Hello and welcome to the Serie A version of round table, Calcio Chat.
Milan and Juventus have looked upon Inter with envy as the Nerrazzurri cruised to their fourth straight Serie A title. But this season, will it be different? Will Juve and Milan be able to seriously challenge Inter for the Serie A crown?
Around the roundtable today, we welcome Zahi Sahli, Adamo Digby, Andrew Jordan, Matthew Maloney, Mohamed Eldin Masri and Rocky Getters to discuss this matter.
Q: What do you think Andrew?
I think it's in Leonardo's hands. Adding Klaas Jan Huntelaar from Real Madrid will also help the club throughout the season. I see AC Milan finishing third, not more. They would need an extra player to challenge.
Inter made a great deal to get Eto'o plus 45 million euros for Ibrahimovic, and Juventus got Diego from Werder Bremen. Diego will be a key asset for Juventus.
But still, I just see Mourinho leading Inter to yet another Serie A championship, as they will get by Juventus by several points and will have a strong run to close out the season.
Q: Yes, about Diego, can he make Juventus competitive enough to make the Old Lady land the Serie A title, Zahi?
Diego is one of the best signings this summer especially in terms of quality for money. Off course you can't compare him to Real Madrid's signings but at the same time you can't compare the fees paid.
Diego will bring great change to the Serie A. Juventus will be much more powerful than last season with an excellent playmaker.
But on the other hand, Inter have also strengthened their team with their signings, so I think the gap will still be there. I say Inter will get the Serie A, but not without a fight from Juventus. Milan will contend, but Juve are better.
Q: Do you agree Adamo?
Surely. This will be a competitive season. I think the Calciopoli scandal handed the title to Inter for the past few years. Losing Ibrahimovic is a massive blow for them.
Milan won't be pushing them however, as losing your captain, match winner and tactician in one summer is impossible to overcome.
Juventus will mount a serious challenge at long last. The midfield has been strengthen with the arrival of Felipe Melo, the defence gains vital experience from Cannavaro's return. The forwards will benefit from Diego's arrival as the fantasista will allow them to play closer to goal, Del Piero in particular should flourish.
Q: The Juventus faithful are without a doubt hoping that Del Piero flourishes next season. But as for Inter, can Eto'o and Milito fill in Ibrahimovic's shoes, Matthew?
Millito and Eto'o should more than make up for Ibrahimovic, and are likely to surpass his goal tally from last season while Motta and the possible addition of a playmaker can only strengthen the squad which if anything seems stronger than last season.
I'm not a fan of rookie players or coaches at the highest level. While Inter have Mourinho as manager, Juve and Milan have two rookies in the shapes of Ciro Ferrara and Leonardo.
Imagine finding out a rookie airline pilot was flying the plane you were on: you would not be comfortable!
Pre-season results confirm something I suspected and the Italian league's tactical aspects demands experienced coaches. Even looking at the squads, Milan have definitely went far back in terms of quality with the loss of Maldini and Kaka.
This may be a transition season and no more. While Juventus have strengthened, Inter are still stronger. I find it would be a hard sell saying the additions fully make up the 10 points that separated the teams last season.
Q: So you actually think Inter have improved their quality. What about you, Mohamed?
Inter have taken a big knock in my eyes. Milan still can't find themselves so to make a long story short, Milan do not have the quality to contend. Meanwhile Juventus might be the most likely contenders for Inter.
If Juventus are consistent enough, they will be destined to lift the Serie A title this year.
Q: Will we see a competitive Serie A next season, Rocky?
Milan is in a rebuilding process right now, and the key new signings Huntelaar and Oneyewu, though brilliant, will take time to settle. Despite the departure of Kaka, Milan have a strong side with quality players; but going by our pre-season performances so far, the team is still discovering itself under Leonardo. Once the team gels together well, I see Milan doing extremely well in the league; it just comes down to how quickly Leo can get Milan going.
Inter and Juventus, on the other hand, have balanced sides and will take an early lead in the points table. Jose wants Inter to do well in the CL, and that might serve as a perfect distraction. I don't think Inter will cruise to another Serie A title, but for that, Juve and Milan especially, will have to play to their best potential to keep the Nerrazurri at bay! But of course, Juventus are still second favorites behind Inter.
So that about raps up this edition of Calcio Chat, the Serie A Roundtable.
Thank you for joining us. Don't forget, we value your opinion.
This edition's question: Can Juventus and Milan compete with Inter for the Serie A title?
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