Even if the Serie A season is only three matches deep at the time of the September international break, that doesn’t mean it’s too early to start grading team performances. If nothing else, teams have had a chance to make a first impression for the 2023/24 campaign.
Obviously, the table has Inter and Milan at the top with Juventus and Lecce close behind. However, based on their transfer windows and their early-season performances, here is an initial power ranking of the top teams in Serie A coming out of the first international break.
While they’ve not been challenged by any of the top contenders in Serie A, Inter are living up to the preseason hype as the top team in Italy. The Black and Blues have scored eight goals in their first three matches and are yet to concede, and they’ve looked every bit as good.
Over the summer, Inter took some hits with Andre Onana, Robin Gosens, and Marcelo Brozovic leaving. But they’ve also created a deeper squad with Marcus Thuram, Juan Cuadrado, Alexis Sanchez, and Davy Klaassen all coming on free transfers while Benjamin Pavard joined the club as well. Thuram has made his presence felt while Lautaro Martinez has looked unstoppable. Based on first impressions, Inter are going to be tough to beat.
Inter’s biggest competition this season looks like it could come from within the same city. The Red and Blacks have also won their first three matches with wins over Bologna, Torino, and Roma being more impressive than Inter’s three wins.
Somehow Oliver Giroud is still a viable talisman at his age and appears to have escaped a series injury despite leaving France’s game against Ireland with an injury.
Despite losing some key players, Milan did a nice job of reinforcing the midfield with Ruben Loftus-Cheek and others. Also, Christian Pulisic has made an immediate impact, helping Milan match Inter’s eight goals in three games, making the Red and Blacks look like a viable title contender.
A disappointing loss to Lazio right before the international break caused Napoli to drop a few spots. But the Blues still deserve to be in the discussion for the top team in Serie A after running away with the title last season. That being said, it’s fair to question whether Napoli can get the same goal-scoring production that they got from their top strikers last season.
At first glance, the two Milan teams appear to have a little more firepower offensively. That puts a lot of pressure on Napoli’s defense to carry the team. After failing to keep a clean sheet in two of the club’s first three matches, Napoli have some work to do.
Those who bet on soccer are surely accustomed to putting wagers on Juventus to win Serie A. But the club’s decade of dominance ended after winning the 2020 title and they face an uphill battle to reclaim the top spot in Serie A this season.
Outside of bringing a few players back from loan, Juventus didn’t do much to improve the squad over the summer. That doesn’t bode well for their chances to improve upon last year’s seventh-place finish.
Granted, Juventus still has one of the best defenses in Serie A and a capable striker in Dusan Vlahovic, which should keep them within striking distance of the two Milan clubs. But Massimiliano Allegri’s team still has much to prove despite taking seven points from its first three matches.
Plenty of Time
Of course, these early-season power rankings aren’t written in stone. There are more than 30 matches left in the Serie A season. But based on first impressions, it’s possible the title race could become a two-horse race between Inter and Milan. Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of time for Napoli, Juventus, and others to change that.