Juventus – Milan preview

Juventus-Milan probable line-ups

Juventus are expected to start tonight’s Coppa Italia tie against Milan without a host of first team regulars.

Although a place in the semi-final is just 90 minutes away, boss AntonioConte is being tipped to begin without Gigi Buffon, Andrea Pirlo, StephanLichtsteiner and Mirko Vucinic.

The champions will also be shy of the injured Giorgio Chiellini and ClaudioMarchisio.

Conte is set to field a 3-5-2, but has yet to decide whether to start with Federico Peluso or Paul Pogba. Emanuele Giaccherini will thus play on the flank or in the middle depending on which of the two get the nod.

Alessandro Matri and Sebastian Giovinco should start in attack as FabioQuagliarella is suspended, while Vucinic is not fully fit.

Luca Marrone, fielded as a centre-back this term, will return to his usual midfield role in the absence of Pirlo.

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri is limited by injury problems in defence, while goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has not even been included in the squad.

Kevin Prince Boateng should see off competition from Antonio Nocerino for a place in midfield, while Giampaolo Pazzini will get a chance in attack as he is suspended this weekend.

The winners of tonight’s tie will face Lazio in the semi-finals.

Juventus: Storari; Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres; Isla, Vidal, Marrone, Giaccherini,Peluso; Matri, Giovinco

Milan: Amelia; Abate, Mexes, Acerbi, De Sciglio; Montolivo, Ambrosini,Boateng; Urby, Pazzini, El Shaarawy.

30.12

Basket, Finland, UU-Korihait Uusikaupunki – Nilan Bisons 

pick: Nilan -21,5 link 

– first game was +45 for away team

– worst team vs best (3 teams on bottom)

– UU-Korihat left tree best players, americans and playing with their players

– UU-Korihat have one injured player also

Italy » Serie B » Ternana – Pro Vercelli 1 @ 1,85 bet365

 

I belive odds will drop. Both are in bad form but hosts have more quality and playing hme. Ternan will be without Fabio Pisacane (df 7/0), Biagio Meccariello (df 6/0), Massimo Gotti (mf 1/0). Also Guido di Deo (mf 10/0). I would said not so important players (wasnt played on last few games, long term injured). Only new blow is striker Angelo Raffaele Nolè (19/4). They are working to bring some famous names (Gianluca Zambrotta, Simone Barone, Daniele Ficagna)

On the other side Pro Vercelli in big problems. Form is awfull, loose last two games agains directly opponents for relegation. They are in bad position, just is Grosseto under them on table. Also coach will have much problems for this game:
suspended are Simone Sini (df 11/0), Alessandro Ranellucci (df 18/0) and Andrea Rosso (mf 8/0; injured are Gabriel Pires (mf 12/1), Massimiliano Scaglia (df 16/2), Alberto Masi (df 13/1), Gianni Fabiano (att 14/2); doubtfull are Alessio Innocenti, Stefano Murante, Matteo Di Piazza (att 10/1)

I pick home win becausee of so much away problems

sunday bet

Derby della Capitale

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I expect fighting game with lot of fouls and cards

Slavija – FK Sarajevo  dnb 2 @ 1,83 bet365

..have no time for analise but i am quite confident in it..

Odd Grenland – Aalesund

Both has artificial grass

Odd out: Samuelsen (mf 24/0)

Aalesund out: Wembangomo (df 13/0), Arnefjord (df 23/6), Phillips (mf 19/0), Morrison (mf 23/0), Myklebust (att 12/0), Steward (att 20/4)

Anderlecht – Club Brugge  1

Usually it would be big derby but this are hard days for Cl Brugge. They loose last 4 games and atmosphere is bad

Anderlecht out: Vargas (mf 4/0) and Deschacht (df 10/0)

Cl Brugge out: Larsen (df 3/0), Donk (df 10/0), Hoefkens (df 13/0), Vazquez (mf 10/1), Meunier (att 6/4)

PSV – SC Heerenveen

PSV miss some important players: Van Bommel (mf 7/2), Strootman (mf 11/4), Toivonen (att 7/3), Lens (att 11/3) and Narsingh (att 11/2)

Heerenveen has doubtful (but probably both out) first keeper Nordfeldt (11/0) and topscorer Finnbogason (att 9/9)

Montpellier – PSG

PSG without Ibrahimovic (10/10)

Metalurh – Shakhtar

Shakhtar has Mkhitaryan back (att 13/14). It is city derby

Wolfsburg – Bayer Leverkusen

Wolfsburg with no new missings

Bayer miss goalkeeper Leno (9/0), defenders Schwaab (4/0), Kadlec (df 8/0) and midfielders Augusto (2/0), Rolfes (8/0) and Bellarabi (8/0)

serie A season preview

Atalanta

In:
Moussa Kone (mid)(Pescara, end of loan); Ivan Radovanovic (mid)(Novara, end of loan); Davide Brivio (def)(Lecce); Carlos Matheu (def)(Independiente); Facundo Parra (att)(Chacarita Juniors, on loan)

Out:
Matteo Brighi (mid)(Roma, end of loan); Cristiano Doni (att)(released); Massimo Mutarelli (mid)(released); Alessandro Carrozza (mid)(Varese, end of loan); Nadir Minotti (mid)(Lanciano, on loan); Andrea Masiello (def)(released)

In the past season, Atalanta looked like the perfect candidate for an immediate return to the Serie B where they were coming from. In fact, they were about to face the whole campaign with a heavy point-deduction and they did not seem particularly solid. Against all odds, they turned out to be one of the main surprises of the Italian football and they succeeded reaching safety with some ease. Actually, had it not been for the 6-point deduction, they could have aspired to a qualification to the Europa League. Now, Atalanta are expected to confirm all the good done in the previous season. For such a reason, the management confirmed coach Colantuono and the whole squad. In fact, apart from Doni, whose career ended with a suspension, Brighi, whose loan ended, and Andrea Masiello, who will be suspended because of match-fixing, no other relevant players left. Youngsters like Carrozza and Minotti were given the chance to earn some playing time somewhere around the Peninsula. Colantuono should thus be able to rely on an unaltered starting eleven with only one exception. Instead of suspended, and released, Masiello, the newly-arrived Matheu should be acting as a right-back. The feeling is that they lack some alternative to Denis up-front. In the past season, they relied too much on his goal-scoring capabilities. At the moment, they got a 2-point suspension because of match-fixing.

Target:
Atalanta should manage not being involved in the struggle to avoid relegation. However, in order to confirm an extraordinary campaign as the past one, players like Schelotto, Denis and Moralez will have to repeat themselves and this could not be that easy.

