Last season, the Serie A title race went down to the final day. In the end, AC Milan won their 19th title ahead of their city rivals Inter Milan. And after six matches, it looks like the title race may be more intense than last season. After six games, the top five teams are separated by one point. The top two teams have accumulated the same number of points, have the same win record and are only separated by goal difference. Then there’s Juventus and Inter Milan, who are currently sixth and eighth but have the talent and personnel to win the league title.
The title race will also be decided to some extent by the transfer window. This does include not only big signings such as Paulo Dybala (signed by AS Roma), and Romelu Lukaku (signed by Inter Milan) but also some signings such as Rasmus Hojlund (signed by Atalanta) and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (signed by Napoli).
Furthermore, none of the sides have been perfect and have delivered underwhelming performances. This will also give chances to teams such as Juventus, who have fallen behind in the title race.
So, how do the top teams rank in what promises to be one of the closest Serie A title race?
|Serie A upcoming top matches schedule|
|Match||Date||Last match result|
|AC Milan vs Juventus||October 8||0-0 draw|
|Lazio vs Udinese||October 16||1-1 draw|
|Atalanta vs Lazio||October 23||0-0 draw|
|AS Roma vs Napoli||October 24||1-1 draw|
The 2022-23 Serie A title race
To say that the last season was underwhelming for Atalanta would be an understatement. Gian Piero Gasperini’s men finished eight last season, 11 points adrift the Champions League places. They also lost star defender Christian Romero (signed by Tottenham), and Remo Freuler (signed by Nottingham Forest). However, Atalanta were armed with cash which they spent smartly.
The team brought Merih Demiral as a replacement for Romero. In addition, they signed winger Jeremie Boga and midfielder Ederson. They also added two young talented players in Ademola Lookman and Hojlund. And this has worked wonders for them.
While Atalanta have scored ten goals, the fifth-most in the league, the defence has been impressive. The team has conceded the least goals in the league. In addition, they have won the most aerial duels and are third in interceptions.
Demiral has established himself in the defence. However, the star of the team has been Teun Koopmeiners. The all-action midfielder has already scored four goals, including a hat trick against Torino. However, Atalanta are by no means a one-man show. There are five player in the squad with one goal each.
Teun Koopmeiners has already equalled his goal contributions of last season for @Atalanta_BC in just 𝐬𝐢𝐱 games this term: 4G/1A 🔥 pic.twitter.com/wkIDUhC1nJ
— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) September 11, 2022
We already predicted last season that Teun Koopmeiners will be a star
What the team has in its favour is that they are a collective force that don’t rely on an individual. This will make them more immune to external factors such as injuries, loss of form and suspension.
Key Players: Luis Muriel, Teun Koopmeiners, Merih Demiral, Rafael Toloi
Last year’s champions AC Milan have started the season with two wins and two draws. The Rossoneri have since won the Milan derby and defeated Sampdoria to climb to the third spot. However, the team could be without talismanic striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic for months. In addition, they lost right-back Alessandro Florenzi to a hamstring injury. The latest reports state he could be out for eight weeks.
However, the signing of Charles De Ketelaere, Sergino Dest and Divock Origi will soften the blow. Oliver Giroud has also added three goals till now. While AC Milan have been impressive in attack, the defence has been a cause of concern. The team has looked uncharacteristically frail while defending eery attack.
Their attack has more than made up for the losses. AC Milan have completed the most successful dribbles and are currently fifth in Field Tilt and Passes Per Defensive Actions (PPDA).
Rafael Leão is a 6'2 version of Sadio Mané. He hangs wide off the left, lulls his man to sleep before blitzing past them on the inside and outside with ease. The speed in which he operates is frightening and his deceptive dribbling skills are out of this world.
*CRAZY* talent. pic.twitter.com/wGs65jrANl
— EBL (@EBL2017) September 11, 2022
However, the team are without Rafael Leao, who was sent off against Sampdoria. And this comes just before their trip to face league leaders Napoli. The team has talent in spades but will need others to step up if they want to defend their title.
Key Players: Rafael Leao, Oliver Giroud, Fikayo Tomori, Sandro Tonali, Charles De Ketelaere
After two tumultuous spells at Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, Mourinho has rediscovered his mojo in Rome. The Special One led AS Roma to a Conference League title. This was Roma’s first title in 14 years. And the club strengthened their squad in the summer with some smart moves.
The team only made one permanent paid transfer in the summer transfer window. However, they added Paulo Dybala, Andrea Belotti, and Nemanja Matic for free, which has made them a far superior side. Not paying a penny for Dybala and Belotti is nothing short of amazing.
Mourinho was so confident in his squad that he allowed the sale of Cengiz Under and Florenzi. After six matches, Roma are fifth, only a point adrift of the top three teams. The team has delivered brilliant performances such as the 1-1 draw against Juventus. However, there are still issues some of which were visible in their 4-0 thrashing by Udinese.
🗳 | @DigitalBitsOrg 𝗠𝗢𝗧𝗠 🐺
🏅 | 𝐏𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐨 𝐃𝐲𝐛𝐚𝐥𝐚
A great goal and a sublime assist: no wonder @PauDybala_JR walked away with the Man of the Match award from last night! 💎#ASRoma #EmpoliRoma pic.twitter.com/K2hwGQH3zu
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 13, 2022
The team has struggled in attack scoring only eight goals. This is even though the Expected Goals (xG) model predicted them to score 13.39 goals. Dybala, Belotti, and Tammy Abraham will have to step up if they want to improve these numbers.
