Serie A 2019-20: How will the new appointments at Italy's heavyweights fare?
We look at how Maurizio Sarri, Antonio Conte, Marco Giampaolo and Paulo Fonseca might get on in charge of Serie A's heavyweights.
The wait for the new Serie A season is almost over and, remarkably, five of last season's top six will be entering the 2019-20 campaign with new faces at the helm.
Champions Juventus surprisingly parted company with Massimiliano Allegri and replaced him with Maurizio Sarri despite winning the title yet again, although runners-up Napoli have stuck with Carlo Ancelotti.
Inter and AC Milan both appointed new head coaches, with Antonio Conte and Marco Giampaolo taking charge respectively, while Paulo Fonseca is the new man in the Roma dugout.
We look at how the four new men have fared previously in Serie A to see how things might pan out with their new clubs.
Maurizio Sarri (Juventus)
Perhaps the most daunting task awaits Sarri next season, as he attempts to follow in the footsteps of Allegri, who won five consecutive Scudetti.
Indeed, the last campaign in which the Bianconeri did not win the title was 2010-11, and if Sarri cannot sustain their dominance his spell in Turin could be short-lived.
Sarri joins with an outstanding Serie A record behind him, however. He enjoyed a superb three-year spell with Napoli before his departure at the end of the 2017-18 season, winning 69 per cent of his 114 league games in charge.
Juve fans will be excited to see if he can successfully instil his free-flowing football at the Allianz Stadium – Napoli's 251 goals during his tenure was 13 more than any other side.
He does, though, start the season in poor health after being diagnosed with pneumonia.
Antonio Conte (Inter)
Luciano Spalletti secured a second successive top-four finish last season, meaning Conte will juggle Campions League commitments alongside his bid to dethrone Juve as the dominant side in Serie A.
That is unlikely to phase a man who has won each of the three Serie A campaigns he has started when in charge of the Bianconeri.
Conte – who will have Romelu Lukaku leading the line following his arrival from Manchester United – ended his first league campaign with Juve unbeaten and did not taste defeat until his 49th league match.
What Inter fans would give to see a repeat performance this season.
Marco Giampaolo (AC Milan)
Giampaolo, 52, joined Milan after leaving fellow Serie A side Sampdoria, who he guided to ninth in the last of his three seasons in charge.
Having spent time in charge of Cagliari, Brescia and Empoli among others, Giampaolo is expected to bring stability to San Siro after churning through six full-time head coaches since Allegri's departure in 2014.
It’s time to meet our new Coach, Marco Giampaolo— AC Milan (@acmilan) June 22, 2019
La prima intervista di Marco Giampaolo: "Sono molto felice e motivato. L'obiettivo deve essere giocare un calcio affascinante" pic.twitter.com/vusodeI8H0
Giampaolo's task will be, on the face of it, a simple one – gain qualification for the Champions League. Gennaro Gattuso's failure to do just that ultimately cost the Milan icon his job at San Siro.
It is something that the new man has yet to achieve in his managerial career, but his attacking brand of football will certainly please the club's supporters.
Only four clubs in Serie A last season scored more goals than Sampdoria, while they boasted the best shot conversion rate in the division, scoring with 12.3 per cent of their efforts.
Roma narrowly missed out on a place in next season's Champions League, leaving new coach Fonseca in charge of a club in need of a morale-boosting return to Serie A's top four.
The Giallorossi will still be expected to progress in the Europa League and Fonseca arrives in Rome with a strong track record in continental competition, having guided Shakhtar Donetsk to the last 16 of the Champions League in 2017-18.
He enjoyed a superb three years in Ukraine, winning three league titles, three domestic cups and the Ukrainian Super Cup.
He left Shakhtar with a 78 per cent win ratio in the league and guided them to a whopping 23 clean sheets from their 32 games.
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