The new season of Serie A soccer kicks off tomorrow with Verona against AC Milan as the first match.
This season promises to be one of the most interesting yet, certainly for a long time, as sides bolstered with intriguing signings go head-to-head for the Scudetto. Italian football has had its fair share of problems in bygone years. However it’s time for the once great league to show the world it’s back. That Calcio is back.
Below is a club by club guide to the 2013-2014 Campeonato.
Last Season 15th
The Bergamo based club rarely, if ever, trouble the true heavyweights of Serie A; nonetheless they’re a club with a proud tradition in the league and their ability to produce their own players often sees them through campaigns. It is often seen as a feeder club and players such as Alessio Tacchinardi and current captain and long-serving defender Gianpaolo Bellini have either served the club with honour or moved on for a hefty price and bigger things. Manager Stefano Colantuono will most probably look to another season of consolidating their position in the top tier, though a fairly impressive orobici squad including Andrea Consigli and Marko Livaja may look to improve on last year’s 15th placed finish. Striker German Denis will be expected to grab the goals at Stadio Atleti with the likes of Luca Cigarini and Giacomo Bonaventura also expected to play their part. Veteran defender Mario Yepes is also a welcome addition to the squad.
One to watch: Giacomo Bonaventura. The midfielder has recently been capped by Italy.
Last Season 13th
Again, Bologna are a side not accustomed to mixing it at the top end of the table toward the business end of the season. A powerhouse in the 20s and 30s it’s been a long time since they’ve won anything of note. That won’t change this season either. A position of last year’s 13th position may be deemed a success again this time around by boss Stefano Pioli. The rossoblu boast new signing, ex Man City striker Rolando Bianchi, who replaces the exciting Manolo Gabbiadini and veteran Alberto Gilardino up front. He joins a squad with the likes of Robert Acquafresca and Rene Krhin at Stadio Renato Dall’Ara. The departure of Saphir Tadir to Inter is a blow, his energetic style of play would have been a great boon to the side.
One to watch: Rolando Bianchi. The experienced striker will be the focal point.
Last Season 11th
Continuing in the same vein, Sardinian club Cagliari also can’t be accused of getting amongst the big boys on any consistent level. Indeed, a solitary title in 1970, inspired by the legendary Gigi Riva is their only success to date. Last season saw a fairly strong mid-table finish and it would be some achievement if they could replicate that this time around. However there are well-documented problems with their stadium, Stadio Is Arenas has been shut down and the club will play in Trieste. Gaffer Ivo Pulga keeps the chassis of his squad together, with striker Thiago Ribeiro the only real loss. Players like Radja Nainggolan and Davide Astori have been linked to moves to bigger clubs but remain. A boost for the rossoblu if they are to maintain their progress.