Dybala wishes to stay and Allegri’s presser

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Paulo Dybala talked to the journalist at an Adidas event yesterday, backtracking from his brother recent remark’s about being unhappy at Juventus: “He speaks for himself. I have discussed with Fabio Paratici, he knows that I want to continue playing with Juventus. Then it is not up to me, the management will make his choices based on the new coach’s ideas, but I want to stay.”

On the new coach: “I believe even the executives do not even know yet, I hope he will be a great one in order to win everything. That is the most important thing, then the fans want to see good football and few managers are capable in that area. We have thanked and greeted Massimiliano Allegri, we are very grateful for what he has done.” Continue reading

Where next for Simone Inzaghi?

Simone Inzaghi

Since being appointed as Lazio’s interim head coach in 2016, Simone Inzaghi has transformed the biancocelesti into one of the league’s most compact sides, and has consistently delivered silverware, winning the Supercoppa in 2017 against Juventus, and most recently claiming the Coppa Italia this season after dispatching Atalanta. The two trophies are indicative of Inzaghi’s good work at the club, but it may be time for the Italian tactician to consider his future, and evaluate the possibility of joining one of Italy’s elite.

With both Juventus, and Milan considering him for their managerial vacancy, Inzaghi would be wise to wait before committing his future to Lazio. While club president Claudio Lotito and Inzaghi have an excellent rapport – to a point where the former views his tactician as ‘his son’ – it’s time Inzaghi demands more.

Given the current roster at his disposal, it’s clear Inzaghi’s gotten the most out of them, and has arguably seen his side peak. If they are to build off their two trophies, and consistently qualify for the Champions League, an aspiration shared by the entire club, they will undoubtedly need reinforcements. Going into next season, Lazio could arguably use another centre-back, a wing-back, and another striker to compete with Immobile and Caicedo.

Since Inzaghi’s hiring, Lotito has been conservative in the transfer market, and has opted for minor reinforcements rather than a complete squad upheaval. While this helps build chemistry, Lazio will need to dip into their transfer funds if they want to compete with the Milan clubs, and fierce rivals Roma. As the competition grows, so does their need to spend.

If Lotito guarantees Inzaghi a higher salary and more say on the transfer market, the Italian tactician should heavily consider remaining at Lazio for the foreseeable future. However, the managerial vacancy at Juventus may complicate affairs.

The bianconeri are far and away the best side in Italy, and don’t look like they’ll be slowing down anytime soon. Armed with Cristiano Ronaldo, coaching Juventus is an enticing prospect for any manager, let alone an up and coming Italian one like Inzaghi. Given his positive relationship with Fabio Paratici that goes back to their childhood, the Lazio tactician could emerge as a front-runner for the role. His experience in Serie A will undoubtedly put him near the top of Juve’s list, but he’s not there alone.

In recent times, Chelsea’s Maurizio Sarri and Tottenham’s Mauricio Pochettino have also been linked to the vacancy. In any case, joining Juventus would allow Inzaghi to take the next step in his career, and is a unique opportunity to grow his trophy case and reputation within the peninsula.

Milan, on the other hand, are frankly a less enticing option at the moment, but their appeal cannot be discounted. Despite their recent struggles, the rossoneri remain one of the league’s sleeping giants, and have improved significantly since last season. A lot, however, will depend on Champions League qualification, and whether or not, they will pip Inter or Atalanta to the final spot.

If they manage to claim top four, and promise to reinforce in key areas notably centre-back and left-wing, Inzaghi may be tempted to abandon his Lazio post for greener pastures.

While managing the biancocelesti has given Inzaghi the exposure and the necessary experience to take the next step from the primavera, managing one of Juventus or Milan may be an opportunity he can’t afford to turn down at this point in his career. After all, there aren’t many top class managers currently on the market, and by mere process of elimination, Inzaghi may find himself in contention for the jobs.

Much like he has done his entire career, expect Inzaghi to seize the opportunity and continue to propel his managerial career forward. That is, unless, Lotito makes him an offer he can’t refuse…

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Martin Odegaard set for Real Madrid exit

Martin Odegaard

Real Madrid’s summer clear out is set to begin in the coming weeks, as Zinedine Zidane looks to overhaul his squad ahead of the 2019-20 La Liga campaign.

The Frenchman is expected to wield the axe on his fringe players, with one or two big name departures also likely as he looks to raise funds for Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic of Benfica.

Gareth Bale’s future will grab the headlines in the Spanish press during Los Blancos pre-season, but one of the first names set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu is  Norwegian international Martin Odegaard.

