Can you believe we are headed into round 24 of the 2019/20 Serie A season? Neither can we.
For this set of fixtures, there is no shortage of action coming our way. Here, we provide you with what you should be watching for in this weekend of calcio.
Orsolini, Barrow ready for more success vs. Genoa
After such a strong finish to 2018/19, most assumed young Italian Riccardo Orsolini was primed for an even better 2019/20 campaign; they were right. Since the beginning of last year, the 23-year old has 15 goals and 9 assists, directly involved in a goal roughly every 150 minutes. Juventus have a chance to sign him back for €26m in the summer, and will strongly consider it especially if he can sneak his way into Roberto Mancini’s Euro squad. But, lately, his new teammate Musa Barrow has come into fine form ever since arriving on a €13m move from Atalanta last month. The 21-year old Gambia attacker has scored three goals and added an assist in his previous three matches, with his most recent two goal outing to sink Roma turning quite a few heads. Sinisa Mihajlovic’s attacking tandem will look to keep it up this weekend against 18th place Genoa. Bologna are building a wonderful project and it is time we start paying attention.
Roma pay Atalanta a visit with UCL implications
As things continue to heat up between Inter, Lazio and Juventus for the title, fourth place seems like a two-team race involving Roma and Atalanta, with both sides locking horns this weekend in Bergamo. In Atalanta’s previous five league games, they have two wins, two draws and one loss. Gian Piero Gasperini’s side returned to winning ways last weekend in a 1-2 result vs Fiorentina, and seem to be sparked at the right time with the return of star striker Duvan Zapata who has two goals and three assists in four games. This, compounded with the fact La Dea are the league’s most potent offensive side, does not bode well for the visitors from Rome who have not been themselves since the turn of the calendar year. Suffering four defeats in 2020 already, Paulo Fonseca really needs a positive response after last Friday’s defeat to Bologna. While the stark differences in form do not favor the Giallorossi, the previous 6 matchups involving the two outfits are pretty evenly split: 2 wins for Atalanta, 1 win for Roma and 3 draws.
Juventus look to bounce back vs. Brescia
Prior to the big Derby della Madonnina on Sunday, Juventus had already succumbed to Ivan Juric’s surprise package Verona 1-2, opening the door for Inter to reclaim first place with a win over Milan. Of course, as we saw things transpire at San Siro, the Bianconeri have been bumped down to second in the table, trailing Antonio Conte’s side on goal differential. Yet, round 24 seems to favor Maurizio Sarri’s group taking back the number one spot as they host 19th place Brescia at Allianz Stadium. With Cristiano Ronaldo riding sensational form (14 goals in his last 10 club games), a win certainly seems in the cards. When you combine this with the fact Inter have to travel to Rome to square off with Lazio, Juventus’ current standing in the table may be short lived if everything goes according to plan.
Boga vs. Kulusevski
When it comes to 2019/20 Serie A breakthrough stars, few can stand with Sassuolo’s Jeremie Boga and Parma’s Dejan Kulusevski. Averaging over 4 successful dribbles per game, the 23-year old Boga is arguably the league’s best and most efficient in this category, only he provides more than just flair with plenty of end product resulting in 7 goals and 2 assists. To no surprise, Chelsea are reportedly considering to bring him back to Stamford on a big move, something Kulusevski secured last month when he agreed to join Juventus in a €35m deal from Atalanta. These two youngsters displayed on the same pitch pairs well with a nice glass of wine.
Title contenders Lazio and Inter clash
There isn’t much more to be said about the weight this weekend’s clash holds between Lazio and Inter. For the Biancocelesti, they are the dark-horse to win their first Scudetto since the 1999-00 season and have not suffered a single league defeat since September (18 games). Their opponent, however, is fresh off a roaring come from behind 4-2 win over rivals Milan last weekend and are 16 matches unbeaten themselves. Two great coaches in Simone Inzaghi and Antonio Conte. Star strikers in Ciro Immobile and Romelu Lukaku, as well as Lautaro Martinez who returns from suspension. Loaded midfields. There is so much riding on this bout that is becomes must see television this weekend – no matter which league you follow. It is tailor made for football fans.
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