Serie A Preview: Can anyone stop a Juventus 10-peat?

MILAN (AP) — The annual ask is able to be requested all all over again: Can anyone stop Juventus?

The Bianconeri are bidding for a fable-extending 10th straight Serie A title, and must restful be origin the season with a optimistic coach for the third straight yr.

Andrea Pirlo has replaced the fired Maurizio Sarri for this season, which is able to power the Juventus squad to over all all over again procure frail to playing below a optimistic machine.

The opponents look like getting closer, too. Closing season, Juventus beat Inter Milan to the title by most productive one point — the smallest margin of victory in its current period of dominance. The team’s previous most slender lead used to be when it executed three facets above Roma in 2014-15.

However, Juventus used to be seven facets particular when it with out a doubt clinched the title final season, despite the incontrovertible truth that it used to be helped by the incontrovertible truth that Lazio’s sprint after Serie A restarted following the coronavirus pandemic-enforced shutdown used to be even worse than Juve’s.

Listed below are some things to seem out for within the upcoming Serie A season, which begins this weekend:

THE UNKNOWN

No longer most productive is the 41-yr-old Pirlo the current Juventus coach, he’s a brand current coach altogether.

Pirlo used to be handed his first coaching job final month when he used to be attach guilty of Juventus’ below-23 team, which plays in Serie C. But he had no longer led a game sooner than he used to be promoted to substitute Sarri.

The former midfield broad most productive completed his final exams and got his coaching license on Monday.

Speaking at his first news convention as coach, Pirlo acknowledged he wants his gamers to appreciate the identical spirit and wish because the Juventus team he played in below Antonio Conte. And it is miles Conte who’s seemingly to be his fundamental rival.

In his first yr guilty, Conte guided Inter to a 2nd-teach enact within the league. That used to be the closest it has way to a hit the trophy because it won the title in 2010 — alongside with the Champions League and the Italian Cup.

Inter also reached the Europa League final final season, dropping to Sevilla 3-2.

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martínez appreciate shaped an spectacular partnership — dubbed “LuLa” by Italian media — and it is miles their needs and Conte’s knowhow that makes Inter the very most appealing threat to a Juve 10-peat.

THE REST

Moreover Inter, Atalanta and Lazio were within five facets of the Serie A champions final season.

All four teams had a mathematical probability of a hit the title with three rounds closing — even supposing the shuttle build of the trophy used to be never in actuality undecided.

Lazio, which executed fourth, arguably would appreciate pushed Juventus even more difficult had it no longer been for the coronavirus pandemic. The team trailed Juventus by most productive one point sooner than Serie A used to be halted due to of the virus outbreak. Lazio used to be using a club fable 21-match unbeaten bustle sooner than the shutdown, nonetheless lost six of the next 12 matches.

Atalanta had the opposite field. The team had an unremarkable first half of the season nonetheless won almost all its matches after the restart and reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

Milan used to be the opposite surging team after Serie A resumed, a hit 9 of its 12 matches and drawing the opposite three to switch up to sixth teach.

The club’s upturn started when Zlatan Ibrahimović joined in January. The 38-yr-old Swede is now taking a look to relieve the Rossoneri over all all over again field for the title.

Napoli can even moreover enter the fray following its resurgence after Gennaro Gattuso replaced the fired Carlo Ancelotti in December.

AGING RONALDO

Cristiano Ronaldo will turn 36 everywhere in the upcoming season, if that issues.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner matched a fable by scoring in 11 straight league matches for Juventus sooner than the pandemic and quick regained his sort everywhere in the restart by reaching the 30-aim label after most productive 30 games in his 2nd season in Italy.

Ronaldo executed the season with 31 needs, 10 extra than in his debut season in Serie A, and five within the abet of the league’s leading scorer, Lazio forward Ciro Immobile.

Regardless of his age, Ronaldo started all nonetheless five of Juve’s 38 Serie A matches final season.

FANS

The Italian soccer federation is hopeful that followers will be allowed abet into stadiums by mid-October.

Italian soccer matches were closed to followers since the country used to be ordered into a strict lockdown in March. After a 3-month ruin, final season’s Serie A ended in August with all games played in empty stadiums.

The FIGC has reportedly ready a document for the government to guage. Measures embody obliging followers to attach on transparent masks, to be recognizable by the police, and social distancing of no longer less than 2.25 meters (7 feet) between every occupied seat.

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