For those of you who still love the Italian
game as some of us here do at THE TURF, you know that the start of the new
Italian football season has been an exciting one which has brought many
surprises that few could have predicted. Now that the international break is
over, there’s a lot to be excited for as the season recommences this weekend.
Here are the main talking points of Italian football
at the moment.
The story of Juventus’ season so far
has been one which is more forgettable than memorable. The champions have
suffered their worst league start in history with zero points after the first
two matches against Udinese and Roma. A disjointed Juve have looked slow and
lacklustre in the opening two fixtures and it has caught the Serie A by
surprise. With a host of new signings and also the additions of Mario Lemina
and Hernanes just hours before the conclusion of the transfer window; it will
be intriguing to see how Massimiliano Allegri will conjure a way to tinker with
his squad to kick start their misfiring season. Will Allegri stick with his
original 3-5-2, which has proven to work in the past for Juve, but so far has
made them looked unbalanced, or will Allegri adapt to his new squad at his
disposal and potentially move to a 4-3-3 which some of the Italian footballing
media have been calling for?
The match of the round this weekend is
Monday morning’s Milan derby. The derby ‘Della Madonnina’ is
always a stand out fixture on the Italian football calendar. This weekend’s
cruicial clash will provide a clear indication of which Milan team has shaped
up better over the summer. Inter has had a perfect start with six points from two
games with new number 10 Stevan Jovetic banging in 3 goals already. AC on the
other hand has already tasted defeat this season and sits on 3 points.
Mancini’s late squad additions of Ivan
Perisic, Adem Ljajic and Felipe Melo will aim to prove that
the Nerazzurri mean business this season. AC manager Sinisa Mihajlovic has been
the Rossoneri’s rock so far, and could be the key man to inject belief back
into the players after last season’s disappointment.
At the bottom end of the Serie A table, newly promoted sides Bologna,
Carpi and Frosinone are yet to record wins this season. Serie B champion
Carpi, has already leaked 7 goals in their opening two matches and Bologna, are yet to impress despite signing Italian
Internationals Mattia Destro and Emanuele Giaccherini. With Juventus and Empoli
also sitting at the bottom with zero points, which of these newly promoted
sides can record their first win this weekend to get their quest for survival
While Juve may be hogging the headlines over whether they can
pull themselves out of their lacklustre start, the story to keep an eye on will
be the form of AS Roma. In Roma, there
is a squad to seriously contend for the Serie A title; however their opening
two games have summed them up perfectly – Poor against Verona but solid against
Juve. Consistency is key for Rudi Garcia
and his men.
The squad is there, especially with the additions of Dzeko,
Falque, Salah, Digne and Szczesny. It will come down to a matter of consistency
and whether Roma can find that constant attacking threat to cause problems in
Serie A. Roma are unpredictable, making them great value to watch for the
neutral fan. If they can find a way to play with the intent and fire they showed
against Juve, we could see a serious title challenge happen here, starting this
weekend away to Frosinone.
Written by Matthew Cuda.