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Assessing the Market for Wingers in Serie A

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After previously reviewing the market for goalkeepers, defenders and midfielders, it’s now time to take a look at the winger market in Serie A. Let’s first take stock of the current options available to the top Italian teams going into the summer window:

 

Juventus- Douglas Costa got off a fast start before becoming an after thought following some injuries and an off field issue (on top of the spitting incident), Bernardeschi showed pretty good chemistry with Ronaldo although his stats were underwhelming, Mandzukic continues to often play on the wing. Cuadrado struggled with a severe injury in second half of the season, while Cancelo’s defensive limitations could see him playing in a more advanced position next season.

Napoli- Callejon is now 32, Insigne started the season playing as a second striker, Younes showed flashes the few times he played and Ounas made the most of the opportunities given to him by Ancelotti- which were more frequent than under Sarri but still probably not enough for a 22 year old looking to break out. Simone Verdi continued to battle with injuries and is probably at best a super sub moving forward.

Inter- while Perisic did perform better in the final stretch of the season, he continued to disappear for months at a time. Politano was a very pleasant surprise and the best new addition along with De Vrij- he will certainly be redeemed from Sassuolo after his first season on loan with option to buy. Candreva continues to be hit like a pinata by Inter fans on Twitter

Atalanta- we covered Hateboer, Gosens and Castagne in the wing back article since they cover that role in Gasperini’s formation.

Milan- Suso and Perisic had similar seasons but at least peaked when it matters most. Castillejo wasn’t nearly as impactful as Deulofeu and could return to Spain, Bonaventura continues to rehab from his surgery while Calhanoglu hasn’t yet shown he can be a quality/consistent starter moving forward.

Roma- as great as El Shaarawy was this season, it’s not a good sign that he was clearly the club’s best winger (and probably best player period) over highly rated prospects like Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert.

Lazio- we covered most of their players at this position in the wingback section since Simone Inzaghi runs a similar system to Gasperini’s but Angel Correa could play as a winger with a new manager and was the club’s best player in second half of the season.

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Federico Chiesa- Fiorentina’s disastrous season makes him much more likely to leave, but has his value taken a hit since he’s the signature player on the most underachieving Serie A team of the season? Napoli had previously offered close to 50 million to acquire him and could still use him, while Chiesa has also been linked to Juventus and Inter. Chiesa is obviously very talented and only 21 years old, but this season he was more known for diving than scoring goals or delivering assists.

 

Douglas Costa- there are few players more electrifying in Serie A than the Brazilian international, but between the spitting incident in the match against Sassuolo and deciding to go to Neymar’s birthday party right after being involved in a car accident, it remains to be seen if Juventus, a club known for not tolerating these sorts of things, decide to hold on to him. But considering that they invested significantly to acquire him on a permanent basis from Bayern Munich (another club who got fed up with his off field antics) just last summer, he’s not a player they can turn a plusvalenza on easily despite his considerable skills.

 

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Keita Balde’- while Inter will certainly redeem the rights to Politano, it’s unlikely they’ll pay Monaco over 30 million to keep the former Lazio winger permanently- but considering their excellent relationship with his new agent, they could look to extend the loan. Keita struggled at first because he didn’t get much of a summer retreat and later battled injuries so another team could try to capitalize his considerable talent.

Ivan Perisic- Inter may regret not selling him after his excellent World Cup but at least his late season contributions could help them clinch a Champions League spot (I’m writing this a few days before final match of the season). Perisic has been linked to Premier League teams for the past two years and as recently as January when he came close to joining Arsenal and with Conte arriving, it’s likely that the nerazzurri will go for a more natural fit in 3 5 2.

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Cengiz Under- following Roma’s deep run in the Champions League last season, the Turkish winger was being mentioned as a player worth 50 million but the giallorossi decided to keep him after cashing in on Alisson, Strootman and De Rossi so he could be part of their young core. While Under didn’t have nearly as a good a season, Arsenal and Spurs continue to be mentioned as possible destination for him.

Suso- the former Liverpool winger has a 40 million exit clause and Milan have been trying to negotiate a new deal to increase it or eliminate it altogether, but so far Suso is requesting to be paid as much as Donnarumma and it’s hard to imagine the rossoneri wanting to pay him nearly that much.

Hakan Calhanoglu- the Turkish international best chance at staying is for Gattuso to be confirmed as Milan manager, if not it’s likely he’ll either head back to the Bundesliga or the Premier League where he has been linked to Leicester City.

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Lorenzo Insigne- after a stellar start to the season, Napoli’s home town star struggled considerably and looked more like the player we are (unfortunately) accustomed to seeing on the Italian national team. Insigne recently formalized his relationship with Mino Raiola as his agent, but while a transfer can’t be completely excluded, it’s more likely he’ll sign a new contract with Napoli and become arguably the biggest “bandiera” left in Serie A after Chiellini.

