Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

James Dielhenn On September - 10 - 2010

Serie A’s best XI prediction for this season

Goalkeeper: Emiliano Viviano (Bologna). With Gianluigi Buffon injured for the best part of six months, there is a gaping space as Italy’s top goalkeeper that nobody has grasped. The young Viviano followed his incredible opening day performance with his first international cap, and the future looks bright for the Bologna stopper.

Centre-back: Nicolas Burdisso (Roma). The Argentine enjoyed an outstanding season on loan at Roma last year, and has been the subject of the summer’s longest running transfer battle between the capital side and his parent club Inter. Now Burdisso has permanently signed with Roma, where he clearly feels at home, he could be the standout defender in the league.

Centre-back: Andrea Ranocchia (Genoa). Alongside Leonardo Bonucci, Ranocchia was a rock at the back for Bari last season. A serious knee injury saw him overtaken by his team-mate, but this summer, his contract has been split between Genoa and Inter. Playing with Genoa, his value could rocket and see him play at the Milanese giants in a year’s time.

Left-back: Cristian Chivu (Inter). Last season Jose Mourinho preferred Javier Zanetti at left-back, and Chivu was shunned to the bench. But Rafa Benitez has indicated that the Romanian will be an important player for him, and he could recapture the form which saw Inter prise him from Roma in the first place.

Midfield: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus). Perhaps nobody bore the brunt of Italy’s awful World Cup more than Marchisio. Played in a number of positions in the tournament, he had a torrid time. But Luigi Del Neri sees Marchisio as a vital part of Juve’s midfield, and he surely won’t disappoint to show his true colours.

Midfield: Andrea Poli (Sampdoria). This could be the season where ‘the new Andrea Pirlo’ breaks through. His passing range is excellent, and if the youngster can handle the physicality of Serie A, he could lead Sampdoria this campaign.

Midfield: Cristian Ledesma (Lazio). A year ago Ledesma was frozen out at Lazio because of a contractual dispute. Now he is the captain of the Roman club, and the Argentine has all the attributes to dominate midfield for the coming season.

Striker: Edinson Cavani (Napoli). He was a shock transfer when Napoli snapped him up this summer. Cavani, impressive for a couple of seasons at Palermo, needed a new challenge, and now at Napoli he could become one of Serie A’s leading marksmen.

Striker: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Milan). He’s back. Everyone knows what Ibrahimovic brings to the table. Not many could have predicted that he would wear Milan’s shirt after being an Inter player, but Ibrahimovic’s arrival has lifted Milan onto the next level.

Striker: Fabio Quagliarella (Juventus). The only Italian player to leave the World Cup with his reputation intact after his wonder goal against Slovakia, Quagliarella has been signed by Juve. At a bigger club, his undoubted talent could be shown more often, and he could prove to be the long-term replacement for Alex Del Piero.

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