Carlo Ancelotti tips Roma for the Scudetto, PSG for the Champions League, Manchester City the Premier League and France at Euro 2016.
The tactician is taking a year off after he was sacked by Real Madrid and spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport about the current football scene.
“Inter are a solid side who were intelligent on the transfer market. With Felipe Melo in the middle, they have character, while Roberto Mancini is a Coach who can get the best out of his lads.
“Paulo Sousa is very good at Fiorentina and he caused me problems when I faced him at Basel. In general, Serie A is very uncertain this season and nobody has broken away yet.
“If the teams out front don’t speed up, then Juventus can get back into the race too. They had problems because when Andrea Pirlo, Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal leave, they are tough to replace. The team is solid, perhaps the most solid.
“Roma have the best strike force in Serie A, because nobody else can choose from Edin Dzeko, Gervinho, Iago Falque and Mohamed Salah.
“They need to find a balance, as when you score four goals away from home – as they did at Bayer Leverkusen – you usually win. If you don’t, there’s something that needs to be fixed.
“I am following Napoli with interest. They’ve had some excellent results and Maurizio Sarri did very well to apply his Empoli ideas to a different situation. Napoli’s football is very dynamic and intrigues me a great deal.”
Ancelotti was asked who he’d bet on this season to take the silverware all over the continent.
“The Scudetto goes to Roma. The Premier League is for Manchester City. Real Madrid to win La Liga. As a surprise, Paris Saint-Germain for the Champions League.
“As for the Euros, I’d say France.”
Chelsea don’t look like retaining their Premier League title, as the team has struggled badly this season under an increasingly irritable Jose Mourinho.
“I didn’t expect this crisis, but I do understand the reasons behind these problems. I think they are feeling sated. Last year they won by a mile, now they are more relaxed. Don’t worry, Mourinho will sort it out. He is the right man.
“Manchester City are the most complete squad in the Premier League, but every now and then they go off piste. They are not 100 per cent reliable.
“I’d watch out for Arsenal. Arsene Wenger did well to change their system, so he waits and counters to get the best out of the pace of Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez.”
Ancelotti was fired by Real Madrid and they brought in Rafa Benitez, who is also criticised by fans and media.
“That’s normal, they expect so much in Madrid. There’s this huge media pressure, as the Press is very influential along with the radio and TV stations.
“Real are the talk of the day throughout the city. It’s a fiery atmosphere, a bit like Roma and Napoli.
“Barcelona are like Chelsea, they relaxed after winning everything last season. Now Barça concede more goals than last year, but they are still very strong.
“Bayern Munich will win the Bundesliga with their hands still in their pockets. I must admit I don’t enjoy Bayern’s games, as there’s so little competition.
“Pep Guardiola is the best Coach out there today, though. He teaches football, makes himself understood and wins.”
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