Bologna

In:
Marti Riverola (mid)(Barcelona), Cristian Pasquato (att)(Udinese, on loan); Gianluca Curci (gk)(Roma); Mathias Abero (def)(Nacional Montevideo); Rogerio Carvalho (def)(Genoa); Marco Motta (def)(Juventus, on loan); Tiberio Guarente (mid)(Sevilla); Cesare Natali (def)(free agent); Federico Rodriguez (att)(Piacenza, end of loan)

Out:
Matteo Rubin (def)(Siena); Luigi Vitale (def)(Napoli, end of loan); Andrea Raggi (def)(Monaco); Gabi Mudingayi (mid)(Inter); Marco Di Vaio (att)(released); Ishak Belfodil (att)(Parma); Simone Loria (def)(end of loan); Jean-François Gillet (gk)(Torino)

In the past season, since coach Pioli’s arrival at the helm of the team, after a tragic beginning with Bisoli in charge, Bologna became one of the most interesting teams of the Serie A. Their second half of the season was characterized by an outstanding run that brought them from the dangerous grounds all the way up to the 9th standing of the table. Protagonists of such run were players like Ramirez, Diamanti and captain Di Vaio. Of these three stars, so far, only Diamanti was confirmed despite the offers made by some richer clubs. In fact, Ramirez is on the verge of leaving while Di Vaio joined Montreal Impact after 4 seasons and 65 goals scored for Bologna. Unfortunately for Pioli, this one was not the only important departure. Bologna lost at least one regular in all sides of the pitch. In goals, Gillet joined Torino and his place in the starting eleven should be taken by Agliardi, who had the opportunity to show his own skills in more than one occasion in the past season. The back three was weakened by Raggi’s departure for Monaco but the management wisely signed Natali in. The former Fiorentina defender should provide the otherwise young squad with some experience and muscles. In the midfield, Mudingayi’s departure will certainly represent a major loss. Krhin will be expected to replace him, taking the squad on his shoulders after a rather dull season. Riverola, who signed in from Barcelona, could replace Ramirez, in case of the latter’s departure, as the attacking midfielder to support Acquafresca, who will have to prove that he is not the bad player seen in the last couple of seasons. Pasquato and Carvalho could provide more depth both in the attack and the defence. Motta seems likely to earn himself a place on the right flank of the midfield, since Rubin returned to Siena. Portanova, who is involved in the match-fixing scandal, is risking a meaningful suspension.

Target:
Bologna should not have too many problems in reaching a quiet safety but a lot will depend on Pioli’s ability in blending in the new-comers with the rest of the squad. Ramirez’s loss, in case he was sold, could prove to be deadly for them.

Cagliari

In:
Marco Sau (att)(Juve Stabia, end of loan); Luca Rossettini (def)(Siena); Vincenzo Camilleri (def)(Reggina, on loan); Danilo Avelar (def)(Karpaty)

Out:
Michele Canini (def)(Genoa); Moestafa El Kabir (att)(Mijallby, on loan); Alessandro Agostini (def)(released); Rui Sampaio (mid)(Olhanense, on loan)

After another disappointing campaign, characterized by an anonymous fifteenth standing on the table and an array of different men in charge of the team, one might have expected Cagliari management to be particularly active during the transfer season. As occurred in the previous summer, though, this did not happen. It almost feels as if President Cellino had lost whatever interest he had in the team and in its strengthening. Coach Ficcadenti, who was confirmed at the helm despite two not particularly brilliant stints at the beginning and at the end of the past season, so far saw the departure of two players only. In fact, Canini joined in Genoa while El Kabir made the journey back to Sweden, where he was coming from. Only the former was a regular in the starting eleven and his place should be taken by Rossettini, who arrived from Siena. Among the youths who arrived during this summer, Sau could become a protagonist of the next season. While on loan at Juve Stabia in Serie B, he succeeded scoring 21 goals. He should become a scoring alternative to Pinilla, with Ibarbo and Thiago Ribeiro more likely to start from the bench. Even though they were not particularly active during the transfer season, Cagliari at least managed to confirm the spine of the squad with players like Astori and Nainggolan, thus resisting to the several offers received from some bigger clubs.

Target:
Cagliari should not be involved in the fight to avoid relegation since the backbone of the squad is a valid one. However, they do not seem likely to reach anything more than a quiet safety. The top ten would be a bonus.

Catania

In:
Pablo Alvarez (mid)(Saragozza, end of loan); Mariano Andujar (gk)(Estudiantes, end of loan); Mirko Antenucci (att)(Torino, end of loan); Keko (mid)(Grosseto, end of loan); Federico Moretti (mid)(Grosseto, end of loan); Fabio Sciacca (mid)(Grosseto, end of loan); Rafael Martinho (mid)(Cesena, end of loan); Souleymane Doukara (att)(Vibonese); Takayuki Morimoto (att)(Novara, end of loan); Amidu Salifu (mid)(Fiorentina, on loan); Alberto Frison (gk)(Vicenza); Lucas Castro (mid)(Racing)

Out:
Felipe Seymour (mid)(Genoa, end of loan); Giulio Ebagua (att)(Varese, end of loan); Marco Motta (def)(Juventus, end of loan); Juan Pablo Carrizo (gk)(Lazio, end of loan); Tomas Kosicky (gk)(Novara, on loan); David Suazo (att)(released); Andrea Campagnolo (gk)(released); Luca Calapai (def)(Barletta); Rafael Martinho (mid)(Verona)

After a few turbulent seasons, characterized by disastrous beginnings and some brilliant second halves of the campaign, with Montella in charge Catania succeeded coming real close to making history. In fact, up to some stage they seemed to be capable of reaching an unpredictable and unhoped-for qualification to the European competitions. Eventually, right when consistency was needed from them, they started losing several games in a row and so it was the end for their dreams of glory. And they even fell out of the top ten. Unfortunately for them, coach Montella decided to leave after one season only and he joined in a richer Fiorentina. Catania management opted for a seasoned replacement even though with no experience at all in the top flight of the Italian football. 49-year-old Maran made some impression when he reached the Serie B with Cittadella due to the aggressiveness and the quality of the play offered. After some not particularly bright experiences, he obtained some plause while at helm of Varese in the past season. Maran will be given an almost unaltered squad comparing to the past campaign. In fact, apart from Carrizo, who returned to Lazio, and Motta, who ended up in Bologna, only some fringe players left the team during the summer. In goals, Frison from Vicenza, at his first experience in Serie A, seems likely to make the starting eleven. Alvarez, who is back after spending some time with Zaragoza, should make it back as a right-back. Maran usually adopts an hyper-offensive 4-4-2 and this could mean some main change for Catania, who have been playing in a 4-3-3 formation for several seasons. In the attack, Bergessio and Gomez could have an alternative in Morimoto and Antenucci, who are both back from some spells on loan. Thanks to the return of several loanees and to the arrival of a few new youngsters, Maran could have to deal with an excessively wide squad.

