During the 2014 2015 Serie A season, as they collected a fourth consecutive league title, Juventus won 26 games, drew nine, and only lost three. This season, during the first eight weeks of Serie A 2015 - 2016 competition, Juve have already tallied three losses and have only collected three wins. The poor record has put the Zebras all the way back at 14th place in the Italian league standings, a far cry from the leading position they were expected to once again occupy all season.
Whether or not Juventus have any chance at rallying and getting back to the winner's circle this season depends on who you ask. Undoubtedly, though, the collapse of Italian football's most recent dynasty has created some interesting narratives in the 2015 2016 Serie A.
Fiorentina: Finally Title Hopefuls?
The most interesting of those narratives surrounds Fiorentina, who are currently leading the way in the 2015 2016 Serie A with a point total of 18. Fiorentina notched an impressive fourth place finish in the Serie A last season, but most soccer pundits wondered if the football club had what it took to become title hopefuls.
For one thing, Fiorentina sacked their manager last spring-even despite their strong performance in the league. Vincenzo Montella, the club's manager since the 2012 2013 season, had done well during his tenure. Before Montella showed up, Fiorentina had suffered a 13th place finish during the 2011 2012 Serie A season. In 2012 2013, under Montella's management, the football club leaped to fourth place. Fiorentina would go on to achieve fourth-place finishes in each of the three seasons that Montella was in charge.
Last year, Montella's impressive record at Fiorentina made him a target for several clubs looking to fill coaching vacancies-among them AC Milan and Napoli. Montella didn't shy away from the speculation that he might be leaving Fiorentina for a new coaching position, and was ultimately sacked for not being "clearer, more respectful, and less ambiguous" about his intentions.
Some Lilies fans feared that sacking Montella might equate to killing the goose that laid the golden egg. But his replacement, Paulo Sousa, has silenced those fears by coaching Fiorentina to six wins and two losses in the first eight weeks of 2015 2016 play. The Lilies haven't won a Serie A title since 1969, but could they end that lengthy drought next year? Only time will tell.
The Other Contenders
Of course, Fiorentina aren't alone at the top of the table. At 18 points, they are just one point ahead of both AS Roma and Inter Milan. Roma, who finished second in the Serie A in both of the last two seasons, were the natural frontrunner candidates once Juventus imploded. They are still very much in the running for the title, with more goals (20) and a higher goal difference (+10) than the other three teams in the top three.
Inter Milan, meanwhile, could be enjoying a renaissance after five-plus years without winning a Serie A title. Internazionale have an identical record to Roma's (five wins, two draws, and one loss), but they've gotten there in a markedly different way.
Indeed, while Roma have pushed their way toward the top of the table almost on goal count alone, Internazionale have done it defensively. The soccer squad has only scored eight goals in their first eight fixtures-the lowest tally of any team in the Serie A top 10. But they've also only conceded six-tied with Fiorentina for the lowest "goals against" count of any football club in the league. Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and Fiorentina keeper Ciprian Tatarusanu are leading the league in clean sheets, with six apiece.
You also can't write off Napoli as potential title contenders for the 2015 2016 Serie A. Currently in fourth place with 15 points, Napoli are in a good position thanks to the fact they have two of the top three goalscorers (Gonzalo Higuain and Lorenzo Insigne) of the season so far. Both men have netted six goals in the first eight weeks of competitive play. Sampdoria's Citaden Eder has also scored six, but his team is farther back in the league standings, at 10th place.
Which football club are you rooting for this season? Pick up an official jersey at Soccer Box to root for your team! Whether you are looking for the Juventus jersey 2015 2016 or a purple 2015 2016 Fiorentina training shirt, you can find it at our online store.