Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 1

Samir Handanovic: Inter led the League in clean sheets last season and will commence with a comfortable match-up against Lecce at home.

Aleksandar Kolarov: he was squarely in the top echelon of defenders in the previous campaign, where he found the target eight times, with the help of some penalties. Despite the new competition coming from Leonardo Spinazzola, he is set to be a fantasy stud this year too.

Lorenzo De Silvestri: he scored twice and provided four assists in 2018/2019. The game versus Sassuolo promises to be pretty open-ended and wing-backs always have some chances in Walter Mazzarri’s design. Continue reading

Serie A Predictions – Round 1

Parma-Juventus: the Bianconeri prevailed in three of the last trips to the Emilian town, but they have all been narrow wins. The Ducali finished last season well at home and since the Old Lady is still a work in progress under the new coach and have been a little soft in the back in the recent outings, a draw would not be super surprising.

Fiorentina-Napoli: Vincenzo Montella notched his first victory since coming back in Coppa Italia against Monza after famously striking out for over three months last season. The Viola squad is almost all new and still incomplete, while the Partenopei can rely on many more certainties at the moment, so an away win is likely. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 1

Parma-Juventus: the Ducali have done a lot to improve their midfield and their attack over the summer and, while they are currently a little short-handed in the back, they are set to be a more palatable fantasy squad throughout the season. Gervinho is already on form, Roberto Inglese is back to full health and they will have a proper back-up, Yann Karamoh could be intriguing even though he has not won over the coach yet, Hernani and Gaston Brugman are nice complementary pieces and Dejan Kulusevski could be a jack-of-all-trades. Juraj Kucka, who was a stud from January on, might miss the game with a calf injury, but they are more equipped to replace him. Continue reading

Fiorentina sign Franck Ribery

Franck Ribery has agreed to a two-year, €8M contract with Fiorentina, as announced on Wednesday. A move the shows the ambitions of La Viola’s new ownership, as the former Bayern start was a still coveted free agent even in the twilight of his career.

Ribery left the German giants after 12 years, where he amassed over 400 appearances and scored 124 goals. In Munich, he won the Champions League in 2013, alongside the UEFA Supercup and the Club’s World Cup, and prevailed in Bundesliga nine times, six in the domestic cup and five in the supercup. He was named UEFA’s player of the year when they triumphed in Champions League. He racked 81 caps with France over his 12-year run. Continue reading

Ronaldo reflects on end of career, Juventus move and Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo gave a multi-part interview to Portuguese channel TVI over the last couple of days and began by addressing a recent visit to his childhood house with his son: “He could not believe I was raised there. Everything looks easy now: the mansions, the cars… However, you have work hard in order to become a great player and that is what I am trying to teach him.”

On his career: “It might come to an end it next year, but I could play up until I am 40 or 41. I am not sure, I always say that you have to enjoy the moment. My present is great and I have to relish it. I do not think anybody holds more record than I do, at this point I am part of the history of football.” Continue reading

Juventus introduce Demiral

With some delay, Juventus unveiled Merih Demiral earlier today: “I am very happy to be here. I know this is a very important club and that is great for me. I hope to adapt as soon as possible to the new surroundings.”

On his unusual path: “I had to toil to arrive to this point, but it was not surprising to me, everything came from hard work. By being here, I fulfill my dream and I am trying to write a good ending to my journey. I left home when I was 18 to move to Portugal to play for a European team at a young age, I wanted to grow fast and achieve some objectives, like this one.” Continue reading

Khedira pleased to stay under Sarri

Sami Khedira was interviewed by Kicker and confirmed the rumours about him staying put: “I have the enthusiasm of a 20-year old and I feel fine physically. My goal is to play in the 80 percent of the games and won the three main titles with Juventus. I questioned myself, but I gave positive answers. My knee is okay, I am completely fit and I have faith in my physique.”

On Maurizio Sarri: “He wants a completely different football than Massimiliano Allegri, that is why we had some difficulties and we need time to adapt to the new system and find the right mechanisms, but it is a normal thing.” Continue reading

Brescia bring Balotelli back home

After three years, Mario Balotelli has returned in Serie A, as his hometown team Brescia managed to reach agreement with him after he left Olympique Marseille as a free agent, pipping Flamengo at the post. The 29-year-old striker reportedly agreed to a two-year contract, with an out-clause in case they get relegated, but also bonuses and an automatic extension if they do not. As a kid, Balotelli was adopted by a family from Palermo, which then quickly transferred near Brescia and played in the Lumezzane youth system before being noticed by Inter.

He is coming off three good years in Ligue 1, where he posted 43 goals in 76 games with Nice and then eight in 15 appearances with OM. As far as Serie A is concerned, he had his season in 2013/2014 at Milan, where he notched 13 goals in the domestic league alone. Continue reading

Ramsey and Sandro ready to begin and Pellegrini to Cagliari

Juventus finished off his pre-season last night with a 1-0 win over Triestina, where Paulo Dybala scored a gem and then missed a penalty. Aaron Ramsey finally managed to get on the pitch after skipping the previous friendlies due a hamstring issue and commented to Sky Sport: “I am very proud for my debut and very happy for the minutes I played. I can help the team now.”

“I am fine, I have recovered very well, now I can focus on improving to support my teammates. I am very pumped for this experience in a completely new League for me. Continue reading

Serie A Weekly Transfer Market Recap

It was a dull week as Italians do not bother working around the 15th of August, but Roma dominated the news in the last two days, announcing three extensions: Nicolò Zaniolo, Cengiz Under and Edin Dzeko. The first two were expected, as Zaniolo had been playing on a minimal contract after last summer’s move directly from Inter’s youth academy, and Under is a big part of the plan, while the third one came out of the blue since Dzeko has been long expected to move to Inter, but he will stick around instead, removing one end of the supposed strikers’ carousel. Continue reading