The 2020/21 Italian Serie A season kicks off on 19th September with a very mouth-watering of fixtures. Many Calcio fans are very ecstatic about the coming season, they hope to watch more flamboyant displays from all the 20 sides who will be taking part.
Brescia, Lecce, and SPAL were relegated to Serie B. Their Serie A slots will be taken up by Benevento, Crotone, and Spezia. Spezia will be playing in the Serie A for the first time in their history and hence become the 66th different team to take part in Italy’s elite football division.
Emphasis will be on the promoted sides whether they will emulate Hellas or Brescia from last season’s promoted sides.
9 times consecutive holders Juventus will be looking at making it a decade of Supremacy of Dominance under the stewardship of Andrea Pirlo, their fourth Head Coach in the time. Winning what was arguably their tightest Serie A challenge did not secure former gaffer Maurizio Sarri’s job at the helm.
The Old Lady of Turin might have a change of guards but their primary motive remains the same: to win and to win with overwhelming dominance.
Andrea Pirlo’s first challenge at the Allianz Stadium is to trim his squad, a process so far taking shape in Turin. The club has released some players and also notified more that they are surplus to the gaffer’s requirements.
As the process of squad trimming goes on, Pirlo and technical staff must be very careful not to release some squad players who most times deliver when it matters most.
The highest odds are on Internazionale to crash on Juve’s party. Among Juve’s possible competitors for the Scudetto, it is only the Nerazzurri of Milano strengthening in key positions to match the quality and depth of the Old Lady.
They have so far brought in Hakimi from Real Madrid, experienced left-back and dead-ball specialist Aleksandar Kolarov from Roma and by the time you read this article, they might have officially acquired Chilean central midfielder Arturo Vidal from Barcelona.
At the end of the 2019/20 season, there were a lot of speculations about the future of Inter’s Head Coach Antonio Conte but the owners assured the Italian that he still in charge hence giving him another shot at dethroning the Bianconeri.
The Calcio Returns for the 2020/21 Italian Serie A Season with Mouth Watering Fixtures
On the Bergamo side of the Lombardy region, Atalanta is expected to try and also challenge for the Scudetto as long as they do not start at a slow pace just like last season. Their main standing blocks against a better season than the previous one is their low budget hence a thin squad in which also many European giants and financially able clubs are looking to recruit their next big stars.
Currently, the scramble and partition for Atalanta hasn’t been as successful as many thought earlier. Only Right Back Timothy Castagne has left for Leceister City, other players have not had successful bids to lure them away from Gewiss Stadium or they have declined to end their Atalanta adventure.
Atalanta has tried to strengthen with a few new signing, capturing successful loanees like Mario Pasalic permanently and returnees from loan like highly-rated U23 Azzuri International Matteo Pessina who was highly flying last season at Hellas Verona.
The Bergamese should either continue their 2020 run of good form or else we are in for an entertaining race for the top four Champions League positions. Talking about the race for Europe’s elite club competitions will be a tight and an entertaining one.
Apart from the 3 clubs mentioned in this article, competition is also expected from the quadruple of Milan, Napoli, Lazio, and Roma. Although Roma might be doing more transfers out than in, you can not rule them out easily until maybe when their talisman Edin Dzeko has been lured away from the capital.
Their fellow side from the capital Lazio will also be out to consolidate their position among Calcio’s elites. Lazio also operates on a very small budget and their major transfer scoops from the past summer have been keeping their gaffer Simone Inzaghi and their underrated star players.
Lazio has so far kept the core of their squad intact in this ongoing market and so they will give many clubs including the big dogs a run for their money. With their thin squad, they may be affected by the big number of games they have to play.
2020’s most rejuvenated side, Milan will also be out to compete. Milan had come close to a Champions League finish in 2018/19 but was outcompeted by Inter. With the Rossoneri’s post Lockdown form, many think they are now up to compete for big things starting with a return to Elite European nights.