Target:
Catania should be able to reach safety easily but it will depend a lot on how rapidly Maran will be able to adapt himself to the Serie A. And his players to the new formation.

Chievo Verona

In:
Roberto Guana (mid)(Cesena, end of loan); Pablo Granoche (att)(Varese, end of loan); Paul Papp (def)(Vaslui); Pavol Farkas (def)(Vaslui); Isaac Cofie (mid)(Sassuolo); David Di Michele (att)(Lecce); Adrian Stoian (mid)(Bari); Marco Rigoni (mid)(Novara)

Out:
Michael Bradley (mid)(Roma); Nikola Gulan (def)(Fiorentina, end of loan); Paolo Sammarco (mid)(Spezia); Francesco Acerbi (def)(Milan); Davide Mandelli (def)(released); Fernando Uribe (att)(Nacional); Mickael Facchinetti (def)(Lausanne)

Since their first arrival in the top flight of the Italian football in 2001, Chievo Verona’s transfer campaigns have been characterized by several departures among the key stars and the arrival of groups of young or experienced players coming from not particularly successful seasons. So far, this policy paid off and, apart from being relegated once, they always managed to survive in Serie A. As a matter of fact, in the recent past, with Di Carlo, Pioli and then Di Carlo again in charge, Chievo Verona managed to reach safety with quite some ease. Actually, they could have gone for more than just a place in the top ten but, whenever expected to make a quantum leap, they always failed to for some reason or another. This summer proved to be no exception to the rule. Coach Di Carlo saw Bradley and Acerbi, two of the main players from the past season, go. Together with them a whole group of players, who had hardly had any chances to earn any playing time, left too. Uribe, Mandelli, Gulan will all be wearing other shirts in the next season. With Bradley gone to Roma, Rigoni arrived from Novara. He could act as the attacking midfielder in a diamond or on the flanks of the midfield. Papp should take Acerbi’s place in the heart of the defence. Di Michele’s arrival should strengthen an attack that, in the past season, was only better than Cesena’s, who ended up at the bottom of the Serie A. Apart from these experienced new-comers, it has to be seen whether among the players returning from loan, such as Guana and Granoche, or the new youths, such as Stoian and Cofie, someone will be able to earn some playing time.

Target:
Chievo Verona are aiming at a quiet safety and they should reach it with some ease as long as the newly-arrived will be able to blend in together with the others.

Fiorentina

In:
Haris Seferovic (att)(Lecce, end of loan); Ahmed Hegazi (def)(Ismaily); Mounir El Hamdaoui (att)(Ajax); Facundo Roncaglia (def)(Boca Juniors); Francesco Della Rocca (mid)(Palermo); Emiliano Viviano (gk)(Palermo); Cristiano Lupatelli (gk)(Genoa); Juan Cuadrado (mid)(Udinese, on loan); Matias Fernandez (mid)(Sporting CP); Borja Valero (mid)(Villareal); Gonzalo Rodriguez (def)(Villarreal); Alberto Aquilani (mid)(Liverpool); David Pizarro (mid)(Roma)

Out:
Amidu Salifu (mid)(Catania, on loan); Riccardo Montolivo (mid)(released); Edoardo Pazzagli (gk)(Milan); Amauri (att)(released); Daniel Kofi Agyei (mid)(Juve Stabia, on loan); Matos (att)(Bahia); Houssine Kharja (mid)(El Arabi); Per Kroldup (def)(released); Cesare Natali (def)(released); Marco Marchionni (mid)(released); Alessandro Gamberini (def)(Napoli); Valon Behrami (mid)(Napoli); Lorenzo De Silvestri (def)(Sampdoria, on loan)

Since coach Prandelli left the team in order to become the manager of the Italian national team, Fiorentina turned into some extras of the Italian Serie A. They just became incapable of fighting for anything more than a place in the limbo, that is far away from the European spots and from relegation. A big change was needed at a managerial level and so it was decided that Montella, who had brilliantly impressed with Catania, was the right man. This change at the helm of the team was also accompanied by a real revolution in the squad. No less than seven regular players from the previous season were let go. Among them, Montolivo, Behrami, Natali, Gamberini and Amauri. Unlike the past season when almost no new players had arrived during the summer, this time Fiorentina management made quite an effort in order to strengthen the squad and to replace some of the players who left. In goals, Viviano will take Boruc’s place since the Polish international was released. Roncaglia and Rodriguez will be expected to act in the back three together with confirmed Nastasic. The midfield was utterly renewed: Borja Valero, Pizarro, Aquilani and Cuadrado are all expected to provide both the quality and the muscles that were missing in the recent past. In the attack, El Hamdaoui, who joins in with one-year delay, will make it straight to the starting eleven. Fiorentina supporters hope that Jovetic will not be sold before the end of the transfer season, as it appears likely, for it would be a major blow since no comparable player was hired.

Target:
Fiorentina have all the potential needed in order to fight for a place in the European competitions but it will all depend on how rapidly coach Montella is able to blend in such a group of players coming from so many different teams and leagues. Players who are often looking for a personal redemption.

Genoa

In:
Felipe Seymour (mid)(Catania, end of loan); Ciro Immobile (att)(Pescara, end of loan); Sebastien Ribas (att)(Sporting CP, end of loan); Dejan Lazarevic (mid)(Padova, end of loan); Diego Polenta (def)(Bari, end of loan); Vincenzo Rennella (att)(Cesena, end of loan); Steve Von Bergen (def)(Cesena); Andy Polo (att)(Universitario); Daniel Toszer (mid)(Genk); Anselmo (att)(Palmeiras); Michele Canini (def)(Cagliari); Julian Velazquez (def)(Independiente); Andrea Bertolacci (mid)(Lecce); Nenad Tomovic (def)(Lecce); Giammario Piscitella (att)(Roma); Alexander Merkel (mid)(Milan); Alexandros Tzorvas (gk)(Palermo); Jara Martinez (att)(Palermo, on loan)

Out:
Rodrigo Palacio (att)(Inter); Kevin Constant (mid)(Milan); Giuseppe Sculli (att)(Lazio, end of loan); Fernando Belluschi (mid)(Porto, end of loan); Cristiano Lupatelli (gk)(Fiorentina); Miguel Veloso (mid)(Dinamo Kyiv); Kaka Kaladze (def)(retired); Steve Von Bergen (def)(Palermo);

