Serie A 2022/23 PREVIEW | Gameweek 1

The wait is finally over as the greatest spectacle of Italian football, Serie A, makes its return on Saturday evening. Here are the fixtures that aspire to provide the game’s fanatics with some heartwarming moments in its opening weekend.

Milan vs Udinese

San Siro will host the curtain-raiser of the Serie A 2022/23 season. The current holders of the coveted Scudetto inaugurate their campaign with a home fixture against Udinese, who have a new manager in charge of the first team.

Former Ascoli boss, Andrea Sottil will try his luck against a Rossoneri side that has been oozing with confidence following a brilliant pre-season. However, the hosts’ only concern remains the absence of Sandro Tonali and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The duo will miss the match against Udinese due to their respective injuries. There are also similar issues on Udinese’s end, with a number of their players locked in negotiations to leave the Italian club before the end of the summer transfer window. 

Lecce vs Inter

The “Lu-La” duo is back to light up Serie A, and it is what the Serie A and especially the Inter fans would like to believe. The Nerazzurri have significantly strengthened their squad for the 2022/23 season. Over the summer, they brought in Romelu Lukaku, a backup for Marcelo Brozović in Kristjan Asllani, André Onana, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Raoul Bellanova. They are seemingly ready for another title challenge that ran until the last day of the 2021/22 season.

Lecce will embark on their Serie A campaign after spending two seasons in the second tier of Italian football. Rather timid in the transfer market so far, the newcomers don’t appear to be a threatening prospect against the 19-time Scudetto holders. But their home support could play a part in turning the tide.

Fiorentina vs Cremonese

An upsetting end to the 2021/22 Serie A season ended with Fiorentina missing out on the opportunity to play in the Europa League this season. Nevertheless, in Vincenzo Italiano’s first season as the manager of La Viola, there was no short of positives as Fiorentina surpassed the ominous signs of the previous seasons to book a European spot in the shape of a UEFA Europa Conference League qualification. But, this time, the challenge is new as they hope to break into the league of the so-called “big boys”.

Fiorentina have the players and the requisite capability to make it big this season, as suggested by last season’s display. They just need a good start. In their first match, Serie A newbies Cremonese will pose a bold challenge as it is always difficult to start a season against a side that recently secured promotion. This fixture also doesn’t betray those daunting assumptions. 

Lazio vs Bologna

Lazio president Claudio Lotito has already hinted that he has backed Maurizio Sarri with the signings that the Tuscan boss demanded at the start of the summer transfer window. And now, it remains to be seen whether the manager could bring the expected performance out of those players. Not only have they brought in reinforcements, but also they have managed to keep hold of an impactful player like Sergej Milinković-Savić amid the transfer market.

If everything matches the expectations, they should be an interesting candidate for the top-four race. Siniša Mihajlović’s side had good patches as well as disappointing results last season. And they have already lost notable first-team players such as Arthur Theate, Aaron Hickey, and Mattias Svanberg. However, with Manchester United not pursuing their star man Marko Arnautović anymore, they should look to maximize the opportunity and begin the season with an unanticipated victory against Sarri’s men.

Salernitana vs Roma

Many have already drawn the lines, with Roma considered favourites for this season’s Scudetto. But before putting money on them, it would be interesting to see how the new signings build the synergy in the league. Of course, the Giallorossi have done brilliant business in the transfer market so far, and they have managed to assemble a formidable squad for the 2022/23 campaign. But have we never seen a club failing to meet the expectations in the league after doing well in the transfer market? History remains the witness of numerous instances of such eventualities.

Salernitana had a brilliant end to their 2021/22 season, which led to their survival in Serie A. Davide Nicola will be pushing his men to do better at the initial stages of the competition this time so that they don’t find themselves under severe circumstances during the latter part of the campaign.

Hellas Verona vs Napoli

Have the departures of Lorenzo Insigne, Kalidou Koulibaly, and then Dries Mertens weakened Napoli? Obviously. But have Napoli managed to replace them with new signings? Time will tell. Nonetheless, the arrival of Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, Min-jae Kim, Leo Östigard, and Mathías Olivera show promise. A sense of youthfulness persists around the newly-crafted Naples side.

On the other hand, Gabriele Cioffi will be turning new pages of his career with Hellas Verona. Hence, there will be much to look forward to for neutrals in the weekend’s encounter between these two prestigious Italian sides, who would undoubtedly eye for a better campaign this time.

Juventus vs Sassuolo

The game between Juventus and Sassuolo will be one of the most intriguing fixtures of this opening weekend in Serie A. Facing a surprising defeat to Modena in the first round of Coppa Italia, Sassuolo have made a disastrous start to their 2022/23 campaign. After a trophyless season last term, Juventus will be hoping to kick start their campaign positively.

Sassuolo, weakened by the departures of several first-team players this summer, might have wished for an easier opponent in the first match of their Serie A campaign. Massimiliano Allegri will have to deal with some serious injury issues. The absence of new summer signing Paul Pogba will be a massive miss for the Old Lady. But, in the context of this match, Juventus should be able to salvage all three points.


GIFN | Jyotirmoy Halder

More European Football News