The 2019/20 season of the Serie A’s opening weekend was a very loud one. Seven teams scored three goals or more with many of the usual suspects as well as some newcomers getting on the scoresheets.
However, some notable names were missing from the scoresheets, including last season’s top four goalscorers – Fabio Quagliarella (Sampdoria; 26 Goals), Duvan Zapata (Atalanta; 23 Goals), Krzysztof Piatek (AC Milan and Genoa; 22 Goals), and Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus; 21 Goals). This start is reminiscent of last season because these hitmen did not hit the ground running but peaked after a few match weeks, scoring braces, scoring in consecutive matches and seizing the headlines.
This season looks to be no different in terms of the names who will top the chart, but it will be keenly contested and we could see a change in the table. We will be looking at the top four goalscorers from last season, analyse their game, and predict their goal-scoring seasons.
The 36-year old has had a career of ups and downs, having to deal with a sociopathic stalker in his days at Napoli which led to his massive loss of form and to his departure from the club. This also led to his poor form which spanned several seasons, seeing him bounce from place to place and club to club, until he found his form in his second spell at Sampdoria.
Opportunistic poacher yet hardworking, good off-the-ball movement, aerially strong, with a powerful shot – this is the best description for Quagliarella’s playing style. He is also a great penalty taker.
PREDICTION: A quieter season in waiting for him, but he will reach double figures. Between 10-17 goals.
A really underrated marksman, Zapata has achieved double figures in almost every league season he has played in and with the new look Atalanta that debuted last season, Zapata has found where he belongs. It is safe to say that this late bloomer still has a lot left in him.
He is a striker primarily known for his speed and physicality. He also possesses a powerful shot, good aerial prowess and good hold up play, which Atalanta know how to exploit to devastating effect.
PREDICTION: The Atalanta squad isn’t deep enough to compete in the champions league and the two major Italian competitions, so the burnout will affect his potency in the league if not managed properly. Like Quagliarella, a quieter season awaits him and he will also reach double figures. Between 15-20 goals.
The youngest on this list and a sophomore in Serie A, he is just getting used to the league and its very technical style. He has always been a very sharp goal scorer and deserved to play on bigger stages, an opportunity which Genoa gave him. He scored 13 goals for them in the few months he played there (and still ended the season as their top scorer), and then he was scooped up by Milan in the same season, scoring nine goals.
Piatek’s playing style resembles that of Quagliarella with one distinction: His long-range shooting ability is way poorer which implies that his best work is done in the box. He will, however, provide more than goalscoring threat options for Milan, as his good off-the-ball movement (still needs a lot of work) will allow other attack-minded players work their way into the box and score the goals.
PREDICTION: He will average a double goal tally and will become known for his assists this season.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner can never be written out of a season except he gets injured for the whole season. It is this drive and the professionalism with which he approaches the sport that makes him incredibly dangerous opponent to play against.
He is a versatile attacker who plays primarily on the left and in recent years, more centrally. He can shoot accurately with both feet, is incredibly good in the air (he has lifted himself four to five feet above the ground to get to a ball several times), and possesses blistering pace on and off the ball. He is a forward who evolves according to his personal and team goals every season, so he is hard to keep track off.
PREDICTION: Maurizio Sarri is a more attack-minded coach and this is sure to benefit Ronaldo. His sophomore Serie A season will be very loud. Between 25-30 goals.
PREDICTED TOP SCORER FOR 2019/20 SEASON: Cristiano Ronaldo