Juventus set to dominate Italian football
Serie A: Juventus look to be getting stronger as their rivals get weaker
This past Sunday, Juventus were crowned champions of Italy for the second season running.
It wasn't a title victory devoid of any losses unlike last season, where they did not lose a single game throughout. It did not mean the Old Lady were a weaker side this term by any means. They might have lost four times this season, but they sealed the title ahead of second placed Napoli by a whopping eleven points.
There were more draws in the 2011-12 campaign but just five this term. Difficult ties both at home and away that looked like ending in stalemates were converted to vital wins.
The Bianconeri have improved their accuracy in front of goal this time around, unlocking and netting against gritty defences. With their defence and midfield all but set, could the arrival of towering Spanish striker Fernando Llorente this summer make Juve the dominant force that pulls even further ahead of their domestic rivals?
Serie A, the strongest league back in the 90's and in the early 2000's, has lost some of its teeth, with the English, German and Spanish leagues overtaking them in recent years.
The Italian league lost its fourth spot for direct entry into the UEFA Champions League to Germany in 2011, even though Inter Milan were crowned champions in 2010. This season, Juventus were one of the outside favourites for the trophy but were swept apart by German giants Bayern Munich.
However, inside Italy, the Old Lady are the strongest team by far and are set to invest further in the squad this summer. The new stadium and the Serie A win would have boosted the Juve coffers and boss Antonio Conte will surely be given a good amount of it to spend on new faces to further strengthen an already strong squad.
Barcelona misfit Alexis Sanchez and Bayern Munich's Dutch winger are on top of the shortlist to ensure the possibility of playing the 4-3-3, which wasn't used this season due to the lack of a top quality right winger and a serious injury to Italian wide man Simone Pepe.
A change to a 4-3-3 with Llorente or Vucinic in the central role flanked by one of the above-mentioned new purchases on the right and Sebastian Giovinco on the left, could be administered next season.
If the formation proves to be a hit, there is no catching Juve. Napoli have their deficiencies in a few areas of the field and the potential departure of hotshot striker Edinson Cavani would further weaken the Naples outfit.
AC Milan are in a transition stage themselves, with a number of highly talented youngsters who are still finding their feet at the biggest stage in football. Other competitors include Fiorentina, a side capable of finishing in the top four or five, but not Serie A champions elect.
Inter Milan mean while, look to be in complete disarray, shattered by a huge injury list and a bunch of purchases that do not fit into the Nerrazzuri jigsaw. The race to capture the second and third qualification spots is in an interesting stage this season. Milan and Fiorentina are toe to toe for the third spot while Napoli have seemingly sealed the second spot.
Expect the same results next season and for another couple of seasons too. Juve champions, followed by Milan or Napoli or Fiorentina for the next two spots.
Milan must invest wisely in defence and midfield this summer and pave their path on the way back to being a football superpower. If Juve do go on to become Serie A's monopoly team, it will only stimulate further competition among the trailing pack to oust the Bianconeri from the top spot and make Italian football more competitive. Stronger Italian teams will make the further rounds of the Champions League in the near future.
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