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Five teams that could beat Juventus to the Serie A title

:Headline: Five teams that could beat Juventus to the Serie A title: ID:235517: from db_amp
Sports Mole takes a look at five clubs who could challenge Juventus for the Serie A title this season.

The new season in Italy gets underway next month and the overwhelming favourites to claim a fifth league title in a row are Juventus.

However, the Bianconeri have lost a number of key players such as Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez, who have all been crucial to their recent success.

With uncertainty surrounding the futures of other members of their squad, there are many who believe that the club's dominance of Italian football could be coming to an end.

Here, Sports Mole picks out five teams who will be hoping to lift the Serie A title next May.


Roma

The team that have come closest to challenging Juventus in the past two seasons are Roma, but in each campaign they have finished a massive 17 points adrift of the Old Lady.

They were tipped to put in a strong title bid last term, after finishing with a club-record 85 points during Rudi Garcia's first season in charge of the club, and they were only a point off the top at the beginning of January.

However, a run of eight draws from nine games saw their hopes of the Scudetto collapse and they very nearly finished outside of the Champions League spots, before finding their form in the last month of the season to finish in second place.

Heading into the new campaign, they have not made many changes to their squad, with Iago Falque the only major arrival, while Alessio Romagnoli has returned from a successful loan spell at Sampdoria.

They are also set to sign Wojciech Szczesny from Arsenal, but many supporters have been crying out for a new striker, after they scored the least goals out of any of the top six last season.


Napoli

Napoli were another team who had high hopes of winning a first championship in 25 years, however, they endured a shaky start to the season and were never in the running.

The least the fans expected was to book a Champions League place, but on the final day of the season they were beaten by Lazio, with Gonzalo Higuain missing a penalty as they were pipped to third spot.

Rafael Benitez had already confirmed that he was leaving the club before the defeat, and a couple of weeks later Maurizio Sarri was brought in to replace him, after guiding Empoli to safety in their first season back in the top flight.

The new manager has brought midfielder Mirko Valdifiori with him from his previous club, while Pepe Reina has returned to Naples following a spell at Bayern Munich.

They have also managed to keep the likes of Jose Callejon, Marek Hamsik and Dries Mertens, although the future of Higuain remains in question, following heavy criticism of the Argentine from the club's supporters.


Inter Milan

The last team to have won five titles on the spin is Inter Milan, but the Nerazzurri have failed to live up to those lofty heights in recent years and only finished eighth last season.

A poor start to the campaign saw Walter Mazzarri sacked, with Roberto Mancini returning to the club, although it did little to improve their form in the league.

Having missed out on a place in Europe, the club have made sweeping changes to their squad over the summer, with Geoffrey Kondogbia, Miranda and Martin Montoya among those who have joined, while a number of fringe players have departed.

Stevan Jovetic is set to join the club after arriving in Milan for a medical, to add to their strike force of Rodrigo Palacio and Mauro Icardi, and more signings are expected before the new season begins.

Although some believe that Inter can mount a title challenge, most supporters would be happy to see their club back in the Champions League, after three seasons away from Europe's biggest club competition.


AC Milan

Inter weren't the only big club to underperform last season, as their city rivals AC Milan ended in a disastrous 10th place in Serie A, which was their lowest league finish in 17 years.

Following months of speculation, Filippo Inzaghi was sacked as manager and replaced by Sinisa Mihajlovic, who helped guide Sampdoria to a place in Europe last term.

Inzaghi was not helped by the lack of transfer funds he was given by the club's hierarchy, but this summer they have splashed the cash and have not been forced into selling some of their biggest names.

The two standout signings in the past month have been Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca, who both enjoyed impressive seasons in Europe last time around and had been linked to most of the world's biggest clubs.

Andrea Bertolacci, who cost €20m (£14m) from Roma, has also arrived and there are growing rumours that Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to his old stomping ground, as their spending shows no signs of ending.


Lazio

Lazio surprised many last season by claiming third spot in Serie A, and the pressure will be on Stefano Pioli and his players to repeat the feat over the next twelve months.

They had only managed to finish in ninth place during the previous campaign, but a stunning eight-game winning run from February to April and a last-day victory over Napoli ensured a return to the Champions League for the first time in six years.

There haven't been many changes to the squad over the summer, with former West Ham United player Ravel Morrison, who scored twice on his debut in a 14-0 win over lower-league side Auronzo, and Wesley Hoedt their most notable arrivals.

Veteran striker Miroslav Klose has confirmed that he will be staying for another season, after bagging 16 goals last term, but the futures of Felipe Anderson and Lucas Biglia remain unclear.

If they can keep hold of their best players this summer, the Biancocelesti could enjoy another successful campaign, but they have set the bar high and could suffer just like their rivals Roma have over the past year.


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Serie A Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
2Bologna00000000
3CagliariCagliari00000000
4Empoli00000000
5Fiorentina00000000
6Genoa00000000
7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
8Inter Milan00000000
9Juventus00000000
10Lazio00000000
11AC Milan00000000
12Napoli00000000
13Roma00000000
14Salernitana00000000
15Sampdoria00000000
16SassuoloSassuolo00000000
17SpeziaSpezia00000000
18Torino00000000
19Udinese00000000
20VeneziaVenezia00000000
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