Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Four

Juventus-Verona: the Old Lady had a subpar performance in Florence but obviously will be in a much better spot this week at home against a relegation struggler. Cristiano Ronaldo usually does not go scoreless for long and Gonzalo Higuain is not a bad pick either, as for now the coach has refrained from using Paulo Dybala there. Douglas Costa, who was their go-to-guy so far, will miss time, so Federico Bernardeschi and Juan Cuadrado will return to prominence. Until the coach entrusts one of the newcomers, Aaron Ramsey in particular, Sami Khedira remains the most appealing midfielder for his offensive dexterity. Their defenders are surely worth consideration. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Round – Napoli

Just one shout-out win with multiple goals in this round and it belonged to Napoli, as Sampdoria find themselves again on the wrong end of the column despite showing some improvements compared to the first two outings.

The Partenopei wanted to put behind them a very bitter loss to Juventus considering the way it went down, while they had prevailed over Fiorentina in the opener. Carlo Ancelotti tweaked his system moving Fabian Ruiz back to pivot, Piotr Zielinski filled in for the banged up Lorenzo Insigne on the left flank and Hirving Lozano partnered Dries Mertens up front. Elijf Elmas and Nikola Maksimovic gave Allan and Kostas Manolas a breather ahead the mammoth Champions League clash with Liverpool. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Three

Fiorentina-Juventus: despite the two tough losses, la Viola showed some intriguing stuff up front against both Napoli and Genoa. The potential is there, but the whole team needs to tighten up and build up some chemistry. Franck Ribery is primed to get more minutes after the break and they should finally counter-balance a line-up that is always too reliant on Federico Chiesa. The ones that will benefit the most are the centre-forwards and for the time being Kevin-Prince Boateng will likely be the top option until Dusan Vlahovic and Pedro find their footing. Gaetano Castrovilli has already shown that he can be dangerous with his cuts, while Erick Pulgar hit the net twice on penalties and will have more opportunities to put his shooting prowess to good use in a slightly modified role. Continue reading

Serie A Deadline Day Recap

A pretty eventful deadline day in Italy ended with the most anticipated news of the summer as Mauro Icardi finally left Inter to join PSG on loan with option. Roma finished off their summer with two more international additions: Nikola Kalinic and Henryk Mkhitaryan, while Milan brought in another striker in Ante Rebic, sending André Silva to Eintracht Frankfurt in return.

Napoli rounded up their attack by signing free agent Fernando Llorente, who is back in Italy after playing for two seasons at Juventus. The Spaniard has not been prolific with Tottenham, just two goals in Premier League in the last two seasons while he scored a bit more in the various cups, but they wanted a back-up for Arkadiusz Milik and he could be useful in late-game situations. Continue reading

EPL Player of the Week – Lucas Moura (Tottenham)

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Tottenham welcomed Huddersfield Town to their new Tottenham Hotspur Stadium at the weekend, and sent the home crowd home very happy indeed with a 4-0 win over the Premier League’s bottom side. The performance was as impressive as one may expect of a side with Spurs’ quality, though goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was barely troubled throughout the game. He was only called into action in the dying stages to keep a free-kick from Huddersfield’s Juninho Bacuna out of the net, but otherwise it was a great showing all round. The star, however, was easily Spurs midfielder Lucas Moura. Victor Wanyama opened the scoring on 24 minutes, but Moura scored just three minutes later when he was played in by Moussa Sissoko – and never looked back.

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Mauricio Pochettino caused his own Harry Kane dilemma

Harry Kane had a strong case to be the best striker in the world a few months ago. Since then, despite a World Cup Golden Boot, his stock has fallen drastically. Kane is still a threat, as any player with his track record is, but he is not the same player he has been for the last few seasons.

He has had dips like this post-injury in the past. They have been shorter than this one, though, and Mauricio Pochettino has easily found a way to give him rest. The challenge this time is that Spurs are only coming under greater pressure. Resting Kane becomes a gutsier decision with each poor result, even though his lack of explosiveness has played a significant role in their recent struggles.

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Tottenham Face Injury Crisis For Newcastle Trip

Newcastle United–Tottenham Hotspur

English Premier League, Week 1

11.8.2018

Still waiting for the building of their new stadium to be completed, Tottenham travel north to St James’ Park, taking on Newcastle with the visitors arriving following a strange summer of inactivity.  Continue reading

Juventus sign Emre Can from Liverpool

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Juventus’ pursuit of Emre Can, which has been going on basically since last Autumn, has finally come to an end as the midfielder has penned a four-year contract on Thursday, the club announced. There is reportedly a €50M release clause that works only for foreign teams and starts from the third season in there. The Bianconeri technically signed him on a free transfer since his deal with Liverpool had expired, but they stated they will incur in €16M additional costs, meaning the agents’ fee.

A product of Bayern Munich’s youth system, Can made a name for himself at Bayer Leverkusen, before transferring to the Reds in 2014. In his four seasons at Anfield, he collected 167 appearances and scored 14 times.

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Harry Kane’s injury couldn’t have come at a worse time for Spurs

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Tottenham striker Harry Kane damaged his ankle ligaments in the 4-1 win over Bournemouth over Saturday.

Initially, there were concerns about Harry Kane’s involvement in the upcoming World Cup. However, the North London have now issued a statement confirming that the England striker is expected to be back in full-training next month. Nevertheless, Kane’s injury is still a huge blow for the North London side, who are involved in an intense battle for top-four places. Continue reading