Ever since they made it back to the top flight of the Italian football, Genoa have been trying to become one of the protagonists of the Serie A. Thanks to President Preziosi, loads and loads of cash have been spent during the summer in order to strengthen the team and to make it a competitive one. Quite paradoxically, with the passing of time, Genoa have become worse and worse. In fact, at the very beginning, with Gasperini at the helm, they even managed to compete for a European spots while in the very last season, at some stage, they found themselves fighting in order to avoid relegation. Another summer and another group of new faces joined in while one main player ended up leaving, lured by the money of one bigger club. For sure, Palacio’s departure to Inter represents a major loss for Genoa but, to tell the truth, his absence could allow Gilardino to get back to his usual scoring standards. Standards he could not reach while pairing with the Argentinean striker. Coach De Canio, who was confirmed after sealing safety in the last weeks of the past season, will have to deal with a completely renewed squad. Canini, Velazquez and Tomovic will be expected to bring some solidity to a defence that conceded 69 goals in the past season. Genoa had, by far, the worst defence of the Serie A. Toszer, Bertolacci and Anselmo could give some depth to a midfield that lost Miguel Veloso and Constant. Kucka will have to prove that he is a leader in the middle of the park. As for the attack, apart from Gilardino, De Canio will be able to count on Immobile, the top scorer of the past Serie B with 28 goals. Few teams can boast such a firepower up-front. Genoa are risking some point-deduction due to the allegations of an involvement in the match-fixing scandal. A final decision will be taken in September.

Target:
Genoa should be able to avoid the mazes of the fight for safety but they do not seem capable of making the quantum leap needed to reach a European spot. De Canio could be the right man in the right place, though.

Internazionale

In:
Philippe Coutinho (att)(Espanyol, end of loan); Jonathan (def)(Parma, end of loan); McDonald Mariga (mid)(Parma, end of loan); Rodrigo Palacio (att)(Genoa); Giulio Donati (def)(Padova, end of loan); Samir Handanovic (gk)(Udinese); Matias Silvestre (def)(Palermo); Gabi Mudingayi (mid)(Bologna)

Out:
Mauro Zarate (att)(Lazio, end of loan); Angelo Palombo (mid)(Sampdoria, end of loan); Andrea Poli (mid)(Sampdoria, end of loan), Lucio (def)(released); Ivan Ramiro Cordoba (def)(retired); Paolo Orlandoni (gk)(retired); Luc Castaignos (att)(Twente); Francesco Bardi (gk)(Novara, on loan); Marco Faraoni (def)(Udinese)

In the summer 2011, Inter started what was expected to be a complete renewal both at a managerial and technical level. After a glorious winning streak with Mancini and Mourinho at the helm, it was time for a big change. Unfortunately for them, such a change occurred but it proved to be far from positive. They found themselves out of the fight for the Scudetto and, for some time, they flirted dangerously with the bottom ten. It was only towards the end of the campaign that they succeeded saving their season, obtaining an unhoped-for qualification to the Europa League with Stramaccioni in charge. Thanks to such a positive result, the former coach of the junior team was confirmed at the helm of the team. However, the renewal of the squad continues. Zarate, Poli and Palombo, who were on loan from Lazio and Sampdoria, returned home while Lucio was let free to sign in for Juventus. Both Maicon and Julio Cesar are currently looking for a new shirt to wear. The Brazilian goalkeeper even had to cope with the arrival of his substitute, Handanovic from Udinese. Silvestre should represent the perfect replacement for Lucio in the back four while Mariga and Mudingayi should be competing for a place in the middle of the park where Guarin will become a regular after a few not particularly impressive performances at the end of the past season. Palacio should make it straight to the forward three together with Sneijder and Milito, hoping that the latter will maintain his outstanding scoring form. Coutinho is due to become their main alternative up-front.

Target:
Inter should always be fighting for the Scudetto but, at the moment, they seem to lack some quality and depth in all the areas. Moreover, it has to be seen whether Stramaccioni is going to cope with a whole season in charge at the top level or not.

Juventus

In:
Vincenzo Iaquinta (att)(Cesena, end of loan); Jorge Andres Martinez (att)(Cesena, end of loan); Michele Pazienza (mid) (Udinese, end of loan); Kwadwo Asamoah (mid)(Udinese); Mauricio Isla (mid)(Udinese); Sebastian Giovinco (att)(Parma, end of loan); Nicola Leali (gk)(Brescia); Paul Pogba (mid)(free agemt); Lucio (def)(free agent); Richmond Boakye (att)(Sassuolo); Alberto Masi (def)(Pro Vercelli)

Out:
Marco Borriello (att)(Roma, end of loan); Eljero Elia (mid)(Werder Bremen); Alex Manninger (gk)(released); Fabio Grosso (def)(released); Alessandro Del Piero (att)(released); Milos Krasic (mid)(Fenerbahce); Marcelo Estigarribia (mid)(Deportivo Maldonado, end of loan)

After an array of useless and ineffective revolutions, both at a managerial and technical level, at last in the past season Juventus managed to get back at the top of the Italian football. And they did it in great style. In fact, not only they won the Scudetto without ever losing any games but they came real close obtaining a magnificent double, had they not been defeated by Napoli in the final of the Italian Cup. That surely was an extraordinarily sad day for Juventus since it was the very last time Del Piero wore a black and white shirt. A symbol of the team for two decades, the captain was let go quite mercilessly. The minute the season ended, Juventus management started thinking about life without Del Piero and, most of all, they dedicated themselves to the strengthening of the squad in consideration of their return to the European competitions. This strengthening started with the signing of Isla and Asamoah from Udinese. The former is an extraordinary jolly, who could act both in defence and in the midfield once he has recovered from a serious injury, while the latter will add both depth and muscles in the middle of the park. After an exceptional stint with Parma, the Atomic Ant Giovinco made it back to Turin and he is expected to replace Del Piero in the heart of the supporters and of the attack. As long as he earns himself a place in the starting eleven. Lucio came as a free agent after an experience with Inter: he should provide a reliable alternative to Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini and Caceres, even though he appeared quite out-of-form in the pre-season. At the very same time, a whole bunch of players was let go quite unregrettingly. This was the case of Krasic, Grosso, Elia and Manninger. In order to face the new season, Juventus still need to find a top player for the attack. Van Persie and Suarez already found a new home and so the Old Lady is risking starting the new season without a heavy striker. Matri, Quagliarella, Vucinic and Giovinco himself do not seem likely to provide the firepower needed from a team aiming at fighting for both the Scudetto and Champions League. However, Juventus’s troubles could arise from a 10-month suspension coach Conte could be given due to his involvement in the match-fixing scandal. Carrera is set to replace him, unless proven differently.

