Serie A is finally back tonight as Torino host Parma in the Mid season opener after the three month long break.
With the French league being suspended and psg being crowned the champions, The resumption of the league marks the beginning of all the top leagues around the globe.
Before heading into the first game week after lockdown here is everything you need to know about the season so far.
The Title Race
Juventus have been the Serie A champions for the past eight seasons. Since the 2011-12 season and with the decline of both Milan teams, they’ve been winning pretty convincingly. Napoli is the only team who has come close to beating them when they lost out by 4 points in the 17-18 season.
This season has been a completely different one as both the quantity and quality of the competition have been on the rise. The season started off with Inter Milan and Juventus going head to head in the points table with Lazio and Atalanta right on the tail of the Italian champions. Juventus were able to pull off the league double on the Milan side and managed to push them away to create a bit of a breathing room on the top. It seemed as if Juventus will be able to secure the title just as easily as they have in the previous seasons but Lazio are proving to be a huge hurdle in the title race as they are just one point behind with 12 games to go.
Lazio won the coppa Italia last season and manager Simone Inzaghi has been able to build his team on the previous season’s success. Immobile is currently the top scorer in the season in the league with 27 league goals. Their pacy wingers Joaquin Correa and Luis Alberto have been in scintillating form. Attacking midfielder Milinkovic Savic has been sensational so far and has been providing the front three with great opportunities throughout.
Although Lazio’s remaining set of fixtures are a bit easier than the defending champions, The new 5 substitution rule will definitely help Juventus as their squad has more depth than any other side in the league.
The Coppa Italia final was played on the seventeenth and was a very exciting game for both teams.
Juventus did not create much on the attacking end as Koulibaly had an impressive outing, They only had one good chance that came early in the game when ronaldo found himself open in the box but couldn’t place it in the corner.
Napoli on the other hand were very impressive and should have scored a couple of goals. A freekick from Insigne was the closest they went to scoring in the first half as he hit the woodwork. The second half was more of the same with Napoli dominating the attack. the Juventus attack seemed toothless throughout the game. The best chance of the game came in the 93rd minute following a Politano corner that went straight to Maximovic who tried to head it in the bottom right corner but was stopped by buffon, the rebound went to Elmas who smashed the ball against the post. These missed chances could have been very costly for Napoli but they ended up winning the penalty shootout very comfortably with a 4-2 win.
Dries Mertens has had a very good week with Napoli as he first surpassed Hamsik as the top scorer for the Naples based side during the semi-final vs Inter Milan, He later went on to sign a new contract that will extend his stay at the club by two years. To top it all off he won his first laurels with club since 2014.
Atalanta:The Dark horse
Atalanta was promoted to Serie A in 2011 but were in the fight for relegation for the better part of a decade.
Things have been improving for them since the 16-17 season as they finished 4th and qualified for European competition for the first time in 26 years but ended up finishing 7th the next season.
Even though they finished third place last season no one took them seriously heading into the season.
Only 25 games into the season and Atalanta has already scored a whopping 70 goals this season. Their strike force of Ilicic, Zapata and Muriel have scored goals in double digits. Although they just scraped through the group stage of the champions league after being potted with Champions of England, Manchester City. Atalanta made quite a name for themselves after Demolishing Spanish side Valencia 8-2 in the course of the two legs. Ilicic scored all 4 of their goals in the away game and grabbed the matchball. Although their place in the league is uncertain at this time they are surely the most exciting team heading into the business end of the competition.
Match to watch
The most interesting matches of this game week both include atalanta. Atalanta has double fixtures this game week. The first one is at home to an 11th placed Sassuolo side who’ll be looking to lose the possibility of relegation and cement their place in the upper half of the table. This could provide for a good game of football as Atalanta are also looking to hold off Roma for the fourth spot.
Atalanta’s second game is going to be one of the most important games that remaining in the regular season as they host a second placed Lazio team who are looking to extend their unbeaten run of 21 league games.
Fight for survival
The difference between sixth placed Napoli and eighteenth place Leece is only of a mere 13 points. With the hectic schedule of fixtures coming up and new rule changes that have been made to practice social distancing and to avoid injury of players has made the rest of the season very unpredictable. Although Serie A is criticised as one of the least competitive leagues in the world, As we head into the final twelve games of the season nothing is certain. The title race is on in full swing, Battle for Europe is very tight and the relegation is still very possible for all the teams in the bottom half. The only thing that is certain is that we’re in for 2 months of intense football.