Serie A Season Preview: Infogol tips for title, top 4, top 10 and relegation

Will Juve lose their Serie A crown? Using expected goals (xG) data from Infogol as his guide, Tom Victor looks at the likely finishing positions in the 2020/21 season and picks out a selection of outright bets...

After a number of summer changes, we're in line for an entertaining Serie A season with plenty at stake for the competition's bigger and smaller clubs.

Juventus' reign at the top remains under serious threat, while a number of managers who took over midway through last season will have an opportunity to make their mark after a full pre-season.

We've also got some new signings to look forward to, and the emergence of players who showed promise at the tail end of 2019/20. Here's what you can expect.

The title

Juventus clung on to top spot last season, but it was much less comfortable than they'd have hoped, with a late equaliser against Atalanta in the run-in helping deflate their final challenger.

Just five points separated the top four at the end of the final round of fixtures, and all four will be confident of an improved performance in 2020/21 for different reasons.

Infogol still gives Juve the best chance of a retention, at 45% (2.22), against odds of 1.80, though last season's runners-up Inter (30.6%) after some big additions, not least €40m rght-back Achraf Hakimi from Real Madrid.

Inter topped last season's xG table, so their [3.0] odds could be tempting, as could Atalanta: the outsiders have been given a 14% chance (7.14) of a title run this year after coming close in 2019/20, while their exchange odds currently sit at 13.00.


Top four

AC Milan finished last season extremely strongly, so much so that Stefano Pioli has been handed the reins for the new season despite a replacement looking like a sure thing back in June.

Keeping Zlatan Ibrahimović for another year will be a huge boost, while the arrival of Sandro Tonali looks like a nailed on step-up for this season and for years to come.

Another manager preparing for a first full season in charge is former Milan boss Rino Gattuso, who has added Victor Osimhen to his Napoli squad. Whether they can challenge for the top four, though, depends on how they cope with the lack of midfield depth brought about by the loss of Allan, and whether anyone else follows the Brazilian out the exit door.

There's not a lot to choose between Napoli (46%), Lazio (43%) and Milan (38%) according to Infogol, but Lazio's 6/4 odds - plus the knowledge that this squad was very much in the title race for much of last season - still makes them the most tempting.

Top 10

There was a gap of 11 points between seventh and eighth last season, suggesting it will take a lot for an interloper to overtake the more established sides, though Fiorentina and Sampdoria were noticeably lower than their xG table ranking dictates.

Samp had an impressive run of five wins from six after the summer restart, and a full window for Claudio Ranieri to add to his squad after taking over midway through last season could help them move up into the top half if not push for the top six.

The same goes for Viola boss Giuseppe Iachini, who has already added the experienced Giacomo Bonaventura to his squad. Fiorentina's 7.8% chance to finish in the top six (according to Infogol's model) may look slim, but a 62.5% chance of a top half finish is anything but.

Relegation

Genoa stayed up by the skin of their teeth last season, needing a final day victory over Verona to stay afloat, but there are other sides who should perhaps be just as worried on the basis of last season's xG table.

Parma and Cagliari both outperformed their xG, and Infogol gives them a 19% (5.26) and 15% (6.67) chance of relegation respectively this time around. Fabio Liverani will certainly hope for better fortune at Parma than he had last year while taking Lecce down to Serie B.

As for the promoted sides, Pippo Inzaghi's Benevento will be hopeful of survival after running away with the Serie B title last term, but Crotone and Spezia will likely find things tough. All three promoted sides have been given a greater than 60% chance of going straight back down, but it's not a foregone conclusion.

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