Serie A Predictions – Round 31

Lecce-Lazio: the Giallorossi suffered the sixth consecutive loss versus Sassuolo, again giving up a bunch of goals, which should be enough to allow the reeling Biancocelesti, relatively speaking, to bounce back and take one home: 1-3.

Milan-Juventus: the Rossoneri played great against Lazio and have prevailed three times in the past four games, obviously botching the easiest on the slate. The Bianconeri won their seventh in a row against Torino, but they will have to deal with some key absences and have had some tumbles on the road this season: 1-1. Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 31

Lecce-Lazio

Lecce: 4-3-1-2 Gabriel; Donati, Paz, Lucioni, Calderoni; Barak, Petriccione, Mancosu; Saponara; Falco, Babacar.

Potential lineup changes: Majer for Saponara, Rispoli for Falco, Farias for Babacar.

Likely bench options: Farias, Shakhov, Vera.

Questionable: Meccariello, Majer (thigh), Deiola (knee), Dell’Orco (groin).

Ruled Out: Lapadula (ankle), Rossettini (illness).

Suspended: Tachtsidis.

Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Supension Report – Round 31

Atalanta: José Palomino is suspended.

Bologna: Roberto Soriano was red-carded in the last game and has been suspended for two matches. Gary Medel was a late scratch for the last game due to back spasm. Ibrahima Mbaye should be the first one to recover among their injured players, a list that included Andrea Poli, Federico Santander and Andreas Skov Olsen, all nursing thigh strains.

Brescia: Andrea Cistana (lower leg surgery), Jhon Chancellor (thigh) and Dimitri Bisoli (patellar tendon) remain sidelined, Emanuele Ndoj and Enrico Alfonso are questionable.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round 31

LECCE-LAZIO

Lecce: another losing effort caused by the nth defensive collapse, but the Giallorossi looked a tiny bit better offensively versus Sassuolo, as Diego Farias returned to the XI and was livelier than Filippo Falco and Riccardo Saponara and Khouma Babacar did a little bit more than usual. The goals came on corner kick and then through the usual penalty kick by Marco Mancosu and it is pretty crazy how many fouls they manage to draw in the box. Antonin Barak has yet to recapture is best form after an injury, but he remains their most appealing non-Mancosu midfielder.

Suggested picks: Mancosu, Farias, Babacar. Continue reading

Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round 30

Jesse Joronen (7 points): after a bonanza of goals in the previous rounds, defences managed to have the upper-hand in few cases over the weekend and five teams kept a clean sheet. Brescia’s Finnish goalie had by far the best performance among #1s, as he answered the bell on the multiple big chances created by Verona attackers.

Timothy Castagne (5 points): Atalanta’s key reserve on the flanks got the nod in Cagliari, put in a very solid shift and could have easily provided an assist with the usual cross wingback-to-wingback if Hans Hateboer correctly met his great delivery.   Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 30

Standings implications: Juventus prevailed handedly in the Derby, while Lazio got demolished at home by Milan, so the Bianconeri’s lead atop of the table ballooned to seven points. Atalanta eked one out in Cagliari, while Inter threw the Bologna game away: the two Nerazzurri teams are now separated by just one point. Napoli defeated Roma in the head-to-head clash and caught them in fifth position.

As far as the seventh place is concerned, Milan pulled away from Verona, which surprisingly stumbled in Brescia, while Bologna and Sassuolo were successful but still have some ground to make up The Emilian duo overtook Cagliari and Parma, as the Ducali laid an egg versus Fiorentina. Continue reading

Cristiano Ronaldo breaks more records with Juventus as he stakes his claim as one of the greatest players of all time

What record is there left for Cristiano Ronaldo to break? When he was younger he said his dream was for a football fan to open up the record books of football and that his name would be on the first page. He may have to share column inches with Lionel Messi, but yes Ronaldo’s name will be there.

Ronaldo has added another record to his ever growing tally and it happened this weekend when Juventus beat Torino to go 7 points clear at the top of Serie A.

