spalletti, who had previously led Inter and Roma, was brought in as the new coach.

Napoli, under the new regime, showed a lot of momentum from the start of the season, winning eight straight games. They scored 19 goals and conceded just three in eight games, keeping clean sheets in six of them. Victor Osimhen, who came to prominence in the second half of last season, leads the attack with five goals, while Kalidou Koulibaly and the rest of the team provide a strong defense. Although Spalletti is known for his attacking football, Napoli has also been successful in defense.

It will be interesting to see how many more points Napoli can pick up with their offensive and defensive play, and whether they can win games against the likes of Inter and Milan.

Sorare doesn’t have Napoli’s 2021-22 season cards for sale yet, but when they do, the Cribari and Osimhen cards are sure to be very expensive.

AC Milan

  • Ranking: 2nd (7 wins, 1 draw, 0 losses)
  • Goals scored: 18 goals, 7 goals conceded
  • Score: 95 points

Right behind Napoli in second place is Milan, who made a strong comeback by qualifying for the Champions League for the first time since the 2013 – 2014 season. They have won seven of their last eight games and are looking to continue their strong start to the season with a win over Juventus.

Veteran forward Olivier Giroud, who joined the club from Chelsea this season, has scored three goals in his limited appearances, while Rafael Leon and Brym Diaz are still the mainstays from last season. With club legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic also back in the lineup and showing off an overhead kick in his return game (unfortunately, it didn’t result in a goal), the front line is looking strong.

If there is one area of concern, it’s the defenders. After keeping three clean sheets in their first five games, they have conceded five goals in their last three games. In addition, they are worried about their defense, as their guardian Mike Menyan had surgery on his left wrist and will be out for about two weeks.

If they can overcome these obstacles and continue to pick up points in November (Roma on November 11, Inter on November 12, and Fiorentina on November 13), they could be in line for their first Scudetto since the 2010-2011 season.

Inter Milan

  • Ranking: 3rd (5 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss)
  • Goals scored: 23 goals, 11 goals conceded
  • Score: 85 points

After winning the league title for the first time since the 2009-2010 season last season, Inter Milan has had a sluggish start to the season. Coach Antonio Conte, who was instrumental in winning the league title, announced his resignation in June after a dispute with the austere front office over the reinforcement policy. In addition, Romero Lukaku, the top scorer in the league, was sold to Chelsea, while Matteo Politano and Ashraf Hakimi, the most talented players in the team, were sold to Napoli and Paris Saint-Germain, respectively. Nevertheless, they were able to fill the vacant positions with qualified reinforcements such as Edin Zeko, Hakan Chalhanor, and Joaquin Correa. They succeeded in bringing in Simone Inzaghi, who led Lazio until last season and uses the same 3-5-2 system as former coach Conte, to replace Conte.

Inter Milan won their opening match against Genoa 4-0, and after that, it looked like they were on their way to another 4 wins and 2 draws. However, in their eighth game of the season, they suffered a 1-3 loss against Lazio, the old club of their new coach. What came to light in this game was the fragility of their defense. After keeping a clean sheet in the opening game of the season, they have conceded goals in every game, and while they are first in the league in goals scored, they are tied for 10th in goals conceded. How the new coach can reduce the number of goals conceded is going to be a major key point in the race for the championship.

Roma

  • Ranking: 4th (5 wins, 0 draws, 3 losses)
  • Goals scored: 16 goals, 9 goals conceded
  • Score: 75 points

With Jose Mourinho back at the helm after an 11-year absence from Serie A, Roma spent close to €100 million to reinforce their squad with the likes of Timmy Abraham from Chelsea and Rui Patricio from Wolverhampton. This season, they have won five games, lost three, and are in fourth place in the standings, which puts them in a good position to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since the 2017-2018 season (and two of those losses came against two of the biggest clubs in the league, Lazio and Juventus).

Still, I can’t help but feel uneasy about them because their squad is lacking in both quality and quantity compared to the other clubs vying for the Champions League spot. Not to mention mega clubs like Inter, Milan, and Juventus, their squad is probably not as good as Napoli, who is currently leading the table.

The key for Roma to achieve their goals will be their coach, Mourinho. Mourinho has made a bad impression in recent years due to the problems he caused at Manchester United and Tottenham, but he has a solid track record of working with big clubs. If he fails at Tottenham and then at Roma, it will be difficult for him to take charge of a big club. The Portuguese coach will be even more fired up than usual because of that. The new Roma team may become the eye of the storm in Serie A.

Sorare doesn’t have Roma’s 2021-22 season cards for sale yet, but when they do, the Abraham and Rui Patricio cards are expected to be quite expensive.

Juventus

  • Ranking: 7th (4 wins, 2 draws, 2 losses)
  • Goals scored: 12 goals, 10 goals conceded
  • Score: 50 points

Juventus finished fourth in the league last season, missing out on their tenth straight league title, and sacked club legend Andrea Pirlo after just one season in charge. Massimiliano Allegri, who won the league title nine times in a row, was put back in charge. However, this season under the new coaching regime, the only real improvement was Manuel Locatelli, who came back to the club with little in the way of reinforcements, and with ace Cristiano Ronaldo leaving for Manchester United, many fans started to get worried.

And the prediction came true. We started the season with a draw, a loss, a loss, and a draw, and ended up without a win in four games. After that, they won three games in a row and recovered a little, but still, their poor start to the season has left them in 7th place.

The absence of C. Ronaldo has had a big impact on the team, as they are tied for ninth in the league in goals scored with 12, and their FWs have scored the most goals with two, so they are suffering from the absence of an ace. Paulo Dybala, who was supposed to be the ace of the team, is out with an injury. In addition, the age of the defenders is getting older, and Delft, who is expected to be the next generation of defensive leaders, is also out with an injury, just like Dybala.

Will Allegri be able to reverse this situation now that he is back in charge? All eyes will be on the future of Juventus.

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