Seven Italian lessons

The new Serie A season starts on Saturday with Juventus aiming to win the title for the seventh season in a row. Here are five talking points ahead of the new campaign:

 

SEVEN IN A ROW FOR JUVENTUS?

The Turin side will be setting out to win their seventh successive title, but they have made some major changes from last season.

At the back, they have lost one of Italy's - and the world's -- top defenders after Leonardo Bonucci moved to AC Milan.

His departure marks the end of the so-called BBC defence -- Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini -- after seven seasons.

On the other hand, they have signed Federico Bernardeschi, arguably the most promising Italian player of his generation, and Brazilian winger Douglas Costa.

Juventus have managed to reinvent themselves over the course of the last few years after losing the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba - can they do it again?

CAN TORINO HOLD ON TO STRIKER ANDREA BELOTTI?

The 23-year-old scored 26 goals in Serie A last season and is regarded as one of Italy's top strikers.

Club president Urbano Cairo has already said he does not want to lose Belotti and has rejected a 70 million euro (63.94 million pounds) offer from AC Milan.

Belotti's contract has a 100 million euro release clause and Cairo has admitted he will not be able to stop him leaving if a big European club comes up with the money.

Will Torino be able to hold on to their prize possession for another season?

CAN NAPOLI TURN THEIR FLOWING FOOTBALL INTO TITLES?

Napoli were widely acclaimed for their flowing football last season as they topped the Serie A scoring charts with 94 goals. But it was still only good enough for third place as they finished five points behind winners Juventus.

They have not finished outside the top six in the last eight seasons.

There have been no major departures in the close season so far - could this finally be the year when they add to the Serie A titles they won in 1987 and 1990?

ATALANTA HANGOVER?

Atalanta surpassed expectations last season by finishing fifth under Gian Piero Gasperini and could suffer a hangover this term.

As so often happens with middle-sized clubs, success came at a high price as their players naturally attracted interest from bigger rivals.

Two of their top players have departed with right back Andrea Conti and midfielder Franck Kessie both moving to AC Milan. They will also have the Europa League to contend with.

The club have at least persuaded their captain Alejandro Gomez to sign a new contract and boast a renowned youth academy. But can they keep replenishing the talent as quickly as it leaves?

CROTONE LOOK TO ESTABLISH THEMSELVES IN SERIE A

Tiny Crotone made their debut in Serie A last term and pulled off one of its great escapes, winning six and drawing two of their last nine matches to avoid the drop on the last day.

Coach Davide Nicola celebrated by cycling the 1,300 kilometres to his home town of Turin.

They will be hoping to carry on where they left off and follow in the footsteps of Sassuolo, another small-town club who have established themselves in the top flight.

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