Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo remains on the mend, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukicjoined him due to a calf ailment and the flu. No recoveries among their long-term injured players.
Napoli: Dries Mertens suffered a blow to the tibia against Roma, while Elseid Hysaj has some muscle fatigue: they are questionable but they have been called up. Lorenzo Insigne is not expected to be back in this round, while David Ospinaremains sidelined with a head injury. Raul Albiol, Vlad Chiriches, Faouzi Ghoulam and Amadou Diawara remain out. Continue reading →
Andrei Radu (7 points): there was just one clean sheet in this round and amazingly it was the top scoring offence, Juventus’ one, that got shackled, so the Genoa goalie was the only one to bring home seven points and he did not even had to sweat too much to do it.
Domenico Criscito (5 points): he gets the token spot for the Griffon’s back-line, which featured all the highest earners among defenders, for his diligent work on both phases. He has been a crossing machine after switching to left back. Continue reading →
Salvatore Sirigu: Torino have kept five clean sheets in a row, four straight at home, against opponents that are much more equipped than Chievo and the Flying Donkeys have scored in just one of the last four road games.
Danilo D’Ambrosio: Cagliari’s offensive output has been rather pedestrian in the last two months, so picking an Inter defender could be a smart choice even though they are on the road. The right back is also occasionally able to put his name in the scoresheet.
Jens Larsen: Bologna are definitely friskier after the coaching change, but the Udinese wing back has been able to rack up bonus points in four of their last five home fixtures. Continue reading →
Standings implications: Juventus tacked on two more points to their lead, as they walloped Frosinone, while Napoli could not come up with a goal versus Torino. Inter seem fully back as they showed some fight against Sampdoria, winning their second in a row. Milan prevailed in the key clash with Atalanta, remaining in control of the Champions League race. Lazio got beat in the final minutes by Genoa. Roma kept up with the Rossoneri by edging Bologna. Fiorentina leapfrogged Torino and Sampdoria thanks to the drubbing they handed to SPAL. Empoli jumped out of the relegation zone with a commanding victory over Sassuolo, closing the gap with the Estensi, but also Udinese and Cagliari snatched the full loot despite much tribulation, against Chievo and Parma. Continue reading →
Juventus: Joao Cancelo has a torn meniscus and will return after the break. Juan Cuadrado hyperextended his knee against Young Boys and he will not play in the weekend, while Medhi Benatia (knee soreness) has recovered. Rodrigo Bentancur is suspended, Sami Khedira will not come back from his ankle injury. Andrea Barzagli is out with a quad strain.
Napoli: Mario Rui subbed off against Liverpool due to a muscular injury that has yet to be evaluated, while Simone Verdi should make the squad list after being on the mend for a good chunk due to a pair of injury, the latest being an ankle sprain. Continue reading →
The third stint of Ivan Juric on Genoa’s bench is over as the club elected to move on and hired former Fiorentina and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. In the seven games at the helm after taking over from Davide Ballardini, the Croatian manager picked up three draws, against Juventus, Udinese and Sampdoria, and four losses, versus Milan, Inter, Napoli and Torino.
The elimination on penalty kicks against Serie C team Virtus Entella in Coppa Italia did him in, alongside the uninspiring brand of football his team has been playing, some locker room tension and the fact that he has not been able to solve the defensive issues like he was supposed to when he was chosen. Continue reading →
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.
In a rather surprising news on Tuesday, Genoa have announced the dismissal of coach Davide Ballardini and the return of Milan Juric. The Grifone have currently four wins and three losses and are in 12th position in the standings, but president Enrico Preziosi had voiced his displeasure with the direction of the team after the bad home loss against Parma in the weekend. In particular, he was reportedly unconvinced of the manager’s defensive plans, since they have already conceded 14 points.
Ballardini was appointed last November, replacing Juric, and led them to a serene season, where they finished in 12th position, 16 points above the relegation line. Continue reading →
A two-game round is coming up, so it is better to play the hits rather than chasing longshots.
Emil Audero: Sampdoria have conceded the least goals so far, three, and the youngster certainly held his own. They have a reasonably favourable schedule, considering they will face Cagliari on the road, which will likely be without Leonardo Pavoletti and then will host SPAL.
Domenico Criscito: similarly to Blucerchiati, Genoa have two decent match-ups in the next four days, as they will face the sputtering Chievo at home and then pay a visit to the reeling Frosinone. The ex-Zenit has already picked up three assists. Continue reading →
Some of the biggest names finally delivered in the last weekend: here are the best players for round 4.
Thomas Strakosha (7 points): five teams managed to keep a clean sheet, so few goalies are together atop of the positional rankings. The Albanian had easily the best save of the week, which might easily go down as one of the finest in the year, as he thwarted a point-blank attempt by Francesco Caputo at the last second by sticking his foot out with perfect timing. Continue reading →