With Euro 2012 no longer satisfying our need for football during the barren summer months, attention progressively switches back to domestic matters. It's been an eventful summer for Juventus both on and off the field. New signings, allegations levelled at Antonio Conte and memorable performances from the Bianconeri contingent in Poland and Ukraine.
The 2012/13 season marks the beginning of a Scudetto defence, a season without Ale Del Piero, a season to follow up an unbeaten campaign. Juve have a real opportunity to begin a cycle of dominance, while the Old Lady will also take her place amongst Europe’s elite once more.
No time has been wasted in adding both quality and substance to the squad, with Beppe Marotta drafting in several new faces. Sebastian Giovinco returns to Turin following his successful spell at Parma, and from a club and player perspective, it is hoped he will earn and receive adequate playing time. Martin Caceres has completed a permanent transfer, and is joined by the former Udinese duo of Mauricio Isla and Kwadwo Asamoah. Other notable additions include young ‘keeper Nicola Leali from Brescia, and veteran Brazilian centre-back Lucio from Inter. Having held on to the integral individuals from last year’s success, the squad now looks more complete and significantly stronger.
Rumours circulate, and will continue to do so until the transfer market closes, regarding players linked with a move to Turin. From Robin Van Persie, via Marco Verratti to Stevan Jovetic, it is fairly certain there will be at least one more new face before the season begins. Juve will of course be in action early next month, as they travel to Beijing to take on Napoli in the Italian Super Cup on August 11. Victory in China would represent a perfect start to the new season, and could potentially lead the way to more trophies as the season progresses. Milan will undoubtedly challenge for the Scudetto, despite the loss of several key figures. The rebuilding process at Inter under Andrea Stramaccioni will bring success, while Napoli and Roma can also be considered contenders. As ever on the dawn of a new Serie A season, the competitiveness of the league makes for an intriguing year with predictions hard to make.
Ideally the controversy surrounding Conte will have ended ahead of pre-season plans. The former Siena coach will be questioned over his alleged role in the match-fixing scandal (while with Siena) on July 13. While we hope for a swift and positive outcome, this season could arguably be considered more important that Conte’s first in charge. It is impossible to expect a season like the previous, but it has the ability to lay the foundations for the next few. Juve exceeded many expectations last year, not just in winning the title but remaining undefeated. Having showed their ability but also capabilities, can they go on to remain at the top and re-establish themselves in Europe?
There will be a full season preview here ahead of the Italian Super Cup, while transfers will continually be added!
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