SERIE A ROUND 1 MATCH PREVIEW: Fiorentina vs Napoli

The players returned from summer holiday with their families, have been training regularly and are now ready to hit the pitch once again for their respective clubs as the 2019/20 Serie A season commences this weekend in Italy.

For Round 1 of action, our attention turns to one of the opening weekend’s main events on the peninsula as Fiorentina play host to Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi in Firenze.

Here is everything you need to know ahead of the clash. Continue reading

Nedved confident on the team and vigilant on the market

Pavel Nedved talked to the press today filling in for Maurizio Sarri: “As you know, the coach is recovering from pneumonia, but we felt it was fair for you to have somebody who can field some questions. He will return after the break. It was an issue that needed to be tackled seriously and we had to take certain steps. He is a worker and would have liked to be on the pitch and in his office all day long. He is feeling better though. There have been some difficulties, it is obviously better to always have the coach on the bench, but we have gone through something similar in 2012/2013 with Antonio Conte.” Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 1

Parma-Juventus

Parma

4-3-3

Sepe

Laurini Iacoponi Alves Gagliolo

Hernani Brugman Barillà

Kulusevki Inglese Gervinho

Potential lineup changes: Dermaku for Laurini, Grassi for Hernani.

Questionable: Kucka (calf).

Juventus

4-3-3

Szczesny

Danilo Bonucci Chiellini Sandro

Khedira Pjanic Rabiot

Costa Dybala Ronaldo

Potential lineup changes: De Sciglio for Danilo, De Ligt for Bonucci, Bernardeschi for Costa. Continue reading

Napoli acquire Lozano from PSV

After pursuing James Rodriguez and Nicolas Pépé, Napoli went back to their original target to bolster the attack and acquired Hirving Lozano from PSV for €38M, a move that has been floating around since February.

In the last two seasons, after transferring from Pachuca, the 24-year-old winger has scored 40 goals and provided 23 appearances in 79 appearances. He has 35 caps with Mexico under his belt and notched nine goals with his national team. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 1

Atalanta: Josip Ilicic is a suspended, while Luis Muriel is sick, which may cost him a place in the XI. Timothy Castagne had surgery to remove a torn meniscus and should miss the first two games.

Bologna: Jerdy Schouten picked up a knee sprain in the pre-season and is close to recovering, but might skip the opening match.

Brescia: Mario Balotelli is disqualified for the first four fixtures, while Ales Mateju will sit out just the first one for the same reason. Emmanuel Ndoj is dealing with an ankle injury that will cost him some time. Andrea Cistana missed the recent Coppa Italia game for a similar, but smaller, issue, but could be back for the opening match. Daniele DessenaDaniele Gastaldello, Giangiacomo Magnani and Ernero Torregrossa experienced some hiccups in practice and are questionable.  Continue reading

Lazio’s quest for Champions League football has been long and painful – but this could be their time

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Ahead of the opening weekend of the Serie A season, there is no doubt about Lazio’s objective.

Champions League football has proven infuriatingly elusive for the Roman club since they last graced the competition in 2007/08, as they’ve found just about every imaginable way of not quite getting there.

In 2010/11 they finished fifth, losing out on a play-off place to Udinese on goal difference. Continue reading

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

Five Napoli players with something to prove in 2019/20

As the clocks ticks away on Italy’s transfer window, several of Serie A’s biggest clubs remain active on the market, including Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli who, with an additional signing or two, will be well positioned and poised to give eight-consecutive title winners Juventus a real run for their money.

In the meantime, while business continues to be sorted out off the pitch, action returns on it with round 1 of the 2019/20 campaign to commence this weekend. Let’s assume the Partenopei remain as is for a moment with the current squad intact. Here are five players poised for solid seasons and with something to prove for the Scudetto contenders.

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