Serie A 2011-2012 Preview: Siena Seek More Than A Season In Top Flight

SIENA ITALY - JANUARY 29: Emanuele Calaio' of Siena celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie B match between AC Siena and AS Livorno Calcio at Artemio Franchi - Montepaschi Arena Stadium on January 29 2011 in Siena Italy. (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)

Disclaimer: SB Nation Italy editor, Kirsten Schlewitz, writes this preview while wrapped in a "Forza Siena!" scarf. But that's mostly because she's just cold.

Welcome to Serie A, yet another bianconeri - from now on, promotions should be given only to those who are creative in their nicknames. Not to mention the fact that Siena plays in a Stadio Artemio Franchi, just like Fiorentina. Can we presume that they will be the copycats of Italian football this season?  After all, this is a club that wanted to change its name to A.C. Siena Montepaschi, incorporating the name of its main sponsor, a bank. Keep an eye on them -Siena seem a little slippery.

Siena in 2010-2011

Siena were automatically promoted to Serie A with a second place finish, drawing 2-2 with Torino to secure a trip back to the top flight, after just one season in Serie B. Their 5-0 victory over Varese, in the last match of the season, was the biggest win in Serie B:

Summer Signings

Who's Out?

Tottenham Hotspur swooped in to steal 16-year-old Ivorian Souleymane Coulibaly, who may not have been a potential star for this season, but is meant to be one to watch for the future. Defender Brandao has gone off to Parma, which he firmly believes is a club that always builds to compete in Europe.

Who's In?

Winger Daniele Mannini is set to sign from Napoli, although he's spent the last two seasons on loan at Sampdoria. Midfielder Gaetano D'Agostino didn't have to travel far, from Florence, to join up with Siena. Striker Mattia Destro is on loan from Genoa, defensive midfielder Alexandros Tziolis from Racing Santander, and goalkeeper Željko Brkić have all been brought in to strengthen the squad.

What to Expect from 2011-2012

The season kicks off with the Tuscan derby, with the match between Fiorentina and Siena the very first in Serie A. At this point, the Viola seem, shall we put it, unprepared for the start of the season, so the robur could get off to a positive start. Siena also managed to beat Pianese, the champions of Serie D, 7-0 during preseason, so clearly they're a club that's going places.

In reality, though, it will be difficult enough to simply stay up. Antonio Conte, who oversaw Siena's promotion, left to manage Juventus, with Giuseppe Sannino coming in from Varese, who very nearly secured a consecutive promotion last season. The bianconeri  look to have built a squad set to stay up, but it likely depends on whether clubs like Lecce and Cesena can hold their ground for another season.

Key Players

Forward Emanuele Calaiò scored 11 goals for Siena last season, and has been part of the squad since 2008, when he came over from Napoli.

The role of Alexandros Tziolis for the robur might not be noticed much, but the deep-lying playmaker could be key in link-up play-if he gets time on the pitch, that is. Plus, his name is fun to say.

Beyond "fun to say", I don't have much more insight into Siena's stars. Sorry!

Potential Breakout Star

It could be fun to watch Mattia Destro, the young forward on loan from Genoa. Destro has part of the Italian youth sides, scoring goals at nearly every level. Now he'll likely be brought in as relief for Calaiò.

Prediction

You're going down, Siena.  Although Atalanta's recent seven-point deduction should at least keep you from bottom.

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