Failure to qualify for the Champions League finally forced the club or to be more precise VP Adriano Galliani to break from the misplaced policy of keeping faith with squad players well past their sell by dates but having offloaded Simic, Brocchi, Cafu and Serginho four former players returned including Shevchenko, against the coaches wishes. Better news for Ancelotti came when Milan succeeded in their two year quest to sign Ronaldinho and Flamini's arrival could prove to be equally as important. While Milan look formidable in attack, even if doubts remain over the long term fitness of Kaka', Nesta, the key defender during the Ancelotti era, has been omitted from the UEFA Cup squad fuelling speculation that his career may be over. With their rivals distracted by the Champions League Milan have to be favourites to end a four year wait for the scudetto anything less and Ancelotti's glorious reign will come to an end.

Key Players : Flamini, Kaka', Ronaldinho
Prospects : Champions/Champions League


On the back of three successive championships Inter have been earmarked as title favourites but the scudetto is of secondary importance to a team desperate to end a five decade wait for the European Cup. Inter were expected to spend heavily following Mourinho's appointments but having been linked with the likes of Lampard, Eto'o and Drogba they settled for the modest (in comparison) Mancini, Muntari and Quaresma who will give some much needed fresh legs to an ageing midfield. Defensively Inter will be formidable, once everyone is fit but it's in the final third that the Nerazzurri are lacking. Crespo and Cruz are past it, Suazo flopped and has been sent to Portugal, Ibrahimovic always fades after Christmas, Balotelli is still a complete novice and despite an encouraging spell in Brazil is Adriano really back to his best? The Italian press are unlikely to be won over by Mourinho's shtick. How he faces upto increased tactical scrutiny remains to be seen.

Key Players : Chivu, Muntari, Ibrahimovic
Prospects : Champions/Champions League


Ironically Tinkerman Ranieri has built a team in the mould of his successor at Chelsea, Jose Mourinho, a bruising physical side who play without a great deal of flair. While the Bianconeri have added the considerable physical presence of Poulsen to their midfield, where he should form an almost impenetrable barrier alongside Sissoko, the rest of Juve's signings however don't inspire much confidence and it's easy to see why the club's director of sport, Alessio Secco, has come in for much criticism. Juve failed to sign long term targets Diego and Xabi Alonso and lost the battle for Flamini to Milan. Even Amuari's transfer proved complicated. Given the chance the tiny Sebastien Giovinco, the future of Italian football, will help shoulder the creative burden on the ageing Del Piero and Nedved both of whom will struggle to match last season's form with the added mental and physical stress of Champions League football. Trezeguet is no spring chicken either but should prove as dangerous as ever provided Amauri and Iaquinta do his running.

Key Players : Chiellini, Sissoko, Del Piero
Prospects : Champions League


This young side have become over-reliant on Mutu in recent years and one time hot prospects Montolivo and Pazzini haven't progressed as many expected. In light of this and in preparation for a long overdue return to Champions League football Fiorentina have been among the biggest spenders in Europe during the close season. Gilardino should get his career back on track under Prandelli, the coach who made him a star at Parma, Vargas was Serie A's outstanding flank player last season and the club have high expectation of 'the new Savicevic' Stevan Jovetic. Fiorentina are probably a year and World Class DM away from being serious title contenders.

Key Players : Gamberini, Gilardino, Mutu
Prospects : Champions League


The Giallorossi's pre season was overshadowed by takeover talk and president Franco Sensi's death, welcome distractions for a team that are hurtling headlong into a painful transitional period. Talisman Francesco Totti is physically shot after a glorious 15 year career and the team are desperately short of options especially in attack and in midfield. Baptista is hardly the most inspiring of signings but Roma have a good track record with Brazilians and Jeremy Menez, Mancini's replacement, is a fantastic prospect. Spalletti may have won many admirers with his naive brand of attacking football but Roma continue to be a soft touch in the centre of midfield and are unlikely to push the eventual champions anywhere near as close as they did last season.

