Who will win Serie A in 2023-24? Which clubs will qualify for the Champions League and who will be scrapping for survival this season? We look at all the key questions with our Serie A 2023-24 season predictions via our trusty Opta supercomputer.
Serie A Season Predictions: The Quick Hits
Title Favourites: Inter
Top Four: Napoli, Milan, Juventus
Relegation Candidates: Cagliari, Genoa, Lecce
“O generosa!” was the triumphant cry of the Opta supercomputer when we asked it to determine how the 2023-24 Serie A season would play out.
Across 10,000 simulations, it came up with 11 possible title winners, including Monza. Naturally, the supercomputer predicted Inter to win more times than their Lombardian neighbours, but we couldn’t help but visualise Monza CEO Adriano Galliani taking great delight in overcoming Italy’s footballing establishment.
In earnest, though, the simulations arguably helped reaffirm something that has long been evident to followers of the Italian game. Exceptional talent might leave for more lucrative destinations, but Serie A remains the most competitive of Europe’s top five leagues. So, let’s examine.
Who Will Win Serie A in 2023-24?
It should serve as no surprise that in the multitude of simulations, Inter had the lowest probability of Opta’s predicted title winners this upcoming season across Europe’s top five leagues.
Four different title winners in the past four seasons speaks to the competitiveness Serie A holds. It’s also worth noting that it probably would have been five in the past five if Juventus were not handed a VAR-assisted penalty to salvage a point when the Bubble Title of 2019-20 looked destined for Atalanta.
According to the supercomputer, Inter are favourites – just, at 43.8%. But it’s worth considering their relative invulnerability to pressing has been compromised ahead of this season, with Marcelo Brozovic and André Onana leaving for Al-Nassr and Manchester United respectively. Among the 98 teams in Europe’s top five leagues in 2022-23, Inter had the sixth-lowest frequency of high turnovers to touches per 90 at 0.81% – comparatively, Manchester City led here at 0.67%.
The team with the second-lowest frequency (0.75%) was Napoli, who won Serie A the second-most times in the 10,000 simulations, retaining their title 42.9% of the time. They’ve had some rebuilding to do as well, though. Luciano Spalletti is on sabbatical and Kim Min-jae left for Bayern Munich, while Piotr Zielinski has been linked with a move to the Saudi Pro League. Stanislav Lobotka and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa were able to make up for the departure of Fabián Ruiz on the way to last season’s momentous title win, and they’ll likely remain crucial for new boss Rudi Garcia.
Who Will Qualify for Europe?
In Serie A, it doesn’t suffice to simply speak about who will qualify for the UEFA Champions League. What was once the Seven Sisters is now arguably half the league with a claim of qualifying for European competition. Torino’s 8.5% chance of qualifying for Europe might not be as strong as Fiorentina’s (36.3%), but Ivan Juric’s side’s aggressive man-marking and vertical style in possession reflect Serie A’s distinct tactical variety.
Champions League semi-finalists from last season, AC Milan, can further establish themselves in Europe’s premier competition, with a 61% chance of another top-four finish. Pre-season can be a red herring, but there’s enough to suggest Stefano Pioli’s midfield can live without Sandro Tonali after his departure for Newcastle United during the summer. Incoming pair Samuel Chukwueze and Christian Pulisic should provide workload assistance for Rafael Leão in wide areas.
Juventus under Massimiliano Allegri are set to only have the ball when they need to have the ball, as evidenced in pre-season against Milan and Real Madrid. Yet, the supercomputer expects they’ll have enough to stay among the elite, with a 53.6% likelihood of Champions League qualification. Still, the likes of Timothy Weah, Federico Chiesa and Adrien Rabiot in transition should make for a fun, albeit pragmatic, prospect.
Speaking of pragmatism, Houssem Aouar under José Mourinho at Roma feels like anything but a compatible fit, though Roma do have a 51.5% probability of European qualification via a top-six finish. Elsewhere in the Eternal City, Opta’s supercomputer remains high on Lazio reaching the Champions League (38.8%). For a team that has been so collectively dependent on Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from a standpoint of functionality, though, the latter’s signing for Al-Hilal in Saudi Arabia feels significant.
Who Will be Relegated from Serie A in 2023-24?
Models of this kind never tend to look favourably upon recently promoted teams and it is no different for Cagliari and Genoa. The two respectively have a 59% and 48.2% chance of going straight back down to Serie B.
Even with Daniel Boloca heading to Sassuolo, though, Frosinone have been predicted to survive after winning Serie B last season. It apparently comes at Lecce’s expense, with their dire second half of last season taken into consideration when assigning them a 43.4% chance of relegation, and now they have also lost midfield star Morten Hjulmand to Sporting CP.
In our simulations, only Inter, Napoli, Milan and Juventus avoided relegation in all 10,000 seasons, with Lazio, Roma and Atalanta given some (albeit very small) chances of going down. It seems unlikely, but never say never.
Opta-Simulated Serie A 2023-24 Table
After simulating the 2023-24 season 10,000 times, we’re able to average the points total of every club across those simulations and therefore rank teams positionally. Here’s the Opta supercomputer results from those simulations:
How does the Opta Supercomputer Model Work?
- Opta’s League Prediction model estimates the likelihood of teams finishing in each position in the competition. We can therefore see how successful a team’s season is likely to be, whether it is their relegation or title chances.
- The model estimates the probability of each match outcome (win, draw or loss) by using betting market odds and Opta Power Rankings. The odds and rankings are based on historical and recent team performances.
- The model considers the strength of opponents by using these match outcome probabilities and simulates the remaining fixtures in the competition thousands of times. By analysing the outcome of each of these simulations, the model can see how often teams finished in each league position to create final predictions.