Serie A overreactions: Juventus favorites for Scudetto win, Napoli won’t miss Insigne, Monza are overrated
It was a very interesting start of the season in Italy as Serie A returned to action and saw all the top teams win, but in very different ways. While Inter Milan won at the last second of the match against newly-promoted Lecce thanks to a goal scored by Denzel Dumfries, AC Milan won easily at home against Udinese, as did Juventus against Sassuolo on Monday night to close the week. Both Lazio and AS Roma won, and Napoli started off well against Hellas Verona. What can we make it out of the first Serie A weekend of the season? Let’s get to some overreactions.
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1. Juventus are Scudetto favorites
Massimiliano Allegri’s side started with a nice win against Sassuolo at home where the Bianconeri managed to score three goals and keep a clean sheet. Dusan Vlahović immediately scored a brace, and new signing Angel Di Maria scored his first Juventus goal as well, though he had to subbed off in the second half of the match. On Tuesday the club announced that Di Maria’s injury will be re-evaluated in ten days, and he’s expected to be unavailable until the beginning of September. Juventus were the most impressive side among the ones that are candidates to win the Scudetto. While both AC Milan and Inter Milan showed some defensive issues, Juventus were solid enough to keep the clean sheet in an interesting defensive performance. The team was actually outshot 19-14, but despite conceding 19 shots, Juventus held Sassuolo to only 0.94 xG while creating 1.99 xG of their own on 14 shots. Allegri’s team is in shape and will be the candidate number one to win the Scudetto this season.
2. Napoli find the new Lorenzo Insigne
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, one of the most difficult names to write down in soccer, is one of the names to watch out for this season. The new Georgian winger, who arrived in Napoli this summer to replace former captain Lorenzo Insigne who joined Toronto FC, already scored in his first official match against Hellas Verona. The 21 years-old attacker netted the first goal for Napoli, equalizing after Verona’s Kevin Lasagna scored the opening goal of the match. Kvaratskhelia is already an idol in Naples and the fans adore him for what he’s already showed on the pitch in the pre-season tour and in this first appearance. He has all the qualities to make saying goodbye to Insigne less difficult to accept for the fans and for Spalletti, who began relying on him from the very first day of training. Kvaratskhelia’s impact will be greater than the impact Insigne had in his first Napoli season back in 2012, when he scored five goals in 37 Serie A matches.
3. AC Monza are overrated
All the eyes where on Monza this weekend. The new promoted side played their first ever Serie A game under the eyes of Silvio Berlusconi, the owner of the club. Despite all the promises of a strong season after a great transfer window, AC Monza lost 2-1 against Torino and maybe we all have overestimated how well they will navigate their first Serie A season. The clear aim of the club is to finish in the top ten, but it won’t be that easy. Giovanni Stroppa, the coach of the club, already has a lot of pressure on his shoulders and it won’t be a surprise if he would be the first manager to be sacked this year.