Thomas Strakosha: the Biancocelesti held up against Napoli’s attack, confirming their solidity at home, and the goalie answered the bell when he was required. It is not a particularly great round for defences on paper, so it is better to stick with safe picks.
Matthijs De Ligt: the injury of Merih Demiral will allow him to return to the XI on a consistent basis and he did look good against Roma and in Coppa Italia. Juventus have allowed nine goals at home (second-best in Serie A), so their defenders can be deployed even though Parma are the quintessential sneaky team. Continue reading →
Lazio-Sampdoria: the Biancocelesti will be stopped at some point and the Blucerchiati are the typical team that can be underestimated and sneak up on the enemies, but the pick logically goes in favour of the home side due to their ten-game winning streak.
Sassuolo-Torino: the Neroverdi are coming off three straight defeats and have prevailed just once in the past eight rounds, the Granata instead did it in the last two fixtures. The guests have an history of laying eggs when they are supposed to win, so the pick is a draw. Continue reading →
Juventus did not mess about in the Coppa Italia round of 16, utterly dominating an Udinese team that offered very little resistance and punching their ticket to the next stage, where they will face either Roma or Parma.
Matthijs De Ligt: Gianluigi Buffon had just one minuscule save and so the rear-guard fully did his job, keeping the opponents at distance. The rest of the squad played a big part in achieving that through incessant possession. The centre-backs saw more action on the opponent’s box than in their one, as De Ligt almost propitiated a goal and Daniele Rugani hit the post. The Dutchman was slightly tidier than the teammate. Alex Sandro instead was in energy-saving mode and did not bother motoring down the flank and Danilo was not very very active either. Continue reading →
Lazio-Sampdoria: despite a fairly muted performance, the Biancocelesti came out on top versus Napoli last week, for the second week in a row propelled by a late Ciro Immobile goal. The capocannoniere keeps producing and has already reached the 20-goal threshold. He has scored their last three goals. It is possible that Joaquin Correa misses another one, but that will be clearer only later in the week, so Felipe Caicedo might get another chance to start and he has posted three goals and two assists in limited action in the last five appearances. Luis Alberto will be looking to pad his assist numbers (12), while Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has reverted back to his less efficient self after a hot stretch. Senad Lulic will be suspended, so Jonyis set to play on the left wing and he is a willing crosser. The Eagles have been airtight at home. Continue reading →
Napoli have been searching for midfielders ever since the ousting of Carlo Ancelotti and the hiring of Gennaro Gattuso, who decided to switch permanently to 4-3-3, they got their men in the past few days, announcing the acquisitions of Diego Demme from LB Leipzig and Stanislav Lobotka from Celta Vigo.
Demme signed a five-year deal Saturday and joined for €12M in a rare transfer that proceeded very swiftly for the Partenopei. The 28-year-old, who was born in Germany from an Italian father and was named after Diego Maradona, has been a linchpin of Leipzig over the last four seasons, collecting 214 appearances, scoring twice and providing 18 assists. He has one cap with the Mannschaft. Continue reading →
Coach Maurizio Sarri was back in front of the journalists to discuss the tomorrow’s Coppa Italia game against Udinese: “Matthijs De Ligt is coming back to peak form and the Roma match is a proof of that. Daniele Rugani is an important player and I hold him in high regard.”
“It is not easy to recover after a big game but we have to do that, we spent a lot physically and mentally on Sunday. We want to move forward, so we have to find the proper motivations and strength to recharge the batteries. Every competition we are in is an objective of ours.” Continue reading →
Thomas Strakosha (7 points): there were some high-quality goalkeeping in this round, where six teams managed to keep a clean sheet. Udinese’s Juan Musso and Fiorentina’s Bartlomiej Dragowski were fine, but nod goes to Lazio’s goalie for a pair of sure-handed saves on threatening attempts by Lorenzo Insigne.
Simone Iacoponi(9 points): he untangled a game that was starting to become pretty complicated for Parma with a well directed header on a corner kick. Continue reading →
Sampdoria did not get a shut-out win but still had the most commanding win of the weekend, bagging five goals against Brescia and putting few contributors in the team of the week.
The Blucerchiati needed to right the ship as they had won just once in the past five games, dropping three and tying nil-nil with Milan in the most recent one. Claudio Ranieri could not count on the disqualified Omar Colley and chose Vasco Regini over Jeison Murillo to replace him in the heart of the defence. Morten Thorsby got the nod over Albin Ekdal in the midfield, joining Karol Linetty and Jakub Jankto and the regular Ronaldo Vieira, while Fabio Quagliarella partnered with Manolo Gabbiadini up front. Continue reading →