Key Players : Juan, De Rossi, Totti
Prospects : UEFA Cup


The Southerners made a sensational return to Serie A last season, claiming the scalps of Juventus, Inter and Milan en route to a highly respectable 8th place finish. Not only have Napoli managed to keep Hamsik and Lavezzi, two of the best young players in the World, the team is further strengthened by the arrivals of attacking fullback Christian Maggio and Italy prodigy Andrea Russotto. Whether journeyman striker German Denis can provide the team with some much needed punch in attack remains to be seen. The transfer of captain Domizzi to Udinese seems an equally curious decision nevertheless expect this highly ambitious team to push for a UEFA Cup place.

Key Players : Hamsik, Lavezzi, Zalayeta
Prospects : UEFA Cup


The fact that Udinese broke from tradition and did not sell off their latest stars over the summer was probably more a reflection on the current state of the financial market than new found ambition. Talented Chilean winger Alexis Sanchez is the most high profile new arrival, having spent the last two seasons on loan in South America. Domizzi is a solid addition to a defence that already features the outstanding Cristian Zapata and Italy U21 international Andrea Coda. Although Di Natale remains a one man forward line more will be expected from Fabio Quagliarella. Pasquale Marino is one of the best young coaches in the league and destined for the hot seat at a bigger club especially if he can make a mark in Europe.

Key Players : Zapata, Inler, Di Natale
Prospects : UEFA Cup


Last season Samp were Cassano, Maggio and 9 others and now Maggio has left. Unlike many teams who finished in the top half of the league Samp once again showed a disgraceful lake of ambition in the transfer market, most of their tiny budget went on making Cassano's move from Real Madrid permanent.
The clubs saving grace is their outstanding coach Walter Mazzarri, the man who kept Reggina in Serie A despite an 11 point deduction. Unless Mazzarri can find some gems from the clubs much heralded youth team Samp will struggle to match last season's 6th place finish.

Key Players : Pieri, Sammarco, Cassano
Prospects : Upper Mid-Table/UEFA Cup


Once again Lazio's transfer campaign has been decidedly modest. The botched transfer of goalkeeper Juan Pablo Carrizo has finally been completed, he should have signed last season, and David Rozenhal's loan move has been made permanent. Matuzalem and Zarate, who both arrive on loan, will give some much needed support to the outstanding Argentinean midfielder Cristian Ledesma. Rocchi and Pandev has been the best front pairing in Serie A for the last three seasons but Lazio's budget didn't stretch to another forward. If Lazio's thin squad isn't put under undue stress by injuries they could steal a UEFA Cup place.

Key Players : Ledesma, Rocchi, Pandev
Prospects : Mid-Table/UEFA Cup


A disappointing 11th placed finish prompted Palermo's idiot president Maurizio 'you're fired' Zamparni, the Italian Jesus Gill minus the murder, to bring in no less than 12 players over the summer and on paper a side featuring Simplicio, Miccoli and future Italy stars Marco Amelia, Antonio Nocerino and Andrea Raggi should be pushing for a UEFA Cup place but with the threat of dismissal literally looming on a weekly basis it's hard to imagine Ballardini becoming anything but another statistic. The odds on Francesco Guidolin replacing him, who has been sacked three times by Zamparni, must be slim.

Key Players : Amelia, Simplicio, Miccoli
Prospects : Mid-Table


Juve's poor relations head into a third season in Serie A for the first time in over a decade and, largely unnoticed, have made some clever acquisitions. Amoruso and Bianchi, deadly at Reggina, are re-united and the jet heeled winger Ignazio Abate arrives on loan from Milan. Interest in playmaker Alessandro Rosina has faded in recent years despite consistently excellent performances, much to Torino's advantage. This season the Granata should pull well clear of the relegation zone to claim a mid-table finish.

Key Players : Rosina, Amoruso, Bianchi
Prospects : Mid-Table