MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 26: Kevin Prince Boateng (L) and Giampaolo Pazzini (C) of AC Milan lie on the pitch after a failed attack during the Serie A match between AC Milan and UC Sampdoria at San Siro Stadium on August 26, 2012 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
A quick preview of each match in Week 2 of Serie A -- helping you choose which matches in Italy are worth a look this weekend.
The transfer window in Italy has closed -- although clubs may still sell to leagues where the window remains open -- and many squads have received a facelift over the past few days. Read on to see if that changes anything for the matches in Week 2.
Saturday, September 1
Well, this is a fun way to start off the week in Serie A. Neither of these freshly promoted sides managed to score last week -- in fact, Torino's match against Siena was the only goalless draw in the league last week. Meanwhile, Pescara were pummeled by a revitalised Inter side, losing 3-0 in their home opener. The Dolphins have done nothing in the last few days of the transfer window (adding to the nothing they did earlier this summer, save for let players go), but Torino have landed Alessio Cerci from Fiorentina. Between him and the way Rolando Bianchi was playing last week, we're sure to see a Granata goal this time around.
Some suspect that Milan's dire 1-0 loss to Sampdoria was a simple blip, that the rossoneri will be just fine this season. I suspect that those individuals did not go through the pain and suffering of watching that entire match. Yes, Milan had quite the series of chances in the final few minutes, but the first 85 left them looking uninspired and unable to complete the simplest of footballing tasks. The past week has seen them add Bojan Krkic from Roma, Nigel De Jong from Manchester City, and youngster M'baye Niang from Caen -- but will that be enough? As for Bologna, they finally let go of Gaston Ramirez -- he went to Southampton -- added Michele Pazienza and think Alberto Gilardino is on his way.
Sunday, September 2
This transfer window really can't be viewed as anything but a failure for Juve: their number one goal was to get a top-class striker. Instead, they lost out on Robin Van Persie, were out-maneuvered in their out-maneuvering for Dimitar Berbatov, and finally wound up with Nicklas Bendtner on loan from Arsenal. But they performed well in the second half of their 2-0 victory over Parma and will likely do the same at Udinese, particularly since the zebrette are coming off a dreary loss to Braga that ended their Champions League hopes. It'll take some time for Francesco Guidolin to sort out these new little zebras -- judging from what we've seen over the last few matches, they're not ready to take on the defending champions just yet.
Apparently this is a match that will occur. And somewhere, someone in Trieste will be watching it. Not you or I, probably, but someone.
For those among us that feared the performance of Catania after the departure of Montella, well, it seems they might be alright under Ronaldo Maran. The rossazzurri remain confident in attack and just a bit spastic in defence -- although both goals against them in Rome were just lovely. Genoa have been active over the last few days, with Alberto Gilardino making a last minute move to Bologna, Giandomenico Mesto heading to Napoli and Juan Manuel Vargas coming in from Fiorentina. Fans of Ciro Immobile, who scored last week against Cagliari, will be rather glad to see Gilardino leaving, as it will likely mean more playing time for the youngster (this statement will remain true whether or not Marco Borriello is confirmed at Genoa).
Inter certainly impressed last week, even if it was against Serie A newcomers Pescara. Old-timers Wesley Sneijder and Diego Milito broke the game open, while Philippe Coutinho scored near the end of the match. Maicon and Julio Cesar may have said their goodbyes to the San Siro this week, but if a fresher Inter emerges from the ashes, who are we to complain? As for Roma, well, many expected better from them last week against Catania. The first half was dreadful, but the giallorossi came out for the second looking like we'd expected under Zdenek Zeman. Both goals, by Pablo Osvaldo and Nicolas Lopez, were gorgeous, but soon Roma will be needing more than the pretties -- they'll need the points.
Lazio wrapped up their match away in Bergamo rather quickly last week, with Hernanes netting the only goal against Atalanta in the 17th minute. The biancocelesti also hammered Slovenian side ND Mura 5-1 on aggregate in the Europa League. Their confidence must be up, for once, but there's no way Palermo are feeling the same. The rossoneri started off all right last week, but after Marek Hamsik's goal in the last few seconds of the first half, everything just kind of fell apart. They ended up losing 3-0, but, surprisingly, Giuseppe Sannino remains in charge. Perhaps Maurizio Zamparini has run out of options? Anyway, Giulio Migliaccio got the heck out, but no one has come in to plug the holes in the sinking ship that is Palermo.
This is likely the choice fixture for neutral viewers. Fiorentina were beyond lively at home last week, coming back from behind to beat Udinese 2-1 on a brace from Stevan Jovetić. They've now signed Giulio Migliaccio and strengthened the defence after the loss of Matija Nastasić with Nenad Tomovic and Stevan Savic. They also welcomed back Luca Toni, who is most likely to be a late-game substitute up front. As for Napoli, they've secured the services of Edinson Cavani with a €60m buyout clause while bringing in Giandomenico Mesto as cover for Christian Maggio and signing centre-back Bruno Uvini from São Paulo. Lorenzo Insigne got a look-in last week against Palermo and managed to impress, so crossing our fingers that Walter Mazzarri will give him -- and Edu Vargas, please please -- another chance.
Siena managed a point last week, so they're now up to -5. Yay! Also, it seems they had a deal in place with Nicklas Bendtner before the evil Beppe Marotta swooped in and snatched him up. Other than that, not much has changed with the robur from this time last week. Sampdoria will be coming down from their high of beating Milan at the San Siro last week, but their summer signings look as though they might be enough to keep them in Serie A.