Serie A, Padovan’s predictions: Inter and Milan for the Scudetto, Rome at the top, Juve at the most fourth. Napoli gave away the title last year | First page

Everyone would like to escape the early season predictions and, more generally, to predictions tout court. I, on the other hand, don’t. I believe, in fact, that regardless of the correctness or otherwise of the prediction, it contributes to the comparison and debate which, in football, are the salt of discussion. Last year, for example, I said Naples and then Milan won and this triggered a whole series of sarcastic and, obviously, offensive comments towards me from the Rossoneri fans. Never mind, I have a hard rind and a conviction: the prediction was right, it was Spalletti who gave away the Scudetto, followed, a short distance away by Simone Inzaghi. Both, I mean Napoli and Inter, were stronger than Milan, but they got lost along the way, throwing decisive points and advantages. Scudetto given, therefore, not conquered by strength or beauty.

This year, however, many things have changed and, for example, the Napoli he will hardly compete for one of the four places in the Champions League. It is likely to be there Romarenewed by Mourinho, to slip in front and even fight for the first place.

For the Scudetto I see two favorite teams: Inter and Milan. The Nerazzurri because they have embraced Lukaku and Lukaku is decisive. The Rossoneri because they have essentially maintained the structure of last year and have learned to win. They all have an extra year, which means maturity and experience. De Katelaere must be discovered and waited for, but – just to understand – he should be better than Brahim Diaz. There is no alternative in midfield (Pobega, who is very good, is not enough) and, perhaps, a striker because Origi doesn’t score much. However Milan has a characteristic. He scores with many mendemonstrating that his is the most collective game in all of Serie A.

The prediction on Inter also depends on this end of the market. If Skriniar will go away, the problem could be big, but it would be bigger if Dumfries left, as the other winger (Gosens on the left) hasn’t gotten into gear yet. However Simone Inzaghi has a first level squad: Onana will compete with Handanovic in goal and the yield should be higher, Asllani and Mkhitaryan arrived in the middle, both Correa and Dzeko remained as backups in front. It is true that Perisic is gone, but it is equally true that Gosens comes from a series of injuries and that he just has to get back in shape. Then he will fly.

Behind Milan and Inter I think of Roma, the team that, in my opinion, has the most individual qualities. The problem could be continuity. For the rest Mourinho has the men he wanted at his disposal, perhaps another central player (Bailly or Zagadou) would be needed, for the rest you have to choose how much the Giallorossi want or can be offensive.

Who I do not believe – and I have already said – is at Juve and who coaches it. First of all because the most important finish (Pogba) is already affected by a long-lasting injury. Secondly, because there is no central playmaker or midfielder. If we add to this that Alex Sandro has taken the avenue of the sunset and that Vlahovic has no alternatives, nor complementary strikers, the picture is bleak. Whatever happens, Juve will race for fourth placeas in the last two years, he has done with Pirlo and Allegri himself.

Lazio and Napoli will arrive in the Europa League area. Fiorentina will be confirmed in the Conference. Monza revelation team.

Dense the platoon of those who must avoid the relegation. Lecce, Cremonese (the two newly promoted) Spezia, Verona, Salernitana, Empoli, Udinese.

Still looking for Atalanta: risks an anonymous championship like last year.

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