Serie A

With the new Serie A season set to kick off on the 19th August and the league looking more competitive than it has in a long time due to the investment from some of the key clubs, it is understandable that there is a buzz around the league.  

Managers 

Carlo Ancelotti has taken over from Maurizio Sarri at Napoli and will be looking to go one better. The Italian has managed at huge clubs across the continent from Real Madrid to AC Milan. But after his last spell at Bayern Munich, he will be feeling the pressure.  

Ancelotti went to the Germany champions after three successive titles following the tenure of Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard had the dominant German side playing elegant passing football, the style that he has continued with at Manchester City.  

Ancelotti was sacked in his second season after successful first season.  

The dilemma will be the same at Napoli – sticking to the passing football that Sarri has implemented so successfully while trying to adapt it to his methods. If the two can merge then the Partenopei Gli Azzurri will feel they can go one better than last year.  

Bologna appointed Filippo Inzaghi this summer and it is one to watch. Inzaghi was a prolific winner and scorer during his playing career – having won three Champions League as well as sitting 4th on the list of all-time goal scorers in the competition.  

Having managed Venezia to a play-off spot in Serie B, the Italian has managed to get another chance at Serie A.  

Known for his aggressive style of play and an animated demeanour on the touchline, Bologna could be a side to ruffle a few feathers.  

They will be hoping to improve on their 15th place finish last season and will need to learn to avoid defeat as they amassed 21 in the last campaign.  

Teams 

The return of Parma to Serie A is one of drama and incident. The club declared bankruptcy in March 2015 with total liabilities of €218m. This saw the two-time UEFA Cup champions need to reform and were placed in Serie D. Three promotions in three consecutive seasons has seen them return to the top flight.  

Parma will not be as forthcoming with their expenditure this time around and the signing of Biabany from Inter Milan is one that indicates it. Often an understudy at Inter Milan and returning to Parma for a third spell, the Frenchman will be hoping to be their attacking star from the wing. His electrifying pace means he will be able to ensure that Parma have a counter-attacking option at all times.  

Parma are clearly a side that has created a positive and successful mentality since 2015. This will be integral to any success they achieve this season. The primary focus will be to avoid relegation and start establishing themselves again in the top tier of Italian football.  

AC Milan will need another improvement this season – having escaped being expelled from the Europa League due to FFP – they have been given a lifeline and it is one that Gennaro Gattuso will need to take.  

The manager knows he is under pressure with constant speculation of Antonio Conte taking the helm at the San Siro. But he cannot fault the backing of his owners.  

Milan have signed some big names and replaced Bonucci (31) with Caldara (24) – a player with the potential to be better than Bonucci – this was evident in his spell at Atalanta where he began to grow into one of the best centre-backs in Serie A.  

The arrival Higuain from Juventus on loan is the one that catches the most attention. Since signing for Napoli in 2013, Higuain has made 177 appearances in Serie A scoring 111 goals – this means he scores a goal every 1.5 games.  

AC Milan will need his goals this season as they aspire to achieve qualification to Champions League. The owners want the club back there and are providing the funds to do so – albeit risking the wrath of FFP.