Friday, August 29, 2014

2014-15 Season Predictions

Serie A 2014-15 Predictions
Serie A Season Predictions
As the 113th season of top-tier Italian football, Serie A, is about to kick of let's check club activities and try to predict season outcome. Let start with the defending champions. Juventus - Antonio Conte resigned and has been replaced by Massimiliano Allegri and this could have a fairly negative affect on the team. Massimiliano Allegri brings new ideas and the biggest question is how long will the adaptation period take. Patrice Evra has been brought from Manchester United to help at left wing-back. New signings include Alvaro Morata, Romulo and Roberto Pereyra. We believe that Juventus will struggle this season and we will go that far and predict them as runners up

Roma - they had an exceptional season last year and they will not settle for the second place this season. This is a season where they will challenge Juventus for the scudetto. Roma's team should be even more impressive than last year with Juan Iturbe and Ashley Cole joined the club. The two will most likely be starters. Other signings like Antonio Sanabria, Urby Emmanuelson, Seydou Keita and Radja Nainggolan will bring even more depth to the roster. Roma will participate in Champions League this season and that could be a little setback in title aspirations. Champions League is demanding competition but roster is looking great at the moment. The team is more experienced, extremely talented and we think they can participate in two big competitions. We see them as champions this year

Napoli and Inter can join the championship race but will eventually fight for 3rd place. Napoli has been rather inactive during summer (unlike past couple of years) and signing Michu (loan), keeper Mariano Andujar and defender Kalidou Koulibally. They lost to Athletic Bilbao and would not participate in Champions League this year and this is a bit of a shock for the team. This team is packed with talent and could go all the way this year if key player can manage to avoid injuries. Inter signed Nemanja Vidić from Manchester United, Gary Medel, Yann M'Villa, Dodo and Dani Osvaldo. Coach Walter Mazzarri will have a deeper roster for this season and will participate in Europa League as well. Even doe this team is packed with talent they still miss quality to match the top three teams in this league. We predict solid 4th place. 

AC Milan, Fiorentina, Lazio - these three will fight for the Europa League spots. Milan finished eight in the league last season, their worst Serie A season since 1998. Mario Baloteli left the club to join Liverpool and Pippo Inzaghi will have to find a way to replace him, or to find a striker capable of scoring at least 15 goals per season. They signed Alex, Keisuke Honda, Adil Rami, Michael Essien and Jeremy Menez. Pre-season performance was terrible and we predict another bad season in the eyes of rossoneri fans. Vincenzo Montella’s Fiorentina is having high hopes for this season. Even doe they have been quiet during the summer the squad is full of talent. Marko Marin, Allessandro Matri, Anderson and Federico Bernardeschi will bring depth to the squad. They played some really good pre-season matches, beating Real Madrid 2-1 in Poland. Borja Valero emerged as a key player last season. It will not bee easy to play against Fiorentina. After disappointing last season Lazio's new coach Stefano Poli decided to add some stability and fill the holes in their leaky defense signing Stefan de Vrij and Edson Braafheid. They also signed Serbian winger Dušan Basta, Filip Djordjevic from Nantes and Marco Perolo. A lot will depend on the performance of Antonio Candreva, being the key player. If they can managed to fix the holes in the defense they will be contenders for the Europa League spot. 

Parma, Torino, Verona, Udinese - Udinese and Torino were active this summer. Alessio Cerci and Ciro Immobile scored 35 goals last season and Immobile left to Dortmund. Torino signed Antonio Nocerino and Ruben Perez to strengthen midfield, and Fabio Quagliarella to replace Immobile. We don't think they can match lasts season success, nor they can replace Immobile thus predict mid table. Andrea Stramaccioni and assistant manager, Dejan Stankovic have been chosen to try to return Udinese to the top five this season. They have a one of the youngest and most talented teams in the league. They signed Panagiotis Kone at winger and central midfielder, Kone, Pasquale and Guilherme. They will struggle but we predict mid-table. Parma can focus on Seria A since they have been banned from Europa League this year. They kept the team together and the main star will be Antonio Cassano together with his attacking partner Jonathan Biabiany. Pedro Mendes has returned from Sassuolo and Ishak Belfodil who could do well under Casano's tutorship. Parma is a well balanced team who will fight for EL spot this year as well. Verona lost Romulo and Juan Iturbe (Roma), key players to last years success. New faces are experienced Rafa Marquez, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, Nene and Antonio Luna. They badly need another striker as they will once again rely on Luca Toni for goals. They will avoid relegation and have a solid season. 

Cesena, Empoli, Chievo, Cagliari, Sasuollo - Cesena and Empoli are biggest relegation contenders. Cesena are back to Serie A after two year absence. Guido Marilungo and Alejandro Rodriguez proved they can score goals and the defense looks solid but this competition is far fiercer than Serie B. Stefano Lucchini, Luigi Giorgi and Franco Brienza arrived from Atalanta but most players are not having much experience in the top level of Italian football. We predict direct relegation together with Empoli. Empoli is the other candidate for direct relegation. The attacking positions are taken by two veterans, Francesco Tavano and Massimo Maccarone at 35 and 34. They both scored in double figures last season and if they manage to do so in the upcoming season relegation battle would be much easier. Since we don't think that is going to happen and there was no money for big transfers we predict relegation. Chievo and Cagliari will struggle as well. Even doe Chievo have significantly strengthened over the summer signing many new players such as Maxi Lopez, Birsa, Izco and Bardi. It will take time to put the pieces together doe. If Izco and Maxi remain healthy the season might turn just fine, otherwise they will dance around the danger zone. Cagliari will trust Zdenek Zeman for this season. As Zeman is know for attacking football Cagliray will be a team to watch. They are young and enthusiastic and could even finish mid table. A lot will depend on very quick striker Marco Sau. Sasuollo could be the dark horse this year. Even doe the bookies see them as the biggest relegation candidate we think they might be wrong. The club is financially stable. They signed Davide Biondini, Šime Vrsaljko, Antonio Floro Flores, Paolo Cannavaro and Federico Peluso from Juventus (for Luca Morrone). A lot will be expected from sensational Domenico Berrardi and we are convinced this team will stay in the league so we will predict safe zone.

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