Serie A Power Rankings: Juventus back in the scudetto race but not yet in our top three

If you’ve ever wondered why this has been one of the most exciting Serie A seasons to date, look no further than Juventus’ rapid climb to get back into the mix after some dreadful early-season results. Besides Inter Milan, Napoli, AC Milan and now Juventus, don’t rule out Atalanta as a potential fifth candidate for the title. The race may go down to the very final day of the season and you can probably thank some of the top-tier teams that have gone dark as of late for that.

Let’s dive right into this week’s rankings:

Title contenders

The teams that are in the race to win the scudetto this year. 

1. Inter Milan (-)

This might be the last time that Simone Inzaghi’s team sits atop our rankings because Inter Milan are in the midst of a major slump and in desperate need of a turnaround in order to secure back-to-back Serie A titles. Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko are one of the reasons why this squad went through a 425-minute goalless drought in all competitions — snapped by Martinez in the 5-0 thrashing of Salernitana on Friday. It was longest scoring drought since the 2017-18 season (430 minutes). Key players such as Nicolò Barella and Stefan de Vrij are underperforming as well, which is a direct consequence on the results of the team. 

2. AC Milan (-)

Despite recent draws to Salernitana and Udinese, AC Milan have cemented their status as title contenders after their derby win earlier in the month. Rafael Leao and Sandro Tonali are at their best. Stefano Pioli brought back some key players into the fold, such as Fikayo Tomori and Ante Rebic. Zlatan Ibrahimovic should be back soon after a long injury that kept him out for several weeks. 

3. Napoli (-)

After being kicked out of the Europa League by Barcelona, Luciano Spalletti’s side won a crucial game against Lazio and are now back as contenders for the title. The ex-Inter Milan coach is handling really well some difficult situations such as captain Lorenzo Insigne, who will leave at the end of the season for Toronto FC of Major League Soccer. Considering the way these situations were handled in the past in Naples, it’s nice to see fans show support for both the club and the player. It’s definitely been a reason for the good vibes inside the dressing room.

4. Juventus (-)

Raise your hands if you envisioned Juventus creeping back into the scudetto race after their disappointing early-season results? The January transfer window has provided a spark, and even if the actual quality of the game has not change much, new signing Dusan Vlahović immediately brought a winning mentality that was desperately missed early on. It’s not going to be easy catching the top three teams, but considering how much they’ve climbed recently, it’s no longer an impossible feat. 

5. Atalanta (-)

If we’re going to label Juventus as a contender, then we must do the same for an Atalanta with one game in hand and three points behind the Bianconeri. However, Atalanta have shown inconsistencies compared to Juventus that date back to last season. Injuries are also a factor, with striker Duvan Zapata out for a few weeks. Players such as Teun Koopmeiners and Ruslan Malinovskyi have stepped up in a big way and will need to continue to do so moving forward. 

European spots 

Clubs that are fighting to play in Europe next season. 

6. Lazio (-)

Maurizio Sarri’s side had chances to be in the thick of the Champions League’s race, but after losing against Napoli their main target should be landing a spot in Europa League. Despite some positive results in February to keep them alive in the table, it seems as if the well known Sarriball which we grew accustomed with at Empoli and Napoli is still far away. Lazio are still adapting to the change made in the offseason and we would not be surprised if we saw a bit of a shake-up in the squad come summertime.

7. AS Roma (+1)

Up and downs are still a problem for a Jose Mourinho side is viewed as a longshot for any of the top-four spots despite trailing fourth-place Juventus by six points. Mourinho was forced to include so many young players in his rotation as a result of injuries heavily affecting the squad. Edoardo Bove and Christian Volpato were involved recently and striker Tammy Abraham is still a focal point. In fact, Abraham is currently the highest scoring Englishmen among the top five European leagues with 19 goals this season. Another eye-opener: AS Roma sit second in Serie A for expected goals per game (1.8) behind Inter Milan (2.1). 

8. Fiorentina (-2)

Fiorentina are proving to be a pretty tricky team for opponents to solve this season, as the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinal against Juventus showed us. That said, new strikers Arthur Cabral and Krzysztof Piatek are struggling to keep up with the furious scoring pace left behind by the January departure of Dusan Vlahović. That might be the main reason why AS Roma and Lazio right have a better chance at getting the highly coveted Europa League spot. 

