Categories
Serie A

Can AC Milan Win the Serie A Title This Year?

Can AC Milan win the Serie A title this year? The short answer to this question is yes, but the long answer is a little bit more complicated. Today we’ll be taking a look at AC Milan in order to answer the question of whether they can realistically win the title this season.

Defense

When taking a look at Milan’s defense, it’s clear to see they are much improved from years past. The resurgence of both Simon Kjaer and Davide Calabria is a big part of that improvement. It also seems Milan have found a solid defensive partnership with Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli. Alongside goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma, this is a very sturdy back line. Theo Hernandez is one of the better attacking fullbacks in Serie A. He should provide additional help both in defense and the attack. But the main weakness for Milan’s defense comes with their depth. At center back they currently have Matteo Gabbia and Mateo Mussachio, neither of which brings a whole lot of confidence. At fullback their main depth is Diogo Dalot who joined on loan from Manchester United. While he’s been playing very well so far there really isn’t too much behind him. Overall, it’s a very solid starting group but the lack of depth could end up hurting Milan.

Midfield

The midfield may be the current strength of this Milan team. In Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer, Milan has one of the strongest midfield partnerships in the league. Recent signing Sandro Tonali has loads of talent and should receive consistent playing time behind the starters. In the attacking midfield positions, Hakan Calhanoglu and Brahim Diaz have both shown the ability to create chances and score goals. This will be vital for Milan moving forward as they try to compete with teams that have more attacking firepower.

Forwards

The most important player currently at AC Milan is also their oldest. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gotten off to a roaring start this season, showing that he can compete at any team in the world at the age of 39. Behind him Rafael Leao has shown a lot of promise and will look to improve throughout the season as he learns from Zlatan himself. Ante Rebic is another forward who has shown tons of quality but unfortunately found himself injured for the beginning of the season. He will be very important for Milan as they don’t have a ton of quality depth in attack. On the wings Samu Castillejo and Alexis Saelemaekers are the main players. This is probably Milan’s greatest area of need in the January transfer window as they will need to improve in both quality and depth.

January Transfer Window

In the transfer window there a few clear areas of need for AC Milan. In central defense they need to bring in someone who can be a strong third option. They will also probably look to move on from one of their options, either Mateo Mussachio or Leo Duarte. Milan could also potentially use another fullback on the left side who can give Theo Hernandez a rest every now and then. Finally, AC Milan will need to strengthen in attack. They will likely need another striker for depth behind Zlatan and Rafael Leao, as well as another winger. They did bring in Jens Petter Hauge at the end of the summer window, so if he can become a focal point on the wing then it may not be a huge need.

Conclusion

At the start of the season, AC Milan looked like a team that would compete for a Champions league spot. The narrative has changed as they find themselves at the top of the league through games. AC Milan can definitely compete for the title this season, but it will depend on how well the starters can continue to play. With a lack of depth at a few positions, it’s important for them to fill in some gaps in the January transfer window. But overall I think Milan look like a team that is ready to compete right now.

Here is a quick link to the updated Serie A table where you can track AC Milan’s progress: https://www.skysports.com/serie-a-table

If you are interested in other Beer Belly Soccer Serie A content: https://www.beerbellysoccer.com/category/serie-a/

Categories
Premier League

Top 10 Premier League Players

This is a ranking of the top 10 players in the Premier League for the current 2020-2021 season. Of course this is a widely debatable subject, but I’ve done my best to think this through in order to come up with the most comprehensive list possible. Before you read on, if your favorite player isn’t listed below then you can just assume that they’re a part of the honorable mention section that I haven’t bothered to write. That being said, here we go:

Number 10: Andrew Robertson

               Andrew Robertson is the first half of Liverpool’s current dynamic duo of outside backs that have been terrorizing the Premier League for the last two years. A focal point in the Liverpool team, Robertson was able to bag 12 assists last season and has been able to start the current season with 1 goal and 1 assist from 4 appearances. Andrew Robertson is the current cream of the crop in terms of Premier League left backs.

Number 9: Son Heung-min

               Son has proven himself to be one of the best players in the Premier League, regardless of position over the last two years. His current form puts him right at the top of the list of attackers with 6 goals and an assist over 4 appearances. If he keeps it up he could even challenge for Golden Boot honors at seasons end.

Number 8: Mohamed Salah

               The current face of the Liverpool side, Salah is one of the most accomplished attackers in the world over the last few seasons. Although he enjoyed a slightly less fruitful season last year, Salah has gotten off to a blazing start over the course of this new season with 5 goals in the opening 4 games. When Salah is on top of his game, he is one of the best in the world.

Number 7: Jamie Vardy

               Time and time again, everyone expects Vardy to fall back to normal levels, and time and time again he keeps the Vardy Party rolling. After winning the Golden Boot last season with 23 goals, he’s continued with his scoring prowess notching 5 more in his first 4 appearances. Leicester will once again challenge for Champions League spots as long as Vardy is at the helm.

Number 6: Trent Alexander-Arnold

               Even at the ripe age of 22, Trent is the best right back in all of the premier league and possibly the world. Coming in second place in terms of assists in the 19/20 season with 13, Trent is an valuable part of Liverpool’s fantastic defense and he should only continue to get better and better.

Number 5: Raheem Sterling

               Raheem Sterling has grown from wonderkid at Liverpool to one of the best overall talents in the Premier League for Manchester City. With 20 goals in the 19/20 season and 1 goal/1 assist in his first 3 games this season, Raheem seems to have finally found his goalscoring boots (aside from that disastrous shot against Lyon).

Number 4: Sadio Mane

               Sadio Mane may have overtaken Salah as Liverpool’s most important attacking player. He was absolutely vital for the Reds in their successful quest to win the Premier League last season with 18 goals. He has also started with 3 in 3 to open up his goalscoring account so far this season. Liverpool will need him to keep it up if they want a chance for back to back Premier League crowns.

Number 3: Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng

               The lone Arsenal player listed in the top 10, Aubamayeng is far and away their most important player. With his 22 goals last season, he has shown that he can be a force to be reckoned with and with Arsenal hoping to challenge for Champions League places they will need him to be at his best. With 1 goal and 1 assist so far this season he seems to be living up to that billing.

Number 2: Kevin De Bruyne

               What to even say about Kevin De Bruyne, it was an extremely tight one between him and the man in first place on this list but that is to no fault of Kevin himself. De Bruyne was able to turn in one of the most impressive seasons in Premier League history last year by tying Thierry Henry for the single season assist record with 20. He is a complete football player and very well may be the best midfielder on the planet.

Number 1: Virgil Van Dijk

               Virgil Van Dijk is currently the best player in the Premier League and it’s very well deserved. As a center back, VVD doesn’t have the stats to match up with anyone else on this list but it’s clear just from watching a single Liverpool game how talented he is. He was instrumental in Liverpool’s title winning defense as the best central defender in the Premier League. He deserves the current top spot but will need to maintain his high levels of play in order to keep it.