Serie A Round 25 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

We are back with another round of Serie A football this weekend, which means it is also time for you to start sorting out your fantacalcio rosters to ensure you stay on track in your leagues. But, before we get into all that, let’s briefly recap the previous round!

Lecce continued their climb out from the bottom of the table with a big 2-1 win over SPAL, while Genoa’s 3-0 victory over Bologna will surely help their own cause for survival.

After falling behind from an Edin Dzeko goal, Atalanta reversed the tie and managed to pull two back through Jose Luis Palomino and Mario Pasalic to hand Roma a 2-1 defeat.

Juventus returned to winning ways at home without Cristiano Ronaldo as Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado led the club to a 2-0 result over Brescia. Fiorentina thrashed Sampdoria 1-5, Napoli squeaked on past Cagliari 0-1 and Lazio moved into second place with a thrilling 2-1 win at home over Inter.

Alright, now let’s get into why you are all here with our five players to consider adding to your fantacalcio squads ahead of round 25. Continue reading

What to Watch for in Serie A: Round 24

Can you believe we are headed into round 24 of the 2019/20 Serie A season? Neither can we.

For this set of fixtures, there is no shortage of action coming our way. Here, we provide you with what you should be watching for in this weekend of calcio.  Continue reading

Serie A Round 24 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

Can you believe we are headed into round 24 of the 2019/20 Serie A season? Neither can we. Let’s briefly recap what happened on the peninsula last weekend.

Once again, Roma were stunned as Bologna came into their own yard and handed them a 2-3 defeat with Riccardo Orsolini and Musa Barrow delivering the big blows in this one. As for Atalanta, they overturned a deficit and managed to pull out a 1-2 win over Fiorentina at the Franchi, climbing back into 4th place.

Torino’s struggles continued as Fabio Quagliarella and his Samp came away victorious by the scoreline of 1-3. The Granata’s local rivals Juventus also fell on the day as Fabio Borini and Giampaolo Pazzini goals cancelled out Cristiano Ronaldo’s 20th strike on the season to send the Bianconeri into second.

Jeremie Boga put on another clinic as Sassuolo found a way to win away to SPAL 1-2, while Gianluca Lapadula’s brace saw Lecce topple Napoli 2-3 in Naples.

For Sunday’s finale, Inter and Milan opened up another chapter in their Derby della Madonnina history at the San Siro. A tale of two halves, the Nerazzurri managed to erase a 2-0 deficit create by Ante Rebic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic by putting in four second half goals to complete the 4-2 comeback to reclaim possession of first place.

Here are five players to add to your fantacalcio roster ahead of the weekend. Continue reading

Five Breakout Serie A Stars Non-Calcio Fans Should Know About

2019/20 has been a year full of surprises. From the three horse title race to the wide open chase for the coveted Europa League spots, fans have been blessed with plenty this season to savor. But, in between everything transpiring in the league table, it has truly been an exciting time for breakout stars to come to the forefront, enter the limelight and make a real name for themselves in a league already brimming with talent. Even more so than earning domestic recognition is how these rising stars are gaining notoriety across the continent.

Here are five of the best breakout stars non-calcio fans should become acquainted with. Continue reading

Serie A Round 23 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

We are back with more of the expert fantacalcio content you crave ahead of Serie A matchday 23 in Italy. But, before we get into everything you need to gain the advantage in your respective leagues, let’s briefly recap what happened last weekend on the peninsula.

Riccardo Orsolini and Bologna sunk Brescia late 2-1 to get things rolling on the weekend, while Cagliari and Parma played out to a 2-2 draw in a match filled with Europa League implications.

Sassuolo dealt Roma the biggest shock of the round when Francesco Caputo and Jeremie Boga smashed the Roman side 4-2 at home.

On Sunday, when the majority of the matches were held, it was Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus who cruised to a 3-0 win over Fiorentina in Turin. Atalanta and Genoa split the spoils in a 2-2 stalemate, opening the door up for Milan to chip away at that gap separating them and 4th – but to no avail as the Rossoneri had to settle on a 1-1 draw against 10 man Verona at home.

Lecce went full throttle on Torino 4-0, Lazio mashed SPAL 5-1 and Inter returned to winning form by the score of 0-2 over Udinese.

Now, we take a look at the five players you should consider adding to your fantasy roster this weekend. Continue reading

Serie A Round 22 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

Ciao ragazzi! We are back to deliver more of the fantacalcio content you love and need ahead of round 22 Serie A action on the peninsula, but let’s briefly recap what happened last weekend.

AC Milan grinded out a 0-1 win over Brescia on the road, with super-sub Ante Rebic delivering yet again off the bench the decisive goal to seal the victory.

Atalanta thrashed Torino 0-7 on Saturday, with Josip Iličić stealing the show with an impressive hat-trick that included a goal from near midfield.

