Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round 37

Gianluigi Donnarumma (7 points): Milan did not get to the three points they were hoping for against versus Cagliari, but the goalkeeper at least avoided the disaster scenario with two magnificent saves on headers, denying point-blank attempts by Leonardo Pavoletti and Diego Godin.

Juan Cuadrado (6 points): he willed Juventus to victory in the crunch match with Inter with two goals in key moments of the contest. He found the target with a deflected strike from distance in the final minutes of the first half and, more importantly, baited Ivan Perisic into a (questionable) foul in the box after the 2-2 tie. He made no mistake from the penalty spot in a clutch situation despite not having great experience with PKs.  Continue reading

Koeman is toast after Barcelona’s latest failure

It’s worth pointing out that there are lot of good things to have come out of Ronald Koeman’s tenure at Barcelona.

Not least the fact that he’s been brave enough to bring through youngsters that have changed the dynamic of the team and hinted at a bright future for the club.

After their worst start for over 30 years, the Dutchman recovered the team to such an extent that, until a couple of weeks ago, when a win against Granada would’ve meant the destination of the league title would be in their hands, they were still in the conversation for honours. Continue reading

Premier League: Best 11 Players of Week 36

It’s been another interesting week in the Premier League which has seen the top four open up more. The race for Champions League places is getting more exciting by every passing game. Chelsea may have slipped up as they lost against Arsenal and Liverpool could well get that final place. However Leicester are not home and dry yet and everything can change.

West Ham and Tottenham have the slimmest of chances but a top four spot looks beyond them now. What was remarkable was that Alisson, Liverpool’s goalkeeper scored the winning goal at the weekend.

Because of the FA Cup final there was a slightly reduced fixture list for the Premier League this past weekend but there was still plenty of goals and points up for grabs. Let’s take a look at which players earned the most.

Goalkeeper: Aaron Ramsdale- Sheffield United 7pts

What a game from Aaron Ramsdale as he kept a clean sheet- only his 4th of the season- as Sheffield United beat Everton 1-0. It was a great performance from the Blades keeper in a very difficult season for him and his club.

Defender: Jack Robinson- Sheffield United 6pts

Jack Robinson has missed chunks of the season with injury but he earned 6 points at the weekend as Sheffield United stunned Everton with a 1-0 win. Robinson assisted in the only goal of the game which was his first assist of the season.

Defender: Toby Alderweirald- Tottenham 5pts

Tottenham beat Wolves 2-0 and the club had to be at their best to clean up in defence. Alderweirald has 10 clean sheets now to his name and earned another 5 points putting his total at 44 points.

Defender: Eric Dier- Tottenham 5pts

Eric Dier read the game so well as Tottenham were able to keep their top four hopes alive as they beat Wolves 2-0 and the defender now has 24 points for the season.

Defender: Diego Llorente- Leeds United 5pts

Another clean sheet for Diego Llorente means he has 4 for the season as Leeds played brilliantly well to beat Burnley 4-0 and they did so away from home.

Midfielder: Jack Harrison- Leeds United 10pts

Leeds beat Burnley 4-0 and Jack Harrison assisted in the last 2 of those goals to wrap up a fantastic match for the club and much needed 3 points. With a clean sheet also Harrison walked away with an impressive 10 points. He has 68 in total now and is ranked as the best midfielder for the club.

Midfielder: Mohamed Salah- Liverpool 8pts

Mohamed Salah opened the scoring for Liverpool as they were able to beat West Bromwich Albion 2-1. Liverpool has a real chance of finishing in the top four now. Salah has 22 goals and he is battling Harry Kane for the top goalscorer’s award this season.

Midfielder: Roberto Firmino- Liverpool 8pts

It was another great week for Roberto Firmino who is scoring goals and assisiting again and the Brazilian has been a real key figure into how Liverpool have won 3 games in a row and could qualify for next seasons Champions League on this form.

Midfielder: Pierre Hojbjerg- Tottenham 8pts

Pierre Hojbjerg scored Tottenham’s winner at the weekend as they beat Wolves 2-0. Hojbjerg also assisted for Kane’s first goal in the game and earned a huge 8 points.

Striker: Rodrigo- Leeds United 8pts

Rodrigo had a great game for Leeds United as the striker scored 2 goals in one game as Marcelo Bielsa’s side beat Burnley 4-0. Rodrigo hasn’t had a memorable season as he has only scored 6 goals but maybe he can finish in strong? He has a total of 23 points currently.