Target:
Juventus have all it takes to win the Scudetto again. A lot will depend on how the new coach will be able to replace Conte. As for the Champions League, there is something still missing.

Lazio

In:
Juan Pablo Carrizo (gk)(Catania, end of loan); Giuseppe Sculli (att)(Genoa, end of loan); Mauro Zarate (att)(Inter, end of loan); Luis Pedro Cavanda (def)(Torino, end of loan); Sergio Floccari (att)(Parma, end of loan); Pasquale Foggia (mid)(Sampdoria, end of loan); Ederson (mid)(Olympique Lyonnais)

Out:
Simone Del Nero (mid)(released); Ayodele Makinwa (att)(released); Javier Garrido (def)(Norwich City, on loan)

In the last couple of seasons, with coach Reja in charge, Lazio came real close to obtaining an un-hoped for qualification to the Champions League. Unfortunately for them, though, they always ended up failing such an extraordinary result in the very last weeks of the season. Thus, aiming at some improvement, the management decided to replace Reja with Petkovic. At his first experience in the Italian football, the Serbian coach is expected to obtain a big result with a rather unchanged squad. In fact, apart from Ederson, who will be providing some more quality in the midfield, no new players were really signed. On the other hand, a whole group of players returned from their more or less successful loans all around the country. Zarate is the one who could actually make it back to the starting eleven, provided he is not sold before the end of the transfer campaign. He is the only player who could actually form a decent forward two together with Klose. Kozak should represent an alternative up-front while Sculli and Foggia are expected to leave. As a matter of fact, a whole group of fringe players, like Makinwa or Del Nero, who had almost no opportunities to show their skills in the recent seasons, were let go without any regrets. Lazio could be punished, together with some of their players, Mauri above all, for match-fixing. A final decision will be taken in September. If so, their ambitions would be downsized.

Target:
Lazio do not seem likely to fight for anything more than a place in the Europa League. Given Petkovic’s lack of experience in Serie A and a lack of depth in the squad, Lazio could even fall out of the fight for the European spots.

Milan

In:
Gabriel (gk)(Cruzeiro); Francesco Acerbi (def)(Chievo Verona); Edoardo Pazzagli (gk)(Fiorentina); Riccardo Montolivo (mid)(Fiorentina); Kevin Constant (mid)(Genoa); Bakaye Traoré (mid)(Nancy); Cristian Zapata (def)(Villarreal)

Out:
Alberto Aquilani (mid)(Liverpool, end of loan); Maxi Lopez (att)(Sampdoria); Clarence Seedorf (mid)(Botafogo); Alessandro Nesta (def)(released); Gennaro Ivan Gattuso (mid)(Sion); Mark Van Bommel (mid)(Psv); Gianluca Zambrotta (def)(released); Filippo Inzaghi (att)(retired); Thiago Silva (def)(PSG); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (att)(Psg); Mattia Desole (def)(Monza)

After a season-long fight with Juventus, Milan ended up losing the Scudetto due to a lack of depth in attack and in defence. One would have expected them to strengthen the two areas during the Summer but the team’s management decided for something different. In fact, they opted for the departure of their two main stars, Thiago Silva and Ibrahimovic, and, up to date, they hardly did anything in order to properly replace them. As a matter of fact, coach Allegri’s position could become extremely difficult since he is somehow at odds with the management. After Thiago Silva’s departure, Milan’s defence was, so-to-speak, strengthened by the arrivals of Acerbi from Chievo Verona and Zapata from Villareal. The former could represent an excellent option for the future while the latter has been too often struggling with injuries in the past couple of seasons. In the midfield, Montolivo is expected to provide some creativity. With Seedorf, Gattuso, Van Bommel and Aquilani gone, his arrival, together with Constant’s and Traore’s, might not be sufficient to give the needed depth to a team that is going to fight for both the Scudetto and the Champions League. However, Milan’s main troubles will affect the attack. Ibrahimovic’s loss is one that can only be tackled by the arrival of another top player. No such player has been signed this far and this can only lead to a struggling season. The only good news is that Gabriel and Pazzagli arrived and this could mean an alternative to Abbiati for the future.

Target:
Unless anything changes in the next few days, Milan do not seem to be capable of fighting for the Scudetto. They might have to fight for a place in the European competitions or just be happy with a place in the top ten.

Napoli

In:
Lorenzo Insigne (att)(Pescara, end of loan); Leandro Rinaudo (def)(Novara, end of loan); Davide Bariti (mid)(Vicenza); Valon Behrami (mid)(Fiorentina); Alessandro Gamberini (def)(Fiorentina)

Out:
Ezechiel Lavezzi (att)(Psg); Ignacio Fideleff (def)(Parma), Jacopo Dezi (mid)(Barletta)

In the last couple of seasons, Napoli became protagonists of the Italian Serie A. In 2010-2011, they even reached an historical qualification to the Champions League. Things were not as bright in the past campaign during which they were never capable of fighting for the Scudetto. However, they managed to bring the Italian Cup home and they made some impression in the main European competition. During the summer, the management was expected to sign in several new players, given the lack of real alternatives to the regulars. As a matter of fact, their transfer season began with Lavezzi’s departure. He had become the real heart and soul of the team in the last five years. Surprisingly enough, no new stars were hired instead. Insigne came back after an impressive season on loan with Pescara, where he managed to score 18 goals and to provide several assists. It has to be seen, though, whether he and Vargas will be given a chance to make it straight to the starting eleven. Other important signings were those of Behrami and Gamberini from Fiorentina, who should increase Mazzarri’s options both in the midfield and in the defence. One has to wonder, though, whether these new arrivals will prove enough for Napoli to become real candidates for the Scudetto. The preseason and the final of the Italian Super Cup, lost against Juventus, gave the feeling that Napoli could adopt a more cautious attitude, comparing with the past, and that they are more likely to rely on counter-attacking than they ever did. And this could be a problem for them.

Target:
They do not seem likely to fight for anything more than a European spot. The Scudetto look like a chimera since they have not really strengthened the squad and the regular players are still missing some real alternatives.

