League Preview: Italian Serie A

Eleven of the 20 teams of the Italian Serie A have made managerial changes in their hopes to vie for the 2011-12 Italian Serie A title. Among the new managers include Antonio Conte of Juventus, Luis Enrique of AS Roma and Gian Piero Gasperini of Inter Milan.

Defending champions AC Milan will be happy to retain manager Massimiliano Allegri in their bid for a 19th Italian Serie A title. A few changes in the squad see some notable transfers in the roster, and among them are the entries of Philippe Mexes, Ricardo Ferreira and Taye Taiwo, and the exit of Andrea Pirlo. Of course, other key players of AC Milan include Gianluca Zambrotta, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robinho, Mark Van Bommel, Alessandro Nesta, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alexandre Pato.

Runner-ups Inter Milan will seek their 19th Italian Serie A title under new manager Gian Piero Gasperini, and some key changes in their roster. Among the notable changes will be the retirement of Marco Materazzi and the end of contract of David Suazo. However, new players coming in include 18-year old Luc Castaignos and Ricardo Alvarez among others. Of course, the usual key players of Inter Milan will still be around such as Samuel Eto’o, Wesley Sneijder, Diego Milito, Javier Zanetti, Esteban Cambiasso, Dejan Stankovic and Maicon.

Third placers Napoli will seek their third Italian Serie A title and will be excited to return to the UEFA Champions League after a long stint away. Key players of Napoli include Edinson Cavani, Paolo Cannavaro, Marek Hamsik, Ivan Lavezzi and Giuseppe Mascara.

4th place Udinese will also have a shot at the UEFA Champions Leauge while fifth place Lazio and 6th place Roma will compete at the UEFA Europa Leauge. Seventh place and 27-time Italian Serie A champion Juventus will be looking for a place back at the top and a possible 28th Italian Serie A title. Apart from new head coach Antonio Conte, some key signings include Andrea Pirlo, Fabio Quagliarella, Alessandro Matri and Amauri among others. Those names will compliment the regular squad of top Juventus players like Gianluigi Buffon, Mohamed Sissoko, Claudio Marchisio, Milos Krasic, Alessandro del Piero, Luca Toni and Vincenzo Iaquinta.

Relegated to the Italian Serie B following their poor performances are Sampdoria, Brescia, and Bari. Earning their promotion into the Italian Serie A this season are Atalanta, Siena, and Novara.

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