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Italy: 2008-2009 Serie A Predictions (1-20)

Andy Greeves in Editorial, Serie A 30 Aug 2008

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Serie A Predictions

1) Inter Milan

Last season’s Serie A champions are strong favourites to secure another title this campaign and it’s not hard to see why.

Jose Mourinho’s arrival has galvanised a squad of players brimming with quality and optimism. While transfer targets such as Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba, Ricardo Carvalho and Ricardo Quaresma haven’t arrived at the San Siro, Mourinho has made some clever signings over the summer.

Brazilian winger Amantino Mancini looked impressive during five impressive seasons with Roma, while Sulley Muntari was one of last season’s best Premiership midfielders.

From Julio Cesar in goal, the central defensive partnership of Walter Samuel and Cristian Chivu, Cambiasso and Zanetti in midfield to Ibrahimovic and Mancini upfront, Inter have a squad capable of challenging for the Scudetto and Champions League.

2) AC Milan

Having massively underachieved in 2007-2008, the pressure on Milan to re-establish themselves amongst Italy’s football elite will be massive.

At 20m euros, Ronaldinho represents a major gamble for Carlo Anchelotti, who will be desperate for the Brazilian to regain the form and fitness that has eluded him for the past few seasons. If he can, Milan’s attacking force, with Kaka, Pato and Pirlo will be irresistible.

In Zambrotto, Nesta and Maldini, the Rossoneri have the most experienced defence in Serie A and manager Carlo Anchelotti has achieved everything possible in the club game.

With no Champions League football this season, Milan can focus solely on a push towards the Scudetto that they last won in 2004.

3) Roma

Roma have been Serie A’s ultimate bridesmaids for the last three seasons, with a run of consecutive second placed finishes. They were just three points off champions Inter last campaign and will be hoping to finally land the Scudetto this time around.

New signing Julio Baptista will add fire power to the Giallorossi’s attack and John Arne Riise brings mobility to the left back position. But their failure to significantly improve their squad elsewhere on the field this summer could be costly for Luciano Spalletti’s side.

Amantino Mancini’s departure to Inter is a major blow to Roma’s title credentials, though their squad still boasts the likes of Francesco Totti, Daniele De Rossi, David Pizarro and Philippe Mexes.

Despite their excellent starting eleven, Roma’s strength in depth is questionable. For that reason they seem destined to miss out on the big prize again this season.

4) Juventus

The Old Lady of Italian football has well and truly marked its return to Serie A last season. A third placed finish in their first season back in Serie A, suggests great things ahead for Claudio Ranieri’s side.

The £17m capture of Palermo’s forward Amauri is a statement of intent from the Turin club, who mean business this season. Olef Mellberg, Christian Poulsen and Sebastian Giovinco’s signings are also significant.

The Amauri-Del Piero partnership should yield plenty of goals for the Bianconeri, who can again achieve a top four spot this season.

5) Fiorentina

The Viola return to the Champions League this season after a nine year absence. As well as looking capable of a long run in Europe, Cesere Prandelli’s side should also maintain a top six finish in Serie A.

The signings of strikers Alberto Gilardino, Stevan Jovetic and Jefferson gives Fiorentina one of Italy’s best frontlines, complementing the likes of last season’s forwards Adrian Mutu, Pablo Osvaldo and Giampaolo Pazzini.

Major additions have been made elsewhere on the pitch, with defender Juan Margas signed from Catania, midfielder Felipe Melo joining from Spanish side Almeria and right back Luciano Zauri moving from Lazio.

All pointing towards a very promising season ahead.

6) Sampdoria

The Blucerchiati’s movement in the transfer market has been as low key as their push towards a top six finish last season.

Dniele Dessena signing was one of few things for Sampdoria fans to talk about this summer, the 21-year-old midfielder arriving with the reputation as one the hottest prospects in Italy. His supply for the likes of Antonio Cassano and Claudio Bellucci could prove hugely fruitful.

From back to front, Sampdoria have a solid side can once again achieve top six this season.

7) Udinese

8 ) Napoli

9) Lazio

10) Palermo

11) Atalanta

12) Genoa

13) Torino

14) Cagliari

15) Verona

16) Siena

17) Bologna

18) Catania

19) Reggina

20) Lecce

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Andy Greeves


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