Radja Nainggolan returned to the San Siro to face his former club Inter, scoring a goal later in the second half to give Cagliari a point in a 1-1 draw. Roma and Lazio also played out to a 1-1 stalemate in their latest Derby della Capitale, with Thomas Strakosha and Pau Lopez each committing regretful errors which led to goals.

In the weekend finale, Napoli stunned league leaders Juventus with a 2-1 win at the San Paolo. Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski each found the back of the net which held up in the end despite Cristiano Ronaldo striking for the eighth straight match.

Here are our five players to consider adding this week in fantacalcio. Continue reading

Sampdoria vs. Napoli: Team news, stats and prediction

Gennaro Gattuso and his Napoli stunned their hated rivals Juventus last weekend at home with a 2-1 win, a result the Partenopei undoubtedly hope to ride and build momentum from as they pay Sampdoria a visit on Monday.

At this point of the season, with the title far beyond their reach, Napoli now must set their sights on sneaking into the top four or, at the bare minimum, snagging themselves a Europa League spot. Last weekend’s  2-1 win over Juventus may be exactly what was needed for the Azzurri to get back on track and make a serious push up the table.

On Monday, Gennaro Gattuso’s side head to the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to take on Sampdoria in a match some are calling ‘the Polish Derby’ for the abundance of Polish internationals on display.

Three Poles in total are set to feature, including Piotr Zielinski and Arkadiusz Milik for the visitors from Naples and newly turned 25 year old Karol Linetty suiting up for the Blucerchiati.

For Napoli – sitting 11th in the table, five points from 6th and 12 from 4th – their objectives have been clearly defined. As for Claudio Ranieri and his Samp, gaining some separation from the bottom three remains priority and a positive result here would go a long way in ensuring their safety.

TEAM NEWS

Napoli conducted their fare share of business during last month’s winter market, adding the likes of midfielders Stanislav Lobotka and Diego Demme, the latter who is expected to get the starting nod in this one.

The 28-year old defensive midfielder arrived over from RB Leipzig and is still looking to have his first real significant performance in the middle of the park. Ruiz and Zielinski often like to push forward and assert themselves by either picking a pass or penetrating into the final third to create that final ball into the forward men. Look for Demme to play a key role in this one.

Defensively, Gattuso is expected to roll with a central tandem of Luperto and Maksimovic, this despite having both Manolas and Koulibaly on the roster. Given how sporadically Napoli defend this season, it is hard to predict just how well they will show up against a Samp side who, while they aren’t relishing in a big production year for Fabio Quagliarella, do have a few players who can hurt them in the attacking end.

Up front, the attacking trio of Callejon, Milik and Insigne are set to start. The Polish international leads Napoli in domestic scoring with 7 goals and serves as the focal point up front for the two wide players to play.

Callejon and Insigne enjoyed a good amount of success last weekend vs Juventus, combining on the Italian’s goal which wound up being the match-winner after Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back late. In his last four games across all competitions, Insigne has scored four goals, hinting that perhaps he could be the difference in breaking down a Samp side who tend to be a bit more defensively solid in their own yard.

Napoli squad: Meret, Ospina, Karnezis; Mario Rui, Luperto, Maksimovic, Di Lorenzo, Hysaj, Koulibaly, Manolas; Demme, Allan, Elmas, Zielinski, Lobotka; Callejon, Llorente, Lozano, Mertens, Politano, Insigne, Milik.

Projected Napoli XI (4-3-3): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mario Rui; Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon, Milik, Insigne

STATS AND FACTS

  • Napoli have won 7 of their last 8 matches against Sampdoria in all competitions.
  • Napoli have scored at least 2 goals in 9 of their last 10 matches against Sampdoria in all competitions.
  • Napoli have outscored Sampdoria 14 to 7 in the two sides previous six meetings combined in all competitions.
  • Napoli are averaging 56% possession to Sampdoria’s 44% through 21 matches each.

PREDICTION

Napoli are without question coming off their biggest result of the season, so it is only natural to believe they will begin building momentum from this point forward. But, this season has been far too turbulent from them that conventional wisdom may not be applicable. Yet, what does work in their favor is their improved fitness and the return to normalcy by having key players coming back each week. While Koulibaly, Manolas or Meret aren’t likely to get nods, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the general vibe around the squad is more upbeat and that bodes well for Napoli to put in a real positive showing away.

As was mentioned, Samp typically feed off their home crowd, and as a result, can make matters uncomfortable for opposing sides. However, this feels like the kind of match Napoli will have to grind out and get their hands dirty if they want to leave victorious. Gattuso’s grinta will trickle down and ensure that is the case.

Sampdoria 1-2 Napoli

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Napoli vs Juventus: Team news, stats and prediction

San Paolo sets the stage for one of the weekend’s biggest fixtures in Europe as Napoli host league-leaders Juventus, a match which normally has serious title implications. Due to contrasting seasons however, the two rivals enter with vastly different objectives to obtain from this clash. 

Let’s call it like it is. The 2019/20 season has been a disaster thus far for Napoli. From the drastic drop in form, lackluster performances, sacking of Carlo Ancelotti and the distractions facing the club, the Partenopei’s campaign has been a nightmare.

