Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Preview to Serie A and review of 1st La Liga week

Serie A

Champions AC Milan start the defence of their title tonight against a strong Lazio side. AC Milan had a strong transfer window bringing in the likes of Philpe Mexes, Taye Tawio and Alberto Aquliani aswell as completing permanent deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin Prince Boateng. Lazio brought in expierenced forward Miroslav Klose as well as  Djibril Cisse, and the duo are both expected to start tonight in a new look strikeforce having lost the former Birmingham City striker Mauro Zarate to Inter Milan.

The league's big spenders Juventus and Roma both start the new season with new managers and new optimism. Despite Italy only having three Champions League participants for the 2012/13 season, these two will be confident of challenging the likes of Napoli for the key third spot. Juve have brought in the likes of Mirko Vucinic, Eljero Elia, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal in an attempt to force their way back into Europe's elite competition, however for me I don't think they will have enough about them to do so.

The other big spenders in Roma however have a better chance, with not just exicting additions but clever and needed ones. The obvious loss of Mexes and Vucinic to their rivals will be huge, but new manager Luis Enrique has brought in no less then 17 players, and if the team can gel quickly then I can see them challenging Inter Milan for a second place birth. Fernando Gago, Bojan Krkic, Miralem Pjanic, Simon Kjaer, Pablo Osvaldo, Erik Lamela and Gabriel Heinze were all added in an highly exiciting window for the Rome side.

Inter Milan for me this year will struggle to really live with AC Milan at the top of the league with the choice of manager a suprising one. Gian Piero Gasperini's failed at Genoa despite big name signings, and the move is in similar fashion to AC Milan's move for Massimiliano Allegri, which was an obvious success. The loss of Samuel Eto'o is a huge one with Diego Milito really struggling to find the form of the treble winning season. Giampaolo Pazzini and Mauro Zarate are very hit and miss players, and much pressure will be placed on new signing Diego Forlan to replace Eto'o's goals.

My top 7 prediction
1) AC Milan
2) Roma/Juventus
3) Inter Milan / Napoli
4) Napoli / Inter Milan
5) Juventus/Roma
6) Udinese
7) Lazio

La Liga

The La Liga kicked off a week before the recent international's and somewhat unsuprisingly the dominant duo of Real Madrid and Barcelona won 6-0 and 5-0 respectively and already take their position at the top of La Liga.

You don't have to be a football genius to realise that these two will top the table come June and their infatic start to the season only goes to show the dominance the duo have over the rest of the Spanish League.

Athletico Madrid began life with Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and David De Gea in uninspiring fashion with a 0-0 draw at home to Osasuna. The amount of transfers in and out of the club obviously have dictated their start and it will take them a while to gel properly, with Falcao and Arda Turan good additions to the club.

Malaga the huge spenders in La Liga started life with a 2-1 defeat away to Sevilla. Manuel Pellegrini's side were poor in the first half and Alvaro Negrando exposed Malaga's centre half uncertainty for the first goal before a lovely finish doubled their lead. Despite a good second half showing, they only had new signing Santi Cazorla's wonderful free kick to show for it. The club were scheduled to play Barcelona on the first week of the season, meaning they would've had a doubly as hard start, however with Granada and Real Mallorca up next, expect to see them improve in not only performance but points. Sevilla in comparison to their opponents have had a relatively quiet transfer window with Manu del Moral and Martin Caceras their two big deals.

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