James Horncastle provides the need-to-know ahead of the 2015/16 season for Italy's top flight...
No Pirlo. No Vidal. No Tevez. There'll be a revamped Juventus side hoping to secure their fifth consecutive Serie A this term, which might just offer a glint of light to the likes of Roma, Napoli and Roberto Mancini's new Inter, who will look to contest the championship. The league welcomes exciting new talents such as Edin Dzeko, Alex Sandro (about to be announced) and Mario Mandzukic, while domestic stars such as Simone Zaza, Iago Falque and Paulo Dybala have moved on to bigger stages. Let battle commence.
Three reasons why this season will be ace...
1. The Force Awakens
Rising from their slumber, the Milan clubs are back and join a rebel alliance, led by Roma and Napoli, in challenging champions Juventus
Serie A could quite easily have been mistaken for the latest instalment of Star Wars this summer. Edy Reja, the league’s oldest coach, looked like he was auditioning for the role of Han Solo as he arrived at Atalanta’s pre-season get-together on a spaceship. Milan signed ChewBacca [also known as Carlos, from Europa League winners Sevilla] which would indicate the team will no longer play with a False 9 or Phantom Menez as they did last season. Drones keep appearing. Spotted in Naples where Maurizio Sarri was using them to film team shape, Inter coach Mancini has insisted he must have one. Something has stirred at San Siro, too.
“There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?” Rising from their slumber, the Milan clubs are back and join a rebel alliance, led by Roma and Napoli, in challenging champions Juventus who have lost three players in whom the force was strong. This season promises to be box office.
CAMPIONATO. DI CALCIO. ITALIANO. Remember the theme tune from Channel 4’s Gazzetta Football Italia with its iconic cry of “Golazo!”? Well, as a soundtrack it has never been more appropriate. More goals were scored in Italy last season than in any of Europe’s top five leagues. Luca Toni became the oldest Capocannoniere ever. Mauro Icardi is the youngest since Paolo Rossi in 1978. Although Carlitos Tevez has left Serie A, 687 other goals have arrived. That’s how many the league’s new No.9s Edin Dzeko, Mario Mandzukic, Stevan Jovetic, Luiz Adriano and Carlos Bacca have scored in their careers. Pepito Rossi is healthy again, Gonzalo Higuain is still around and what if Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Mario Balotelli make a return? It’s enough to make you shout: Goooooooooooooooooooolazo.