Serie A Match of the Round – Fiorentina vs Inter

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The most anticipated game in a pretty weak round turned out to be the most dramatic, even excessively so. Fiorentina came into the fixture having won just two of their last six matches, but never losing in that stretch, while Inter were coming off two wins in a row, which allowed them to get out of sticky patch.

Looking ahead at the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, Stefano Pioli initially rested both Nikola Milenkovic, who was also a little under the weather, and especially Luis Muriel, trotting out both Vincent Laurini and Federico Ceccherini in the back and Giovanni Simeone up front. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 21

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Juventus: Mario Mandzukic is trying to come back from high strain, but it might be too early. Miralem Pjanic and Joao Cancelo are dealing with minor calf ailments, while Sami Khedira has a sore knee: they are unlikely to be available this week, but the fullback has a shot. Medhi Benatia (groin), Andrea Barzagli (thigh) and Juan Cuadrado (knee) remain out.

Napoli: Marek Hamsik will return from a thigh strain, while Allan is experiencing some back pain and has been ruled out.

Inter: Balde Keita (thigh) will not be able to come back this week, while Sime Vrsaljko is under the weather and also nursing an achy knee. Matteo Politano is fatigued.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 18

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Thomas Strakosha: Lazio have conceded at least a goal in few matches in a row, but they were a little unlucky against Cagliari and the match-up versus Bologna is favorable in that department, since the Rossoblù have scored just seven times at home, the second fewest of any Serie A team, and have had very little juice offensively lately.

Alex Sandro: a trip to Bergamo is never too comfortable for any team, but the Juventus back-line has repelled even better opponents on their way to six consecutive clean sheets. The fullback, fresh off a contract renewal, always makes his presence felt on offense. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 13

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The last round was a little meager in terms of scoring because few teams that were shut out. Here are the best performers.

Stefano Sorrentino (7 points): defenses bounced back after struggling in the match days prior to the break and nine teams managed to keep a clean sheet. None was more impressive than Chievo’s one at San Paolo, where their goalie made eight saves, including a pair of key and beautiful ones. Lukasz Skorupski and Alessio Cragno’s performances to stymie Fiorentina was also noteworthy.

William Troost-Ekong (5 points): a myriad of defenders got five points because their sides did not concede. The Udinese centre-back played a major role in stifling Roma on Saturday, blanketing first Patrik Schick and then Edin Dzeko. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 9

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Here are the suggested players to select ahead of the next round.

Wojciech Szczesny: Juventus doesn’t have the easiest fixture defensively, going against Serie A’s leading scorer, but they have conceded only against Napoli in their last four games and picking their goalie is generally a sound idea when they play at home.

Cristiano Biraghi: the man of the hour as far as the Italian national team is concerned, he is coming off a glorious week. Fiorentina will host Cagliari, which has scored just once on the road so far, and Biraghi is always good for a bunch of crosses and shots throughout the 90 minutes. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 6 & 7

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Because of the midweek round, the point totals in this case comprise two games. Here are the highest earners.

Salvatore Sirigu (14 points): Torino was the only team capable of keeping a clean sheet in both games this week, against Atalanta and Chievo, where they collected four points. Walter Mazzarri is back at it with his unspectacular grit-and-grind playing style, but it paid dividends the last two times, especially for his goalie, who was not particularly threatened in either fixture.

Aleksandar Kolarov (13 points): a fantastic week for the left back, who had a poor start of the season. Just two players scored in both rounds and it is remarkable that a defender pulled it off. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 7

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An action-packed Serie A round is almost completely in the books, here is what happened in the fantasy world.

Standings implications: Juventus downed Napoli in convincing fashion, extending their lead over the pack to six points. Roma are now fully back after triumphing in the Derby della Capitale. Inter extended their winning streak to four games by topping Cagliari. Milan finally played a complete game in Sassuolo. Fiorentina were not that great on Sunday but escaped with a win on a pair of set pieces against Atalanta. Genoa and Torino blitzed Chievo and Frosinone on their own turfs, while Bologna and Parma got two quality home wins versus Udinese and Empoli. Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Round – Fiorentina

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Another second appearance for a team in the club of the week award, as Fiorentina smoked SPAL to return to winning ways after losing in Naples and drawing with Sampdoria in a make-up game. It is early, but they are currently in third position in the standings, while other competitors like Inter, Milan and Roma suffered various degrees of struggling so far.

Stefano Pioli arrayed what is expected to be his go-to line-up this season, with Marko Pjaca as left winger and Marco Benassi, Jordan Veretout and Gerson manning the midfield. Continue reading