NEWS
Friday August 18 2017
Ones to watch in Week 1

After 83 days without calcio, Serie A gets back underway tomorrow for the 2017-18 season.

It’s been a momentous summer in Italy, with Milan spending over €200m, Juventus losing Leonardo Bonucci and Luciano Spalletti swapping Roma for Inter.

Juve, the Milan clubs, the Giallorossi and Napoli all start the season with Scudetto ambitions, while the return of four Champions League spots gives extra incentive to the likes of Lazio, Fiorentina and even Atalanta.

Here’s what to watch out for in Week 1 of Serie A.

The Juventus defence

The Bianconeri have built their recent dynasty on the back of their defence, with Gianluigi Buffon protected by Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini.

However, one third of the ‘BBC’ swapped Turin for Milan this summer, while Dani Alves left for Paris Saint-Germain after just one season.

The result is that for the first time in recent memory, there are doubts about the Juve backline heading into the Serie A season.

Right-back is a cause for concern Mattia De Sciglio was at fault for Lazio’s third goal in the Supercoppa defeat, while Stephan Lichtsteiner was given a torried time by Moussa Sissoko in pre-season.

Perhaps more crucially, the loss of Bonucci removes arguably the finest ball playing defender in the world.

How will Juventus build the play from the back in his absence? We’ll start to get an idea against Cagliari on Saturday evening.

Read our Juventus-Cagliari preview here

Napoli to make a statement

Napoli have had perhaps their best transfer window of recent times, despite signing only Adam Ounas so far.

The Partenopei squad made a pact to stay together and try for the Scudetto, with players voluntarily returning early from their holidays.

They already play the best football in Serie A, but now they need to add silverware to their style.

Maurizio Sarri’s side face newly-promoted Verona on Saturday night, and they’ll want to lay down an early marker.

Read our Verona-Napoli preview here

Di Francesco’s Roma debut

Roma have sold Antonio Rudiger, Mohamed Salah and Leandro Paredes, but perhaps the biggest loss is on the bench.

Luciano Spalletti opted not to renew his contract, jumping ship to join Inter, and former Giallorossi midfielder Eusebio Di Francesco replaced him.

The former Sassuolo boss faces a difficult start against an Atalanta side from whom the Lupi took just one point last season.

After a record points total last season, can Roma finally win a first Scudetto since 2001? Or will the summer’s sales see them fall out of the title race?

We’ll get our first clue at 17.00 on Sunday.

Read our Atalanta-Roma preview here

The new Milan

Milan are the side everyone is talking about this summer, and for good reason.

Bonucci, Lucas Biglia and Franck Kessié have already joined, with Nikola Kalinic set to follow in the coming days.

Rossoneri fans finally have reason to be optimistic, and over 60,000 turned up at San Siro for the Europa League qualifier against Craiova.

The Champions League is the minimum aim and the Scudetto is the dream, but all eyes will be on the Stadio Ezio Scida on Sunday night.

Read our Crotone-Milan preview here

Spalletti’s Inter debut

Borja Valero and Matias Vecino will face former side Fiorentina at San Siro, but the real talking point is new Inter Coach Luciano Spalletti.

The Tuscan has said he’ll manage the Viola one day, but he’s expected to take the Nerazzurri back into the Champions League this season.

Pre-season brought encouraging signs, in contrast to last season’s chaos, but the real action starts this weekend.

Read our Inter-Fiorentina preview here