Serie A’s title race has been a rather foregone conclusion for much of the past decade with Juventus having dominated domestically, winning each of the past nine league titles during an unprecedented period of success in Turin.
However, after finishing just a single point clear of runners-up Inter Milan last season, the Bianconeri’s status as Italian champions is once more under threat and after an indifferent start to the campaign the champions sit third.
Just nine points currently separate the top five in what promises to be the most exciting and tightly-fought race for the Scudetto in some time.
So for those of you who like to keep up to date with the best online casino offers on sites like www.nongamstopsites.co.uk, we’ve decided to look at how the bookmakers assess each of the contender’s chances,
Here are the five favourites to become Serie A champions this season:
Napoli – 35/1
Not since the late Diego Maradona was amongst their ranks have Napoli been crowned as champions of Italian football, the Argentine icon having been the inspiration behind the club’s only two successes in the late eighties and early nineties.
Napoli have, however, been Juventus’ main challengers for much of their period of dominance, including finishing as runners-up in four of the past eight Serie A campaigns.
The Neapolitan outfit have bounced back from a disappointing domestic campaign last term that provided turmoil both on and off the pitch, though Gennaro Gattuso’s side have a significant gap to bridge to the league leaders with Napoli 12 points adrift with a game in hand.
Napoli possess multiple avenues to goal with both Hirving Lozano and Lorenzo Insigne enjoying impressive campaigns, whilst the club possess the division’s second best defence with the formidable Kalidou Koulibaly at centre-back.
Gattuso’s side are regarded as outsiders at 35/1 ahead of what will prove a defining period in their season, facing Atalanta in the semi-final second leg of the Coppa Italia tomorrow before league clashes with Juventus and Atalanta – alongside a Europa League double-header with Granada – before the end of the month.
Roma – 30/1
Roma are regarded as 30/1 odds to win a first league title in two decades this season, with the capital club currently fourth and nine points adrift of the league leaders.
Paulo Fonseca has overseen steady improvement at the Stadio Olimpico, Roma rising into the Champions League places courtesy of a run of six wins in seven fixtures over the festive period.
Roma’s charge has been led by the performances of Henrikh Mkhitaryan who has enjoyed an impressive renaissance following a frustrating spell in the Premier League, scoring nine league goals and leading the division for assists alongside AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu.
The chances of Fonseca’s side have been hindered by an inability to take points in the biggest games, however, including a 2-0 defeat to Juventus in their last league fixture.
Roma have failed to win in any of their fixtures against teams in the top seven at present, with four of their five defeats coming against sides in and around them at the summit.
AC Milan – 13/5
AC Milan are the current league leaders but rank just third amongst the favourites to win Serie A this season, the Rossoneri having enjoyed a fine resurgence following a decade spent largely in the doldrums.
Milan have failed to finish higher than fifth in any of the past seven campaigns, whilst the seven-time European champions have been absent from the Champions League since the 2013/14 season.
Stefano Pioli deserves huge credit for their turnaround which has been spearheaded this season by Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the forward having scored an incredible 14 goals in just 11 league appearances despite his 40th birthday approaching later this year.
Ibrahimovic moved past 500 career club goals with a double against Crotone last weekend and has been credited with bringing a winning mentality to the side since returning to the San Siro from MLS, Milan in contention to win a first Scudetto since the Swedish forward inspired them to their last triumph in 2011.
Hakan Calhanoglu also deserves huge credit with the Turkey international leading Serie A for assists, key passes and shot-creating actions, whilst Theo Hernandez has emerged as one of the best full-backs in Italy after failing to make an impression at Real Madrid.
Milan have defied the odds so far and have been top of the division since their fourth fixture of the campaign, though do not possess the squad depth of their title rivals and Ibrahimovic’s inability to play on a weekly basis could prove costly.
Juventus – 23/10
The reigning champions are ranked as second favourites to win a tenth title in succession, having recovered from an indifferent start to move within seven points of league leaders Milan with a game in hand.
Juventus are currently undergoing a transitional phase having replaced Maurizio Sarri with Andrea Pirlo during the summer, the former midfielder taking charge of Italy’s most successful side in his first managerial position.
The results have been mixed with the Bianconeri yet to find a definitive style under Pirlo, though the quality throughout the Juventus squad ensures they remain in the hunt for what would be a historic 10th consecutive league title.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s continued brilliance – scoring 16 goals in 16 league appearances – has kept the champions within touching distance of the top, though more will be expected of Paulo Dybala over the second half of the season.
The Argentina international was named as Serie A’s Most Valuable Player last season but has scored just two league goals from eight starts with the forward currently sidelined through injury.
Juventus face a difficult trip to Napoli next and can ill-afford more slip-ups as they bid to close the gap.
Inter Milan – 11/10
Inter Milan are the favourites to win a first league title since 2010 this season, last season’s runners-up having continued their progress under Antonio Conte during the 2020/21 season.
Conte’s presence in charge could yet prove the difference with the Italian arguably the best manager in the division, having previously guided Juventus to three league titles in addition to winning the Premier League at Chelsea.
Inter’s squad is packed with talent and in Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez they boast the division’s most fearsome forward line, the duo having scored a combined 24 league goals this season to fire the Nerazzurri’s title charge.
Summer signing Achraf Hakimi has excelled at wing-back following his arrival from Real Madrid, whilst Nicolo Barella has starred in midfield with Conte’s side well-equipped to sustain their pursuit of the Scudetto.
After the disappointment of crashing out of the Champions League this could be the season that silverware returns to the San Siro, the near-misses of 2019/20 replaced by a side hungrier than ever to secure success.
Inter face Lazio and AC Milan in their next two fixtures, that latter clash shaping as a defining contest in this season’s Serie A title race.