Spalletti full of praise for Icardi and Lautaro ahead of Napoli showdown

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Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference ahead of Inter’s crucial Serie A match against Napoli tomorrow night. It is clear the 60-year-old Tuscan is under no illusions about how tough an encounter it will be, while he was also full of praise for Argentine duo Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martínez. Here is what he said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre earlier this afternoon: Continue reading

Škriniar happy and proud to extend Inter contract

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On the day he extended his Inter contract until the summer of 2023, Milan Škriniar spoke of his delight to Sky Sport and Inter TV. Here is what the Slovak defender had to say: “It’s a great milestone for me, I’m very happy to have extended my contract with Inter and I’m proud that I’ll be able to wear this shirt in the future. I want to thank the club and the fans for the confidence that they’ve always shown in me. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 37

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Sassuolo-Roma: the Neroverdi were handed their first loss since April last week by Torino, even though they certainly put up a fight, despite not being in need of points. The Giallorossi defeated Juventus with a late surge, garnering their fourth win in the last six rounds, tying in the other two and staying close to the fourth spot. Sassuolo have found the target in five of the last six rounds and La Lupa have not been great defensively on the road: they have spread the wealth around since Domenico Berardi was the only one to bag one in multiple matches. Jeremie Boga, Stefano Sensi, Manuel Locatelli and all the defenders contributed scoring-wise: Boga and Sensi have been their most lively contributors in the last few fixtures. The Giallorossi are getting a lot from Stephan El Shaarawy and Edin Dzeko, while the latest tactical change, if confirmed, would help the likes of Nicolò Zaniolo, Cengiz Under and Justin Kluivert, as the last two would see more minutes. Lorenzo Pellegrini is iffy due to a thigh ailment and his absence could allow Bryan Cristante to have a big role.

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Bargain Hunting: Three Relegation Bound Players

With the Serie A season coming to a close, many of the league’s relegation-bound sides will be putting their best players on the market. Needing to trim their wage bill, some players will be available cheaply, opening the room for bargains. Every year there’s a few players that stick out from the rest, and frankly deserve better than a season in Italy’s second division. Here are three players who might be worth a look into for Italy’s mid-table sides.

Chievo – Mariusz Stepinski (Striker)

In his second season in Italian football, Stepinski has grown immensely as a forward, and has done his best to lead Chievo’s misfiring front-line. While goals proved hard to come by in Verona this season, the Polish forward found the back of the net six times, two of which came in the early goings of the year against Juventus and Roma.

At just 24 years old, Stepinski deserves another shot at top flight football, albeit with a more progressive side. Simply put, any side in the bottom half of the table could make do with his services.

Midfielder Sofian Kiyine could also be of interest to sides looking to bolster their midfield with youth, and has demonstrated he’s more than capable of holding his own.

Empoli – Ismael Bennacer (Center Midfield) 

The Empoli midfielder has been in sensational form this season, and has done exceptionally well at the heart of the Tuscan’s midfield. Bennacer has proven equally capable of shielding the back four, as he is spreading the ball as evidenced through his five assists, and is undoubtedly ready for a bigger club. With many of Serie A’s sides missing a link between attack and defence, the Algerian could prove to be an under-the-radar, low-cost option.

However, English giants Arsenal reportedly have a lowly 6 million euros buy-back clause in the 21-year-old’s contract, and are worth monitoring themselves. With Empoli’s Serie A status in doubt, expect Bennacer to be on the move come summertime.

Teammate Francesco Caputo, and his 15 goals, are also worth mentioning, but his age may prove to be a deterrent for most sides. In any case, the striker could prove to be an interesting option for the newly-promoted sides.

Frosinone – Camillo Ciano (Attacking Midfielder)

With Frosinone going down to Serie B, many of their players will be available rather cheaply. While loanees Francesco Cassata, and Andrea Pinamonti are of great interest, they will return to their parent clubs Sassuolo and Inter respectively. If either is available again, they should definitely be made priorities. However, Serie A’s mid-table to lower tier sides would be wise to focus their attention on attacking midfielder Camillo Ciano. 

The 29-year-old has proven effective in a front two, and is versatile enough to play behind the striker as well. His seven goals and four assists illustrate he’s worthy of Italy’s top flight, and will undoubtedly be on the radar of the newly-promoted outfits looking for goals, and creativity in the final third. As he is nearing 30 years old, Ciano could prove to be a bargain.

Sportiello is worthy of consideration, as well, but is coming off one of his poorer seasons since establishing himself as a number one within Italy.

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Spalletti insists Inter are fully-focused on securing Champions League berth

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Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media ahead of Inter’s crucial Serie A match against Chievo tomorrow night. Here is what the 60-year-old said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre earlier this afternoon: Continue reading

Chievo clash is an absolute must win for Inter

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Just under 12 months ago, Inter secured their long-awaited return to the UEFA Champions League group stage thanks to the most dramatic of late turnarounds against fellow hopefuls Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico. Despite being comfortably in third place for the vast majority of the current campaign, the Nerazzurri have once again shown an unenviable desire to make life difficult for themselves. Indeed, with three games remaining this season, qualification for next season’s edition of Europe’s premier club competition looks far from certain though, crucially, Inter’s fate still very much in their own hands. Continue reading

Ranocchia insists Inter must always aim to be the best

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Having recently extended his contract with Inter until the summer of 2021, Andrea Ranocchia discussed his passion for the Nerazzurri colours during an interview with Sky Sport earlier this week. Here is what the Italian defender had to say about his love of the club and the race to qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage: Continue reading

Politano determined to fire Inter into Champions League

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Matteo Politano spoke to Mediaset earlier this week ahead of Monday night’s crucial Serie A match between Inter and Chievo at San Siro. Here is what the 25-year-old winger had to say: “There are still three games to go. We have a small advantage; therefore, we must do well to achieve our goal as soon as possible. Chievo have already been relegated but there are no gifts in this league. They’ll come to Milan with clear heads and with nothing to lose. Continue reading

Francesco Caputo, the talisman forward keeping Empoli’s Serie A future alive

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Serie A’s heated race for 4th continues to intensify every passing weekend, with Gian Piero Gasperini’s Atalanta occupying the final UEFA Champions League spot and unbothered by the commotion surrounding the chase. But at the bottom of the table lies another, less publicized, battle in surviving the drop to Serie B.

Chievo Verona (confirmed 20th finish) and Frosinone’s (currently 19th) fate has been decided as both are headed down, but there are several jockeying to keep their head above water  – including Empoli who, with the attacking efforts of Francesco Caputo, remain hopeful in rescuing the season.

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Spalletti rues Inter’s inability to make dominance count

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Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media in the aftermath of Inter’s disappointing goalless draw with Udinese this evening. The 60-year-old Tuscan was clearly frustrated by his side’s lack of killer instinct, despite creating a number of good chances throughout the match. Here is what he had to say: Continue reading