Wednesday December 18 2019
Most open Serie A in decades

Serie A has not been this unpredictable for years, as Martin Mork sees no reason why 10 teams can’t compete for the prestigious top four places.

As things stand at almost the midway point in the season, Serie A is highly unpredictable right now, with only 11 points separating fourth-placed Roma from Milan in 10th.

Whilst Juventus and Inter are fighting it out at the top, Lazio have slowly caught up with their rivals and are now only three points behind the joint leaders.

To judge by this month, the Biancocelesti have excellent soccer betting odds for a place among the top four, as their hot form makes them the most consistent team in Serie A right now. On a run of eight consecutive victories and 11 games unbeaten, the slow start to the season could come back to haunt them. They are only four points ahead of Roma in fourth, which also suggests that a couple of weeks with another poor spell could see them leapfrogged by their local rivals – who are only seven points behind the top two themselves.

If it weren’t for the expected consistency of Juventus - who top the soccer betting odds at the start of every season - the currently wide-open hunt for the Scudetto would be even more unpredictable, making soccer bet odds on Serie A positively mouth-watering. Indeed, it's a long time since soccer odds in Serie A were this hard to call.

Realistically speaking, Inter need to be humble over the next few months. The January transfer market and the recovery of their main protagonists during the first few months of 2019-20 could be the difference between a fight for the Scudetto or another battle with the teams behind Juventus.

If Antonio Conte’s men bring their recent performances with them into January and let some of those lacklustre performances creep into the odd game, then the two teams from the capital might keep their recent promises and not just breathe down their necks.

I’m not saying Inter should fall hard during the next half, but there are signs of fatigue and they really need this break to rest for what could be an interesting spring for the Nerazzurri following.

Both Napoli and Milan are breaking records at the wrong end of the scale and are far behind schedule this season, but the soccer betting odds can turn in an instant. The turbulent first half at the San Paolo comes as a surprise after finishing second to Juventus in Carlo Ancelotti’s first season at the helm of the Partenopei. The chaos behind closed doors during the autumn ended with Gennaro Gattuso replacing his mentor.

As we speak, it’s early doors for Rino and he’s got a big task on his hands. But Napoli are another team who could put together a winning streak and steal points from some big rivals.

Right now it doesn’t look like Napoli will be competing for a place among the top four come May, but with teams like Parma and Cagliari ahead of them, they will fancy their chances to take a big leap during the next few months and sign up for the battle. The lack of Champions League football has already been the downfall for Gennaro Gattuso once, and as they are drawn Barcelona in the last 16 of the tournament, they’ve got it all to do if they are to remain in the elite party also in 2020-21. If Gattuso can kick-start their season and make the Azzurri a team to be reckoned with again, it should scare the teams that currently lead the way.

Cagliari are the surprising contender at fifth after 16 games, and they are proving to be a challenge for anyone. Against Lazio last weekend, they proved to be capable of competing against the very best and were arguably unlucky to come out empty handed from their meeting at the Sardegna Arena. But the wasted opportunities let Lazio hit back and continue their winning streak.

The Rossoblu did not expect to be regarded as challengers for the top four when the season started, but combining good business with efficient tactics from Rolando Maran, they’ve been blowing away the spectators with great performances also against the toughest of opponents. The only issue is to see how it could possibly last for a whole season. Towards the end of matches, the defenders just for a moment lack the required concentration and it’s proving costly. The lack of experience won’t get them up there, but the foundation Maran has built might get them into the Europa League after a great start to the season.

Atalanta are the ones missing from the equation so far, but Gian Piero Gasperini’s men are sailing on the enthusiasm of their great achievements in the Champions League. They remain realistic and humble in describing themselves as a small team from Bergamo doing big things. But they aren’t sated by this success and have every reason to believe they can keep building.

It’s no fluke that Atalanta have finished in the top four for two out of the last three seasons, not to mention reaching the Coppa Italia Final. They were written off after three Champions League defeats, but still turned it around to reach the Round of 16, where Valencia are by no means beyond their reach. La Dea have shown enough times that underestimating them is a big mistake.

It’s a masterful achievement from President Antonio Percassi, who brought joy to the Atalanta faithful through his thorough organisation behind the curtains.