Striker: Harry Kane- Tottenham 4pts

Harry Kane scored his 22nd league goal of the season as he set up Tottenham to beat Wolves 2-0. Kane has been involved in an incredible 35 goals in the league from 63 that his club have scored, that is an incredible statistic. Kane has 113 points and his top of the Premier League fantasy standings and 3rd with all the leagues combined.

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Milan’s path to Champions League gets tricky as win vs. Atalanta is most likely needed

Milan failed to take advantage of what was a big opportunity at San Siro last night, held to a 0-0 draw by Cagliari. With a win, they would have secured their spot in next season’s Champions League, but now it’s all up in the air. Most likely, a win is needed against Atalanta in the final round. 

The Rossoneri struggled to break down what was a defensive Cagliari side, while some of the tactical choices by Stefano Pioli were questionable. In short, it wasn’t a good night for Milan who once again failed to deliver on their home turf, which has been really disappointing to see throughout the season.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 37

Standing’s implications: Atalanta clinched a Champions League berth despite making the Genoa contest a little tougher than it needed to be, while Milan will have to wait another round as they could find a way to perforate Cagliari. Juventus eked out a win over Inter in an improbable manner, but Napoli responded by breezing past Fiorentina Sunday, so the Bianconeri remain outside looking in the top four. Roma finally won a big game as they prevailed in the Derby with Lazio. Sassuolo remain in the hunt for the seventh spot by strolling past Parma. Sampdoria pipped Udinese away.

Benevento frittered away a golden opportunity as Crotone equalized late, and, even though Torino were deep-sixed by Spezia, they might not have away a final shot to avoid relegation next as the Granata will face Lazio midweek in a make-up game. The Aquilotti instead clinched a remarkable Serie A permanence, and so did Cagliari.  Continue reading

Is Aguero the right man for Barcelona?

Though nothing has been signed or sealed as of this moment, the rumours are rife that Sergio Aguero will sign for Barcelona once the Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea has been played.

The Argentinian has had a storied career so far, having burst onto the European scene at Atletico Madrid before signing for Man City and becoming their all-time record goalscorer, including the strike which won them their first-ever Premier League title.

Soon to turn 33, the stocky centre-forward still knows where the goal is, but his injury record of late isn’t the best. Continue reading

AC Milan vs. Cagliari: Serie A Round 37 – Team news, stats and prediction

Milan could secure their spot in next season’s Champions League tomorrow evening, taking on Cagliari at San Siro. It would save them some trouble as Atalanta are the opponents in the final round, which is a game that is far from a certain win for the Rossoneri. In other words, tomorrow’s clash is crucial. 

As Atalanta won against Genoa earlier today, Milan only need three more points to secure their return to the Champions League. And considering the form they are in, it must be said that Cagliari are a side they should beat. Either way, Stefano Pioli’s men have everything in their own hands.  Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 37 vs Inter

Juventus came out on top in a crazy game versus Inter to remain in contention for a Champions League berth regardless of the results on the other pitches Sunday, although they will still need some help.

Juan Cuadrado (6 points): the clear man of the match, as he picked the most opportune time to find his first goals of the campaign, coming through in clutch situations. The first goal on a sharp strike, evidently deflected by an opponent, was a dagger considering what happened shortly after halftime. He shrewdly won a PK in the final minutes on a light contact with an opponent, but the most stunning part is that he stepped up to the plate and converted it. He drew the red card for Marcelo Brozovic that sealed the game to round out a dominating display.  Continue reading

Calcio Predictions – Round 37

Genoa-Atalanta: the Grifone clinched the Serie A permanent with the W over Bologna, so the dip in motivation could make it hard for them to keep up with a side that has been successful in eight of the last round, lastly versus Parma and Benevento, and is still fighting for prestigious goals: 1-4.

Spezia-Torino: the Aquilotti finally managed to grab a point on the road in the 2-2 tie with Sampdoria, while at home, they have been taken down only by Napoli in the last seven matches. Torino will hope the drubbing by Milan will not have lingering effects on the morale. They had been bested just once in the previous seven tilts: 1-1. Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 37

GENOA-ATALANTA

Genoa (3-5-2): Marchetti; Goldaniga, Zapata, Onguene; Ghiglione, Melegoni, Rovella, Zajc, Cassata; Pjaca, Destro.

Potential lineup changes: Paleari for Marchetti, Zappacosta for Ghiglione, Shomurodov for Pjaca.

Likely bench options: Pjaca, Cassata, Portanova.

Ruled out: Pellegrini (thigh strain), Biraschi (hip muscle strain), Badelj (quad contusion), Criscito (calf edema), Scamacca (muscle fatigue), Czyborra (back pain).

Continue reading