Juventus Looking to Regain Serie A Title

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The new Serie A season kicks off on Saturday 21 August as defending champions Inter Milan face Genoa at the San Siro.

As always the summer hasn’t been dull in Italy, as the managerial merry-go-round has been in full force. Add in the defending champions in financial trouble and the return of some old faces, it is all set up for an intriguing season.

Serie A Preview: Juventus Look to Regain Title Crown

The Return of Massimiliano Allegri

After a disastrous season under Andrea Pirlo, Juventus have turned to a familiar face in Massimiliano Allegri. The Italian returns for a second spell in charge after a two-year absence.

Allegri was incredibly successful in his first spell in charge winning five Scudettos, four Coppa Italia’s and twice reaching the Champions League final. The Juventus hierarchy tried to replace Allegri when he left in 2019. However, neither Maurizio Sarri nor Pirlo were able to replicate Allegri’s success.

In particular, in Europe where they have been dumped out of the Champions League in the last 16 over the last two seasons. Juventus are desperate to end their 25-year wait for a Champions League title. However, with the club’s current financial problems due to the covid pandemic and the fact that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich and the English sides are now stronger than the Turin giants the wait looks like it could continue for a while yet.

The only addition has been Weston McKennie from Schalke, with Manuel Locatelli also on the verge of joining the Bianconeri. Juventus have enough quality to regain their Serie A title with the likes of Paulo Dybala, Federico Bernardeschi, and 0f course Cristiano Ronaldo.

Max Allegri knows what it takes to be a success at Juventus and you would expect them to bounce back this season after the failed Pirlo experiment.

Champions in Turmoil

The defending champions Inter Milan are in turmoil. It has been a chaotic summer for the Nerazzuri. The man who guided them to the Scudetto, Antonio Conte left just weeks after winning the title due to their plans to sell players because of the state of their finances.

Chinese owners Suning have been hit hard by the global pandemic. They were forced to close their non-retail business and liquated their Chinese Super League side Jiangsu.

In 2019/20, Inter announced a loss of €102.4 million. The staggering financial loss and the pandemic have forced Inter to sell key players from their Scudetto winning side. Achraf Hakimi and Romelu Lukaku have been sold.

New boss Simeone Inzaghi has a tough job on his hands. Inter have managed to add some new additions with the likes of Edin Dzeko, Hakan Calhanoglu, and Denzel Dumfries arriving.

However, to replicate their title success from last season will be a tall order. Given their financial situation it is imperative that they finish in the top four.

Mourinho Returns to Serie A

Eleven years after guiding Inter Milan to a historic treble, Jose Mourinho is back managing in Italy with Roma. It could be the perfect marriage as both Mourinho and Roma have points to prove.

The Portuguese manager has endured disappointing spells in his last two jobs with Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. There is a feeling that Mourinho’s managerial methods are now out of date and he has lost his spark which made him the special one.

Meanwhile, Roma are coming off a poor season finishing a lowly seventh in Serie A. Having reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018, the Giallorossi have gone backwards since then. They haven’t finished in the top four in Serie A in the last three seasons.

They have been one of the biggest spenders in the transfer market over the summer in Italy, as they look to get back into the Champions League. Mourinho may have a point a prove but his best successes have been with Porto and Inter Milan. If the players buy into his style of play, Roma will be hard to beat.

Lazio Look to Sarri Ball

There certainly will be contrasting styles in Italy’s capital this year. While Roma have gone with the defensive style of Mourinho, Lazio have gone with the attacking, pressing style of Maurizio Sarri.

Lazio will be hoping Sarri can repeat his success at Napoli. There he turned them into title contenders, playing an attractive style of football.

Last season was a disappointing campaign where the Biancocelesti missed out on a Champions League spot. Meanwhile, Sarri like Mourinho will feel he has a point to prove after underwhelming spells at Chelsea and Juventus.

To be fair to the 62-year-old, neither club gave him time to implement his style of football. If Lazio’s fans and directors are patient they will be rewarded with attractive and entertaining football. However, they haven’t spent much money in the summer and a place in the top four will be a big ask.

One thing is for sure it certainly won’t be dull in Rome with Sarri and Mourinho.

Overall it will be an exciting and entertaining season in Serie A. Stadiums are set to be a 50% capacity for the start of the season, it will be a welcome boost for a country that has been badly hit by the pandemic.

 

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