Friday, 29 August 2008

Quartet yearn to topple Inter in Serie A

During the 1990s, Serie A fans used the term 'Seven Sisters' to describe the seven clubs who would be battling for the title ahead of every campaign.

Jose MourinhoThe competition is less fierce these days, but four sides certainly harbour hopes of denying Inter a fourth successive Scudetto.

The arrivals of midfielder Sulley Muntari and winger Amantino Mancini have strengthened Inter's hand, and they boast a new coach with Jose Mourinho replacing Roberto Mancini.

"I wanted to work in Italy and I'm glad Inter gave me this chance," said the former FC Porto and Chelsea boss, whose team kick off at Sampdoria on Saturday.

"I'm sure Serie A can be the top league in Europe again."

Runners-up in each of the last two campaigns, Roma have brought in John Arne Riise, Jeremy Menez and Julio Baptista to propel them into gold medal position by the end of a season which begins with a home game against Napoli on Sunday.

"Baptista is a great signing," said Roma defender Juan. "He will help us win the Scudetto."

AC Milan are no less confident following the signings of Gianluca Zambrotta, Philippe Senderos, Mathieu Flamini, Andriy Shevchenko and Ronaldinho.

"I think [coach Carlo] Ancelotti is very satisfied with our transfer dealings," said vice-President Adriano Galliani.

"This team have everything they need to win the Scudetto or at least to be in contention until the very end of the season."

Milan host promoted Bologna on Sunday, while two other title pretenders – Fiorentina and Juventus – meet at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday night.

Fourth last term, the Viola have acquired promising players such as Felipe Melo and Stevan Jovetic while Alberto Gilardino, recruited from Milan, will look to recover his scoring touch under his former Parma coach Cesare Prandelli.

"Honestly, I don't think we are ready to win the Scudetto," the Fiorentina trainer said.

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri is not so cautious after the Bianconeri reinforced their squad with defender Olof Mellberg, midfielder Christian Poulsen and striker Amauri.

"The Scudetto is definitely not impossible for us," he stated. "We are Juventus and we have to aim for the top every season."

Source: UEFA

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