Juventus remain favorites as Serie A kicks off | The Daily Star
05:05 PM, August 24, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:36 PM, August 24, 2019

Juventus remain favorites as Serie A kicks off

After another long summer dominated by transfer rumours and international football, the Serie A kicks off tonight when the 2018-19 season champions Juventus take on Parma at 10pm (Bangladesh time).

The season looks to be an exciting one with major changes across almost most teams. Juventus, Inter, Milan and Roma have all hired new Coaches, Atalanta are balancing the Champions League, Fiorentina are under new ownership and new boys Brescia have signed Mario Balotelli. Let us look at some of the heavy weights and how well they spent the summer so far:

The Turin side being coached by the recently appointed Maurizio Sarri, has won Serie A 35 times are heavy favorites to retain the scudetto for the ninth consecutive season. And their summer transfer business has made their strong squad even stronger. The biggest arrival is 19-year-old center back Matthijs de Ligt, who expertly handled Cristiano Ronaldo as Ajax beat Juve in the Champions League quarterfinals last season.

Inter Milan on the other appointed former Juve coach Antonio Conte as their new manager this summer in a bid to stop the Juve dominance. The Nerazzurri have also signed the likes of Romelo Lukaku, João Mário and Diego Godin to strengthen their squad.

Napoli never really looked like winning the title in the 2018-19 season, neither did they look like dropping out of the top four. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at the Stadio San Paolo last season didn't really change much. However, the defensive pairing of Kostas Manolas and Kalidou Koulibaly will be the stuff of nightmares for strikers this season, while the imminent arrival of Hirving Lozano added more depth to their already deadly attack. 

AC Milan were agonisingly close to finishing in a Champions League spot last season, missing out by just a single point in the end. Despite the departure of Gennaro Gattuso, who performed well last year considering the circumstances, it's been a decent summer for Milan – signing young, exciting players such as Rafael Leão and Theo Hernandez. With this in mind, alongside the fact they won't have to play midweek anymore, Milan fans will be hoping they can break into the top four this season.

Roma finished sixth and missed out on the Champions League entirely just one year after reaching the semi-final in that competition. It was hardly been an inspiring summer. The appointment of Paulo Fonesca was underwhelming, while the sales of Kostas Manolas and Stephan El Shaaraway – two of the few Roma players who actually performed well last season – bode poorly.

Brescia and Lecce are back to Serie A after eight and seven years of absence respectively, while Hellas Verona returns after just one season. Chievo, Frosinone and Empoli lost their place in the league, being the worst three teams in the 2018-19 campaign.

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