Palermo

In:
Francesco Benussi (gk)(Torino, end of loan); Mauro Cetto (def)(Lille, end of loan); Luca Di Matteo (mid)(Lecce, end of loan); Santiago Garcia (def)(Novara, end of loan); Jasmin Kurtic (mid)(Varese, end of loan); Adam Simon (mid)(Bari, end of loan); Nicolas Viola (mid)(Reggina); Franco Brienza (mid)(Siena); Paulo Dybala (att)(Instituto Cordoba); Michel Morganella (def)(Novara, end of loan); Samir Ujkani (gk)(Novara); Egidio Arevalo Rios (mid)(Club Tijuana)

Out:
Matias Aguirregaray (def)(M. Wanderers); Matias Silvestre (def)(Inter), Francesco Della Rocca (mid)(Fiorentina); Emiliano Viviano (gk)(Fiorentina); Armin Bacinovic (mid)(Verona, on loan); Afriye Acquah (mid)(Parma, on loan); Federico Balzaretti (def)(Roma)

Only a couple of seasons ago, Palermo were fighting for a place in the Champions League, they missed it by an inch, and President Zamparini was talking about Scudetto quite seriously. Then, things took a different turn, some key players were sold, several mistakes were made and Palermo had to be content with reaching a mere safety. During the current transfer campaign, more key players left. It was certainly the case of Viviano, Balzaretti and Silvestre. Such losses represent a major blow indeed for the team that was now trusted in coach Sannino’s hands. First of all, he will be expected to re-build the defence. Due to such departures and due to the fact that Palermo, in the past season, conceded 62 goals, with just Genoa and Novara having done worse. In goals Ujkani should make it straight to the starting eleven while Cetto should be back in the heart of the back four after a spell in France on loan. Mantovani should move from the bench and become the new left-back. Morganella and Garcia should give more depth to what was a troublesome defence. In the middle of the park, a few players returned from loans but Rios could represent an interesting new arrival. An alternative to Migliaccio or Donati. Brienza, possibly the most important player arrived during this transfer campaign should give some experience and quality to an already remarkable attack.

Target:
Palermo seem likely to obtain a rather quiet safety. At the moment, they seem unlikely to fight for anything more than just that. If so, they will however need to improve their away record that in the past season was tragic.

Parma

In:
Graziano Pellé (att)(Samp, end of loan); Sotiris Ninis (mid)(Panathinaikos); Mirko Pigliacelli (gk)(Roma); Emilio MacEachen (def)(Penarol); Pavol Bajza (gk)(Dubnica); Amauri (att)(free agent); Raman Chibsah (mid)(Juventus, on loan); Ishak Belfodil (att)(Bologna); Dorlan Pabon (att)(Atletico Nacional); Marco Parolo (mid)(Cesena); Floriano Vanzo (mid)(Tubize); Ignacio Fideleff (d, Napoli); Afriye Acquah (mid)(Palermo, on loan); Aleandro Rosi (def)(Roma)

Out:
Jonathan (mid)(Inter, end of loan); McDonald Mariga (mid)(Inter, end of loan); Stefano Okaka (att)(Roma, end of loan); Sergio Floccari (att)(Lazio, end of loan); Stefano Ferrario (def)(Lecce, end of loan); Rolf Feltscher (def)(Padova, on loan); Danilo Pereira (mid)(Roda IC, on loan); Sebastian Giovinco (att)(Juventus, end of loan); Francesco Valiani (def)(Siena); Yamnaine (def)(Roma); Andrea Rossi (def)(Cesena)

In the past season, at some stage, while there were only a few weeks to play, Parma found themselves too dangerously close to the abysses of the relegation zone. Any management would have opted for sacking the coach in charge in order to give the team some new energies. Luckily for them, Parma stuck with coach Donadoni and this, eventually, paid off. Thanks to an incredible run, they reached the eighth standing of the table and came real close to the European spots. Thus, Donadoni was wisely confirmed at the helm of the team but a few players, who had been fundamental for the results obtained during the past season, left during the summer. Players like Giovinco, Mariga, Floccari and Jonathan all returned to the clubs they were coming from. So, the management had to go for some valid replacements. Possibly not expensive and both young and experienced. Having lost Giovinco’s magics up-front, Parma hired Amauri, who had positively impressed while with them in 2010-2011. He will make it straight to the starting eleven with Belfodil, Pabon, Pellé and Palladino to provide him with some support. MacEachen and Fideleff are candidates for the back three while Rosi could represent a valid alternative for the right flank of the midfield. Despite the negative season offered with Cesena, Parolo should become a leader in the middle of the park with Acquah pushing for some playing time after some obscure seasons with Palermo.

Target:
Parma are aiming at something more than just a mere safety but it will all depend on how rapidly the group will gel and how in-form some players, such as Amauri, are going to be.

Pescara

In:
Elvis Abbruscato (att)(Vicenza); Uros Cosic (def)(Red Star); Giuseppe Colucci (mid)(Cesena); Birkir Bjarnason (mid)(Standard Liege); Lucas Chiaretti (att)(Taranto); Juan Quintero (mid)(Envigado); Mervan Celik (att)(GAIS); Antonino Ragusa (att)(Reggina); Mattia Perin (gk)(Padova); Luca Crescenzi (def)(Bari); Jonathas (att)(Brescia, on loan); Vladimir Weiss (mid)(Espanyol); Manuele Blasi (mid)(Lecce); Christian Terlizzi (def)(Varese); Vukusic (att)(Hajduk)

Out:
Moussa Kone (mid)(Atalanta, end of loan); Ciro Immobile (att)(Genoa, end of loan); Lorenzo Insigne (att)(Napoli, end of loan); Marco Sansovini (att)(Spezia); Luca Ariatti (mid)(released); Gianluca Nicco (mid)(released); Andrea Gessa (mid)(Cesena); Marco Verratti (mid)(Psg)

Against all odds and expectations, in the past season Pescara succeeded taking by storm the Serie B. In fact, thanks to a squad largely composed by players on loan from bigger clubs, Zeman was the responsible of such a masterpiece. The team succeeded scoring an incredible 90 goals. They were capable of destroying their opponents and, at times, they were also capable of taking some very harsh beating. Immobile was one of the stars of the team with his 28 goals: he was the top scorer of the Serie B. Insigne was his partner up-front together with Sansovini while Verratti acted as the leader in the middle of the park. All these players left during the summer as they were called back from their original teams or they were sold for huge sums of money. Zeman too decided to sign in for Roma, feeling that this would have been his last chance to lead a top team. So, for their return to the top flight after 20 years, the management was forced to re-build the team from the foundations. Stroppa, a former Zeman’s pupil, was charged with the team and he will be asked to repeat the wonders shown in the past season at least in terms of play. For such a reason, he was granted with a whole group of new players, both young and experienced. Experience will be fundamental especially in defence and in the midfield where Terlizzi, Colucci and Blasi were signed in. In goals, Perin arrived from Padova and he is at his first experience at the top level. In the attack, Stroppa will have to rely on a bunch of youngsters coming from all the corners of the world. Celik and Bjarnason could be expected to make some difference.

