Serie A – Prolific Duos – Unveiling Most Formidable Partnerships

It’s been a while since Serie A escaped from the shackles of the ‘chess game’ approach and boredom to become one of Europe’s most prolific leagues. Its reputation as a tactical and uneventful football scene still precedes it among ignorants, who still see it as a graveyard for entertainment. 

However, Serie A enthusiasts know better.

Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri perhaps stands alone as the last bastion of the old-school teaching. His unique ability to win matches with a minimal attacking effort is off the charts. However, recent Serie A history has taught us only the most prolific sides get to climb to the podium.

Inter could be that team this season. Simone Inzaghi’s men lead the way with 49 goals following a scintillating 5-1 romping of Monza on Saturday. Despite languishing 12 points behind their city rivals with a game in hand, third-placed Milan are the division’s second-best attack with 35 goals, six more than runners-up Juventus.

Defending champions Napoli and top-four hopefuls Roma are the only remaining Serie A sides to have hit a 30-goal landmark at the halfway point of 2023/24. Interestingly, if you consider Juventus’ 29-goal tally narrowly trumps Sassuolo’s haul of 26, it’s unfathomable how the latter sits only four points clear of the drop zone.

But that’s Serie A, the home of elite marksmen, top-notch wingers, and standout attacking talents. In this article, we’ll look at its most formidable offensive partnerships.

Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala – Roma (13 goals & 7 assists) 

Many considered Roma’s acquisition of Romelu Lukaku as a faltering club’s last-ditch attempt to show signs of life. But after back-to-back six-place finishes, Jose Mourinho’s men are firmly in the running for a sought-after Champions League qualification, largely thanks to Lukaku.

Back in Serie A after two separate stints at Inter, the Belgian striker has soaked up the limelight as Roma’s headline performer. With eight goals and one assist, Lukaku is the club’s most prolific player, ahead of former Juventus talisman Paulo Dybala. 

However, despite several injury setbacks, the Argentine has racked up five goals and six assists in Serie A. The star duo has formed the backbone of Mourinho’s bid to steer Roma to their first top-four finish since 2017/18. 

Victor Osimhen & Matteo Politano – Napoli (13 goals & 5 assists)

Napoli’s Scudetto-defending campaign is on the brink of being remembered as one of the worst in Serie A history. Last season’s Capocannoniere-award winner Victor Osimhen has experienced a significant downturn in form. But with seven league goals, he tops the club’s scoring charts.

Osimhen’s wingman from the title-winning season, Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, has plunged beyond recognition. In the fog of uncertainty and disappointment, a new hero has emerged. Matteo Politano has taken the Georgian’s place in Walter Mazzarri’s set-up, establishing himself as Osimhen’s most reliable partner.

Politano has tallied six goals and three assists this season, betting Kvaratskhelia’s overall goal contribution by a goal. 

Olivier Giroud and Christian Pulisic – Milan (15 goals & 10 assists)

Olivier Giroud’s illustrious playing career is fast approaching its end, yet the robust striker ages like a fine wine. The 37-year-old has rolled back the years in 2023/24, mustering nine goals and five assists to keep Milan’s faint Serie A title hopes alive almost single-handedly. 

While the Capocannoniere runner-up deserves all the praise he gets from the Rossoneri faithful, his new clubmate, Christian Pulisic, has been almost equally significant to Stefano Pioli’s cause. The USMNT forward has enjoyed a sterling start to life in Serie A.

Pulisic’s haul of six goals and five assists has left 2021/22 MVP award winner Rafael Leao in the backwaters. 

Andrea Pinamonti and Domenico Berardi – Sassuolo (16 goals & 3 assists)

Sassuolo manager Alessio Dionisi is fighting tooth and nail to avoid dismissal. But while Neroverdi’s Serie A life remains in jeopardy, their attacking duo knows no restrictions. Andrea Pinamonti and Domenico Berardi are the leading characters in one of the most exciting stories of the campaign. 

Only last season, Pinamonti was on the verge of being labeled as a ‘fraud’ before turning his fortunes around in the most incredible fashion. The ex-Inter striker has bagged seven Serie A goals this season, leading Sassuolo’s frontline with authority and an intimidating presence inside the box.

His ‘partner in crime,’ Domenico Berardi, remains the principal source of goals. With nine, he’s at the top of the club’s scoring leaderboard despite missing numerous matches due to recurring injury problems.

Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram – Inter (26 goals & 9 assists)

If Inter maintain a rich tradition of winning the Serie A title in four of the last five seasons when being crowned ‘winter champions,’ Lautaro Martinez and Marcus Thuram will be the poster boys. To put this blockbuster partnership in context, only six sides have bettered their combined 26-goal tally in the first 20 rounds. 

Martinez is the runaway Golden Boot leader with 18 goals as he continues to rain down terror in Serie A. If the Argentine can stay away from injuries and maintain his insane ratio of one goal per game, the joint-record for the most goals in a single campaign held by Gonzalo Higuain and Ciro Immobile will be within reach. 

Though Inzaghi’s designated penalty-taker, Hakan Calhanoglu, sits above Thuram in the club’s scoring charts with nine, the Frenchman remains paramount in the Italian’s set-up. Eight goals and seven assists perhaps best illustrate his immediate impact in Serie A.

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