9. Hellas Verona (-)

Considering how well this team has performed under Igor Tudor, they definitely have a decent shot at playing European soccer next season. Argentine striker Giovanni Simeone, once scored four goals in one game against Lazio, has already found the back of the net 15 this season, with a hat trick over the weekend against Venezia. Hellas Verona signed Simeone from Cagliari in the summer for around €1 million with a €12 million option to buy included in the deal. It’s certain that the club will trigger the clause based on his performances this season, but it’s also extremely likely that other clubs will knock on the door to ask information about his future already this summer.  

Middle of the pack

These teams are sure already to stay in the league but have no chances to play in European competitions next season. 

10. Sassuolo (+1)

After Roberto De Zerbi left the club last summer, many had doubts as to whether a a new coach could keep the team playing at the same level. Enter Alessio Dionisi, who has proved them wrong and guided the Neroverdi into the middle of the pack as his side puts out a good product on the pitch. However, for a team that finished eighth last season and currently sits 10th, Sassuolo won’t be able to compete for any of the European spots, which means many clubs in the summer make attempt at plucking some of their key players such as Domenico Berardi, Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori. 

11. Torino (-1)

Ivan Juric is still adapting to life as the new coach and after a very solid first part of the season, they are now dropping some costly points that could have given them a boost in the table. Captain Andrea Belotti is set to leave the club in the summer once his current agreement expires in June, but this has not affected their results thus far. 

12. Empoli (-)

Another successful season, which is par for the course for Aurelio Andreazzoli-coached teams. In the past, Empoli were always considered a good team but one that struggled to notch points when needed. Well, things have finally changed over there. 

13. Bologna (-)

Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic is in the midst of an extremely average season, which is not what the club envisioned. Bologna, after such a good start to the season, have now dropped points left and right and have found themselves in the middle of the table with no European ambitions. Don’t be surprised if they part ways with Mihajlovic at season’s end if things don’t improve in the next few months. 

Relegation zone 

These sides are struggling and are fighting to keep their spot in Serie A for next season. 

14. Udinese (+1)

Gabriele Cioffi’s team is not in a dangerous position as of now and the draw against AC Milan gave fans added hopes of staying up. However, they are not out of the woods yet and they need to score points as quick as possible to not be involved in the relegation mess. 

15. Cagliari (+1)

Aside from Juventus, you’re looking at the team that’s scored the most points in the 2022 calendar year thus far (3W, 3D, 1L). We know it’s early, but what’s changed? For starters, the attitude and spirit under former Napoli and Inter coach Walter Mazzarri is starting to settle in as the club sneaks out of relegation danger as things stand. Former Atalanta right back Raoul Bellanova showed his skills and he’s now one of the to players of the roster. Many clubs are already checking in on his situation for the summer and he might be one of the players to watch out for the future. 

16. Sampdoria (-2)

Marco Giampaolo’s team is having some difficulties after a good start as the new coach. Some ups and downs and rivals such as Cagliari are dragging Blucerchiati in the relegation zone fight. The upcoming matches will tell us the truth about this team’s potential and their ability to stay up. Fabio Quagliarella and Antonio Candreva are still key players while former Toronto FC striker Sebastian Giovinco still has to make his debut. 

17. Spezia (-)

Unlucky in recent matches and they lost so many points that would have given them a different outlook on the table, such as the last minute loss against AS Roma. Thiago Motta’s side will fight until the end to avoid the relegation and you can count on a team that knows really well how to do it after last season under Vincenzo Italiano. Time will tell if it will be enough to keep them up. 

18. Venezia (-)

Unlike Spezia, Venezia are showing that their first Serie A season after a 20-year absence can be more complicated than expected as they try to avoid a quick comeback to the second division after only one year in the top flight. Their main issue is scoring goals, since only two teams have less goals than Venezia. 

19. Genoa (-)

A new owner, a new coach, but they still have experienced the same issues. They definitely invested more money than their rivals in the January transfer window but things have not improved much. For a a storied club that’s been around since 1893, things have gotten worrisome as they face a serious risk of being to Serie B for the first time in almost 15 years. 

20. Salernitana (-)

They sacked the manager and appointed Davide Nicola to try and fulfil their dreams of avoiding relegation. Looks like it will be almost impossible, but never say never in soccer. 

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