Ronaldo scored his 25th goal of the season. The remarkable feat is that no player who has played for Juventus since the 1960s has managed to score 25 or more league goals. That’s quite a fact that wouldn’t be out of place in the quiz game Trivial Pursuit but it is a fact. Not even greats such as Michel Platini or Alessandro del Piero were able to get that many goals in a league season.

In 2016 Gonzalo Higuain who was a goal scoring machine in Italy managed 24 goals but couldn’t crack the special 25. It is testament to Ronaldo who at 35 has scored so many goals for the club who are surely on their way to winning an 8th successive scudetto title.

The record for the old lady was achieved in 1961 and what was bizarre was that Ronaldo’s goal came in the 61st minute. If you’re wondering who had held the record for the past 59 years it was Argentine legend Omar Sivori who finished the season with 25. Though the season before that he scored 28 goals, so Ronaldo now has another record to chase.

It was only a few weeks ago that Ronaldo broke another record, which was the most goals scored by a Portuguese player in the colours of Juventus. That record had been held by Rui Costa.

With 8 games left in the league Ronaldo has plenty of time to add to his goal tally, and he will be after getting on the 30 goal marker, only a few players have achieved this in Serie A history. In fact the 30 goal marker has only been reached 10 times in the whole history. The current record holders are Gonzalo Higuain and Gino Rossetti who scored 36 goals each. Rossetti set the record in 1929 and Higuain equalled it in 2016 whilst playing for Napoli.

The 30 goal mark has also been reached just twice this century by Higuain and Luca Toni who scored 31 goals in 2006 for Fiorentina.

Still records could go this season because Ronaldo with his 25 goals is only 2nd in the goalscorers chart. Ciro Immobile has the most goals so far with 29 to his name and looks set to have the most this season. If Immobile continues to score on his average rate for the season he could well reach 36 goals.

So one eye will be on Immobile and one eye on Ronaldo, we know that the Portuguese star has the quality to score 3 or 4 goals in one game and he won’t be giving up the chase just yet. Whilst the league may be winding up, the goalscorers chart and records will, evidently, not.

How well do you know Italian football? Want to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? Play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

 

 

Lazio 0-3 AC Milan: Tops and flops for the Rossoneri – Kessie the MOTM with a fantastic display

AC Milan secured an important win away at Lazio earlier this evening, netting three goals and keeping a clean sheet to increase their chances of reaching Europe. On Tuesday, the Rossoneri will take on Juventus and thus it was important to clinch a confidence boost. Down below are the tops and flops.  Continue reading

Juventus Top Perfomers – Round 30 vs Torino

Juventus kept the winning going in the Derby della Mole, which had a weird development as the Bianconeri scored twice early, but Torino managed to get back in the game with a penalty and threatened the lead early in the second half, then a Cristiano Ronaldo free kick pulled the chestnuts out of the fire.

Gianluigi Buffon: he did not get to play hero, but it was a momentous occasion for the legend, who surpassed Paolo Maldini and is now the player with the most Serie A appearances in history with 648. He had a couple of good saves but business as usual. Matthijs De Ligt was unlucky on the penalty as those pesky arms keep sticking out, but he actually had a strong display, hooking and clearing a couple of dangerous balls in the box. Leonardo Bonucci was less flashy, Danilo attacked a little more than usual but all in all remain a weak spot of the formation, given for instance how meaningful the contribution of Juan Cuadrado was on the other flank. Continue reading

Italian Football Predictions – Round 30

Juventus-Torino: the Bianconeri have won three in a row after the resumption, five overall in Serie A play, and have looked increasingly good in the last two rounds. After an initial spurt in mid-June, the Granata have gone in the wrong direction, dropping the last two and faring unconvincingly: 2-0.

Sassuolo-Lecce: the Neroverdi have scored three times in each of the last five matches, but somehow prevailed in just one, most recently in Florence. After the difficult bouts with Juventus and Milan, the Giallorossi could not take advantage of the head-to-head clash with Sampdoria and have lost five straight: 3-1. Continue reading