Target:
Pescara will be fighting in order to remain in the top flight but it will be far from easy for them. A lot will depend on how rapidly both the coach and the players will get used to the new league.

Roma

In:
Marco Borriello (att)(Juventus, end of loan); Luca Antei (def)(Grosseto); Julio Sergio (gk) Lecce, end of loam); Alessandro Florenzi (mid)(Crotone, end of loan); Dodò (def) (Corinthians); Leandro Castan (def)(Corinthians); Panagiotis Tachtsidis (mid)(Verona); Tomas Svedkauskas (gk)(Fiorentina); Michael Bradley (mid)(Chievo Verona); Wesley Yamnaine (def)(Parma); Claudiu Bumba (mid)(T.Mures); Piris (def)(Sao Paulo); Mattia Destro (att)(Siena); Federico Balzaretti (def)(Palermo); Marquinhos (def)(Corinthians), Zdenek Zeman (coach)(Pescara)

Out:
Giommaria Pigliacelli (gk)(Parma), Cicinho (def)(Sport Recife); Marco Cassetti (def)(released); Antunes (def)(Pacos de Ferreira); Federico Viviani (mid)(Padova, on loan); Fabio Borini (att)(Liverpool); Gianluca Curci (gk)(Bologna); Juan (def)(released); Fabio Enrique Simplicio (mid)(released); Leandro Greco (mid)(Olympiakos); Giammario Piscitella (att)(Genoa); Valerio Verre (mid)(Siena); Josè Angel (def)(Real Sociedad); Aleandro Rosi (def)(Parma), Gabriel Heinze (def)(Newell’s Old Boys); Stefano Okaka (att)(Parma);

Roma’s supporters are waiting for the arrival of a second Messiah to bring them back at the top of the Italian football. In the past season, Luis Enrique was expected to be the one but he proved to be otherwise. And so he was let go. Now, Zeman, who returns at the helm of the Wolves after thirteen years, was hailed as the one and he will be expected to give the team the personality and the play they have been missing in the recent past. He will be asked to repeat the wonders shown by Pescara in the past season. In order to obtain such results, the management first decided to get rid of all those players who had had little playing time in the recent past and whose wages represented a bit of a burden for the club. So, Cicinho, Cassetti, Curci, Juan, Enrique Simplicio, Rosi, Jose Angel and Heinze were all let go. A major loss was certainly represented by Borini’s departure. Luckily enough, Destro signed in and he should provide the goals together with Totti, Lamela and Osvaldo. In the past season, the defence leaked like a sieve and so it was strengthened by Castan’s, Piris’s and Balzaretti’s arrivals. They cannot prove to be worse than their predecessors. In the midfield, Gago returned home to Spain and Bradley, from Chievo Verona, was hired. And this surely is an improvement. Then, there is a group of youngsters, like Dodo and Tachtidis, who could earn some playing time as it always happens with Zeman’s teams. De Rossi seems likely to leave for an irresistible offer. If it happened, Roma would lose most of their strength in the midfield.

Target:
Zeman’s teams always represent a bit of a gamble. They are renown for scoring plenty of goals and for conceding just as many. They could reach anywhere in the top ten but they seem unlikely to fight for something as big as the Scudetto.

Sampdoria

In:
Fernando Tissone (mid)(Mallorca, end of loan); Angelo Palombo (mid)(Inter, end of loan); Andrea Poli (mid)(Inter, end of loan); Fabrizio Cacciatore (def)(Varese, end of loan); Maxi Lopez (att)(Milan); Lorenzo De Silvestri (def)(Fiorentina), Tommaso Berni (gk)(Braga); Marcelo Estigarribia (mid)(Deportivo Maldonado, on loan); Daniele Padelli (gk)(Udinese, end of loan)

Out:
Pasquale Foggia (mid)(Lazio, end of loan); Graziano Pellé (att)(Parma, end of loan); Bruno Fornaroli (a, Panathinaikos); Federico Piovaccari (att)(Novara, on loan)

Only two seasons ago, Sampdoria managed to obtain an historical qualification to the Champions League. Against all odds, they had managed to reach the top four of the Italian football and they seemed bound to stay there. In fact, the squad was composed by several stars or potential ones and time seemed to be on their side. Quite shockingly, the following season turned into a real nightmare: after the immediate elimination from the playoffs of the main European competition, the stars left and the team slowly sank towards the bottom three. One year later, Sampdoria are back to the top flight of the Italian football, thanks to an unexpected win in the playoffs of the Serie B, while they had ended the regular season on the sixth standing. Giuseppe Iachini, responsible of such a success, was not confirmed at the helm of the team and was replaced by a more fashionable Ferrara, whose experience with Juventus had been quite tragic. During the transfer campaign, first of all, those players on loan from bigger clubs made it back home. This was the case of Pellé, Foggia and Fornaroli. At the very same time, though, some of Sampdoria’s most interesting players, that is Palombo, Poli and Tissone returned from their spells with Inter and Mallorca respectively. They will all strengthen the midfield while Maxi Lopez was hired in order to provide the squad with some scoring alternative to Eder. De Silvestri and Estigarribia should earn some spots in the starting eleven as full-backs or as wingers.

Target:
Sampdoria should be fighting in order to avoid relegation. Their safety will depend on Ferrara’s ability and on how rapidly will the players re-adapt themselves to the top flight. They have a 1-point deduction.

