The 2015-16 Serie A season begins Saturday, and once again, Juventus is looking like the team to beat.
After winning its fourth straight Scudetto and reaching the Champions League Final, the Old Lady may be even stronger than last year. The losses of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez have been mitigated by the additions of Pablo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira. Daniele Rugini returns from loan at Empoli to help the defense overcome the loss of Angelo Ogbonna, and Juventus completed the acquisition of Porto's Alex Sandro Thursday.
Milan has also loaded up for the upcoming campaign. After a 10th-place finish last season, Milan has brought in nearly 100 million euros worth of reinforcements. Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Bertolacci, Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano are all expected to have a positive impact. First-year manager Sinisa Mihajlovic also wants to bring in 24-year-old midfielder Roberto Soriano, a move that would solidify Milan's midfield.
The new season begins with the return of Bologna, which won promotion from Serie B by way of a play-off. Meanwhile, Serie B champions Carpi and runners-up Frosinone, two teams with more than 100 years of history, will be playing in the top flight for the first time. Carpi was in the fourth division in 2010-11, and Frosinone earned promotion for the second-straight season, catapulting from Lega Pro Prima Divisione to Serie A in two seasons.
Every week, The Devil Wears Rossonero will publish its Serie A power rankings. Below is the preseason ranking for the 2015-16 season.
2014-15: 87 points, Serie A champions
Key Additions: Pablo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Sami Khedira, Simone Zaza, Alex Sandro
Key Departures: Andrea Pirlo, Angelo Ogbonna, Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal
A 17-point gap is probably out of the question, but Juventus are still a cut above the rest. The Old Lady is on the verge of history. Juventus would be the first Italian team ever to win five-straight league titles twice in its history. After Juventus (1931 to 1935) became the first team to do it, Torino (1943 to 1949) and Inter (2006 to 2010) accomplished the feat.
2014-15: 70 points, 2nd place
Key Additions: Edin Dzeko (loan), Mohamed Salah (loan), Antonio Rudiger (loan)
Key Departures: Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Bertolacci, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Roma did a lot to help Milan get back into contention by delivering Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Bertolacci to the Lombardy side, but the Giallorossi remain one of the best sides in Italy. Rudi Garcia's team needs Edin Dzeko and Mohamed Salah to produce from the start, because despite Adem Ljajic's talent and Francesco Totti's status as a legend, Roma need more than eight goals each out of their top forwards.
2014-15: 52 points, 10th
Key Additions: Alessio Romagnoli, Andrea Bertolacci, Luiz Adriano, Carlos Bacca
Key Departures: Riccardo Saponara, Adil Rami, Stephen El Shaarawy (loan)
An interesting development to watch could be the potential center back pairing of Romagnoli and Rodrigo Ely. After three years on loan, Ely signed an extension through 2019 in June, and the 21-year-old seems to have the confidence of Mihajlovic after a strong preseason.
2014-15: 63 points, 5th
Key Additions: Mirko Valdifiori
Key Departure: Gokhan Inler
Eduardo Vargas is back from a loan spell at Queens Park Rangers, and two longtime Empoli standouts, Mirko Valdifiori and Elseid Hysaj, joined the fold, but that is about all Napoli did to bolster the squad. Gokhan Inler is on his way to Leicester City. Is Gonzalo Higuain going to follow him to the Premier League?
2014-15: 64 points, 4th
Key Additions: Nikola Kalinic, Mario Suarez, Gilberto, Davide Astori (loan)
Key Departures: Stefan Savic, Alberto Aquilani, Juan Manuel Vargas
2014-15: 55 points, 8th
Key Additions: Geoffrey Kondogbia, Miranda (loan), Stevan Jovetic (loan)
Key Departures: Xherdan Shaqiri, Mateo Kovacic
2014-15: 54 points, 9th
Key Additions: Andrea Belotti, Daniele Baselli, Davide Zappacosta, Afriyie Acquah
2014-15: 69 points, 3rd
Key Additions: Ricardo Kishna, Patric
2014-15: 56 points, 7th
Key Additions: Mattia Cassani, Fernando
Key Departures: Alessio Romagnoli, Pedro Obiang, Stefano Okaka, Sergio Romero
2014-15: 59 points, 6th
Key Additions: Goran Pandev, Diego Capel
Key Departures: Andrea Bertolacci
2014-15: 49 points, 12th
Key Additions: Gregoire Defrel
Key Departures: Simone Zaza
2014-15: 46 points, 13th
Key Additions: Federico Viviani, Giampaolo Pazzini
2014-15: 49 points, 11th
Key Additions: Oscar Hiljemark, Abdelhamid El Kaoutari
Key Departures: Pablo Dybala, Andrea Belotti
2014-15: 42 points, 13th
Key Additions: Ali Adnan, Manuel Iturra
Key Departures: Roberto Pereyra
2014-15: 43 points, 14th
Key Additions: Simone Pepe, Lucas Castro
Key Departures: Ervin Zukanovic
2014-15: 37 points, 17th
Key Additions: Jasmin Kurtic, Marten de Roon
Key Departures: Yohan Benalouane
2014-15: 42 points, 15th
Key Additions: Riccardo Saponara, Michele Camporese
Key Departures: Mirko Valdifiori, Elseid Hysaj
2014-15: 68 points in Serie B, 4th, Won Promotion Play-off
Key Additions: Luca Rossettini, Erick Pulgar
2014-15: 80 points in Serie B, Champions
Key Additions: Francesco Benussi, Luca Marrone (loan), Nicolas Spolli, Raphael Martinho, Andrea Lazzari, Gabriel Silva (loan)
The Serie B champions brought in a lot of Serie A veterans to give themselves a chance of sticking around. Still, the first-time Serie A competitors are in for an uphill battle. Neither Carpi nor Frosinone looks like a potential Napoli.
2014-15: 71 points in Serie B, 2nd
Key Additions: Modibo Diakite, Samuele Longo (loan), Daniel Pavlovic
Key Departures: Raffaele Schiavi
Like Carpi, Frosinone is making its Serie A debut this season. After an incredible two-year run of promotions, the Ciociarri will most likely spend the entire campaign looking up at the rest of the league.