After what seems like an eternity, Serie A returns to action this weekend.
It will be interesting to see whether new Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri will take his place on the bench away to Parma on Saturday after having been diagnosed with pneumonia earlier this week. Meanwhile, Inter supporters will have to wait until Monday to see whether their new signing Romelu Lukaku can find the back of the net on his debut in Nerazzurri.
Serie A Match of the Weekend: Fiorentina vs Napoli
Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti will attempt to improve on his first season in charge this term but faces some tough opening fixtures in the opening rounds. The Partenopei have made some impressive signings as the arrival of Kostas Manolas will complete an iron-clad central defensive partnership alongside Kalidou Koulibaly, while Hirving Lozano from PSG will give them many more options in attack.
Yet their opponents are not easy to beat, the Viola having undergone a change in ownership this summer as US-based Rocco Commisso has invested in improving the playing squad. Erick Pulgar and Milan Badelj will improve their midfield, and the additions of Kevin-Prince Boateng and Franck Ribery will add much more danger in attack.
Rest of the weekend:
All eyes will be on the aforementioned clash between Parma-Juventus on Saturday evening as the Old Lady prepares for her first season with a new boss for five seasons. AC Milan and AS Roma both have new additions on the bench, having appointed Marco Giampaolo and Paulo Fonseca respectively. The Rossoneri travel to Udinese for the early Sunday evening kick-off, while Roma host Genoa at 7.45. Finally, Inter wait until Monday evening to face newly-promoted Lecce.
Serie A Player to Watch: Mario Balotelli vs Cagliari (£0.64)
Mario Balotelli was a free agent this summer and has made the romantic move back to Italy with his hometown club Brescia after his stint in Ligue 1.
— Brescia Calcio BSFC (@BresciaOfficial) August 19, 2019
“I probably spent more of my career abroad than in Italy,” admitted the Italy international during his introductory press conference. “My Mum cried when I told her I had the possibility of coming to Brescia! I asked what she thought and she was just crying. She’s very happy.”
Throughout his career, Balotelli has often shown erratic form, however, he has consistently proven that he performs to his best potential when in a more settled atmosphere. Surely nowhere is better then, in the place where he grew up, away from big city distractions and close to his family.
This could well see the forward taking Serie A by storm this season, vastly increasing the number of column inches dedicated to him as the interest in this popular figure once again rises.