Verona-Sampdoria: the Scaligeri do not have many objectives left, but they will want to bounce back after losing five of the last six fixtures, the last two against Lazio and Sampdoria. The Viola are instead in dire straits with three defeats in the past four games and are sinking in the standings: 1-0.
Milan-Sassuolo: the Rossoneri finally managed to win at home over the weekend as they nipped Genoa and have taken home the full spoils in three of the last four matches. The Neroverdi are coming off two wins in a row against Benevento and Fiorentina and have recovered some meaningful pieces: 2-2. Continue reading
Atalanta: Hans Hateboer has resumed practicing after a major foot problem, so his return is nearby.
Benevento: Daam Foulon missed the last game with an undisclosed muscular injury, Gabriele Moncini because of a bruised ankle.
Missing: Foulon, Moncini.
Bologna: Takehiro Tomiyasu will missing another one due to a calf contracture.
Cagliari: Alessio Cragno has COVID, Matteo Tramoni is dealing with thigh muscle fatigue, Riccardo Sottil is back on the shelf with a thigh strain.
Missing: Cragno, Tramoni, Sottil.
Verona (3-4-2-1): Silvestri; Dawidowicz, Gunter, Dimarco; Faraoni, Tameze, Ilic, Lazovic; Zaccagni, Barak; Lasagna.
Potential lineup changes: Magnani for Dimarco, Sturaro for Tameze, Salcedo for Lasagna.
Likely bench options: Colley, Favilli, Salcedo.
Probable: Magnani (flu).
Questionable: Kalinic (muscle fatigue), Lovato (undisclosed injury).
Ruled out: Veloso (neck surgery), Benassi (calf strain), Vieira (thigh strain), Ceccherini (thigh soreness).
Bologna: they detonated against the flammable Spezia defense as Mattias Svanberg had his best display of the season, assembling a brace and improving to five goals in the season, and also Musa Barrow (7 goals, 8 assists) cooked, recording a goal and assist. He is not the most consistent striker, but his numbers are looking better and better. Riccardo Orsolini nailed a PK and made the stat-sheet after a while, but he will continue to see competition from Andreas Skov Olsen, who also found paydirt in a recent fixture. Jerdy Schouten tallied his only goal and assist of the campaign in the past four rounds. With the other strikers thriving, Rodrigo Palacio (one/four) has taken more of a backseat, and he is generally more of a can opener than a finisher.
Suggested picks: Barrow, Orsolini/Skov Olsen, Svanberg.
Verona: Darko Lazovic bagged an early outstanding free-kick but, other than that, they did not have a great offensive game against Fiorentina. The Serbian winger is up to three goals and four assists in the season and has been very reliable lately. Miguel Veloso is set to miss multiple matches and the coach replaced him with Antonin Barak (7 goals, 2 assists) in the last game, drastically reducing his appeal, but they have other options for the more conservative role. Eddie Salcedo was given a rare start and did okay but did not hit big. Kevin Lasagna (4/1) did not have many chances but was decently active, while Mattia Zaccagni (6/5) shouldered a bigger creative role with Barak as a pivot, but it did not lead to him snapping out of his slump as he has not scored or assisted in the last 11 games. Federico Dimarco has not made the stat sheet in the last four tilts, but he is an integral part of their offense even as center-back.
Pierluigi Gollini (7 points): the goal bonanza that has become the trend for Serie A continued in this round and just one team managed to keep a clean sheet, Atalanta, in the crunch game versus Juventus. Their goalkeeper was not called into action all that much, but not conceding was enough to best the competitors.
Jose Palomino (5 points): the Argentinian center-back gets the token spot representing the whole Orobici back-line as he contributed to holding in check Alvaro Morata and Paulo Dybala with an attentive and physical performance, perfectly making up for the absence of Cristian Romero, arguably the Goddess’ best man in the back. Continue reading
Standing’s implications: Napoli halted Inter’s run at 11 wins, but the Nerazzurri’s lead over Milan remains comfortable even though the Devil finally won one at San Siro, over Genoa. The Partenopei instead gained a point on the fourth place as Atalanta came out on top in the head-to-head clash with Juventus. Lazio continue to lurk as they outgunned Benevento in a goal-fest, while Roma lost more ground as Torino torpedoed them.
The Granata successfully responded to Cagliari’s stupendous rally over Parma and are now on a par with Fiorentina and the Sanniti on the standings. The Viola got beat by Sassuolo. Spezia and Genoa are two points above them as the Aquilotti were throttled by Bologna. Udinese returned to winning ways by exploiting the match-up with Crotone. Sampdoria defeated Verona in the not-so-meaningful race to the eighth spot. Continue reading
Juventus ended up losing in unlucky fashion a game that they well-played considering the circumstances and the quality of the opponents. Despite the possible justifications, the L represents a significant blow in the Champions League race, and it seems like the Orobici had more juice in the final stretch and got after it more, while the Bianconeri appeared rather gassed and could not muster much of a reaction after going down in the score.
Juan Cuadrado: the defense, and the center-backs in particular, were splendid throughout the game, as they held a high-wattage front-line to just a pair of chances. Duvan Zapata just missed the target while besting Danilo on a sharp cross, while Ruslan Malinovskyi’s strike was fatally deflected by Alex Sandro, who was at the wrong place at the wrong time after a better-than-usual display. Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs De Ligt put their vigor to good use, combating Zapata and holding in check Luis Muriel as it has rarely happened in recent games. Wojciech Szczesny was called into action just a couple of times and responded, particularly on a late free-kick right in the top corner by the Ukrainian attacker. Continue reading
Crotone-Udinese: the Squali have been in every of the last four games until the end, but they ended up losing all of them against Lazio, Bologna, Napoli and Spezia. The Friulani remain in a comfortable spot in the standing but they will surely want to get back on track after being defeated by Lazio, Atalanta and Torino: 1-2.
Sampdoria-Verona: the Blucerchiati got outplayed by Napoli last week as they were dropped for just the second time in the last six games, where they have drawn in four occasions. The Scaligeri were pipped at the post by Lazio last week, suffering the fourth L in the past five tilts: 1-1. Continue reading
Atalanta: Matteo Pessina shook off COVID and will be assessed in practice after missing a week. Hans Hateboer is not far off from coming back from his foot microfracture, but it will not happen this week. Cristian Romero is suspended.
Returning: Pessina; Missing: Romero, Hateboer.
Benevento: Alessandro Tuia is out with yellow-card accumulation. Gabriele Moncini has a bruised ankle. Daam Foulon is out with an unspecified injury.
Missing: Tuia, Moncini, Foulon.
Bologna: Lorenzo De Silvestri and Andreas Skov Olsen picked up minor thigh problems in the past game, but they could be good to go. Takehiro Tomiyasu will be a late call due to calf soreness. Federico Santander (ACL tear), Gary Medel (calf strain) and Aaron Hickey (shoulder surgery) are out with long-term issues.
Missing: Tomiyasu, Santander, Medel, Hickey. Continue reading