Rodrigo De Paul- after three seasons at Udinese, the former Racing winger/attacker is ready to take the next step in his career especially considering he also made his debut on Argentina’s national team. Napoli and Inter have been heavily linked to him and both clubs have an excellent relationship with Udinese.

Riccardo Orsolini- few players were more impactful in the second half of the season than the Bologna winger whom Juventus still own. The 22 year old could be used as part of a package by the bianconeri to acquire a bigger name (perhaps Chiesa or Milinkovic Savic) and should absolutely be considered an intriguing player for the Azzurri’s senior squad.

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Papu Gomez/Josip Ilicic- Atalanta’s current captain must be thrilled he never left to go play in the Middle East considering his club’s stellar season. Could he look for a huge pay day at the age of 31? It’s hard to envision that should Gasperini stay and if they qualify for the Champions League. Ilicic on the other hand has just one year left on his contract and has already agreed to personal terms with Napoli, it will be up to Atalanta to decide if they want to give him a raise after a stellar season.

 

Champions League Race: A Comprehensive Breakdown

With the Champions League race going down to the wire in Serie A, the final match-day promises to make for exciting viewing. Atalanta, Inter and Milan are separated by a mere point, while the possibility of Roma sneaking in can’t be discounted either.

At the moment, it is Gasperini’s men, and Spalletti’s nerazzurri that control their own fate, while the other two sides are on the outside looking in – albeit a little too close for comfort. As entry to Europe’s elite competition promises a pitfall of cash and prestige, achieving Champions League football is of the utmost importance, and could have serious repercussions on any of these sides’ transfer windows.

Let’s being with Gasperini’s Atalanta. Against all odds, gli Orobici find themselves in third, and control their own destiny in their final game. Win, and they qualify for the Champions League. After an impressive season that saw them play high-flying football, and reach the Coppa Italia final, Atalanta could cap it off with a berth in next season’s Champions League.

While technically they are the home side for this clash, Atalanta have recently been remodelling their stadium, conveniently relocated all their remaining home games to Sassuolo. As luck would have it, Atalanta’s last game is, of course, against Sassuolo.

The neroverdi have nothing to play for, but have always proven to be a difficult opposition. However, in their first game, Gasperini’s men dispatched them rather easily, pumping six past Sassuolo. With Duvan Zapata, Alejandro Gomez, and Josip Ilicic firing on all cylinders, they should have enough to beat the “visitors”.

Inter, on the other hand, take on Empoli at the San Siro. With Empoli languishing in and around the relegation zone, the Tuscan-based outfit will be fighting for their life, and won’t be easy to overcome. In fact, Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men have been one of the league’s most in-form sides, winning their last three games. As a result, this clash won’t be as straightforward as the table suggests, and the nerazzurri will need to be at their best.

Inter’s cross-town rivals, Milan, will be travelling to the Stadio Paolo Mazza to take on SPAL 2013. After months of being in the top four, the rossoneri now find themselves in fifth, however, just one point back of Atalanta and Inter. Should Gattuso’s men claim the victory, and either of their competitors drops points, Milan will be making their long-awaited return to Champions League football. If they don’t, however, they will be kicking themselves, as they were in the driver’s seat for the most part of the season.

While Milan will need some help to qualify, at the very least, their odds are better than Roma’s. Ranieri’s men will need a small miracle to qualify on the final match-day. They’ll need to beat Parma by five clear goals, while Milan and Inter lose, and Atalanta avoid defeat. Unlikely.

Otherwise, they’ll need to win, while all of their other competitors lose their games. Another unlikely scenario. Much like Milan, Roma have themselves to blame for this, and have been dropping points to the league’s provinciali all season.

In any case, whichever way this race ends, there will be fireworks. Either Gasperini’s Atalanta cap off their phenomenal cinderella season in impressive fashion, or both Milan giants will be returning to Europe’s elite competition together. And Roma, well, best of luck. You’ll need it.

How well do you know Italian football? Want to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

 

 

Valencia could turn to Falcao to boost 2019-20 La Liga campaign

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With the 2018-19 La Liga season over, Valencia CF now can look back over the campaign with satisfaction after pipping Getafe to the post and securing a successive top four domestic finish.

However the close call with missing out on the Champions League caused speculation over the future of boss Marcelino Toral, and the former Villarreal manager will be mindful of the need for a strong start to 2019-20.

Los Che struggled for consistency last season, a factor not helped by injuries and Marcelino’s tinkering with his starting XI – with only three outfield players making over 30 La Liga starts.

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Five soccer equipment you should buy!

