Serie A Continues in Predictably Unpredictable Fashion 

For years, the winner of Serie A was a foregone conclusion. Much like Bayern Munich in Germany and Paris Saint-Germain in France, Juventus was expected to top the pile and do so comfortably.

They reigned supreme for nine consecutive seasons between 2012 and 2020 and firmly established a dynasty at the summit of Italian football. However, since they were knocked off their perch by a Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez-powered Inter in 2021, they have failed to regain their stranglehold. 

In each of the last three seasons, Serie A has had a different winner. As mentioned, the Nerazzurri claimed the Scudetto in 2021 before their cross-city rivals Milan won a first Italian title in a decade the following season.

Last year it was Napoli’s turn, with Victor Osimhen and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia inspiring them to a first title since the days of Diego Maradona some 33 years ago. 

Prior to the new season kicking off, popular soccer betting odds couldn’t separate the top contenders.

After winning both the Coppa Italia and the Italian Super Cup and reaching the UEFA Champions League final last season, Inter were made the 9/4 favorites for the crown. Reigning champions Napoli were closely behind them at 5/2, with perennial challengers Juventus priced at 7/2 and AC Milan at 5/1. 

As the closeness of those odds suggested, bookmakers didn’t really know what to expect ahead of the new campaign. All they could say was expected the unexpected… and they have been proven right. 

The Pacesetters

Milan had the longest odds of the big four and with good reason. Despite reaching the Champions League semi-finals last season for the first time since winning the tournament in 2007, they finished last season in shocking fashion. The club’s ultras even confronted their players following a shocking 2-0 defeat at home to lowly Spezia. 

Manager Stefano Piolo strengthened well in the summer, bringing in Christian Pulisic and Ruben Loftus-Cheek from Chelsea, as well as highly rated young stars Samuel Chukwueze and Tijjani Reijnders.

But following a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of their city rivals Inter on game week four, it looked as though the Rossoneri would fall even further out of contention. Pioli’s men though have bounced back, and they have risen to the Serie A summit. 

Since that humbling defeat back on September 16th, Milan have won four straight games, conceding just one goal in the process.

Their most recent victory was a 1-0 win away at Genoa, a match in which veteran striker Olivier Giroud had to play as a goalkeeper due to an injury from Mike Maignan. With challenging games against both Juventus and Napoli on the horizon, their mettle will be tested however, they are currently the 5/2 second favorites for the Scudetto. 

The Favourites 

Inter’s fortunes have vastly contrasted with that of their Milan city rivals. Since their massive victory in the Derby della Madonnina, they have faltered somewhat.

They suffered their first defeat of the season at home to Sassuolo a fortnight later following a second-half masterclass from Italy international winger Domenico Berardi. They then drew 2-2 at home to Bologna on October 7th, throwing away a two-goal lead in the process. 

The books still fancy their chances though, and the Nerazzurri remain the 2/1 favorites for the title this year, just as they were in the preseason. Just like Milan, they too have some challenging fixtures on the horizon in the form of Atalanta and Jose Mourinho’s Roma.

Should they come through those tests unharmed, you can imagine that their odds for yet another piece of silverware will shorten further. 

The Chasing Pack 

Despite turmoil both in the boardroom and on the pitch last season, Juventus finished the campaign in strong fashion, Max Allegri returned to the club for his second spell in charge and he proceeded to blood talented youngsters into the first team in the form of Fabio Miretti and Nicolò Fagioli.

They transformed the fortunes of the Bianconeri and had it not been for a 15-point deduction last term, they’d have finished as runners-up to Napoli. 

They have started this season in a consistent manner and are currently four behind the league-leading Rossoneri.

They have picked up an impressive home victory over Lazio already however, a recent injury to star striker Dusan Vlahovic may well derail their momentum. Juve will benefit from not featuring in European competition this season after being kicked out of the Europa Conference League, and that may well benefit them domestically. 

Reigning champions Napoli meanwhile are in disarray somewhat. They have managed to outrage star striker Victor Osimhen by uploading an insulting video on the club’s own social media channels and they are dropping results left right and center.

They have lost Fiorentina and Lazio already this season, as well as disappointing draws against Genoa and Bologna. They are already seven points adrift of Milan, and they will need to improve their form and fast if they are to mount a defense of the Scudetto.