Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 11

Atalanta: Marten De Roon is suspended. Andrea Masiello and José-Luis Palomino were available for the midweek round, so the only injured player is Duvan Zapata.

Bologna: Mitchell Dijks will remain sidelined for what is now billed more as a foot sprain than a contusion. Gary Medel is back in the squad list, while Mattia Destro and Takehiro Tomiyasu remain sidelined. Federico Santander was hit on the calf but he is available.

Brescia: Jesse Joronen is questionable due to the bruise that forced him to miss the last game. It is unlikely that there will any return among their injured players, with Giangiacomo Magnani being the closest. Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Week – Round 36: Inter

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Inter had an impressive showing in the drubbing of Udinese and was also just one of the two teams who scored multiple goals while also maintaining a clean sheet. As a result, they deservedly get the Club of the Week shut-out regarding the last round.

Inter approached the game fuming for the result in the Derby d’Italia, but had won in the previous two fixtures. Luciano Spalletti opted for Dalbert to substitute the suspended Danilo D’Ambrosio and picked Antonio Candreva over Yann Karamoh on the right wing. He had to put in Andrea Ranocchia due to a last-minute injury to Joao Miranda.  Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 36

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There were few scorers in the last round, but nobody managed to notch a brace, so there were not any particularly high point totals.

Alisson: four clean sheets in the weekend, as he has often done this year the Brazilian goalkeeper stood out with a couple of monster interventions against Cagliari, first on an attempted own goal and then coming out to shoot the gap against Marco Sau.

Andrea Ranocchia: he was inserted at the last moment as Joao Miranda got hurt in the warm-ups and he found the opener in the Udinese game with a brilliant header off a corner kick that kissed the far post before going in. He was the top earner in the last round with nine points.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 36

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Here’s the first edition of the Serie A recap, which will provide some quick thoughts on the round that just ended.

Standings implications. Juventus are de facto champions since Napoli dropped two more points and the gap in the goal difference is too wide. It is not officially official, but it is as close as it gets. Inter earned two points to Lazio for the fourth spot and the showdown in the final matchday will likely decide the final team qualifying to Champions League. Sampdoria are virtually eliminated from the Europa League race since they are five points behind the seventh-placed Atalanta, which were leapfrogged by Milan despite a great performance against Lazio.

At the bottom of the table, Verona are mathematically relegated, while Sassuolo are safe. Chievo and Spal nabbed monumental wins, putting Cagliari in real troubles. There are now five teams within two points, with one going down.

Confirmations. Mauro Icardi, Matteo Politano and Hakan Calhanoglu extended their hot streaks. Paulo Dybala did not have a great game but still hit the target, Simone Verdi converted a penalty in an unfavourable match-up. Patrick Cutrone has the biggest nose for the goal among Milan’s centre-forwards. Cengiz Under, Sami Khedira and Musa Barrow continue to produce, same for Mariusz Stepinski. Both Spal strikers took advantage of Benevento’s lousy defence. Giacomo Bonaventura, Douglas Costa and Marcelo Brozovic shined and notched a pair of assist each, Josip Ilicic could have had a similar haul if it was not for Thomas Strakosha and the rest of Lazio’s defenders. Alisson had a couple of tremendous saves.

Guess who is back. It did not propel Napoli to victory, but Dries Mertens and Marek Hamsik snapped their scoring slump. Valter Birsa scored a crucial goal, his first since October.

Surprise scorers. The first three are not that astonishing since they are attackers, but it was their first this season, or in Serie A in general: Rafinha finally coronated a string of good performances with a goal, Giuseppe Rossi found the net after over a year and Seung-Wong Lee had the consolation goal against Milan. Ignazio Abate and Andrea Ranocchia have not started much this year and it was certainly a surprise to see them in the scoresheets: the Milan right back even scored a pretty goal on an open play.

Flops of the round. The defences of Bologna, Torino, Udinese and Verona were already headed for tough games, but the blunders of Sebastien De Maio and Nicolas Burdisso did not help. Napoli’s Mario Rui and Pepe Reina had a miscommunication on Lorenzo De Silvestri’s score, which was probably more on the fullback. Gianluigi Buffon sent an errant pass towards Daniele Rugani, who caused a penalty. Sampdoria did not show up in Sassuolo. Not exactly flops, but Gonzalo Higuain and Ivan Perisic did not join the goal fest thrown by their teammates and Edin Dzeko had a quiet outing.

Clutch goal of the day. Not a ton of late-game heroics in this one, the shut-out goes to Fiorentina’s Bryan Dabo timely trail on a feed by Diego Falcinelli to complete the comeback and defeat Genoa.

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Serie A Player Status Updates – Round 30

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The international break was not that beneficiary for injury recoveries: here are the latest updates.

Juventus: Alex Sandro and Sami Khedira got hurt with their national teams: the muscular injury of the Brazilian left back is believed to be more serious and he will miss the Milan game, while the midfielder has a bruised knee, but he is availableJuan Cuadrado will return on the bench after sports hernia surgery, while Federico Bernardeschi will be available next week and he will not require knee surgery. Mario Mandzukic did not make the squad list due to a last-minute contusion. 

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Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 27

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A triple main-event in the upcoming Serie A round: Juventus take on Lazio on the road, Napoli host Roma and Inter and Milan square off in the Derby della Madonnina.

Lazio-Juventus: the Biancocelesti have won two games in a row, as they always do with the minnows, against Verona and Sassuolo. Ciro Immobile continues to punish opponents and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is in stellar form recently. The last Serie A game of the Bianconeri was postponed, then they got the job done in Coppa Italia against the same opponent, Atalanta. With Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi sidelined and Paulo Dybala working his way back from injury, Douglas Costa has been the one to step up upfront and Mario Mandzukic will play a big role as well. The Old Lady has had a ton of success in Rome in recent years. Their defence is stifling, but they will go against the best scoring attack in the League.

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Serie A Team of the Week – Round 26

Soccer: Serie A; US Sassuolo vs SS Lazio

Few top players and several unexpected contributors popped up in the Serie A team of the week for the last round.

Gianluigi Donnarumma: there were five clean sheets in the last weekend, but there was not a really outstanding goalkeeping performance. Donnarumma, who got seven points like the other goalies who did not allow any goal, gets the nod because he escaped the most difficult match-up.

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Best Serie A Club of the Week – Round 15

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The best club for week 15 was Inter, which took advantage of the clash of the titans between Napoli and Juventus went top of the league by defeating Chievo Verona 5-0.

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