Long-term target Mexes arrives on a free transfer from Roma and will provide excellent cover for Nesta, who is expected to retire at the end of the season. Although there are concerns over his defensive capabilities full back Taiwo gives Milan a new dimension - pace on the left, something the club have lacked since Serginho's heyday. The mysterious 'Mr X', a high profile signing that kept the press speculating all summer, never arrived and embarrassingly Milan settled on Liverpool & Juventus reject Alberto Aquilani. Milan's most inspired signing could well prove to be former Italy U-21 and Olympic captain Antonio Nocerino. The defensive midfielder was expected to arrive on a free transfer from Palermo at the end of the season but Milan picked him up for a pittance a year early. Nocerino represents a significant upgrade on Flamini and, unlike Ambrosini and Gattuso, has the stamina to go box to box and a better passing range. The irrepressible Ibrahimovic is gunning for an 11th successive first place finish and barring injury he's likely to shoot Milan to the top of the league at the half-way stage before going into hibernation and while's Milan's other forwards are anything but consistent given the wealth of options at Allegri's disposal picking up the slack should not be a problem.

Key Players : Silva, Boateng, Ibrahimovic
Prospects : Champions/Runners-Up


Napoli are two players short of winning the league. Had they signed Kjaer and a back-up centre forward they'd be in with a real chance of the scudetto. How much the likes of Britos, Fernandez and Fideleff will improve a weak back-line is anyone's guess. Inler is the midfield general the club have desperately been crying out for. Pandev will be hoping to put a nightmare 18 months at Inter behind him. He was once one of the finest support strikers in Italian football and will ease the burden of expectation on Napoli's magic trident - spiky haired box to box midfielder Hamsik, the creative genius Lavezzi and arguably the best centre forward in the World, 'the Uruguayan Van Basten' Edison Cavani. Like fellow title contenders Milan, Napoli haven't had any major departures or a change on the coaching front and the stability that has been a hallmark of the Mazzarri reign will ensure another top 3 finish.

Key Players : Hamsik, Lavezzi, Cavani
Prospects : Champions League


Inter have gone through more coaches in the past 12 months than in the previous 6 years. 'Gandalf' Gasperini is the latest incumbent and brings his exciting brand of 3-4-3 to the San Siro. Inter have spent modestly compared to previous seasons and a coach used to heavy player turnover has a rash of new, albeit largely unproven youngsters at his disposal as the club seek to rebuild an ageing side. Eto'o, the one forward on Inter's books that could score a goal from nothing, will be a huge loss and although Pazzini is a better finisher he's totally reliant on service so it's a good job creator in chief Sneijder remains, despite interest from Manchester United. At this stage of his career Forlan, the clubs big name signing, needs to hit the ground running. Inter's main problems are a lack of depth in central positions. If the injury prone Motta is targeted, Inter can be overrun in midfield - Cambiasso puts the light in lightweight and despite the arrival of one of Italian's footballs best prospects, Andrea Poli, sending powerhouse Mariga on loan to Pretend Sociedad was an immensely stupid move. In central defence the Nerazzurri line-up with injury prone 30 something's Lucio and Samuel. The former Brazil captain has been awful since the World Cup and the colossus that is Walter Samuel is coming back from another major surgery. Ranocchia, once hailed as the new Baresi, is more the new Fresi. The nervy 23 year old has so far been weighed down by the famous blue and black shirt. If Gasperini can keep everyone fit, Inter should nail another top three finish. Without Eto'o the scudetto seems unlikely.

Key Players : Samuel, Motta, Sneijder
Prospects : Champions League


Juve's excessive spending has understandably been overshadowed by the long awaited move to their state of the art, privately owned stadium. Conte, disastrous in his previous stint as a Serie A coach, is a huge risk as is his insane 4-2-4 formation. Most of Juve's transfer budget was spent on making last season's loan signings permanent though you have to question the wisdom in spending over ?22 million on Pepe and big game bottler Vucinic, a completely unnecessary arrival given Juve already have two vastly superior centre forwards - Matri (the best in the World at holding up the ball) and the human highlight real Quagliarella. Conte risks compromising Vidal, who by all accounts was one of the Bundesliga's stand-out performers last season, by pairing him with the painfully slow Pirlo in central midfield. If Pirlo actually releases the ball Juve have fantastic pace out wide in wingers Giaccherini, who MUST be part of Prandelli's Italy squad, and Elia. Going forward Juve could be great to watch but problems remain in defence. Bonucci failed to develop a strong partnership with Chiellini and Buffon has become increasingly error and injury prone. It's these defensive shortcomings that make a return to the Champions League unlikely.

Key Players : Chiellini, Vidal, Matri
Prospects : Europa League/Champions League


Di Benedetto's attempts to usher in a new era by emulating Barcelona is the type of bonehead move you would expect from Roman Abramovich. Luis Enrique, a coach with B team experience from an alien footballing culture, is a mindless gamble and there is already tension between him and the king of Roma Francesco Totti. Roma's transfer campaign has Franco Baldini's fingerprints all over it - Baldini helped Capello build Roma's last scudetto winning squad. Kjaer makes a welcome return to Serie A after an unhappy spell in Germany and will give the Roma defence stability providing he's partnered with Juan and not donkey of donkey's Burdisso. Stekelenburg is one of the best goalkeepers in the World and Gago, wasted by Real Madrid, a fine passer. Roma's midfield looks crowded. Pjanic and Lamela maybe too similar and could step on Totti's toes. Lightweight diver Bojan, who has something like a 1 goal in 4 games record despite playing in front of the best midfield in the World at Barcelona, could be one of the flops of the season and Roma's other arrival in attack is the equally un-inspiring Osvaldo. The former Italy youth international failed to make the grade in his previous Serie A spells and scoring goals for Espanyol in a Mickey Mouse championship is hardly an indication he's ready for the big time. Despite some shrewd transfers Roma are not likely to improve on last season's 6th place finish. Long-term, once the Luis Enrique fetish is over, Roma will once again become serious title contenders.

Key Players : Stekelenburg, Kjaer, Totti
Prospects : Europa League


Having briefly flirted with top spot Lazio were on course for Champions League football before Udinese's late surge saw them leap-frog the Romans into fourth. Lack of goals were a problem for Lazio and to this end two veteran strikers have arrived, international specialist Klose and limited journeyman Cisse who is from the of all pace and no brains school. Hernanes is the standout player in a largely mediocre side and if he repeats last season's form he will almost certainly be in line for a big money move to a top club. Lazio have failed to address weaknesses in midfield and defence and their modest spending compromises overly ambitious aims of Champions League football. As with neighbours Roma, talk of challenging for the title is way off the mark.

Key Players : Dias, Hernanes, Klose
Prospects : Europa League