October 2016.

Who’s a good outside bet for Serie A this year?

FootballEuropean FootballItaly
1 answer

Maybe Napoli, like last season. Having sold their top goal scorer, Higuain to Juventus, however, they might struggle even if, so far, the Polish striker, Arkadiusz Milik has done a good job for them in attack. They have a very strong squad, but without Higuain's 36 goals it looks a long shot for them. All they can hope is that Juventus go the distance in an exhausting Champions League campaign and fatigue makes itself felt in Serie A. That did not happen last season because Juve were out of the Champions League by mid March, eliminated by Bayern. Despite that, Napoli kept the pressure on Juventus until the beginning of April, until they lost 3-1 away to Udinese.

There’s not much else outside of Napoli. The two Milan sides are both in a stage of reconstruction having recently changed ownership, even if both have shown important signs of revival in these opening weeks. For example, Inter, now coached by Dutchman Frank De Boer, recently beat Juventus 2-1 at the San Siro.

Roma were the third strongest side in Italy last season but there are question marks, especially about their defence. Having picked up an excellent 1-1 away draw in their Champions League qualifier against Porto they disappointed in the second leg in Rome, conceding a soft and early goal, getting players sent off and losing 3-0 in the end. On that evidence, they hardly look like title contenders.