2014-15 SERIE A PREVIEW

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CESENA

2014-15 preview

While the locals may warmly embrace their return to the top-flight, it seems inevitable that Cesena will once again be playing out a Serie A season fending for their lives. Rossella Marrai thinks another Bisoli miracle is beyond reach.

Cesena swimming against the tide

Since Cesena reported for pre-season training at Acquapartita on July 19, there has been an air of positivity around the newly-promoted club upon their return to Serie A after a two-year absence.

And why wouldn’t there be? The Sea Horses managed to overcome financial difficulties to swim their way back to the leading division, and their pre-season results have also been a reason to rejoice.

A goalless draw to Massimiliano Allegri’s Juventus side was always going to bode well in terms of a confidence booster for the team, and that was evident when victories over Santarcangelo, Rayo and Imolese saw them go unbeaten in six friendly matches.

On top of that, Guido Marilungo and Alejandro Rodriguez’s lethal attacking combination has rattled opposition defences, while their own back-line has remained watertight to concede just three goals to 11 scored. A surprising tally considering the club’s goalscoring problems last term in Serie B.

The results have allowed Cesena to dream big in hope of landing the signatures of Marco Borriello and Antonio Sanabria, all while announcing the arrival of the experienced Franco Brienza.

So far, pre-season form cannot be faulted, but there is an underlying fear that lingers just below the shoreline, as they get set to dive into the new campaign against Parma. And that fear is the uncertainty of the unknown.

Even with their impressive summer form, that has seen little to no money splurged in the market, the team is not strong enough to contend for nothing more than a scrappy finish for survival. Nicola Leali is a promising talent in goal, but his lack of know-how is a risk to put forth against the big guns, while Luigi Giorgi, Riccardo Cazzola and Marilungo are all previous Serie A misfits from different clubs.

Coach Pierpaolo Bisoli may have pulled miracles in the past with the Cavallucci Marini, where he has extracted the best out of them, but this year a miracle seems that extra bit further out of his reach.

Coach – Pierpaolo Bisoli

Currently in his second stint at Cesena, Bisoli has a fresh new squad upon the club’s return to Serie A. His biggest task will be building a team fit for survival and ensuring that they manage to preserve their top-flight status for another term. His experience in staving off relegation will come handy.

The difference maker – Nicola Leali

The 21-year-old is probably one of the best players in this year’s Cesena side, and he is expected to make his mark in the top-flight with the Sea Horses. Standing at 6’2’’, Leali is quick off his line, drops to the floor with ease and can pull off some dramatic aerial saves. 

Best buy – Franco Brienza

In order to survive their return to Serie A, management knew that an experienced player was needed and Franco Brienza fits the bill. Arriving at the club with years of experience at Palermo and Siena, the veteran striker is guaranteed to supply experience, passion and, of course, goals.

Could be of use to Conte… Nicola Leali

Currently on-loan from Juventus, Leali is set for a first taste of Serie A with the newly promoted side. Rated as one of the up and coming goalkeepers, the 21-year-old will be putting his name out as a contender for the Azzurri.

Probable line-up

LEALI; NICA, Capelli, Krajnic, Renzetti; GIORGI, Cascione, CAZZOLA; BRIENZA, RODRIGUEZ; Marilungo

Season prediction – 20th

Scratching for survival will be Cesena’s primary task this season. With a squad not fit enough to compete for a mid-table position, the Sea Horses will have to pull the cat out of the hat in hope of finishing out of the bottom three. However, with most teams overwhelmingly stronger than the Bianconeri, a return to Serie B is expected.

Transfers

IN     OUT  
Cazzola (Atalanta) FW   Ceccarelli (Bologna) D
Giorgi (Atalanta) M   D'Alessandro (Atalanta) FW
Leali (Spezia) GK   Camporese (Fiorentina) D
Nica (Atalanta) D   Rolando (Porto) D
Tabanelli (Cagliari) M   Bangoura (San Marino) D
Malonga (Real Murcia) FW   Campagnolo (released) GK
Djuric Cittadella) FW   Coser (Vicenza) GK
Ricci (Varese) D   Consolini (released) D
Perico (Cagliari) D   Alhassan (Genoa) M
Lucchini (Atalanta) D   Belingheri (Livorno) M
Bressan (Varese) GK   Gagliardini (Atalanta) M
Volta (Levante) D   Rossini (Parma) GK
Magnusson (Spezia) D      
Ze Eduardo (Parma) M      
Parfait (Pisa) M      
Brienza (Atalanta) FW      

Bisoli image source: Cesenacalcio.it