Entering the season, Aurelio de Laurentiis had aspirations of being the anti-Juve and the club to put an end to their prolonged dynasty atop the calcio world. But as we enter this tie on Sunday, the two outfits could not be heading in more different directions.

Under Gennaro Gattuso’s watch, the Azzurri have lost 4 out of 5 in the league and are currently 11th while Maurizio Sarri’s Juventus sit atop the table, riding the goalscoring prowess of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s white-hot form.

TEAM NEWS

Napoli have endured their fair share of injury woes this season, specifically in defence where much was expected this season with the arrival of Kostas Manolas to partner Kalidou Koulibaly. Yet, now Gattuso has to make due with those fit to suit up and take the pitch, resulting in starting Giovanni Di Lorenzo alongside the Greek international who has simply failed to meet the expectations coming over from Roma in the summer.

As the last line of defence and guardian of the goal, David Ospina seems to be ahead of young shot-stopper Alex Meret on the pecking order, something that has certainly made many scratch their heads a bit considering the Italian is the consensus number 1.

The midfield brings little surprises as the trio of Fabian Ruiz, newly acquired Diego Demme and Piotr Zielinski are projected to each get starting nods in this one. Much of the same can be said about the attack with Jose Callejon and Lorenzo Insigne flanking Polish striker Arkadiusz Milik who has been a consistent performer when regularly fit and inserted into the lineup. With Ronaldo on the opposite end having returned to his normal, yet freakishly, scoring self (13 goals in 10 matches across all competitions), Napoli will require Milik to make the most of his chances and have the supporting cast ensure he gets good supply.

For Sarri, his Juventus is expected to remain largely unchanged. Defensively, the back four shall include Juan Cuadrado, Matthijs de Ligt, captain Leonardo Bonucci and Alex Sandro. Earlier in the season when these two sides met, it was this area of the team that proved very leaky and susceptible to mistakes, especially de Ligt who will look to come good with a top performance.

Despite Adrien Rabiot’s positive run of form and increased workload, Sarri is expected to go with Uruguayan Rodrigo Bentancur instead alongside Blaise Matuidi and Miralem Pjanic.

Up front, Aaron Ramsey is to play in the hole as the creative cog linking play from the midfield and to the potent attacking duo of Ronaldo and Dybala. Together, the two are playing with much harmony and chemistry that we should expect the Portuguese to savor plenty of attacking chances to further pad his account and connect with his Argentine teammate to deal Napoli a tough assignment throughout.

Projected Napoli XI (4-3-3): Ospina; Hysaj, Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Rui; Ruiz, Demme, Zielinski; Callejon, Milik, Insigne

Projected Juventus XI (4-3-1-2): Szczesny, Cuadrado, de Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Ramsey; Dybala, Ronaldo

STATS AND FACTS *via Who Scored

  • Napoli have seen over 2.5 goals in their last 3 matches against Juventus in all competitions
  • Napoli have been losing at both half time and full time in their last 3 home Serie A matches
  • Juventus have won 14 of their last 17 Serie A matches
  • Juventus have won their last 3 matches against Napoli in all competitions
  • Juventus have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches against Napoli in all competitions

PREDICTION

When these two met way back in late August, the match ended 4-3 in favor of Juventus who squandered a massive lead only to be spoon fed all three points thanks to Koulibaly’s own goal at the death. Times are surely different now, with ‘Sarriball’ beginning to flow by design, catering to Ronaldo’s attacking ambitions, while Gattuso is learning on the fly how to find balance in a delicate phase of the season for Napoli. Based on the disparate form of the two currently, and Ronaldo seemingly unplayable, all signs point to ‘the Old Lady’ having her way in Naples.

Napoli 0-2 Juventus

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What to Watch for in Serie A: Round 21

The second half of the 2019/20 Serie A season promises to be full of thrills and surprises, so much that it can be difficult to keep track of what to watch for on a week to week basis. That is where we come in.

Here are five things to watch for in Serie A Round 21 this weekend. Continue reading

Serie A Round 21 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

The race for UEFA competition berths in Italy heats up as we prepare to head into matchday 21 of Serie A play this weekend.

Last week, Ciro Immobile’s hat-trick lead the attacking assault on Sampdoria as Lazio came away with their 11th straight win by the score of 5-1. Fiorentina entered the San Paolo and dealt Napoli a 2-0 defeat, sending Gennaro Gattuso’s side into further trouble and a 11th place spot.

Theo Hernandez and an Ante Rebic second half masterclass carried Milan to a late 3-2 win at home over Udinese, while the Rossoneri’s rival Inter dropped points away to Lecce in a 1-1 result. Cristiano Ronaldo’s brace held up at home in the 2-1 victory over Parma and Roma handled matters at the Marassi with a 3-1 win themselves.

Let’s take a look at five players who could help you this week in fantacalcio. Continue reading