Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio face-off against newly-promoted Empoli, managed by Aurelio Andreazzoli, in the opening round of Serie A.
Club expert Jake Mills states that while Gli Azzurri’s attack is lethal, their backline is something that could be concerning; especially as the season progresses.
The main strength of Empoli is undoubtedly the way they get forward.
They counter-attack with speed and pace through the likes of Nedim Bajrami, Nicolas Haas and Samuele Ricci in midfield, and with Patrick Cutrone and Leonardo Mancuso leading the lines, they should have no issue in finding the back of the net.
The best players of the squad are in the attacking third of the pitch, and they have continuity from their Serie B title-winning season last year.
However, despite Empoli‘s strategy of primarily securing defensive reinforcements this summer transfer window, it still remains the position where the club are most vulnerable. The backline of a team in the top flight of Italian football (Serie A) is so much more important than in the second flight (Serie B).
As a result, the club should aim to bring in at least one more experienced defender; this weekend, the calcio world will see how they fare against a strong and experienced Lazio side that will feature the likes of Ciro Immobile, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Luis Alberto and Felipe Anderson.
Empoli also have a lot of talent, but that talent is very young. The likes of Fabiano Parisi, Ricci, Bajrami will need to perform to a consistently high standard for Gli Azzurri to secure salvation this year, and time will tell if they can adjust to the Serie A standard quickly.