Bold Serie A Predictions: Second Half of the Season

Bold Serie A Predictions: Second Half of the Season  -
ROME, ITALY – DECEMBER 29: Andrea Belotti of Torino FC reacts during the Serie A match between SS Lazio and Torino FC at Stadio Olimpico on December 29, 2018 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

There have not been too many surprises this Serie A season so far. Juventus remain favourites to win the league while Cristiano Ronaldo leads the league in scoring. Napoli and Inter Milan will battle for second but are still not a major threat to Juventus. AC Milan, Lazio, and Roma will challenge for the last Champions League spot. This is what most Serie A followers expected coming into the season. Now let’s have some fun and throw in some bold predictions for what’s to come.

Bold Serie A Predictions

Krzysztof Piatek Continues to Tear it Up

In arguably the most surprising development of the Serie A season, young Polish striker Piatek is currently sitting second in the Capocannoniere race. Piatek arrived at Genoa this past summer with average expectations but has been a complete revelation. The Polish striker has 13 goals in Serie A, second to Ronaldo’s 14, and is averaging a goal every 123 minutes.

For the entire season, Piatek is sitting at 19 goals due to scoring six in the Coppa Italia. Genoa are having yet another underwhelming season but will rely heavily on Piatek to stay up. The Rossoblu’s six other forwards have a combined 57 appearances this season amongst them, but only a combined seven goals to their name. This pales in comparison to Piatek’s 19 goals in 20 appearances. Piatek will, of course, have a heavy workload. He will also continue to challenge names like Ronaldo, Mauro Icardi and Ciro Immobile in this season’s Capocannoniere race.

Juventus Will Not Finish the Season Unbeaten

This statement has nothing to do with the quality of this Juventus side. The Bianconeri are clearly miles ahead of any other team in Serie A in terms of talent and production. They should, most likely, have the title wrapped up a few weeks before the season’s conclusion.

Juventus will not remain unbeaten in Serie A, however, as their acquisition of Ronaldo was done to lead them to Champions League glory. At some point during their calendar, they will be deep into the Champions League bracket and be forced to rest starters in a league match to keep them fresh for the bigger picture. With matches coming up against Lazio, Napoli, Milan and Inter, a slip-up will happen.

Finishing a league campaign as unbeaten is impressive, but Juventus players know their current dynasty will always be remembered with them achieving Champions League glory or not.

Andrea Belotti Will Become a Household Name Again

It wasn’t too long ago when teams were considering Torino’s €100 million price tag slapped onto Andrea Belotti. The Italian finished the 2016/2017 Serie A season with 26 goals in 35 appearances. He was primed to become the next big thing in Italian football. Fast forward two seasons and he has struggled with injuries and production. Perhaps staying at Torino and not making a move to be surrounded with more talent played a part, but Belotti is slowly improving once again.

The 25-year-old currently has seven goals so far this season, averaging a goal every 240 minutes. He leads prolific forwards like Gonzalo Higuain and Alejandro Gomez in the Capocannoniere race. Doubling his figures would make for a nice output at 14 goals for the season. Better yet, though, Belotti needs to be targeting 17-18 goals. With Torino legitimately challenging for a European spot, they will need their main man to regain his old elite form.

Furthermore, a strong finish to the season could land Belotti a move to a better squad.

Gian Piero Gasperini Will Leave Atalanta For a High-Profile Position

Gasperini has had to deal with departure after departure every single season, but still has Atalanta constantly competing for a European spot. In addition to their competitiveness, Atalanta have constantly been producing star talent at youth level and play a beautiful brand of football. Gasperini has proven that he has the tools necessary to lead a world beater.

Atalanta will remain a decent place to stay for Gasperini due to familiarity and what he has already proven. At 60-years-old though, it might be time for him to try something bigger one more time.

It’s still a mystery as to what attractive positions will be available. Gasperini, however, will surely draw heavy interest if he declares a willingness to leave Atalanta.

AC Milan Will Qualify For The Champions League

This isn’t the Milan of the past, so one must understand that Milan’s performances thus far have not been disastrous. They have not been great, but the Rossoneri still only sit one point outside of Champions League contention.

The team looked to be in their best position in years to qualify for Champions League, but a major injury crisis slowed them down. Star midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura is out for the remainder of the season, but Gonzalo Higuain and Matteo Musacchio have returned while Lucas Biglia and Mattia Caldara are projected to be healthy by February. In addition to this, Brazilian Lucas Paqueta has arrived. He has lofty expectations and Milan will be successful if Paqueta comes close to playing like everyone expects. There’s still plenty of time in the January window for Milan to make more moves as well.

The Rossoneri’s elimination from the Europa League was disappointing and shameful, but now they only have the league and league cup to focus on. There will be no excuses at this point as the team knows heavy consequences will follow yet another failure to qualify.