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Series A: Five Players Could Determine Scudetto Between AC Milan, Inter Milan and Napoli!

This season’s Serie A title competition is one of the most thrilling in a decade (watch it all on Paramount+). Three teams are still in contention for the Scudetto at the end of the season.

Inter Milan is seeking to make it back-to-back titles after winning it last year under Antonio Conte, while AC Milan is looking to reclaim the Scudetto eleven years after last winning it.

Then there’s Napoli, who haven’t won it all since 1989/90 when Diego Armando Maradona was the star. Inter is +110, AC Milan is +200, while Napoli is +225. (odds courtesy of Caesar’s Sportsbook).

With seven games remaining (eight for Inter), let’s look at five key players who could decide the title for these three clubs.

europa-league

Rafael Leao, AC Milan

Let’s start with Rafael Leao, a standout in Serie A this season. The Portuguese striker showed his talent and technique throughout the season, playing a key role in most of Rossoneri’s victories. He’s still a work in progress, but he’s grown a lot this season. Rafael Leao had 0.9 expected goals on eight shots versus Bologna. His 0.9 predicted goals are his highest this year. He leads AC Milan with 141 one-v-one efforts this season, 57 more than Brahim Diaz, who is second.

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Lautaro Martinez, Inter Milan

Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez is an important player for Inter Milan and Simone Inzaghi. It’s startling how much Martinez has changed. He lost his greatest assist-giving players in Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku last summer, but now he’s playing alongside Edin Dzeko and has done well so far this season. Martinez’s xG per 90 increased from 0.53 to 0.77 in the new system, but his shot totals increased from 3.81 to 3.94.

Victor Osimhen, Napoli

Victor Osimhen is one of the most important attackers in Italy. Despite missing several weeks in December and January due to injury, he’s already had an incredible impact this season. Osimhen has 11 goals this season, tied for tenth in Serie A.

Osimhen has 9.8 predicted goals, second on the squad. Lorenzo Insigne leads Napoli with 12.7 xG, but he’s injured and Osimhen doesn’t take penalties. Osimhen’s 0.62 xG per 90 minutes is third in the league, behind only Ibrahimovic and Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata (among players with over 900 minutes played).

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Mike Maignan, AC Milan

After failing to renew Gianluigi Donnarumma’s contract, AC Milan signed Mike Maignan to replace him. The French goalkeeper has only allowed one goal in his last five games and has been one of the league’s finest so far this season.

At only 26 years old, he will be a good goalie in the future, and AC Milan fans adore him. As a whole, Milan has a good defensive unit, but Miagnan adds to that by doing his part between the sticks.

He has stopped over three goals more than the average keeper this season, which is third in Serie A. It might mean the difference between winning the Scudetto and finishing third.

Hakah Calhanoglu, Inter Milan

Serie A’s transfer market was full of surprises last summer. Inter chose to sign Hakan Calhanoglu after Christian Eriksen’s cardiac episode during the Euros left him without a team after failing to renew his contract with AC Milan.

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Simone Inzaghi’s Turkish footballer quickly became a crucial player. Despite various slumps, he was a reliable goalscorer, including penalties against AC Milan and Juventus. Calhanoglu has been involved in 15 goals (seven goals, eight assists) in Serie A this season, second only to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (18).

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