A soccer game has some basic equipment present on the field to be carried on properly. This is not about the match organizing committee but for the individuals who play the game for fun or for a career. If an individual wants to promote his/her skills, there are some equipment which helps them follow those strict practice sessions. Here is a list of each of them everyone should have their focus on without any compromise on the quality. If any of these are compromised, you might have to pay the price in terms of delayed learning or lack of opportunities to learn.

Five Soccer Equipments you Need to Buy Right away

The details of each and every equipment are mentioned with the point so that it is easier for you to choose amongst the various options available in the market. A few examples are soccer goals, soccer cleats, shin guards, stamina building equipment and soccer balls available for sale from most sources. Each of these is to be bought with some planning behind without which it might not support the way you practice.

Soccer Goals

According to many perspectives, soccer goals are important only for competition. But, it’s totally the opposite because you might never be able to aim properly if a genuine soccer goal is not present in your training sessions. Soccer goals are something very important for you to practice progressive overloading which, in this context, means to aim a smaller area at first and then practicing the same in a competitive match where aiming a larger area would be much easier. Full-sized soccer goals must only be used in a match but there are many small size goals which enhance your accuracy.

Soccer goals

Cleats

One of the most favored possessions of a soccer player is their cleats. A set of cleats is a major boost in your performance when you switch from ordinary sports shoes which you use in the initial stages of your career. Being of considerable price, not many people want to spend money on soccer cleats in the beginning and when they are quite sure that soccer is the only career option, these are the significant addition in their kit. How you use them is up to you.

Shin Guards

Being a regular soccer player puts your ankles and shins under great stress which can lead to severe pain and strain. You need to protect them against vigorous impacts with a quality set of shin guards bought from a reputed source. Many people ignore their safety while on the field which would never help them in the long term. Mostly, shin guards are worn underneath the socks.

Stamina building and conditioning equipment

Warmup and cool down before and after practice is very important respectively. These
equipment which builds your stamina and conditions your body are as important as any other for your long term well being and better fitness for the competitions. These are also ignored by many who are not under professional supervision, a practice which must not be promoted.

Soccer balls

Appropriate size and quality of the soccer ball are very important for you to practice or compete.The organizing committee of any match might use the different ball but you need to choose according to your personal references. There are different sizes of soccer balls available in the market for different age groups. Also, the brand plays an important role in the durability and the quality of material used to build it.

For example, Adidas soccer balls of sizes 4 and 5 are recommended by experts for the ages from 8 to 12 and 12 and more respectively. You need to manage the cost of all your soccer equipment in totality and balance what you required for your uninterrupted practice. The budget and your standings in your career have to be determined before purchasing any of these.

Unpredictable Bastos provides timely reminder of improvement at Lazio

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The last week has served as a neat summary of the highs and lows of Bastos’ time at Lazio.

Last Wednesday in the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, the Angolan was entrusted with a starting spot ahead of the experienced Stefan Radu after playing a key role in the capital club’s cup run.

In the space of 36 minutes, the centre-back was booked for a reckless tackle, enraged the Bergamo club with a potential handball inside the box that was missed by match officials, and was substituted for Radu as coach Simone Inzaghi lost faith in the 28-year-old’s ability to avoid a second yellow card. Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 38

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Frosinone XI: 3-5-2 Bardi; Goldaniga, Ariaudo, Brighenti; Paganini, Maiello, Sammarco, Valzania, Beghetto; Ciano, Dionisi.

Potential lineup changes: Capuano for Goldaniga, Zampano for Paganini, Trotta for Valzania.

Questionable: Viviani (thigh), Paganini (foot).

Confirmed Out: Salamon (thigh), Gori (ankle), Chibsah (knee), Pinamonti (U-20 World Cup).

 

Chievo XI: 4-3-1-2 Semper; Depaoli, Bani, Cesar, Jaroszynski; Leris, Rigoni, Hetemaj; Vignato; Meggiorini, Pellissier. Continue reading

Chiellini comments on Allegri, next coach, Conte, Pogba and De Ligt

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Giorgio Chiellini gave a pretty interesting interview to Tuttosport, where he touched on few current topics: “I think Massimiliano Allegri left at the right moment, he has been applauded by everybody in this way. His winning streak is unrepeatable considering the Scudetti, the Coppe Italia and the Champions League finals. It will be hard to have that kind of consistency again. That is why I would not be surprised to see him back in a few years, because the love he has for Juventus, and vice versa, is so big so their paths could easily cross again. He always says that he will quit after managing a national team, but if he goes on for a while he might be back here. He is among the best coaches in the world, but at some point the squad needs new motivations. There were not any controversies or rifts between the players and the coach: the respect, esteem and affection showed towards him in the last week prove it.” Continue reading