Key Players: Paulo Dybala, Andrea Belotti , Tammy Abraham, Chris Smalling, Leonardo Spinazzola
Last season, the I Nerazzurri suffered heartbreak after failing to defend their title. However, the team have strengthened themselves over the summer. Like Roma, Inter also made just one permanent paid transfer. The team signed Joaquín Correa for €23 million. However, their best signing is undoubtedly Romelu Lukaku, who was instrumental in their title win in the 2020-21 season. The Belgian has joined on loan, while Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Andre Onana joined on free.
The team has won four matches but were exposed against Lazio and AC Milan. Simone Inzaghi’s men have been brilliant in attack, scoring 12 goals but have been let down by their defence. Inter have the seventh-worst defence in the league, which does not bode well for a team looking to be a part of the Serie A title race.
Data dari Opta bilang ada 10 assist dalam duet Lautaro Martinez dan Romelu Lukaku di Inter Milan, terhitung sejak musim 2019/20.
Duet Lu-La mesra lagi nih gaes. Keknya Lukaku emang ada masalah deh di klub lamanya 👀👀#SUPERLIVE #SUPERSOCCER #DARETOSCORE #IDARE pic.twitter.com/IBqIsTXwAZ
— SuperSoccer TV (@my_supersoccer) August 24, 2022
Their next match comes away against an in-form Udinese side. Lukaku, who has been sidelined with a thigh strain, is expected to return for this match. Going ahead, the team’s defence under the leadership of Milan Skriniar will need to perform much better. However, if Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez could revive their formidable partnership, they could easily score their way to a league title.
Key Players: Lautaro Martinez, Romelu Lukaku Milan Skriniar, Nicolò Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu
After coming out on top in every Serie A title race between 2011 and 2020, Juventus have tapered off. The Old Lady have finished fourth in the last two seasons. Massimiliano Allegri, who won five consecutive titles with the team, was reappointed the previous season. Now, he has the job of making them champions once again.
The team had also sold star players such as Matthijs de Ligt (signed by Bayern Munich), Arthur Melo (signed by Liverpool), and Dennis Zakaria (signed on loan by Chelsea). In addition, Giorgio Chiellini, Alvaro Morata, Aaron Ramsey, and Dybala also left the club. However, the club filled the void by adding Gleison Bremer (signed from Torino), Paul Pogba (signed on a free transfer), and Angel de Maria (signed on a free transfer).
Juventus really need to find a way of supporting Vlahovic and Tuchel did struggle with a lone striker (Lukaku) at Chelsea but I'm sure Dusan can score tons of goals for Tuchel. Dusan has incredible speed and power and can exploit the space behind defenses in behind as a result. pic.twitter.com/rdOzxxDifq
— Alex 🃏 (@AlexFulgoni) September 13, 2022
However, the team has failed to gel together. While the team has remain undefeated, they have drawn four out of their six matches. Their defence is the only reason they have not fallen further down the table. They have only scored nine goals, out of which four have come from Dusan Vlahovic.
The team has struggled significantly in the middle of the park. To make matters worse, Pogba is set to miss months due to an injury and may also miss the World Cup. However, the team has the talent to turn around their season.
Key Players: Dusan Vlahovic, Angel de Maria, Leonardo Bonucci, Gleison Bremer
Currently, Napoli is the most in-form team in Serie A. They also made their intentions clear in the Champions League by thrashing Liverpool 4-1. The star of the show was Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, who has been a revelation this season. Fans in Naples have already likened the Georgian to Diego Maradona.
Luciano Spalletti’s men have shown real class this season. Napoli have come very close to winning Serie A titles in recent years before faltering at the final hurdle. In fact, their last Serie A title came over three decades back.
In addition, the team lost talismanic defender Kalidou Koulibaly to Chelsea, while Fabian Ruiz went to Paris Saint Germain.
However, Min-Jae Kim, signed from Fenerbahce, has filled the void brilliantly. The Korean has won the fourth-most duels and has been ranked as the third-best defender in Serie A by Soccerment.
3 – Liverpool have conceded three goals in a single #UCL first half for the fourth time, whilst Napoli have scored 3+ goals in the first 45 minutes only for the second time in the competition (the first since 2019 against Genk). Perfection.#UCL #NAPLIV pic.twitter.com/az0CICY21E
— OptaPaolo 🏆 (@OptaPaolo) September 7, 2022
Furthermore, Piotr Zieliński has created 20 chances, the second-most in the league, with three assists. In defence, Amir Rrahmani has been an able partner to Min-Jae Kim. On the side, right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo has been solid.
Spalletti has a fully fit squad, except for Victor Osimhen, to choose from.
Key Players: Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Min-jae Kim, Victor Osimhen, Piotr Zielinski, Tanguy Ndombele
Apart from these six teams, others could be involved in the Serie A title race. Top of that are Lazio and Udinese. After six matches, Lazio are currently in seventh, one point above Juventus. But unfortunately, the team had lost their main goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha who went to Brentford. This was why their costliest summer transfer was Luís Maximiano, who was signed for € 10 million to replace the departed Albanian.
However, Lazio’s form has been too inconsistent. The team has failed to win consecutive matches and relies too much on Ciro Immobile for goals.
Meanwhile, Udinese have been the surprise package this season. After accumulating just one point from the opening two matches, Udinese have won four straight games. This is because the team has shown the perfect balance in attack and defence.
Udinese have scored 12 goals, the second-most in the league. And they have done so with a goal conversion rate of 16 per cent, the best in the league. The team has also completed the third-most dribbles in the league.
In defence, they have won the most tackles in the league. Udinese have also played it smart in the league. The club sold one of its best players, Destiny Udogie, to Tottenham. However, the team added a clause that allows them to keep him on loan. Roberto Pereyra has been the creative star with four assists to his name, the most in the league. Meanwhile, Gerard Deulofeu has been the most threatening player in the league, with an Expected Threat (xT) rating of 1.51.
However, it will be a massive ask for them to keep the level of performance at such a high level.