When you look at Europe’s top football leagues, it’s very rare to find a team that’s continually crowned as champions year after year.
Sure, a team may achieve back-to-back titles, even three or four in some cases, yet over in Italy, Juventus are currently gunning for their ninth consecutive Serie A title this season – an incredible feat and testament to their sheer domestic dominance over the past decade.
But the scary thing is that, rather than resting on their laurels, Juventus come into this season off the back of an incredibly productive transfer window. That includes two marquee midfield signings – Aaron Ramsay from Arsenal and Adrien Rabiot from Paris Saint Germain – both of whom were secured on a free transfer. Not only that, new boss Maurizio Sarri also managed to land the services of defensive wonderkid Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax, following stiff competition from every other giant in European football.
And with iconic talisman Cristiano Ronaldo at the helm, it’s hard to see a way past for any of the Old Lady’s nearest rivals. That said, football is a funny old game and we wouldn’t put it past any of the following teams to take this year’s title all the way down to the wire. Let’s take a look at the most likely contenders.
Internazionale have got off to their best start in recent memory this year, with six wins from six games and already racking up an impressive goal difference. Antonio Conte’s side looked particularly impressive in the recent derby win over local rivals AC Milan, running out 2-0 winners in their ‘away’ leg at the San Siro.
Having lost the attacking threat of Mauro Icardi to Paris Saint Germain in the summer, the addition of star forward Romelu Lukaku is proving to be an astute move. It’s clear that Conte wants to utilise the Belgian’s intelligent movement and finishing ability as much as possible over the course of the season. If their squad can stay healthy then Inter are likely to provide a challenge into the latter stages of the season at the very least.
Napoli have been Juventus’ nearest rivals over the past few seasons, with many pundits even expecting them to finally go one step further and win the title last year. Unfortunately, the wheels came off their campaign towards the end of the title race, leaving Juventus to saunter home to yet another Serie A title.
That experience should count for something though, and with the likes of Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly and Arkadiusz Milik still in their ranks you’d have to say they have enough talent throughout the squad to still be considered serious contenders. However, they were unable to defeat the champions in an early season encounter as their stirring three goal comeback ended up being for naught when they conceded a last-minute goal to lose 4-3. They are currently third favourites at 6/1 to win the league in the football betting markets at bet365.
Many people might balk at the suggestion that Atalanta could finally break their Serie A title duck by taking home the trophy this year. But while it does seem unlikely, you have to admit that Gian Piero Gasperini has been working wonders in Bergamo over the past few years.
Following an impressive third-placed finish last season, Gasperini’s side are once again sitting right there in third place this time around after six games. Their recent 2-0 victory away at AS Roma is enough indication that Atalanta can produce the goods against the league’s top sides even if they have been disappointing in their maiden Champions League camapign so far. It will be interesting to see how they do against Juventus on 23 November, that’s for sure.
All things considered, it would be a shock if any of these three teams manage to achieve the unexpected and finally steal the Serie A crown away from Juventus. Even so, all good reigns must come to an end eventually…