Blog Written by Alex Ramos (@AlexRamosATR):
This is a 2016-17 Serie A season preview look at the top 3 teams to keep an eye on. With the Serie A season just over a week away this is bound to be an exciting season both domestically and internationally. Many transfer deals will have an impact on the league this year. New teams will be given new tests in Europe. Juventus, Napoli and Sassuolo will be the most entertaining teams to watch.
Juventus: The Italian Champions look to challenge for their 35th league title, which would be their sixth in a row. They are also searching for the highly coveted Champions League title. Juventus signed the best goal scorer in Serie A last season, Gonzalo Higuain, whose fitness has been highly scrutinized. 21-year-old Marko Pjaca has been brought in from Dinamo Zagreb and it looks as though he has immense potential. The Bianconeri also signed central midfielder Miralem Pjanic from Roma after triggering his release clause. Medhi Benatia and Dani Alves have come in to add even more depth and experience to the squad. The veterans such as Buffon, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini and Marchisio will all return for another season with the Old Lady.
Napoli: Napoli finished 2nd last year and will return to the Champions League with a chip on their shoulder ready to prove themselves. Napoli have brought in Polish youngsters Arkadiusz Milik and Piotr Zielinski who look to be promising prospects. Utility man, Emanuele Giaccherini has also been brought in from Sunderland. Giaccherini impressed many with his performance for the Italian squad during Euro 2016. With the departure of Higuain, Lorenzo Insigne will be called upon as well as Manolo Gabbiadini to score goals as proficiently as Higuain did in the previous season. Slovakian international and center midfielder Marek Hamsik has renewed his contract until 2020, which should provide hope for Napoli fans. Ultimately, Napoli will be looking to impress in European competition.
Sassuolo: Eusebio Di Francesco's team that will look to prove themselves in Europe as they will be competing in the Europa league. Sassuolo are a very young team known for performing well in important matches. Although they are not favorites to win the Europa league, Sassuolo could go much further than others expect. Sassuolo are an all around promising team but have not been very active during the transfer window. Although, they did sell Nicola Sansone to Villarreal for €14 million so they may be signing a replacement. Sassuolo’s youth and unpredictability makes them dangerous opposition that will not be underestimated. Expect continued success from Sassuolo this season.