The annual query is able to be requested once more: Can anyone cease Juventus?
The Bianconeri are bidding for a record-extending tenth straight Serie A title, and can be starting the season with a totally different coach for the third straight yr.
Andrea Pirlo has changed the fired Maurizio Sarri for this season, which can pressure the Juventus squad to as soon as once more get used to enjoying underneath a totally different system.
The opponents appear to be getting nearer, too. Last season, Juventus beat Inter Milan to the title by just one level — the smallest margin of victory in its present period of dominance. The crew’s earlier most slender lead was when it completed three factors above Roma in 2014-15.
However, Juventus was seven factors clear when it really clinched the title final season, though it was helped by the truth that Lazio’s hunch after Serie A restarted following the coronavirus pandemic-enforced shutdown was even worse than Juve’s.
Here are some issues to look out for within the upcoming Serie A season, which begins this weekend:
Not solely is the 41-year-old Pirlo the brand new Juventus coach, he’s a new coach altogether.
Pirlo was handed his first teaching job final month when he was put accountable for Juventus’ under-23 crew, which performs in Serie C. But he had not led a recreation earlier than he was promoted to switch Sarri.
The former midfield nice solely accomplished his closing exams and obtained his teaching license on Monday.
Speaking at his first information convention as coach, Pirlo mentioned he needs his gamers to have the identical spirit and want because the Juventus crew he performed in underneath Antonio Conte. And it’s Conte who’s more likely to be his fundamental rival.
In his first yr in cost, Conte guided Inter to a second-place end within the league. That was the closest it has come to successful the trophy because it gained the title in 2010 — together with the Champions League and the Italian Cup.
Inter additionally reached the Europa League closing final season, dropping to Sevilla 3-2.
Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez have fashioned a formidable partnership — dubbed “LuLa” by Italian media — and it’s their targets and Conte’s knowhow that makes Inter the largest menace to a Juve 10-peat.
Besides Inter, Atalanta and Lazio had been inside 5 factors of the Serie A champions final season.
All 4 groups had a mathematical probability of successful the title with three rounds remaining — even when the vacation spot of the trophy was by no means actually unsure.
Lazio, which completed fourth, arguably would have pushed Juventus even tougher had it not been for the coronavirus pandemic. The crew trailed Juventus by just one level earlier than Serie A was halted due to the virus outbreak. Lazio was driving a membership report 21-match unbeaten run earlier than the shutdown, however misplaced six of the following 12 matches.
Atalanta had the alternative drawback. The crew had an unremarkable first half of the season however gained nearly all its matches after the restart and reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Milan was the opposite surging crew after Serie A resumed, successful 9 of its 12 matches and drawing the opposite three to maneuver as much as sixth place.
The membership’s upturn began when Zlatan Ibrahimović joined in January. The 38-year-old Swede is now trying to assist the Rossoneri as soon as once more problem for the title.
Napoli might additionally enter the fray following its resurgence after Gennaro Gattuso changed the fired Carlo Ancelotti in December.
Cristiano Ronaldo will flip 36 throughout the upcoming season, if that issues.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner matched a report by scoring in 11 straight league matches for Juventus earlier than the pandemic and rapidly regained his type throughout the restart by reaching the 30-goal mark after solely 30 video games in his second season in Italy.
Ronaldo completed the season with 31 targets, 10 greater than in his debut season in Serie A, and 5 behind the league’s main scorer, Lazio ahead Ciro Immobile.
Despite his age, Ronaldo began all however 5 of Juve’s 38 Serie A matches final season.
The Italian soccer federation is hopeful that followers can be allowed again into stadiums by mid-October.
Italian soccer matches have been closed to followers for the reason that nation was ordered into a strict lockdown in March. After a three-month break, final season’s Serie A led to August with all video games performed in empty stadiums.
The FIGC has reportedly ready a doc for the federal government to guage. Measures embody obliging followers to put on clear masks, to be recognizable by the police, and social distancing of at the very least 2.25 meters (7 toes) between each occupied seat.
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