Serie A 2022/23 Mid-Season Review: Three Major Takeaways

At the beginning of August, 20 topflight clubs within Italy embarked on the exhilarating and challenging journey towards the Serie A title. Within the opening 15 weeks of the campaign, a sequence of unexpected events unraveled, filled with an abundance of drama, passion, and total suspense. With the winter break putting a halt to the current campaign, here is mid-season review of the Serie A 2022/23 season, highlighting three major takeaways from the first half of the enticing title-race.

High-Flying Napoli Set the League Alight

Prior to the start of the season, it is safe to say that almost everyone doubted Napoli after having lost several of their star players throughout the transfer window. However, Spalletti has managed to go against all the odds within this year’s campaign.

The Tuscan tactician constructed a 4-3-3 system that got the best of the rising starlet Kvicha Kvaratskhelia, seeing him combine continuously with hit-man Victor Osimhen, enabled the three-midfield Piotr Zielinski, Stanislav Lobotka, and Frank Anguissa to flourish within the central park, and architected a solid  back-line led by star-stopper Kim.

The tremendous amount of depth within the Partenopei’s squad has allowed Spalletti’s side to be unpredictable and with the gaffer’s decision-making being spot-on, they have achieved an immense amount of success throughout the first half of the season. As it stands, they have maintained an unbeaten status of 13 wins and two draws within 15 matches, seeing themselves sit in comfortable eight-point difference at the summit of the league with a total of 41 points.

The Azzurri are currently the best offensive team within the league, scoring a total of  37 goals within their first fifteen outings. In addition, they have managed to take a total of 12 points against their direct rivals, the most any team has taken against the big six thus far, making them a unstoppable force within Italy.

Two Steps Backwards for Inzaghi

With many individuals labelling Inter as the favourites to take it all following the return of Romelu Lukaku and the bolster within the midfield, Inter’s first half of the campaign has been poor quite frankly.

At the start of the campaign, the Nerazzurri were extremely lack-luster as they were disjointed defensively and were distant from the cohesiveness and creativity within the final third from last season. Consequently, the Beneamata suffered severe wounds within their conquest, enduring four losses within the opening eight fixtures, equal to the exact amount of losses they had throughout the entirety of last season.

However, Inzaghi managed to get a reaction out his squad after their difficult patch of form, sealing for consecutive wins within the month of November. Argentine Lautaro Martinez was aggressive within the front-line, Nicoló Barella was in a ridiculous run of form in the midfield, Federico Dimarco was unplayable along the left-flank, and Milan Skriniar returned to his peak in central-defense.

Unfortunately for Inzaghi, his side’s success was quite short-lived as they were dismantled by Juventus in a 2-0 defeat at the Allianz, causing their title hopes to potentially evaporate into non-existence. With their surprising 3-2 victory at the Gewiss Stadium over Atalanta, Inter now sit in fifth with 30 points, level on terms with fourth-placed Lazio.

With Inter possessing a horrendous away record of four wins and four losses, as well as conceding 22 goals in 15 games-played, a drastic improvement is needed to see the Milanese club clinch their 20th Scudetto this season.

Juventus from Crisis to Title Contenders

Juventus’ start to the campaign has been total abysmal, Failing to secure a single win throughout the month of September and dropping points against minnows such as Monza, Salernitana, and Fiorentina. Consequently, the dressing room was a complete disaster and it seemed that Allegri lost the trust of his fellow players.

After suffering an exasperating 2-0 defeat to Milan at the San Siro, it seemed that Juventus were hopeless and that Allegri was stuck in such a deep abyss. However, even with his back completely against the wall, the Tuscan tactician managed to turn the tables around.

Allegri altered his tactical set-up to a 3-5-2 formation, hoping to see an improvement. Consequently, the boss of the Old Lay is currently reaping the rewards of his decision. Since the defeat to the Rossoneri, Juventus have managed to sustain a six-game winning streak, sealing all three points against bitter rivals Torino, Inter, and Lazio. Wing-back Filip Kostic has found his stride, promising midfield duo Nicoló Fagioli and Fabio Miretti have prospered exceptionally, and Moise Kean has revived his career up-top.

Currently, Juventus have climbed within the top-four, sitting in third with a total of 31 points, only conceding a total of seven goals in 15 games, which ranks themselves as the best defensive team within the league. As they go into the new year only ten points adrift from the league leaders and with star players Angel Di Maria, Federico Chiesa, Leandro Paredes, and Paul Pogba set to be fully recovered from their injuries, Allegri’s side are very much within the race for the league title.