The 2018/19 Serie A season kicks off this weekend, with 10 first round matches spread from today to Monday.Reigning champions, Juventus, begins the defence of their title with a potentially tricky game away to Chievo this evening. The match will see the Serie A debut of Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Juventus for €100million in the off-season from Real Madrid.
The 33-year-old’s arrival is more a statement of intent in regard to winning the UEFA Champions League, but it will still be fascinating to see how he performs in Italy’s top flight after nine prolific seasons in Spain’s La Liga.
Chievo, who recently completed the signing of Super Eagles’ Joel Obi, will look to stymie Juve’s hopes of a fast start. Perhaps taking advantage of the absence of goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon – who has left for Paris Saint-Germain – will be their best avenue for an upset result.
Juventus’ main title challengers are likely to be Napoli, who pushed the ‘Old Lady’ hard for the Scudetto last term. The Naples side, who boast African superstars Faouzi Ghoulam and Kalidou Koulibaly in their defence, open their Serie A campaign with a tough match in Rome against Lazio, who finished just outside of the Champions League places last term. The Serie A is making its return to DStv, and will be debuting on GOtv.
Tomorrow’s games start with the early kick-off between Mbaye Niang’s Torino and Roma, who may hand a debut to teenage Dutch striker Justin Kluivert. The 19-year-old, who is the son of former Netherlands attacker Patrick Kluivert, was a big-money acquisition from Ajax over the European summer.
Northern giants, AC Milan and Internazionale, who have both been very active in the transfer market in a bid to boost their chances of competing for the title, open with Sunday night matches at home to Genoa and away to Sassuolo (who will look to Ghanaian maverick Kevin-Prince Boateng for inspiration) respectively.
Tomorrow night also features Empoli at home to Cagliari, Parma (back in the top flight after going bankrupt just three years ago) welcoming Udinese to Stadio Ennio Tardini, and Fiorentina travelling to Sampdoria.The round wraps up with one match on Monday night, as Serie B playoff winners, Frosinone ,head to Bergamo to take on hosts Atalanta.