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Serie A 2023/24 Season Preview: Milan clubs aiming to knock Napoli off their perch

Unlike several of the other top leagues in Europe, predicting the winner of the 2023/24 Serie A title is no easy task.

Reigning champions Napoli should be firmly in the mix, but numerous other clubs have a genuine chance of claiming the Scudetto.

Read on as we preview the upcoming Serie A campaign, starting with a look at whether the Naples outfit can follow up last season’s success.

Napoli will be a tough nut to crack

Napoli finished a whopping 16 points clear of the chasing pack last season – a margin which will not be easy for their rivals to bridge.

Forwards Victor Osimhen and Kvicha Kvaratskhelia were crucial to their success, and retaining their services should keep Napoli in contention for the title.

It has been a summer of evolution rather than revolution on the transfer front, with Napoli largely balancing their books with their summer dealings.

Defender Kim Min-jae has been their most significant sale, with the South Korean international completing a move to Bayern Munich.

Brazilian centre-back Natan will hope to fill the void after his move from Red Bull Bragantino, and he could prove to be yet another shrewd signing by Napoli.

Midfielder Jens Cajuste looks to be a useful acquisition from Stade Reims, while permanent moves for loanees Giacomo Raspadori and Giovanni Simeone have also been secured.

While Napoli’s squad looks capable of mounting a serious title defence, the departure of manager Luciano Spalletti is a significant blow.

His replacement Rudi Garcia has plenty to prove after a spell in Saudi Arabia, although it is worth noting he previously won the Ligue 1 title with Lille in 2010/11.

Providing Garcia does not tinker too much with Spalletti’s system, Napoli should put up a stern defence of the title they won so stylishly last term.

Milan duo expected to lead the challenge

Having mounted a disappointing title defence last time around, AC Milan have set about rectifying matters by wheeling and dealing in the transfer market.

Eight new signings have arrived at the San Siro, and more are expected before the transfer window closes on September 1.

Most of their incomings have been funded by the sale of midfielder Sandro Tonali to Newcastle United, but Milan should be able to cope without him.

Tijjani Reijnders, Yunus Musah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek have been signed to strengthen Milan’s midfield options this summer.

Christian Pulisic, Samuel Chukwueze and Noah Okafar are other exciting additions to a squad that looks set to be firmly in the title mix.

Inter Milan will also expect to challenge for the Scudetto, but their summer transfer business has cast doubt over the credentials.

Losing goalkeeper Andre Onana to Manchester United is a major blow, and his replacement Yann Sommer has plenty to prove this season.

Milan Skriniar, Marcelo Brozovic, Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku are other key players who have exited the club this summer.

New signing Davide Frattesi should be a standout performer in midfield, while Marcus Thuram is a shrewd addition to Inter’s attacking options.

However, Inter will fancy their chances of hanging onto their place in the top four, but their local rivals are fancied to rub their noses in it by winning the title.

Juventus aiming to bounce back from tough campaign

Last season was a difficult one for Juventus, with their well-documented off-field shenanigans ultimately costing them a place in Europe this term.

Timothy Weah’s arrival from Lille will compensate for the loss of veteran Juan Cuadrado, while several promising youngsters will hope to make their mark in the first team.

However, ongoing doubts about striker Dusan Vlahovic’s future are an unwelcome distraction heading into the new campaign.

If the Serbian stays in Turin and rediscovers his best form, Juventus should have enough about them to finish in the top four.

Getting off to a good start will be crucial to their hopes, particularly with the club’s fans already sceptical about manager Massimiliano Allegri.

Lazio may be best placed to cash in if Juventus underperform, despite losing midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to the Saudi Pro League.

They have made several useful additions to compensate including Daichi Kamada, who has arrived on a free transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt.

Forward Taty Castellanos has joined the club following a successful loan spell with Girona, and he could prove to be a handful in Serie A.

Promising wingers Gustav Isaksen and Matteo Cancellieri are other useful additions to a squad that looks capable of securing another top-four finish.

Lazio manager Maurizio Sarri is famed for building teams greater than the sum of its parts, and he looks set to enjoy another productive campaign.

Mourinho in the last chance saloon at Roma?

With Jose Mourinho entering the final year of his contract, the pressure is on him to guide Roma into the top four for the first time during his tenure.

Midfielder Houssem Aouar and defender Evan Ndicka should prove to be excellent signings on free transfers, but the rest of their summer transfer business has been underwhelming.

The squad looks weaker than last season, and their failure to replace injured striker Tammy Abraham is starting to look increasingly problematic.

Finishing in the top six should not be beyond Roma, but they can forget about Champions League qualification if they fail to strengthen their squad over the next couple of weeks.

Atalanta finished six points adrift of the top four last season and will find it tough to improve their standing this term.

They have lost several key players this summer including striker Rasmus Hojlund, who has made a big-money move to Manchester United.

El-Bilal Toure and Gianluca Scamacca have been signed to boost their forward options, but both players arrive at the club with question marks hanging over them.

Atalanta should be in contention to finish in the top six, but it is difficult to imagine them having the quality to secure Champions League qualification.

Newly promoted Frosinone, Genoa and Cagliari are all expected to struggle, while Lecce will likely spend much of the season looking nervously over the shoulders.

Hellas Verona also look set for another difficult season after narrowly avoiding the drop at the end of the 2022/23 campaign.

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