What are the Odds? Predicting Milan's Chances

The new season is almost upon us, and the betting odds are coming out as to which team will win the Scudetto this year. Nearly everyone is choosing Juventus as the favorites, with many also calling Inter and Atalanta ahead of Milan's chances. I don't know how they make these calls, but it is nice that the pressure is off of Milan. Particularly since the last time no one took Milan seriously, we went on a 24 match unbeaten run in all competitions and ended up second last season. With Milan returning to the Champions League again this year, a top four finish again would be amazing, but a Scudetto would be better. What are the odds?

Do they have what it takes?

Milan's young squad do the best without pressure, so I feel like that alone increases our odds of doing well this season. We have spent the most in the mercato to reinforce, and all of those reinforcements are high quality players. Sure, we lost both Donnarummas, I'm not sure which was more tragic. But Maignan is already demonstrating that he will be one of the top goalkeepers in the league, that was a phenomenal deal. Calhanoglu may have slithered off to Inter, but they will be lucky to be solvent by the end of the season, so the joke is on him. Milan also brought in Giroud, who is proving to be that experienced goalscorer that we have been missing for so long. 

Donnarumma who?

We also have consistency, with Pioli one of the few managers to be returning in the top teams. Additionally, we bought Tomori and Tonali, got Brahim Díaz on loan again, and signed a backup for Theo Hernández. The rest of the squad are a tightly knit family, and we know that we can count on players like Kessié and Bennacer, Ibrahimović and Rebić, Calabria and Kjaer.

Milan's squad still has some weak points, and some notable players that would be good to upgrade before the transfer window closes. Plus, playing the big teams in the Champions League is going to be rough. But continuity and mentality were what got us through our best and worst times last season, and it feels like we have the most momentum of the top teams.

Pioli is back, and he's keeping the family together

I am not really sure why everyone thinks Juventus will automatically win now that Allegri has returned. We all know that man management is his weakest skill as a manager, and when he won the league with Juve, there wasn't a lot of competition, either. Plus, there are the incessant rumors that Cristiano Ronaldo could still leave. While that might actually help them in more ways than one, I find it difficult to assume that the problems that led them to finishing first by only one point in the 2019-20 season and then fourth this past season were only a manager. 

Inter... winning the Scudetto by spending your club into bankruptcy and crashing out of the Champions League with a primadonna overpriced coach who dedicated the trophy to himself is not winning. Now they have auctioned off their best players to try to pay the debts and brought in older, cheaper players who are unlikely to come close to matching the performances of the overpriced ones. Not only do I have no idea why someone would sign for a club like that whose owners are in €700 million debt and couldn't even pay their players' salaries last season, there are rumors of them selling the club... again. 

If he thought Milan fans were awful, wait until the Inter fans get a hold of him

Before the sale of Cristian Romero, I would have worried more about Atalanta winning the Scudetto. Much will also depend on the pressure they are getting to sell Duvan Zapata. Even still, they are a selling club, and have finished third in Serie A for three years running. They have also proven themselves in the Champions League, even going further than Inter and Juve at times. Also, they have the longest serving manager of any team in Serie A in Gasperini, who has consistently delivered success to the team with the tiniest budget by far of any top four team. I would certainly never count them out, because one of these days, they will win with that project.

I like to always count on the fact that Roma never win, but they are a dark horse this year. While I think Mourinho is better at psychological games and entertaining press conferences, he's not the worst coach ever. Although he was already sent off in a friendly. Spinazzola's injury while playing for Italy hurt them a lot, but they have also invested more than other clubs, and signings like Tammy Abraham, to be announced any moment now, and already grabbing Shomorudov from Genoa help their cause. Certainly Mourinho has been cleaning house, too, so it is difficult to tell if his charisma will be enough to compensate for all of the changes.

More antics than tactics?

Napoli almost pushed Juventus out of a Champions League spot last season, but their summer has not been the greatest. They do not even have proper kits yet, and their captain Insigne is rumored to be breaking up with De Laurentiis. Spalletti is that coach that keeps his teams competitive, but while winning individual awards and cup trophies, has never won Serie A. De Laurentiis brings his team close to greatness, then shoots his club in the foot with random acts of madness. He is one of the last of the old school Serie A owners, more eccentric than successful.

Just breaking down the most competitive teams, looking at a transfer market that has seen more frugal and conservative deals for most teams, and the risk of some big players still leaving before the window closes, I actually like Milan's odds of a top four finish. Maybe another Scudetto isn't in our cards just yet, but I am also not sure why more people aren't taking us more seriously.

This post inspired by the music of The Sundays' "Here's Where the Story Ends"

Our next match is
Serie A Week 1
Sampdoria vs. Milan
Monday, August 23 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)

What are the Odds? Predicting Milan's Chances What are the Odds? Predicting Milan's Chances Reviewed by Elaine on 11:59 PM Rating: 5
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