An exciting three-way battle for the Scudetto has broken out in Serie A. AC Milan and SSC Napoli and dares to make a championship prediction.
While FC Bayern is on the verge of its tenth German championship in a row in the Bundesliga, an exciting three-way battle for the Scudetto has broken out in Serie A with five matchdays to go.
One of the reasons for this is that the fat years of Italian serial champions Juventus Turin are over. After nine titles in a row, Inter Milan broke through the Old Lady’s phalanx as early as 2021.
In the 2021/22 season, Juve will also have nothing to do with the outcome of the championship and can only watch as the Nerazzurri, AC Milan and SSC Napoli decide the Scudetto among themselves.
On the 34th of 38 matchdays, only four points separate the three top clubs. The Tifosi are upside down, because neither Inter, nor Milan, nor Napoli have been able to profit from the slips of the others or to clearly distance themselves.
AC Milan / 33 games / 58:29 goals / +29 difference / 71 points
Stefano Pioli’s side are dreaming of their first championship since 2011 and are unbeaten in eleven Serie A games. The Rossoneri’s last defeat came on matchday 22 against Spezia Calcio, 2-1 at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium.
In the last six games, the current league leaders even went six games without conceding a goal thanks to the strong goalkeeper Mike Maignan. Nevertheless, only one 2:0 and three 1:0 victories with two goalless draws were achieved. More would have been possible against Bologna and Torino.
However, Milan clearly lacks a top scorer à la Ciro Immobile (25 goals for Lazio) or Dusan Vlahović (23 goals for Juve/Florence), who can decide a match single-handedly. The old hands Zlatan Ibrahimović and Oliver Giroud only score eight goals each and Rafael Leão nine. And from midfield, only Franck Kessié (5) still provides a scoring threat.
Milan are also struggling with injuries this season – especially on the offensive side: Giroud, Ibra, Rafael Leão, Ante Rebić, Samu Castillejo and Junior Messias have all missed over 50 games.
In addition, Coach Pioli will have to do without his regular centre-back duo Alessio Romagnoli and Simon Kjaer due to injury. The Italian media also complain that the Rossoneri lack a real leader. Sandro Tonali, at 21, is not yet up to the task, even if he is a huge talent.
24 April at Lazio Roma
01 May against AC Florence
08 May at Hellas Verona
15 May against Atalanta Bergamo
22 May at US Sassuolo
Inter Milan / 32 games / 68:25 goals / +43 difference / 69 points
The defending champions have coped with the departure of top scorer Romelu Lukaku (24 league goals) and master coach Antonio Conte without any major problems. New coach Simone Inzaghi benefited from the fact that his team is very familiar with the 3-5-2 system and was only strengthened selectively.
New signing Edin Dzeko (13 goals) stepped into the breach for the Belgian striker and complements Lautaro Martínez (15) in attack, who is even stronger than in the previous season. Joaquín Correa (4) and Alexis Sánchez (4) provide breathers and also know where the goal is.
The showpiece of the Nerazzurri, however, is the five-man midfield: Ivan Perisić (5 goals/5 assists) on the left wing and new discovery Dunzel Dumfries (4/5) on the right wing are making steam and running up and down the line. Marcelo Brozović, Nicolò Barella (3/10) and newcomer Hakan Calhanoglu (7/9) form the control centre.
It doesn’t even matter that winter loan player Robins Gosens only played 113 minutes after his serious injury. At the back, Italy’s best defence – only 25 goals conceded – hardly leaves anything to be desired. Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni and Stefan de Vrij understand each other blindly and are difficult to overcome.
Moreover, Inter have so far been spared any major injury worries, the only downer being that de Vrij’s use in the season finale is questionable as he is not 100 per cent fit. But with Andrea Ranocchia (34 years old), Aleksandar Kolarov (36) and Danilo D’Ambrosio (33), there is a wealth of experience available as replacements.
In addition, Milan are unbeaten in seven games (four wins, three draws) and still have a game in hand. With a win, Inter would be back on top.