What To Expect From The Top Four Serie A Bosses In 2018/19by Chloe Beresford / 30 July 2018, 09:18Tweet
Now that the 2018/19 Serie A fixtures have been announced, supporters of the league – which boasted the closest-run title race and was arguably the most entertaining among Europe’s top-five divisions last term – can look forward to the first match on August 18th.
Added with the excitement over new Juventus signing Cristiano Ronaldo, many simply cannot wait for the action to get started, and what follows is a guide to the top four Coaches in Italy and what to expect from them.
Max Allegri - Juventus
Fresh off the back of a fourth consecutive league-and-cup double, many would say that Juve boss Max Allegri had nothing left to prove in Turin. That said, the objective firmly remains a Champions League victory, and the pressure will be even higher given that the Tuscan will be expected to bring it home as well as adding yet another league title now that Ronaldo is on board.
The astute tactician is well-known for altering formations, and will sometimes do so several times in one match, but is expected to go for a 4-3-3 as his base. Wojciech Szczesny will replace Gianluigi Buffon as the number one, with former Genoa stopper Mattia Perin a very capable backup.
New signings Mattia Caldara and Joao Cancelo will be deployed in the backline along with Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro, while former Liverpool man Emre Can joins Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi in midfield. Of course, Ronaldo will be the main man up top, supported by a wealth of attacking talent that includes Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa to make Juve once again the team to beat.
Eusebio Di Francesco - Roma
Roma may have lost goalkeeper Alisson Becker and talented midfielder Radja Nainggolan already this summer, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the Giallorossi won’t be competitive. Working alongside talented sporting director Monchi, boss Eusebio Di Francesco took his team to the Champions League semi-finals last term, and any loss of personnel will not deter them in their aims.
The Coach has always been a firm believer in the 4-3-3 formation, but proved last season that he could be tactically flexible if need be. He will be looking to deploy Cengiz Under and new signing Justin Kluivert to support striker Edin Dzeko, while Bryan Cristante from Atalanta and PSG’s Javier Pastore have given the midfield a much-needed revamp. Expect the Giallorossi to continue with their progress as their positive approach should once again yield results.
Carlo Ancelotti - Napoli
Seemingly frustrated with Maurizio Sarri’s unwillingness to commit, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis appointed Carlo Ancelotti early on this summer, well before negotiations that allowed the former boss to join Chelsea were concluded. It would be a mistake to expect the same kind of football from the Partenopei this term, the three-time Champions League winning boss most certainly in the market for results over style.
He will likely change Sarri’s rigid 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1, moving Dries Mertens from the main striker role into the three that will support Arkadiusz Milik, with many hoping the latter will stay injury free this season. Allan and Marek Hamsik will form the midfield duo, while the back four should remain unchanged until Faouzi Ghoulam recovers from a lengthy layoff to take the place of Mario Rui.
Alex Meret was brought in to replace Pepe Reina in goal, however a pre-season injury rules him out for the early part of the campaign with another new stopper set to arrive. It’s also worth looking out for exciting new signing Simone Verdi, an attacking player who fired in ten goals and ten assists for Bologna last season. Napoli must work hard to even provide the same kind of challenge to Juventus as in the previous campaign, but it will be very interesting to see what Ancelotti can do.
Inter - Luciano Spalletti
Having reached the Champions League on the final day of 2017/18, Inter have provided Coach Luciano Spalletti with some excellent reinforcements before the new campaign begins. Lining up as usual in a 4-2-3-1, Radja Nainggolan and Matteo Politano will join World Cup star Ivan Perisic in supporting deadly striker Mauro Icardi, while former Lazio man Stefan De Vrij joins the excellent Milan Skriniar in central defence.
Kwadwo Asamoah provides a solid and experienced option at left-back, having already proven his capabilities at Juventus, while the Nerazzurri are hoping to secure another Croatian star in Sime Vrsaljko at right-back. This is an area in which Inter have struggled with for some time and his capture would complete a squad to leave Spalletti with zero excuses should he fail to perform with them