Serie A: AC Milan and Juventus ready to overhaul sensational Inter
Serie A returns this weekend, and there is a bumper list of fixtures to look forward to on Matchday 1. Inter Milan will be the team to beat after they romped to the title last term, and it will be fascinating to see how things pan out. In this preview, we will look ahead to two games — Inter Milan v Genoa and Udinese v Juventus.
Inter Milan raring to go after big summer shake-up
The summer transfer window is always a busy time of the year. And for Inter Milan, they had a big shake-up. Romelu Lukaku — who bagged 24 goals for the reigning champions last term — rejoined his former club Chelsea, while Edin Dzeko replaced him after signing a two-year deal for the Nerazzurri.
If that wasn’t enough to contend with, Inter also bid farewell to Antonio Conte. The fiery Italian tactician had enjoyed a splendid season, but he cited his happiness over cost-cutting at the club caused by the pandemic. The onus will be on new incumbent Simone Inzaghi to maintain the high standards set by Conte.
Inter Milan strengthen defence with Denzel Dumfries deal
Inter also completed a deal for Dumfries last week. The 25-year-old, who shone at Euro 2020, will be joining his compatriot Stefan de Vrij at the San Siro. Dumfries will be a welcome addition for Inter, as he is a marauding right-back, and he has an eye for goal. Discussing his move, Dumfries said: “I can’t wait to get started. Forza Inter!”
Inter v Genoa: Tale of the tape
Genoa could have their work cut out when they travel to the blue half of Milan on Saturday evening. Genoa will be facing Inter for the 29th time in Italy’s top-flight division, however Inter have made light work of Genoa in recent meetings. Last term, Inter ran out 3-0 winners at home with Lukaku, Matteo Darmian, and Alexis Sanchez on target.
Juventus wrap up pre-season preparations with comfortable Atalanta win
Juventus, who had a vice-like grip on the Scudetto before Inter Milan wrenched it from their grasp, will be looking to claim what they believe is rightfully theirs. And they are looking in good shape ahead of their opening game away to Udinese on Sunday. In their final pre-season friendly, Juve thrashed Atalanta 3-1.
Cristiano Ronaldo transfer speculation in full swing
From the outset, Cristiano Ronaldo appears to be perfectly settled at Juventus. But with the transfer window open, that doesn’t stop rumours dissipating over his future. Or rather there have been some fanciful suggestions that Ronaldo could join his long-term rival Lionel Messi at Paris Saint-Germain which would be truly stunning.
There have also been other suggestions that the 36-year-old could make a sensational return to Manchester United. Far from being in the autumn of his career, Ronaldo still has a lot to give, and last term he finished as Serie A’s top scorer. He has an insatiable appetite for scoring, and he can still single-handedly win games.
Meanwhile, Udinese will be hoping to improve upon their 14th place finish last term. Luca Gotti’s charges conceded 58 goals, which was 16 more than they scored, and Juventus will be in no mood to go easy on them. A good start for Udinese is imperative, as their first cluster of games takes in Napoli and Roma.
Udinese v Juventus: A look back at past showdowns
Udinese v Juventus has usually been one-way traffic as Juve have traditionally dominated this fixture. Of course, Udinese will look back fondly on their 2-1 win over Juve last summer where Seko Fofana grabbed a last-minute winner. However, in 54 meetings between the two sides, Juve have come out on top 37 times, while Udinese have registered nine victories.
And there have been some goal fests too. There was a classic encounter in the 2017/18 season when Juve ran out 6-2 winners. After falling behind in the eighth minute, Juve came charging back into the match, and Sami Khedira took the plaudits with a hat-trick. Although Mario Mandzukic was sent off in the first half, it didn’t matter as Juve overpowered Udinese.
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