Siena

In:
Pablo Hernan Dellafiore (def)(Novara, end of loan); Matteo Rubin (def)(Bologna); Francesco Valiani (mid)(Parma); Andrea Campagnolo (gk)(Catania); Valerio Verre (mid)(Roma); Ribair Rodriguez (mid)(Belgrano); Luis Neto (def)(CD Nacional)

Out:
Zeljko Brkic (gk)(Udinese, end of loan); Luigi Giorgi (mid)(Novara, end of loan); Luca Rossettini (def)(Cagliari); Franco Brienza (mid)(Palermo); Andrea Rossi (def)(Parma); Paul Codrea (mid)(released); Alessandro Gazzi (mid)(Torino); Mattia Destro (att)(Roma)

Miracles cannot happen twice. Last season, Atalanta obtained an incredible safety despite a 6-point deduction that seemed likely to affect their own campaign. This season, Siena will be asked to repeat such a performance since it is going to be their turn facing the Serie A with a 6-point deduction because of some responsibility in match-fixing. And a bigger penalty could occur once a final judgment is taken in September. In the past campaign, quite against all odds and despite the lack of experience of the man at the helm, Siena succeeded reaching safety with quite some ease. In particular, they proved to be quite solid defensively and they offered some aggressive and spectacular football. Calaiò and Destro, up-front, did some wonders,until the captain’s season ended through injury. This season, things will have to change necessarily. Coach Sannino was attracted by Palermo’s money and so Siena opted for Cosmi, who came real close to saving Lecce despite a very negative beginning of the season. He is known for the way his teams play and for they never give up fighting. He will not be able to count on Gazzi, Brkic, Rossettini, Destro and Brienza, who joined some bigger clubs. Thus, in goals, Pegolo, who had the opportunity to show his skills while Brkic was injured, will make it straight to the starting eleven. Dellafiore and Neto, who arrived from Portugal, should be competing for a place in the back three while Rodriguez, Valiani and Rubin could provide some alternatives for the midfield where D’Agostino will be expected to become the leader. The feeling is that Destro was not properly replaced yet since Calaiò’s partner should be found among Bogdani, Paolucci and Larrondo.

Target:
Siena are the perfect candidate for relegation especially if they do not manage to overcome their handicap as rapidly as possible. The squad seems somehow incomplete and new signings are absolutely needed.

Torino

In:
Jean-François Gillet (gk)(Bologna); Nicolas Gorobsov (mid)(Timisoara, end of loan); Matteo Brighi (mid)(Roma); Marco Migliorini (def)(Chieti); Mario Santana (mid)(Cesena); Gianluca Sansone (att)(Sassuolo); Alessandro Gazzi (mid)(Siena); Pablo Caceres (def)(Mallorca); Guillermo Rodriguez (def)(Cesena)

Out:
Manuel Iori (mid)(Chievo Verona, end of loan); Nnamdi Oduamadi (att)(Milan, end of loan); Francesco Benussi (gk)(Palermo, end of loan); Ferdinando Coppola (gk)(Milan, end of loan); Christian Pasquato (att)(Juventus, end of loan); Stefano Guberti (mid)(Roma, end of loan); Mirko Antenucci (att)(Catania, end of loan); Davide Morello (gk)(released); Luciano Zavagno (def)(retired); Francesco Pratali (def)(released); Andrea Gasbarroni (mid)(released)

3 seasons. That is how long it took Torino in order to make it back to the top flight of the Italian football. And they made it with some style, becoming the joint leaders of the Serie B together with impressive Pescara. Torino management perfectly knew that with Ventura at the helm of the team they would have been fighting for a return to the Serie A and, at the very same time, they would have offered and aggressive and spectacular play. And that is exactly what happened. Now that the Serie A is a reality, Torino hope they will repeat all the good Bari had done in occasion of their return to the top flight with Ventura in charge. Of course, a lot had to be done in order to strengthen the squad during the transfer season. In fact, Ventura lost several players from the past season since their loans had ended. This was, for instance, the case of Pasquato, Benussi, Guberti and Antenucci. Thus, the management opted for a group of experienced players, who have already been protagonists in Serie A. In goals, Gillet will certainly make it straight to the starting eleven while Brighi and Gazzi, who knows Ventura well from his time with Bari, will provide the team with some quality in the middle of the park. Santana should support Bianchi, who is always included in the departing list, and Meggiorini up-front. Rodriguez should represent some alternative to Ogbonna in the heart of the defence while Caceres will contend for a place as left-back. Torino got a 1-point deduction for some involvement in match-fixing.

Target:
Torino will be fighting for safety and it will not be easy for them. They seem quite solid in defence and in the midfield while the attack looks a bit too light. Some new signings are to be expected.

Udinese

In:
Gsbriel Silva (def)(Novara, end of loan); Gabriele Angella (def)(Reggina, end of loan); Zeljko Brkic (gk)(Siena, end of loan); Luis Muriel (att)(Lecce, end of loan); Chris Obodo (mid)(Lecce, end of loan); Marco Faraoni (def)(Inter); Fernando Forestieri (att)(Bari, end of loan); Andrea Mazzarani (mid)(Novara, end of loan); Allan (mid)(Vasco da Gama); Willians (mid)(Flamengo); Thomas Heurtaux (def)(SM Caen); Maicosuel (mid)(Botafogo)

Out:
Michele Pazienza (mid)(Juve, end of loan); Kwadwo Asamoah (mid)(Juventus); Mauricio Isla (mid)(Juventus); Antonio Floro Flores (att)(Granada); Gabriel Torje (mid)(Granada); Samir Handanovic (gk)(Inter)

Summer 2011: Udinese had just reached an historical qualification to the Champions League when they saw three among their main stars leave. The feeling was that the Black and Whites would have been incapable of repeating themselves without the likes of Sanchez, Zapata and Inler. Summer 2012: after reaching an outstanding third place and another qualification to the main European competition, Udinese management let go another array of key players and they replaced them with a group of hopeful and good-willing youngsters. After seven seasons among the posts, Handanovic joined Inter and so his place should be taken by Brkic, who returned home after an experience with Novara. Unfortunately for him, he seems to be a bit too injury-prone and an alternative could be highly needed. The defence remained untouched: coach Guidolin will thus be able to count again on the extraordinary Danilo, Benatia and Domizzi, with plenty of alternatives sitting on the bench. The midfield is the area that changed the most with Isla and Asamoah who joined in Juventus. Badu could be expected to become a protagonist after a couple of seasons as a substitute. Allan and Willians arrived from Brazil and they should represent some reliable alternatives to the regulars in the middle of the park. In the flanks, Basta should be back at full strength with Pereyra likely to play a major role with the passing of time. Faraoni, who arrived from Inter, should also represent some option together with Gabriel Silva. In the attack, Torje and Floro Flores were loaned out to Granada: they should not be missed. In fact, captain Di Natale, 80 goals scored in the last three seasons but he is not becoming any younger, will be supported by Luis Muriel, who shone with Lecce in the past campaign and is said to be better than Sanchez at his age. The “Wizard” Maicosuel, who is said to be quite similar to Ronaldinho Gaucho also for his partying habits, should be able to gain some playing time as an alternative to the two regulars.

Target:
Udinese cannot be expected to repeat the wonders shown in the past two seasons. Truth be said, with Guidolin in charge they always managed to reach a qualification to the European competitions. Thus, they could represent a real drifting mine. A lot will depend on their performance in the European pitches.