Atalanta: Timothy Castagne is out with a sore knee for the second week in a row.
Bologna: Mattia Bani and Nicola Sansone are suspended. Stefano Denswil and Gary Medel and Ladislav Krejci (knee) remain sidelined.
Brescia: 4-3-1-2 Joronen; Sabelli, Cistana, Chancellor, Mateju; Bisoli, Tonali, Romulo; Spalek; Donnarumma, Torregrossa.
Potential lineup changes: Alfonso for Joronen, Dessena for Spalek, Aye for Donnarumma.
Probable: Joronen (flu).
Brescia-Milan: the Rondinelle have lost in three of the last four games, with two draws in the other ones, while the Rossoneri are coming off two victories and have been able to take care of easier away match-ups under Stefano Pioli: road win.
SPAL-Bologna: the Estensi have prevailed in two of the last four rounds (both away against Torino and Atalanta), the Rossoblù instead have not done in the last three (two draws), but came out on top in two of the last three trips. The stats are pretty confounding so the pick is a draw. Continue reading
Bartlomiej Dragowski: after a long period of time where they always conceded, Fiorentina have kept two clean sheets in a row and their young goalie shined. They will host Genoa this week, which have scored more than once in just one of the last five rounds. Among their defenders, Pol Lirola is finally on the up-and-up.
Matthijs De Ligt: the starlet has been impressive in the last few matches and, while the Juventus defence has had troubles blanking opponents, they rarely give up multiple goals and could be able to contain Napoli’s stammering attack in check. Continue reading
Juventus punched their ticket to the Coppa Italia semi-finals courtesy of the prairies left by Roma in the first half and will face the winner of the Milan-Torino contest.
Leonardo Bonucci: one player in each role made it to stat-sheet so compiling the list is not exactly rocket science. The captain quite miraculously avoided the offside trap on the second ball after a set piece to notch yet another goal in what is becoming a prolific season for a defender. It was instead Daniele Rugani who stood out for his work in the back with a pair of timely reads, general precision and also a little more physicality than usual. Gianluigi Buffon was unlucky on the goal but avoided troubles with a great coming out on an unguarded Alessandro Florenzi in a one-on-one situation deep into the second half, preventing a major turn of the worst. The one-handed save in the final minutes was even prettier but not as significant. Danilo got hurt pretty early, while Alex Sandro turned his usual solid but unspectacular shift it. Continue reading
Maurizio Sarri kept his cards close to the vest regarding the XI in the presser ahead of the Coppa Italia tilt against Roma: “I expect a very difficult game, you just need to look at Roma’s results on the road to have proof of that. They conceded little and score as much as at home. They are a quality team. We would lose sight of reality if we thought we are not going to have some challenging moments against them.” Continue reading
Bartlomiej Dragowski (7 points): quite amazingly, there was only just one clean sheet in this round and it belonged to Fiorentina, who were stout defensively against Napoli, which are in a tough sledding still have weapons and talent up front. La Viola are finally tightening it up in the back, showcasing the solidity of their young goalie.
Pol Lirola (7 points): he outpaced his fellow teammates, who all racked up five points, since he fed Dusan Vlahovic prior to the second goal, although most of the credit goes to the teammate for that missile. He has been a non-factor so far this season, perhaps the assists will get him going. Continue reading
The most dramatic match of the round was quite decisively Milan-Udinese, which was back and forth throughout the ninety minutes and was decided in the final moments.
The Rossoneri came into the game looking to build onto a convincing win over Cagliari last week and to get closer to the top six, while the Zebrette had won three in a row, putting the relegation zone in the rear-view mirror. Continue reading
Lazio had a field day against Sampdoria and took home the coveted award despite giving up a consolation goal, as they pushed their winning streak to 11 in commanding fashion.
Simone Inzaghi had Joaquin Correa available this week, but he kept him initially on the bench coming off a calf injury, so Felipe Caicedo partnered Ciro Immobile up front, while Jony replaced the suspended Senad Lulic on the left wing. Claudio Ranieri kept the slightly banged up Fabio Quagliarella on the bench, which pretty much tipped how things were going to unfold. Continue reading
Juventus did not offer the cleanest nor the most inspiring performance versus Parma, but managed to take home three vital points once again propelled by Cristiano Ronaldo’s scoring prowess.
Matthijs De Ligt: another game, another key block for the Dutch starlet, who got in the way of a sure-fire attempt by Mattia Sprocati that Wojciech Szczesny probably would not have not been able to save. He also trucked and outjumped few opponents, as per usual. The Bianconeri gave up an avoidable goal, this time on a corner kick, so not only the defenders were at fault and also a lot of the credit goes to Andreas Cornelius’ gorgeous header. The goalkeeper responded well when challenged, especially on long-range attempts. Danilo entered the game with a purpose after Alex Sandro subbed off and had a flashy performance, hitting the post on an offensive incursion. More of the same understated brilliance instead out of Leonardo Bonucci. Continue reading