You could say that the second half of the season is finally upon us in the top European leagues and Serie A is no different. At the time of writing clubs have played 22 games so far and you do tend to get a runaway leader in the division but this time round in Italy’s top flight it seems to have turned into a straight two horse race for the title this season.
Napoli currently have a one point advantage over second placed Juventus but Lazio in third are ten points off the pace.
Juventus, led my Massimiliano Allegri, are the defending champions and have been going great guns recently. They have won their last six Serie A games and also eight of their last nine. They’re also still in the Champions League and through to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia too. It’s not really that much of a surprise to see them performing well once again as they have been the dominant force in Italy for a while now and have never shown any signs of loosening their grip.
What’s probably surprising is that as things stand Napoli are still ahead of Juve, even if by just one point. They finished third in Serie A last season but have been sensational so far this term under Maurizio Sarri and show no signs of slowing down either. Like Juventus, Napoli have won their last six league outings and are still competing in Europe too. Napoli dropped into the Europa League after being knocked out of the Champions League, finishing third in Group F.
It’s highly likely that the winner of Serie A will be one of these two sides, especially with the gap between them and third being so big as things stand. The transfer window is also set to close with neither side doing any business so far. While there were rumours of Emre Can joining Juventus and Davy Klaassen joining Napoli, at the time of writing, there has been no movement by either side for any player. So if the league is going to be decided with the squads staying the same, you could say that Juventus do have a few slight advantages.
First of all, Juventus have been there and done it numerous times now. They’re the defending champions and have been since 2012. This means they have that psychological edge and know what needs to be done to be crowned champions of Italy. Napoli haven’t won the league since way back in the 1989/90 season and this could be deciding factor in the title race.
While Juventus are competing on one more front than Napoli, the latter have the Europa League to contend with. The Europa League has become notorious for teams suffering bad league form due to having to play on a Thursday night, that and the travelling too. Juventus have managed to compete well on multiple fronts over the last six years or so and have the squad to cope with it. While Napoli may have a slight edge in what is a two horse race, Juventus look like they’re just biding their time.