For even the most devoted soccer fan, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with all the goings on in European football. For starters, you have the Premier League. The 2021/22 season so far has been gripping, as Chlesea, Manchester City and Liverpool all look capable of being champions. Over in Germany, and the top of the Bundesliga also looks tight, as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund are separated by just 1 point at the top. Then in Spain, there are 4 teams separated by just 4 points at the summit, with none of them Barcelona. Will Real Madrid push home their advantage? Will Atletico make it 2 titles in 2 seasons? Or will Real Socidead or Sevilla surprise us all?
Because of the excitement in these leagues, sometimes the Serie A in Italy gets unfairly forgotten about. This is because for many years it was not competitive in the slightest, as Juventus would win every season with no difficulty, as they were so much stronger and wealthier than everyone else. It made betting on Serie A fairly boring, as the odds were so predictable; if Juventus were involved, they would be odds on to win, no matter the opposition.
Thankfully for the fans and the neutral observers, the Serie A has now become more competitive, and thus more interesting to bet on. No longer do Juventus win every game. Now, fans and bettors spend more time looking for the best sportsbook deals to find odds on the Serie A, as every game will have interesting betting markets.
Let’s recap some of the big stories from the Serie A in recent weeks, take a look at the standings, and make predictions for the rest of the 2021/22 season.
Has the Old Lady had her day in the sun?
As mentioned, Juventus are not the force they once were. In fact, last season was a really poor one by their standards, as they only managed to finish in 4th place, behind Atalanta, AC Milan and the champions Inter Milan. Andrea Pirlo was fired at the end of the season, despite being a club legend, as he could do little to stop their slide down the table. In came Massimiliano Allegri, who won several league titles with Juve in his first stint at the club.
However, even Allegri doesn’t seem to have a solution to Juve’s problems. Despite a strong showing in the Champions League, where they currently top their group, they have been dreadful. After 13 games, they have only won 6 times, drawing 3 and losing 4. Some of these losses have come against much poorer sides, such as Verona, Sassuolo and Torino, in games that ordinarily would have had odds on them to win. Now, they are rarely the favourites in the betting, no matter who they play, as they have been performing so poorly all season.
Napoli and Milan tussling it out at the top
Looking up the Serie A table, we see 2 sides in joint first, Napoli and AC Milan. Napoli have been one of the stronger Italian sides of the last few years, without ever managing to secure a title (their last came in the late 1980s, when Diego Maradonna played for them). Napoli have arguably the best defenders in the Serie A. Recent results have been a bit poor, as they drew 1-1 with Verona (who were down to 10 men for the final few minutes) before losing 3-2 to Inter. They will need to find their form again quickly if they are going to stay top, with games against Lazio, Sassuolo and Atalanta coming up.
Milan, who are in 2nd due to goal difference, have also drawn and lost their last 2 games. The draw came against their fierce rivals Inter, while the defeat was suffered at the hands of Fiorentina. These overshadow their strong start to the season, which saw them beat Atalanta, Sampdoria and Lazio, as well as picking up a draw against Juventus. Their form in the Champions League has been very poor though, as they look set to finish bottom of their group. Could this help them, meaning they can focus on Serie A instead of being distracted by European commitments? Some online sportsbooks would tend to agree.
What of Inter?
Inter Milan won their first Serie A title in 11 years last season, but the summer break saw their manager Antonio Conte and their best player Romelu Lukaku both leave, which helps to explain why they are only in 3rd right now. Their 3-2 win over Napoli was a great result, as were wins against Udinese and Fiorentina. However, they have been let down with poor performances against Lazio where they lost 3-1, despite taking the lead early on.
If they can keep Napoli and Milan in their sights until after Christmas, the odds could be in their favour to catch these 2 sides, and retain their Serie A crown.