Who Would Be Serie A’s 2014/15 Surprise Package?

As Serie A returned (finally!) this week, who should we set eyes on as this season’s “dark horse”? Well, for me in Italian football it’s always hard to make predictions when it comes to surprises, any away trip can turn out to be a tricky game and the labels “small teams” or “easy games” aren’t really of use in Italian football. However, from the pre-season, two teams in specific has given some signs of producing a special season this term.

Lazio

It won’t be a surprise if we see Lazio among the top, since they actually belong there, but in recent years, Lotito era to be precise, Lazio has lost their status as one of the top of the Italian league. Lotito instead of reinforcing his team has wasted a lot of time in altercations with the Ultras, whom on their part has always accused the patron of weakning the team and not showing real interest in the team.

However, this season things seem to change as Lazio had a very remarkable transfer market, they managed to sign some interesting names in the summer, names like Stefan De Vrij, who was arguably one of the best defenders in the World Cup, convincing the dutch to come to the Italian capital instead of many interesting names like Manchester United and for a fee around 10m euros only, this is a true bargain deal!

They also landed Marco Parolo and Dusan Basta, the former who was one of the best midfielders in the last term with Parma, while the Basta has been one of the most consistent right backs in the league in the last couple of seasons.

Lazio has managed to keep their star player Antonio Candreva too, tying him with a new contract despite interest from the PSG. They also managed to keep their promising Keita Balde, who also caught the eye of many in the EPL, but still, they managed to keep him firm, at least for another year.

Add to all this the fact that it’s Miroslav Klose’s last term in football and ofcourse the German would be willing to end his illustrious career with one last achievement, you have a strong Lazio team that can fight for European spots, especially that they have no European commitments, I’d place my bets that this team will be a fierce fighter for the 3rd place this season despite their loss to Milan last week.

Udinese

The “friuli” based team has always been a team that depended on exciting youth, creating entertaining teams that managed to end up playing in European football four times in the last five years. But with Guidolin, the coach who contributed much to the project leaving, Udinese brought in Andrea Stramacioni, a coach who made his name in the youth’s sector, winning the u-21 Champions League with Inter, and whom despite a catastrophic season with Inter in 2012/2013 showed signs of a promising young coach, who needed more support and time to prove his worth. Something that Udinese can provide him with.

Udinese-Strama looks like a match in heaven, a team that depends mainly on promising young players and a coach who knows how to get the best out of young talent, add to this the ever-green Toto Di Natale, who provides the goals and experience to this young squad, you have a very exciting project in Udinese.

They may not be ready to challenge for top spots from the first year, but expect an exciting and a competitive team that will make the visit to “Udine” a nuisance once again!

 

Written by Dinesh V

Co-founder of Soccersouls. Living a start-up life 24/7
Follow @dineshintwit

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