Juventus: Mario Mandzukic has practiced fully this week so he has recovered from an ankle sprain. Sami Khedira has resumed training regularly in the last couple of days after a hamstring strain and he could be available in limited capacity on Saturday. Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi are fatigued and have been ruled out by coach Allegri. Emre Can will miss 30-40 days after having his thyroid removed for some nodules.
Juventus: Paulo Dybala had a little scare with Argentina, but his knee is fine. Daniele Rugani nursed a rib fracture during the break. The only injured player is Sami Khedira, who is dealing with a hamstring strain. Leonardo Spinazzola is close, but he has not been called up for this weekend.
Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne has picked up a minor injury and will not be available. Kalidou Koulibaly returned early from international duties because of muscle fatigue and he is likely to rest. Faouzi Ghoulam (kneecap fracture), Amin Younes (torn Achilles) and Alex Meret (arm fracture) are inching closer to a return but the could be held out for another week. Sebastiano Luperto is fatigued. Continue reading
It will be inevitably a quieter round compared to the previous ginormous one, but Serie A never lacks reasons to tune in.
Udinese-Juventus: the Zebrette have certainly been more interesting this season, but after losing just once in the first five games, they have been defeated two times in a row, against Lazio and Bologna, so their point total is not that conspicuous. The Bianconeri from Piedmont, on the other hand, are coming off a seminal win over the main title contenders, Napoli, and have prevailed in the first nine games of the season. They will eventually come a cropper, but they have had a lot of success in the past in this stadium. Rodrigo De Paul has been leading the charge for the home team, but very little help scoring-wise from his teammates: Kevin Lasagna notched just one, Lukasz Teodorczyk and Darwin Machis are still scoreless, Ignacio Pussetto found his first last week. Continue reading
The next round presents a couple of interesting matches.
Milan-Roma: the Rossoneri looked decent in their debut in Naples, but lasted only about an hour, up until their second goal, then showed the defensive deficiencies that held them back last season. While they work on how to feed Gonzalo Higuain properly, the usual fantasy studs shined as Giacomo Bonaventura scored and Suso provided an assist. The return of Hakan Calhanoglu will give them a boost. The Wolf is even more a work in progress after the departure of Kevin Strootman and brand-new hierarchies in the midfield and in the attack. Continue reading
After some flashes in the first match day, the second one is more intriguing on paper.
Juventus-Lazio: the Old Lady had to toil to defeat Chievo, but the attack confirmed to be deep and hard to contain, even though few players had an off game, while the defence needs some fine-tuning. Cristiano Ronaldo was electric, but teammates had troubles finding him and Paulo Dybala and Douglas Costa suffered from the fact that the spaces were all clogged up. Among the forwards, Federico Bernardeschi certainly looked the most in-form. Perhaps things will be a little more open against better competition. The Portuguese was devastating on the wing, which is good news for Mario Mandzukic, his ideal partner in crime, and for Alex Sandro as well because he had much more room to operate. Continue reading
It was a quieter week on the transfer market front, but a ginormous deal still went down as Roma sold Alisson to Liverpool. Milan will participate to Europa League as they won the appeal in front of the CAS. Parma and Chievo are still awaiting judgement on the trials that have put their Serie A stay in danger.
SPAL made a considerable investment to bring in Andrea Petagna from Atalanta, who would cost €15M if they avoided relegation, therefore triggering the obligation to buy. They had signed a similar striker in Marco Borriello last year, but that did not pay off. Continue reading