Serie A Season Preview

Last updated : 12 September 2002 By

Serie A and Serie B, will kick off this weekend. In an unprecedented move by Italy¹s six richest clubs, the prospect of further delay has been averted. This season had already been postponed by two weeks after eight Serie A clubs had yet to agree individual pay-per-view TV contracts, seeking far more than they were worth, they have now realised that the loss of revenue which would result from not playing is the greater of two evils.

Galliani, President of the Italian Football League said that "Milan, Juventus, Inter, Roma, Lazio and Parma will all make financial contributions to the rest of the 12 Serie A teams," The "sei sorelle", the six sisters will make the contribution according to their means, Lazio and Parma will pay less.

The six sisters used to be the seven sisters, but as you all probably know, Fiorentina were declared bankrupt in the close season and are now reformed, playing in Serie C2 Girone B as Florentia Viola. Unbelievable, but so was news that Eriberto (Da Conceicao Silva), Chievo star, aged 23, is in fact Luciano Siqueira De Oliveira, aged 27! Spot of bother back home in Brazil prompted the identity change.

Despite the financial turmoil engulfing the game worldwide, it has been a busy time in the Transfer market in Italy. Buying players, swapping players, strange deals, they have all been done and here is how the big six have fared. These are the major moves, there were plenty of others.

Juventus: Acquired - Camoranesi and Di Vaio. Two excellent young players. Lorenzo's cousin, Nicola, is off to Perugia.

Inter: Acquired - Adani, Almeyda, Cannavaro, Coco and Crespo. The latter three being great signings for the nerazzurri, softening the blow of losing Ronaldo and Seedorf.

Milan: Acquired - Dalla Bona, Seedorf, Tomasson, Rivaldo and Nesta. I expect Nesta to make the biggest difference to Ancelotti's team which looked weak defensively. Unfortunately though, Albertini will be playing for Atletico Madrid this season.

Lazio: Acquired - Chiesa and Oddo. The players who have left will make the biggest impact - Crespo, De La Pena, Mendieta, Nesta, Poborsky and Crespo.

Parma: Acquired - Adriano, Gilardino and Mutu. Going for youth but lost Cannavaro, Almeyda, Di Vaio and Sartor.

Roma: Acquired - Guardiola and Sartor, sold Assuncao and Zago.

Looking at the season ahead, the Italian teams face a hectic schedule. Being notoriously slow starters, this won't help their European chances but hopefully skill will tell. Juve will be without Zambrotta and Pessotto until October and Trezeguet has a mysterious knee injury. Once they are all fit, where will Lippi accomodate them and Di Vaio, Nedved etc?

Roma have been quiet but are still chasing Davids, Juve won't sell him until they get a suitable replacement. Totti, after a disappointing World Cup, sits out the Bologna game as a precaution. City rivals Lazio will be in for a tough season, maybe a revitalised Lopez will help, but I doubt it.

Inter have done well in the transfer market. They won't miss Ronaldo as he rarely played and Cannavaro is a great signing.

Milan. Like Inter, the defensive signing is the best. Nesta is a tremendous player and look at the squad - Maldini, Gattuso, Seedorf, Rui Costa, Rivaldo, Shevchenko, Inzaghi, Tomasson...........the rossoneri must be in with a chance of lo scudetto this season.

Of all the teams I'd watch Parma this season. They have an abundance of young players - Adriano, Mutu, Gilardino, Donati, Brighi, Marchionni and Bonera. They could end up in the European places after a disappointing campaign last time around.

Anyway, forecast time. Juventus for lo scudetto, pipping Milan. think they'll win the Champions' League as well.

Fixtures for the weekend of 14th/15th September
Como - Empoli
Modena - Milan
Bologna - Roma
Inter - Torino
Juventus - Atalanta
Lazio - Chievo
Udinese - Parma
Perugia - Reggina
Brescia - Piacenza