Inter Milan with the revengeful Lukaku, Juventus Turin with the expected Pogba or AS Roma with the « jewel » Dybala: AC Milan will have a lot to do to defend their crown in a new Serie season A very open from Saturday.
The Rossoneri of French internationals Olivier Giroud, Theo Hernandez and Mike Maignan will show off their new jerseys sporting the green-white-red crest of Italian champions against Udinese on Saturday (6:30 p.m.) in a probably full San Siro.
If Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be absent until 2023 due to a left knee injury, Milan has retained the backbone of the sacred team for the 19th time in its history, with the reinforcement of the Belgians Divock Origi (ex-Liverpool) and Charles De Ketelaere (ex-FC Brugge).
Stefano Pioli especially hopes to be able to count on the same enthusiasm which had enabled his team in the spring to blow the title to Inter, champion in 2021, after a hair-raising final sprint.
« I see the players even more ready, better prepared, more meticulous. I am convinced that the cycle has only just begun », assures the rossonero coach, who has had the famous champion’s scudetto tattooed on his forearm. .
Like Milan, the Nerazzurri are aiming for a 20th title, synonymous with a second star on the jersey, when they start at promoted Lecce on Saturday (8:45 p.m.).
If they lost Ivan Perisic, who left for Tottenham, the Interists hit hard by bringing back – on loan – their pyrotechnician Romelu Lukaku (29), just one year after his departure for Chelsea for 115 million euros.
– Delayed « pogback » –
« Lukaku has a lot of desire, » says his coach Simone Inzaghi. « We already had the best attack last season, with Romelu, we will still have a few more solutions, » he added, determined to regain a title abandoned in May to the great Milan rivals for only two points.
The legendary former coach of AC Milan Arrigo Sacchi also sees Inter favorite on the starting grid, with its « large workforce, its great experience and its quality players ».
« They have two players for each position and thus have the means to remedy any injuries and loss of diet, » he told Gazzetta dello Sport.
Can Juventus, which receives Sassuolo on Monday (8:45 p.m.), prevent this new mano a mano announced between Milanese?
« After a season without a title, for the first time in more than ten years, we have a duty to win the scudetto », proclaims his coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose return last summer did not really meet expectations (4th ).
To bounce back, the « Old Lady » is also playing the ghost card, with Paul Pogba, whose first stint in bianconero had been crowned with four scudetti in four years (2012-2016).
Due to a right knee injury, the « Pogback » is sent back in mid-September. Until then, Juve are counting on their other summer recruits, mainly Argentinian Angel Di Maria and Brazilian defender Gleison Bremer, to fill the void left by the departures of Giorgio Chiellini, Matthijs de Ligt, Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala.
– Ribéry captain –
Dybala, left free by Juve, now embodies the newfound ambition of Roma, where he was claimed by coach José Mourinho.
To play the leading roles again, the Giallorossi, ejected from the Top 4 for four years, have also seriously densified their environment with experienced recruits attracted to Serie A by the reputation of « Mou »: the Serbian Nemanja Matic (ex- Manchester United) and Dutchman « Gini » Wijnaldum (on loan from Paris SG).
Roman debut expected on Sunday (8:45 p.m.) on the lawn of Franck Ribéry’s Salernitana, who returned to battle at 39, with the captain’s armband as a bonus.
This inaugural weekend will also allow us to learn more about a Napoli – third last year after having fought for the title – forced to renew itself without its executives Kalidou Koulibaly, Lorenzo Insigne or Dries Mertens.
Attention will also be focused on a promoted like no other: Silvio Berlusconi’s Monza, for the first time in Serie A.
The Lombard club, after a nice Italian recruitment (Pessina, Sensi, Crago, Caprari), will welcome Torino on Saturday (8:45 p.m.) at the start of an atypical season marked by a break of almost two months (between November 13 and January 4 ) because of the World Cup in Qatar that the Italian internationals will follow on television.