Summer signings Gleison Bremer, Romelu Lukaku and Paulo Dybala are among a cluster of players are to be under the spotlight when the 2022/23 Serie A season commences on Saturday with champions AC Milan hosting Udinese. Signed from crosstown rivals Torino, Juventus defender Bremer is to be under special scrutiny because although he arrives in Turin as the reigning Serie A defender of the year, he has considerable boots to fill as the Old Lady tries to recapture the crown they last won two years ago.
Juventus boss Max Allegri has reacted to his team’s fourth place finish last season by carrying out extensive surgery on his squad. Bremer is his chief recruit, having won the admiration of suitors from several top European clubs by topping Serie A stats for aerial duels, interceptions and recoveries. The Brazilian, however, finds himself with the unenviable task of filling the boots of legendary skipper Giorgio Chellini, who has left for Los Angeles FC after 17 years and Dutch defender Matthis de Ligt, a £59m recruit at Bayern Munich.
When the Old Lady welcomes Sassuolo to the Allianz Arena in Turin on Monday night, they will also be without three of their international strikers from last season. Argentina star Paulo Dybala has joined Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma revolution, deputy top scorer Alvaro Morata has returned to parent club Atletico Madrid and Federico Bernadeschi has left for Toronto in the American MLS. The attack minded Sassuolo are meanwhile without West Ham United bound top marksman Gianluca Scamacca, who has been replaced by Ademola Lookman.
Simone Inzaghi’s Inter Milan played the best football last season but were dethroned by neighbours AC Milan due to inconsistency. The hierarchy at the San Siro club has signed Belgian behemoth Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea in the hope he can rekindle the kind of form that helped the Nerrazzuri to the title in 2020/21. Also available for selection when the San Siro club travel to newcomers Lecce on Saturday night are Cameroon custodian Andre Onana and veteran Armenian playmaker Henrik Mkhtarayan.
Champions AC Milan can once count on reigning Serie A player of the year Rafael Leao, whose goals and assists helped propel Stefano Pioli’s side to their first Scudetto in over a decade. With veterans Olivier Giroud and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the evening of their careers, Pioli has refreshed his attack by turning Junior Messias’s loan into a permanent move and signing strikers Divock Origi (Liverpool) and Charles de Keteleare from Club Brugge. Departing the San Siro are former skipper Alessandro Romagnoli, Frank Kessie and Samu Castillejo.
AC Milan v Udinese,
Sampdoria v Atalanta,
Monza v Torino,
Lecce v Inter Milan,
Fiorentina v Cremonese,
Lazio v Bologna,
Salernitana v AS Roma,
Spezia v Empoli,
Hellas Verona v Napoli
Juventus v Sassuolo