The fight for the Scudetto in Milan, the injury epidemic at Juventus
The new Italian league season begins this weekend. There has been little change in the position of power over the summer. At the very least, there is the possibility of another championship change, in addition to that there are a few high-profile transfers and the struggle for survival. Let’s look at the main intrigues of the upcoming Serie A.
Inter wants to compete with Milan for the Scudetto
“It took 11 years for AC Milan to win the league title, thanks to some long and progressive management work. “Juventus are nowhere near as strong as they used to be at the top of the Italian standings, so this year’s title race will be just as interesting.
The main battle for the championship will be between AC Milan and Inter, which will make the derby more important. The streamlined structure of the club and the winning mentality instilled by Zlatan Ibrahimovic speaks in favor of Milan. That said, the rossoneri need to strengthen their supporting midfield, the midfielder position under the striker (Brayem Diaz is unstable) and find a creative right winger. Renato Sanchez, who was wanted by AC Milan, was chosen by Paris Saint-Germain. The Red-Blacks signed Charles de Ketelare from Brugge for the role of attacking midfielder. The selectors also bought right winger Júnior Messias from Cronte, they will share playing time with Alexis Salemakers.
In Inter’s favor – a strong attack, strengthening in the form of goalkeeper Andre Onana, the removal of ballast (Alexis Sanchez). By the way, Perisic’s departure has exacerbated the problem with the flanks – Denzel Dumfries plays regularly on the right and Matteo Darmian takes his place, but the latter is more focused on defense. At the same time, Robin Gozens has to play on the left without Perišić from whistle to whistle (before Perišić was replaced by central defender Federico Dimarco). That seems to be the main problem so far, although the Neradzuri bosses took the risky step of bringing back Romelu Lukaku. He will probably be able to return to his previous level of performance – he was traditionally good in the Italian league. Meanwhile, the relationship with the fans of the Italian grandee has been spoiled. The return of the Belgian was met with hostility – the fans published a statement and promised not to object to the player, but refused to welcome him with scarves or banners. As a special one, they will stop treating Romelu, the main thing is that the split does not go any further.
Juventus signed Pogba and Di Maria. The Frenchman dropped out immediately
“The Old Lady is actively trying to get back the best of times and to this end brought for Allegri Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria, both as free agents. The problem for Massimiliano was the quality of the players assembled at the Turin club – the current selection of players did not allow the best aspects of the soccer that the Italian specialist preaches. What matters to Allegri is the ability of the midfielders to bring variety to the attack. The Frenchman and the Argentine are more than capable of creating creativity; Paul, moreover, can hold onto the ball and find open space.
That’s how the coach assessed Juve’s prospects in mid-July:
“Last year we didn’t even win a trophy. We are starting to win and, at the moment, the moves of Di Maria, Pogba, Gatti and the return of Chiesa and McKenny make the team more competitive. Winning is never easy, and we have to do everything we can to win the championship. The first three months will be especially important.”
The situation is overshadowed by Pogba’s injury – he has been diagnosed with a meniscus injury, with which he could be out of the main squad until the beginning of 2023. The midfielder has refused to undergo surgery. The season will also start without the main goalkeeper – Wojciech Szczęsny will miss 3 weeks because of the thigh muscle injury. Luca Pellegrini has problems with his knee, Federico Chiesa has a torn cross. Among the players in the rotation, Marli Ake and Caio Jorge are out.
Without the injuries that have plagued the Turin side, it might have been possible to classify them as championship contenders. But until everyone is back on track, the gap from the group of leaders could be too significant. The only way Juventus can fight right now is with a shortened bench.
Miranchuk will have to stay at Atalanta, Shomurodov is not welcome at Roma
Stories that are closer to the Russian fans. Not so long ago it seemed that Alexey will finally breathe out and start playing for Torino. Subsequent actions of Bergamas caused only indignation – Gian Piero Gasperini asked the club bosses to keep the Russian midfielder in the team. This decision is simply incomprehensible – at Atalanta Miranchuk gets seconds of playing time, everyone would have benefited from the lease. The coach would not have puzzled over how to integrate the player in the scheme, the player himself would not have to sit on the bench, Torino would have received reinforcements – albeit for the season.
Currently, Bergamaschi has an unsolved problem with the prospects of the player. They do not want to let him go (either waiting for a better offer, or hoping for improvement). And they can`t guarantee a place on the pitch for Alexey. About this reality Miranchuk will have to start the next season.
It seems that the story of Shomurodov with Roma will also soon end – Eldor did not impressed Jose Mourinho at the training camp. In addition, Paulo Dibala is coming to Rome, and there is another forward on the team – Tammy Abraham. It is unclear how to share space on the pitch with such competitors. Probably, they don’t count on the player anymore. By the way, Shomurodov has another option to join Bologna. The Uzbek forward is sure to be useful in Serie A, as his play for Genoa showed. Just at this stage of his career the best choice would be a more modest club.
Monza – first time in Serie A, Cremonese back for the first time since the 1995/96 season
Lecce, Monza and Cremonese are the clubs that made it to Serie A at the end of last season. At the same time Monza will play at this level for the first time. The team spent most of the 21st century between the third and fourth divisions of Italian soccer. The situation began to change with the arrival of Silvio Berlusconi. “Milan have won the Scudetto and the Super Cup of Italy seven times with the functionary as the owner. Now Silvio has undertaken to raise the Biancorossi.
In the case of Cremonese, things are a little better – the team played in Serie A until 1996. After that it was a thorny path from Serie C.
The underdogs’ prospects are now very clear – they are unlikely to clinch a spot in Serie A. The very fact of such clubs’ presence in the top flight deserves respect – it will be interesting to follow their success in the beginning.