Almost two months later, Serie A is finally back in action. Italian football halted on November 13 before the start of the 2022 World Cup, and resumed this week for an intense day of football with all 20 teams playing on Wednesday January 4. . Napoli are currently top of the table and have dominated the first half of the season. His Serie A title holders AC Milan are currently trailing the side led by Luciano Spalletti on points. Juventus he is third. However, both teams will soon have an important match to give them a big boost when Inter Milan and Napoli play this Wednesday. Remind yourself of what has happened so far this season and what you can expect going forward.
1. Can Napoli win the Scudetto?
Since the 1989-1990 season, Napoli fans have been waiting to see their beloved team win another Scudetto. In fact, Napoli failed to win the Italian league because Diego Armando Maradona was the star of the team and the city. They were close to fulfilling their dream, especially during his 2017-2018 season under Maurizio Sarri, but lost to Juventus and to the Bianconeri despite scoring 91 points in 38 games. It was just four behind him. Napoli have changed a lot in the last few years, but it soon became clear that something had changed this season, despite several big names leaving the club over the summer. Captain Lorenzo Insigne joined Toronto FC last summer, leaving the club with Doris Mertens and Kalidou Koulibaly. Coach Luciano Spalletti has managed to maintain a good atmosphere in and out of the dressing room and new players have arrived: the team’s current star is Georgian talent Kvicka Kvaratshelia, who has already scored 13 goals in all competitions. , also offers 13 assists. With his 13 wins, Napoli have drawn only two of his matches so far, making them the only team to remain unbeaten in Serie A.
Napoli feel like they are living the life of a dream this season, but things can change quickly in football. Despite his eight points more than AC Milan, his cup suspension at Worlds could affect the title race. Azzurri made it to the Qatar World Cup where he only qualified for five players and none of him made it to the final match of the competition. So while the physical side may be overall good for Spalletti, the psychological side is likely to have a greater impact on the league in this case. Napoli had the momentum before the break, winning 11 games in a row. The main question is whether the break will affect the next match. Luckily, we won’t have to wait too long to find out, given that Napoli will face Inter Milan on the deciding Wednesday of the Scudetto race. There is no doubt that it is.
2. Who are Napoli’s rivals?
If Napoli are arguably the frontrunners to win the Scudetto this season, it will not be clear who will challenge them until the end of the season. Despite several changes to the top four spots in Serie A’s standings, AC Milan are the most consistent side and last season saw him win the Scudetto for the first time in 11 years. Did. However, the Rossoneri are still eight points behind him by Napoli and need to improve on their results to gain an advantage in case Spalletti’s team lose points along the way. Juventus got off to a difficult start but Massimiliano Allegri was able to keep the team on track and finished third, just two points behind AC Milan.
Inter Milan, led by Simone Inzaghi, are arguably the most disappointing team to date, having had some difficult matches in the first half of their Serie A season and conceding too many goals (22 goals in 15 games, no one in the top 10). more than teams). The Nerazzurri are the only Serie A team he has won 10 times, he has already lost 5 and he has not drawn a match. With the return of Romelu Lukaku, who essentially missed the first half of the season due to injury, and world champion Lautaro Martinez leading the team, Inter Milan have much more to offer in the second half of the 2022-23 season. I have to expect. season.
3. Champions League race
This is often the most exciting race in the league involving multiple clubs. This season is no different, with at least seven teams competing for the top four places in the table so far. Given that Napoli are in his fourth place and he has an 11-point advantage, he only has three slots for the six teams. AC Milan (33rd), Juventus (31st) and Lazio (30th) made it into the top four, but Inter Milan (30th), Atalanta (27th) and AS Roma (27th) also fully raced. are participating in Jose Mourinho’s squad for 2022 won the first edition of his UEFA Conference League that saved last season. But they need to improve their performances in the domestic league and will try to achieve that with the help of World Cup winner Paulo Dybala, who joined the club after his contract with Juventus expired last summer. This is going to be a very open race involving many clubs and usually lasts until the last match day of the season. Will this season be the same?
4. Quiet transfer market
As is often the case, don’t expect this winter transfer window to be busy, especially since top Italian clubs don’t touch their rosters for a variety of reasons. Napoli’s goal is to keep their key players unchanged with their current roster. AC Milan have signed goalkeeper Devis Vázquez to give coach Stefano Pioli more options to replace the starting goalkeeper after Mike Mainnan’s injury. After that, the Rossoneri shouldn’t do much more this January. Lazio and his AS Roma are not expected to sign a big deal for financial reasons. Inter Milan have to deal with the renewal of the contract of their key player Milan his Skriniar as well. The centre-back’s contract expired in the summer and negotiations on a new contract have so far been stalled, with the club currently signing him as a free agent in the summer of 2023 after refusing to sell him last summer. faces the risk of losing the Paris Saint-Germain.
Juventus won’t touch the roster until at least January 18, when a new club board is formed. In November, after Juventus’ recent financial statements were scrutinized by public prosecutors and Italian market regulator CONSOB for alleged false accounting and market manipulation, the entire board, including chairman Andrea Agnelli and vice-chairman Pavel Nedved, were dismissed. The club acknowledged so-called “salary manipulation” for fiscal years 2019-20 and 2020-21, saying that “the complexity of such profiles regarding evaluation factors could be subject to different interpretations.” added.
5. Relegation battle
As with the Champions League races, relegation battles are often the most interesting races in the league. Last season, Salernitana avoided relegation in the final game of the season after an incredible comeback, and have started the year much better and are so far outside the relegation zone. They are bottom of the league with just 5 points from 15 games (1 win, 2 draws). Sampdoria (6) and Cremona (7) are likely to be relegated at the end of the season, with Cremona trailing Spezia by six points, although there will be some changes to these standings in the coming weeks. expected. Cremona are currently the only promotion team in the relegation zone, with Lecce (15) and AC Monza (16) safe at the moment.