The new Serie A season begins on Saturday with title contenders Roma and Juventus raising the curtain on what is expected to be an exciting season with their respective matches against Udinese and Fiorentina.
Serie A returns and the excitement grows as Roma get ready to kick off the new season at home to Udinese, before Juventus face fierce rivals Fiorentina later in the evening.
With two of the biggest favourites to win the Scudetto in action early on, we take a look at the biggest question of them all – Can Anyone put an end to Juventus’ dominance?
Juve out to win sixth straight title
The Old Lady had a quiet start to the Serie A 2015-16 season and plenty of doubters were laughing at Massimiliano Allegri as he struggled to find the winning formula in the early stages of the campaign.
With the likes of Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo and Carlos Tevez all out of the club, it took some time for Juventus head coach to compensate for the loss of his key first-team members.
An emerging duo of Paul Pogba and Paulo Dybala then decided to take centre stage and prove their worth to the Juventus faithfull, inspiring the Turin-based giants to their fifth consecutive Serie A title. The team who finished nine points clear at the top of Serie A in the end after coming from behind to put the rivals in place will be one to beat once again in the new campaign.
Juventus are at 2/5 betting odds to lift the Serie A trophy for the sixth time on the trot and it appears that no one can stop them at the moment.
Stronger than ever?
The Old Lady have added yet more depth and variation to their squad during the summer transfer window.
With the ability to almost predict and anticipate moves in the transfer window, Juventus have made all the right moves to increase competition for places and boost quality inside their ranks.
Seven players have joined Juventus so far this summer with Gonzalo Higuain being the most prominent addition to Allegri’s squad. Fresh from his most prolific Serie A season the Argentine forward joined rivals Juventus from Napoli in a move that raised plenty of eyebrows in Italy.
The Old Lady have forked €90 million for the player who scored record 36 Serie A goals last season. They have perhaps overpaid the striker who came to Turin overweight and has received a fair share of criticism for arriving in terrible shape, but there is no doubt that Higuain will add plenty of quality to Juventus line-up.
Paul Pogba’s record transfer to Manchester United cushioned the deal, financially speaking, but the departure of talented Frenchman was at the same time regarded as possibly biggest problems for Juventus ahead of next season.
However, the Old Lady have prepared for Pogba’s move at the very beginning of the transfer window. Roma creative dynamo Miralem Pjanic joined Bianconeri for €32 million and is expected to be a direct substitute for Pogba in the centre of the field.
Dani Alves was also one of the big-name arrivals, Mehdi Benatia added even more power to the back line, while Mario Lemina and Marko Pjaca are regarded as exciting young prospects, who will add flair to Juventus’ play.
Last season’s title challengers Napoli are angry and bitter which could end up costing them dearly in the new season. They have replaced Higuain with Arkadiusz Milik, who will have big shoes to fill in his new club. Center-back Lorenzo Toneli and central midfielder Piotr Zielinski add a bit depth, but it cannot be compared to Juventus’ squad strength.
Roma will have plenty of problems replacing Miralem Pjanic and his influence in the midfield which was compounded by joint-most 12 assists last season. Luciano Spalletti’s team is not to be discarded though, but Giallorossi simply aren’t at Juventus’ level.
Inter have went through an ownership rollercoaster this summer and Roberto Mancini was the first one to be sacrificed. Having finished fourth last season after falling a full 13 points back of the targeted third place, Inter thanked Mancini and brought Frank de Boer who is tasked with changing the team’s dynamics, atmosphere and mentality.
Former European giants AC Milan deserve an honourable mention.
As they prepare to move in the post-Berlusconi era, Rossoneri haven’t been given a timely boost in the transfer market and Vincenzo Montella has been unable to so far make moves that would help him build from ashes of a miserable end to last season.
With no genuine competition to fight against, are Juventus on path of making history yet again?