Udinese will move forward with Luca Gotti as their coach, the team’s sporting director Pierpaolo Marino announced on Monday night. Gotti was Igor Tudor’s lead assistant and was promoted after the firing of the coach ten days ago, filling in while the officials were looking for a suitable replacement. He collected four points in the first two matches, beating Genoa and tying with SPAL, and that was enough for the management to confirm him. Tudor, instead, after a mixed start, got the axe after two dismal losses to Atalanta and Roma, where they surrendered a combined 11 goals, and he also reportedly was starting to butt heads with some players. Continue reading
Juan Musso (7 points): very strong goalkeeper in this round, in particular by Andrei Radu and Wojciech Szczesny, and there were indeed a number of clean sheets, bucking the trend from previous weeks. No save was more important that Musso’s one on an extremely late penalty by Andrea Petagna that prevented Udinese from losing to SPAL.
Despite the fairly lopsided result, Lazio-Lecce was the funniest and most eventful game of the round. The Biancocelesti came into the contest having triumphed three times in a row, against Fiorentina, Torino and Milan, while the Salentini had collected four straight ties.
Filippo Inzaghi was able to field almost all of his go-to XI minus Stefan Radu, who is hurt, and replaced him with Patric, with some re-shuffling in the back as Francesco Acerbi was used as left centre-back. Manuel Lazzari manned the right wing with Adam Marusic on the shelf. Continue reading
Cagliari fumbled away a glorious fantasy haul by giving away not one but two late cheap goals against Fiorentina. Therefore, the team that earned the best result in this round was Torino, which crushed Brescia on the road in the first game with Eugenio Corini at the helm. The Granata had not won in six rounds coming into the contest, but had fared decently in last week’s Derby with Juventus.
Walter Mazzarri picked Bremer over the other options in the back, selected Ola Aina as right wing-back, fielded both Sasa Lukic and Soualiho Meite with Daniele Baselli out of commission and trotted out Simone Verdi next to Andrea Belotti, as Simone Zaza and Iago Falque are both on the mend. Continue reading
More of the same from Juventus against a very game Milan, as the Bianconeri were unable to take control of the game and were forced to defend a lot, but the depth of the roster and the quality of the substitutions came to the rescue once again, this time through the angel face of Paulo Dybala.
Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): the fact that the goalie was the co-best player is pretty telling about how the match unfolded. He pulled off a sensational save on a Lucas Paqueta header in the first half and then he was supremely focused on all the attempts from long-range, which he never batted away centrally. Continue reading
Standings implications: the usual trend up top as Juventus and Inter did not look great but still found a way to sink the opponents, despite fiery efforts by Milan and Verona. Another shake-up in the Champions League zone as Roma’s run came to a stop in Parma, while Lazio and Cagliari kept it rolling, creaming Lecce and Fiorentina respectively, and they both surpassed La Lupa and gained some ground on Atalanta, which were held to a tie by Sampdoria. Napoli could not do much better at home against Genoa and thus remain seventh, one point over the Ducali. Torino returned to winning ways with an away drubbing of Brescia, while Sassuolo convincingly defeated Bologna. Udinese-SPAL ended in a nil-nil draw despite the late drama.
Maurizio Sarri assessed the status and the performances of few of his players in the press conference before the clash with Milan: “They are a good team that did not start off well, but this matters relatively in a single game. We have to play with a different intensity in the back compared to the game in Moscow and in order to do that we have to take the field in slightly different manner.”
On Cristiano Ronaldo: “I still do not know because he was with the medical staff yesterday. We will see later today and then tomorrow morning. He is not dealing with anything serious, just some pain in his knee that causes him some troubles during the games.” Continue reading
Atalanta: Josip Ilicic was handed a two-game suspension for kicking an opponent from behind. Duvan Zapata is not ready to come back from his thigh strain. Robin Gosens is dealing with sciatica. Ruslan Malinovskyi has a sore glute. Remo Freuler is bang up as well and the trio is legitimately questionable.
Bologna: Roberto Soriano has been ruled out due to a knee bruise, Federico Santander because of a calf one. Takehiro Tomiyasu (thigh), Mitchell Dijks (toe contusion) and Mattia Destro (knee soreness) stay on the shelf. Continue reading
Sassuolo: 4-3-3 Consigli; Toljan, Romagna, Peluso, Kyriakopoulus; Duncan, Magnanelli, Djuricic; Berardi, Caputo, Boga.
Potential lineup changes: Marlon for Kyriakopoulos, Locatelli for Djuricic, Defrel for Caputo.
Probable: Caputo (lower leg), Magnanelli (quad), Bourabia (calf),
Ruled Out: Obiang (suspension), Rogerio (knee), Ferrari (thigh), Chiriches (thigh), Mazzitelli (thigh)-
Sassuolo-Bologna: the two teams have been very seesawing so far. The Neroverdi are coming off a tie with Lecce and have lost in the last three home games, the Felsinei showed some fight against Inter, but they have dropped the last three away contests: draw.
Brescia-Torino: the Rondinelle lost close games in four of the last five outings, drawing just once, and thus changed their coach last week. The Granata partly bounced back against Juventus, but they have not prevailed in over a month. So it is another match between two inconsistent sides: draw. Continue reading