AC Milan must capitalise on Juventus' Serie A woes

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As recently as May, Juventus' dominance of Serie A looked set to continue. Champions League finalists, winners of the Scudetto for a fourth season and the likes of Carlos Tevez, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo in their ranks. How a summer can change things.

Massimiliano Allegri has made shrewd acquisitions in the transfer market but losing three of his chief lieutenant's appears to have taken its toll. Two successive defeats to Udinese and Roma mean work is to do if their championship-winning run is to stretch into a fifth year.

Meanwhile AC Milan, the sleeping giants of European football, appear to have finally woken up. With Filippo Inzaghi gone and Siniša Mihajlović now at the helm, the Rossonieri's summer spending coupled with their early season form hints another power change could be in the offing. Things at the San Siro are beginning to look rosy once again.


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Turin troubles

Though he was always expected to leave, losing Tevez to Boca Juniors has blunted their attacking edge with new forwards Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala yet to gel. Both are widely regarded as two of Europe's most impressive marksmen but only the latter has shown glimpses of his quality so far.

Losing Vidal and Pirlo also represents a huge blow, with the former joining Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich. His steel, strength and stamina is still yet to be sufficiently replaced and the Italian side suddenly look insipid and weak without the Chilean in their ranks.

As for Pirlo, the Italian icon was allowed to depart for a new challenge in the MLS with New York City. Though his powers are on the wane, his composure in the middle of the park coupled with his excellent set-pieces have made Juventus less potent and fluid. Paul Pogba shined last year but only with fellow pass-masters around him.

Milan mission

Having suffered another humiliating league campaign last term, Milan have been heavily active in the transfer market and now possess a strikeforce capable of blitzing them back into the position of Italy's number one football club.

Carlos Bacca had been tickling the fancy of Tottenham and Arsenal, yet the Columbian instead opted for the San Siro and is already off the mark just three games into his career with the Rossoneri.

Luiz Adriano was successfully snared from Russian side Shaktar Donetsk, having scored nine Champions League goals and narrowly missed out on the top-scorer award to Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar who each managed one more than the Brazilian.

Meanwhile Mario Balotelli is also back in town, just a year after leaving for Liverpool. Though Zlatan Ibrahimovic was Milan's number one choice, having the Italian back could work in their favour if he manages to keep his nose out of trouble.

Power change

Milan have started the season well with two wins from two and are aiming to win a first Scudetto since Ibrahimovic inspired them to the league title in 2011.

Maintaining consistency throughout the season could be difficult but, with Juventus on the slide, it represents their best chance at the major prize for some time. 

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Serie A
Mario Balotelli
AC Milan

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