Serie A season preview
The first game of the season for the top flight in Italy is the Scudetto against Bologna, and this game could determine the fate of the champions.
The two teams are in the midst of a bitter rivalry, with both sides boasting some of the biggest names in Italian football, including Andrea Pirlo, Mario Balotelli and Andrea Pippo.
There are several important players to watch, however, as Bolognese are favourites to win the Scutto and win the league.
Here is a look at the top 10 players to look out for on Saturday.
Andrea Pignato Andrea Perna is the most talked about player in Serie A. The striker is already a household name in Italy thanks to his phenomenal goal scoring record.
Last season, Pigna netted 20 goals in all competitions, and his 20 goals against Brescia were the most in a single season by a Bresca player.
It is a record that has been broken twice in the last two seasons.
Andrea has scored goals in every Serie A game since his debut in 2016, including a brace in the Scuda Cup last season.
He also scored in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, and it is unlikely he will be in the starting line-up for the Scuds.
Bolognians coach, Massimiliano Allegri, is looking for a big-hitting striker and is hoping Pernato can help him do just that.
Antonio Candreva Antonio Candra is a centre-forward who is in a bit of a situation this season, having been loaned to Napoli in January.
Napoli won the Scudi Cup last year, and the centre-back has been linked with a move to the Premier League, but it is a difficult time for a young player.
Candrevas goal against Bruges last season was a highlight of the Scugos game and he is also a regular in the Napoli team.
He is a big talent, and has plenty of experience for his age.
He has scored five goals in the league so far this season.
Roberto Mancini Roberto Mocca is a veteran manager who has guided Milan to three consecutive Serie A titles and the Champions Cup last term.
Mancis goal against Inter in the Europa League last season helped his side to a 2-1 victory.
He started his career in Italy with Inter, and made over 400 appearances in all three divisions of the Italian top flight.
He won the Serie A Golden Boot in 2015 and 2016, and won the league’s Player of the Year award in 2016.
Marco Van Basten Marco Van Bommel is the captain of Ajax, and he will have the captain’s armband this season after he scored in a 4-0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Super Cup last month.
Van Bastens goals against Tottenham Hotspur and Napoli last season were the goalscorers for the Dutch team, and are two of the best performances from an Ajax player since Van Bast’s arrival in 1996.
Van Bessons goals against AC Milan and Bologns have helped his club to four straight domestic titles and an automatic place in the UEFA Europa League.
Antonio Di Natale Antonio Di Nata has been in the top-flight for over 10 years, and for good reason.
The attacking midfielder has scored over 100 goals in that time and is one of the most talented players in Italy.
He scored the goals in two of Bologno’s goals against Milan and PSV, and is also the best player in the Serie B. He will not only lead the team, but will be a regular for the team in the final.
Mauro Icardi Mauro was not the best striker in Serie B last season, but he was one of Bresci’s best.
The former AC Milan striker scored 11 goals and added nine assists in the Italian league, as well as the league trophy.
He was voted the best Serie A striker in the 2014/15 season, and in 2017/18 he won the Ballon d’Or award.
Marco Verratti Marco Verra has been one of Italy’s most consistent strikers this season with six goals in seven matches.
He had a goal and an assist against Inter last season and is a real threat when he gets the ball.
Verra is also in the same boat as his fellow striker, Di Natta.
He should be the main man of the defence and is known for his goal scoring ability.
Andrea Belotti Andrea Belatti is another player who is still one of a few who can play for Napoli.
The midfielder is one for whom the future looks bright.
He showed his class in the 2015/16 Champions League with an impressive performance against Inter.
He finished the season with 12 goals in 14 matches for the Italian side