Milan has managed to keep the core of their squad including the manager and as you read this they are negotiating Gigio Donnarumma’s contract renewal to keep him at the San Siro longer than 2021 when his contract expires.
Onto their squad, they have added young prodigies Sandro Tonali, a player who looks like he was naturally built for Milan, Brahim Diaz on loan from Real Madrid and also still in the market for more players.
The Coppa Italia champions Napoli also been very active in the transfer market. They have signed highly-rated Nigerian Centre Forward Victor Osimhen, Andrea Petagna returns from his loan spell at SPAL and is still active in the market looking for a Centre Back as they might look to cash in on Kalidou Koulibaly as they have done on a number of their old guard. But with their tactician being Gennaro Gattuso, they might not have enough firepower to go all the way from Matchday one to matchday 38.
For any entertaining football league in the world, there is a unique cluster of mid-table teams that play a mouth-watering style of offensive football. In Calcio, this was done by Hellas Verona, Sassuolo, Parma, and partially Cagliari in the 19/20 season.
Parma might have lost their star winger Dejan Kulusevski to Juventus but a step up from now permanently signed 22-year-old Ivorian winger Yann Karamoh will certainly give them momentum to continue their exciting displays.
Parma also needs to improve on their defence if they are to become a force to reckon with this season. They lost the most from winning positions than any other side in the top half the 19/20 Log.
Roberto De Zerbi’s Sassuolo is another mid-table side poised to challenge for greater things this season. An elevation to any sort of European football will be a great reward to the Neroverdi for their captivating displays ever since they were promoted to the top tier of Italian football.
In Verona, the Gialloblu will have a huge task of keeping up with the newly found form and fame in their 19/20 Promotion season at a time when many of the on-loan players have returned to their parent clubs.
On an individual basis, many players are expected to shine and propel their clubs to greater heights in this season’s Serie A. When one talks about the individual basis of players, Juve number 7 is most certainly the immediate one on people’s heads.
Cristiano will have another shot at winning the Capocannoniere (Calcio Top scorer’s Prize) but he will face stiff competition from Inter’s Lukaku, current holder Ciro Immobile and a fully fit Duvan Zapata will surely torment defences the fact that he plays for not only a high scoring Atalanta but also a high chances creating side.
For Calcio’s playmakers, deployed in the right position on the pitch, 19/20 MVP Paulo Dybala will be very fundamental to Pirlo’s side in their quest for a decade of success. Fellow Argentine and top 19/20 assists provider Papu Gomez is also a player to watch in the coming season.
After turning down a lucrative offer to continue living the Bergamo fair tale, Gomez surely has more to provide to Atalanta and Calcio for the upcoming season and beyond.
Inter’s Cristian Eriksen will be playing his first full season in Calcio if he stays fully fit there is no doubt that he will showcase his worth. With the kind of quality available at Inter and a fully fit Stefano Sensi, Inter will surely create more chances than the last term.
Dutch Centre Back Matthijs De Ligt had a very sloppy start to life in Calcio in Serie A that even at a moment Maurizio Sarri had to drop him for a more consistent alternative. In his second season and under a new tactician, the highly-rated 20-year-old is expected to improve a lot and hence give Juve value for their money.
In Milano, Simon Kjær was a new year’s revelation in the heart of the Rossoneri defense. He attempted many successful vital defence displays which helped the team to avoid conceding but also most importantly he looked like captain Alessio Romagnoli’s long-sought defensive partner.
The Dane complimented the Italian so much in the many games they both played in a Centre Back pairing. Kjær also helped young Italian U20 International Matteo Gabbia to settle in properly during his Senior debut season.
All goalkeepers showed why they are the number ones at their respective clubs and therefore I will go through some because they were all outstanding in one way or another. But I hope like to highlight Inter’s Captain Samir Handanovic simply because if the Nerazzurri are to challenge the Bianconeri toe to toe for the title as expected, he has to be on top of his game every Matchday.
There is no room for slips in the 2020/21 #SerieATIM Season!
Author: Katende Basajjabaka
Katende writes about sports and occasionally technology.