All this is without touching on Milan, who are looking to show their ambition during the January market. The conclusion should be that we are left with a great spectacle after New Year’s. Who’s going to slip up, and who’ll be right there, ready to seize the opportunity? A lot can change in two weeks, but that’s exactly how we want it, right?

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Have your say...
Italian clubs sigh the oldest players:
on the 21st December, 2019 at 3:59am
@spirit_willy - what's wrong you got nothing to say ? that's probably because you know i am telling the truth and the truth hurts !! at this time under Mancini Inter was in 1st and they blew it because Inter choke under pressure AND they can't play in the cold. Wait until February and you will see for yourself that PAZZA INTER is alive and kicking.
on the 19th December, 2019 at 7:41pm
@I MISS MARCO BRANCA AT INTER,, enjoyy the pazza title then along with your late night pasta as soccer bet odds sponsoring us too to win it!!! Enjoy the difference of pazza taste branca's cassablancaXDD
on the 19th December, 2019 at 6:23pm
@spirit_willy: "in CL due to becoming only two years regular in the competition as well being drawn in the death group summed it all up for us" that is the Problem with most interisti - full of excuses! Inter was up 2-0 and a win in that game would have put them through but it did not and you know why? they parked the bus because Conte said so and with 8 players in the box they let in 3 goals in 45 minutes! The real reason inter didn't go through is because they choked under pressure-PAZZA INTER
on the 19th December, 2019 at 3:43pm
@I MISS MARCO BRANCA AT INTER,,You can see yourselve that we are having a perfect season while in CL due to becoming only two years regular in the competition as well being drawn in the death group summed it all up for us. Those blew up leads are lessons that will make us stronger as it was the case with juve when they started winning silverware and learning the ropes at CL under a certain antonio conte.
on the 18th December, 2019 at 11:24pm
It'll probably end up as a two-horse race.

Lazio's squad has too many mediocre players, and the fact that Roma and Atalanta are up so high given neither can defend to save themselves says a lot about how poor the teams around them are.

Napoli are gone for this season, and are unlikely to go any further in the CL either. Can't see Koulibaly and several others hanging around next season.

Milan have been dead for a long, long time, and are no relevance anymore. How far has this big club fallen?
on the 18th December, 2019 at 10:56pm
@spirit_willy = " i am happy for my team inter for showing ever winning attitude by showing promises in every game" so When inter blew a 2-0 halftime lead in Champions league and lost 3-2 to Borussia Dortmund OR going up 1-0 at half time against Barcelona and losing 2-1 OR losing 2-1 at Home to Barca's B team OR losing to Juve 2-1 at home they showed promise ??? Don't worry, there is a Tournament that is worth of Inter - EUROPA LEAGUE !
on the 18th December, 2019 at 9:09pm
@ spirit Willy

You need calciopoli.
on the 18th December, 2019 at 8:08pm
Can somebody at football Italia address the issue of racism within Italian football. It would appear that much like the Italian FA you are choosing to ignore a very serious problem. I for one am embarrassed by the current situation. Do none of the writers at football italia have anything to say?
on the 18th December, 2019 at 7:54pm
If we give juventas centimetres space they will start overpowering us. So must settle the dust when we meet them in next fixture for good. We need to be deaf and mute as being "INTER" is not easy. Hope conte can really adjust""sighs"". Imagine the taste of lifting the " Serie A " shield lads. Thing will come over for us if we stretch a wee bit what say a bit spirit from spirit willy ha ha ha ha
on the 18th December, 2019 at 4:53pm
Mindset of giving every single player justification. Conte seems to lack that. He criticize his players and emphasize other club's player. Barella would have ended up in psg rather than us only to love settles the matter in our favour.....
on the 18th December, 2019 at 4:44pm
It's actually tight at both end. In top two and fight for cl po. As napoli will give hard push once they grow. And i am happy for my team inter for showing ever winning attitude by showiing promises in every game. From slavia to fiorentina game to-date. I want to see my top eleven at face. Godin still has it as he's a gruesome leader. I want him every ninety minutes to command it from the most vital position in our game. We need variation and diversion in our formation along with a plan b with m
on the 18th December, 2019 at 4:37pm

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