Juventus: Serie A 2013/14 Preview


Juventus are back to back reigning Italian champions but that has not kept them from further improving their squad in the transfer market. The club had been searching for a proper long term solution up top and had fallen flat through several previous attempts (often ending with a last minute purchase of a player who adds only depth to the squad – Nicklas Bendtner, Nicolas Anelka, etc) but finally this summer they succeeded.

Fernando Llorente
Who’s in?

Fernando Llorente
Signed on a free transfer from Atletico Bilbao, had his signing announced way back in January, but nonetheless did not join the club until July.

Llorente is very much out of form, as he was practically frozen out last year at Atletico, so he not only needs to get used to a new league, a new country, a new coach, new teammates, and a new tactical set up; he also has to get himself back into playing form.

This is why I warn Juventini and others not to expect too much from Llorente for the first few weeks (maybe months) of the season. That said, Llorente has the potential to be a world beater, and at Juve he has the teammates to help him achieve as much.

Angelo Ogbonna
Another new arrival, and one who was signed with the long run in mind, is ex-Torino wonderkid Angelo Ogbonna.

The Centre-back, a position where Juve already have much quality, is likely to be a depth option for this season, but given the gruelling schedule of Serie A, Champions League, and, Coppa Italia, all combined and you have a recipe for Ogbonna to receive a fair amount of appearances and starts.

Ogbonna has already looked somewhat comfortable in black and white during the pre-season, and he will surely grow to be another valued member of the Juventus defence.

Carlos Tevez
Carlos Tevez
The other striker brought in this summer, and one who had a more immediate impact, is Carlos Tevez.

One of the goal scorers from the August 18th’s 4-0 stomping of Lazio in the Supercoppa, the Tevez signing came as a slight surprise, if only because the media had linked Juve to so many other, different, strikers.

Still, for a price of at most €12 million (€10m base fee with an extra two in incentive based rewards) Juventus came away with one of the better strikers in Europe.


Who’s Out?

In terms of transfers elsewhere, Juventus sold two players:

Felipe Melo, and Emanuele Giaccherini. 
Melo, whom the club had been trying to offload for two years now, was purchased by the same club who had loaned him for two seasons, Galatasary of Turkey.

Meanwhile, Giaccherini was signed by the English Premier League club Sunderland, after a particularly impressive performance playing for the Azzuri in the Confederations Cup.

Losing Melo was part of the plan, while losing Giaccherini is bitter-sweet. He wasn’t an essential part of Juve’s squad, but fans are sad to see him go.

Antonio Conte
Antonio Conte

Then there is Conte. The man has led the club to all sorts of various glory, but now he wants more: the Champions League trophy.

Conte, who played at Juventus in the ’90s during Marcello Lippi’s tenure of greatness, knows the difficulties behind continued greatness.

He knows the difficulty of winning Serie A three times in a row, and he knows the difficulty of winning a lone Champions League trophy, especially in today’s world of superclubs like Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

Conte is very much capable of leading Juventus back to the top of the Serie A table, but he has sometimes shown an inability to rotate some players (we usually see some rotation but then various players get overused, end up fatigued, and then play badly in a big match) and has yet to prove his tactical chops on the big European stage.

This season provides more opportunities for him to achieve both.

Predictions

This should be a tough season for Juve, but it also should be very exciting and very fun.

The team is back in the Champions League, with a new strikeforce and new yellow away jerseys, and Serie A is an all new ball game, with several rival clubs having beefed up their squads during the transfer window.

There are new coaches, old coaches at new clubs, and plenty of skilled players who are new to Italy and to their respective clubs. Juventus are the favourites to win the Scudetto.

However, the Champions League could distract them, and perhaps fatigue and injury take a toll during midweek fixtures.

Worst case is Juventus letting the title slip (but still finish 2nd or 3rd) and do average in the Champions League.

Realistically, Juventus are expected to win a third consecutive Scudetto. And do well in Europe.

They are available at 13/20 to win the Serie A outright at Hollywoodbets.net!