AC Milan odds worth a bet among 2017/18 Serie A season tips
FootyOn experts give their 2017/18 Serie A season tips and preview, which includes AC Milan odds after their summer spending.
Italian football has been back on the rise, with dominant champions Juventus reaching another Champions League final last term.
While they are odds-on favourites to retain the Scudetto, a serious statement of intent to challenge the Old Lady has been issued by AC Milan.
Their exorbitant spending is an early and emphatic attempt by new Asian investors to bring the Rossoneri out of the wilderness and back into title contention.
Read more about the major players in Italian football below, as we give our 2017/18 Serie A season tips and preview…
Allegri gamble on letting Bonnuci leave Old Lady
Massimiliano Allegri has built upon strong foundations left in Turin by predecessor and current Chelsea coach Antonio Conte.
Continuity at Juve comes in perennial winners like Gianluigi Buffon in goal and Giorgio Chiellini at the back.
The sale of Leonardo Bonucci to Milan, however, may prove an error of judgement.
Allegri has made mistakes like this before; notably when thinking legendary playmaker Andrea Pirlo was a spent force.
This was back in 2011 when Allegri was in charge of Milan and let the Azzurri icon leave the San Siro for Juventus.
Reports of a bust-up with Bonucci did the rounds during last season and, while the Old Lady have got good money, it looks a decision that could come back to haunt them.
Other departures from Turin include Mario Lemina to Southampton and fellow midfielder Tomas Rincon temporarily across town to Torino.
Dani Alves was released before choosing PSG over Manchester City but, in Mattia De Sciglio, Juve have replaced the Brazil centurion with someone boasting substantial Serie A experience.
Juventus remain strong
Even if cashing in on Bonucci is a gamble, Juve look to have covered it like fashion with the permanent purchase of Morocco’s Mehdi Benatia, who had spells with Roma and Udinese earlier in his career.
This may also be an opportunity for the highly-rated Daniele Rugani to step up and show a new generation can take over the mantle from the ageing Andrea Barzagli.
While Kingsley Coman has joined Bayern Munich permanently, the Old Lady not only landed Benatia for keeps, but Brazil winger Douglas Costa also arrives.
Several Premier League clubs were said to be tracking him and, with Juan Cuadrado also a permanent transfer, there is a genuine wide threat about Juventus.
The Bonucci money was reinvested in another attacking outlet, with Federico Bernardeschi part of a firesale at Fiorentina in neighbouring Florence.
In Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, Juve also have an awesome Argentina international pair in attack, with strength-in-depth up top provide by Croatia frontman Mario Mandzukic.
Sales of fringe players in midfield mentioned above may give Stefano Sturaro space to grow too, alongside long-serving Claudio Marchisio, playmaker Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira.
It’s bold to bet against Juventus getting a magnificent seventh consecutive Scudetto success, but the Rossoneri look ready to lay down the gauntlet…
Milan recruitment drive means they command respect
Betway had AC Milan at 6/1 in their without Juventus betting in late June and those odds have more than halved.
Details of this San Siro squad overhaul have been discussed at length before, but it is impressive.
A new-look Milan back four in front of Gianluigi Donnarumma has Andrea Conti, proven winner Bonucci, Mateo Musacchio and Switzerland’s Ricardo Rodriguez.
It is a very encouraging platform that the Rossoneri can build on.
Franck Kessie from Atalanta is a bright and dynamic talent in midfield and the Ivory Coast international looks set to be partnered by Argentina’s Lucas Biglia.
There’s also a new attacking trio on show as Milan now boast Portugal poacher Andre Silva, Turkey star Hakan Calhanoglu and Fabio Borini on loan from Sunderland.
Vincenzo Montella has to get these nine major signings to gel of course, but the recruitment drive has also provided an excuse to clear out the deadwood.
The Rossoneri haven’t lost any players that they look likely to miss, so betway’s 5/2 price in the without Juventus betting is still value.
All change at Roma
In the capital, meanwhile, Roma have had changes of both coach and personnel, plus the end of the Francesco Totti era to contend with.
Eusebio Di Francesco was part of the Giallorossi team that won Serie A in 2000/01 under Fabio Capello, but this is his first big job in management.
He has seen Antonio Rudiger and Mohamed Salah sold to Premier League pair Chelsea and Liverpool respectively since succeeding Luciano Spalletti.
The money raised has funded a new back four and spine, with Rick Karsdorp and Hector Moreno arriving from the Netherlands, plus Aleksandar Kolarov and Federico Fazio moving from the Premier League.
Ex-Lyon captain Maxime Gonalons and Lorenzo Pellegrini will push Kevin Strootman, Radja Nainggolan and skipper Daniele De Rossi in midfield.
Di Francesco has also gone back to Sassuolo for French forward Gregoire Defrel and added Turkish wide prospect Cengiz Under.
Roma retain squad strength-in-depth, but are still lacking the stellar names at Juventus and Milan.
The 6/5 on offer at betway for a top three finish – enough to secure Champions League football again for next season – is still worth it.
Napoli running risk of standing still
While there has been frenetic transfer activity in Turin, Milan and Rome, Naples has for once been more sedate.
Maurizio Sarri enters his third season with the Little Donkeys following a quiet summer.
Napoli have kept hold of their key assets, Dries Mertens in attack and Kalidou Koulibaly at the back.
Midfield misfit Jonathan de Guzman, once of Swansea City fame, has made a permanent exit from the Stadio San Paolo, but the squad at large remains intact.
Portuguese left back Mario Rui and Algeria international attacking midfielder Adam Ounas are the only major arrivals in Naples from Roma and Bordeaux respectively.
While it is refreshing to see the Little Donkeys happy with their lot, there is also a risk they may be standing still.
They are worth taking on at odds-on for a top three finish because of the recruitment at Roma and Milan.
Sarri’s coaching reputation has been enhanced by his spell with Napoli, but could he be a victim of his own success?
Spalletti spends on Inter arrival
Former Roma boss Spalletti is now in charge of Inter Milan and has splashed around €70,000,000 mostly on midfield and defence.
Like Fiorentina, where he has brought new engine room operators Borja Valero and Matias Vecino from, Inter finished outside the top six last term.
You have to wonder why the Viola were willing to part with the pair to a rival.
Slovakia centre back Milan Skriniar is another outlay from Sampdoria and Brazilian left back Dalbert Henrique comes from Nice.
These signings are not of the same calibre as clubs discussed above and, for the most part, made on potential.
Pioli placing Fiorentina faith in youth
In Florence, meanwhile, Stefano Pioli who was managing Inter last term has recruited young players.
Just five members of Fiorentina’s squad are aged 29 or over, and that is a major departure from Italian football stereotypes.
The Viola taking a different direction is bold, even striking, and a definite gamble.
Given they have sold their best players and prospects, like Bernardeschi to Juventus, it is a major ask.
Lazio looking to kick on from Super Cup success
Simone Inzaghi may be less famous as a footballer than brother Filippo, but he has just coached Lazio to a major upset over Juve in the Italian Super Cup.
The Eagles need to build on this great start and have a proven Serie A goalscorer in Ciro Immobile.
Like Napoli they’ve had a low key summer, replacing one Lucas with another as Biglia moved to Milan and Leiva arrived from Liverpool.
Having already demonstrated on their day they can beat even the best in Italy, an improvement on last term’s fifth place is possible.
Sky Bet are 3/1 about Lazio making a top four finish, perhaps at Napoli’s expense.
More from FootyOn
Read more detailed, in-depth pieces like this on our football features page.