As predictable, several Serie A contributors made the EFL Team of the Month in July, as the Italian League finished late and had more rounds than the other ones across the continent. There are some expected names such as Sassuolo’s stars Francesco Caputo (31 points) and Domenico Berardi (24 points), who have been lights out in last 30 days, and some odd ones, like Inter’s Danilo D’Ambrosio (29 points), who benefitted from few clean sheets on top of scoring, and Atalanta’s Mario Pasalic (24 points), who amassed almost his rntire haul thanks to a hat-trick. Continue reading
Brescia: they actually played better than expected versus Lazio, where they had some opportunities to score, in particular with Ernesto Torregrossa, but were unable to cash in. Several injuries left them with a skeleton crew as Torregrossa, Florian Aye, Nikolas Spalek and Jaromir Zmrhal are the only attackers available. All of them, excluding Aye, have been able to hit the net recently, while Sandro Tonali and Bruno Martella have been pretty good in the less offensive roles.
Suggested picks: Torregrossa, Spalek, Zmrhal. Continue reading
Alessio Cragno (7 points): it was revenge of the defences in the penultimate round, as six teams managed to keep the clean sheet. Among their goalies, the Cagliari one stood out the most in the Juventus match, as he produced several great saves, with the best one coming on a late scorcher.
Danilo D’Ambrosio (9 points): Antonio Conte fielded him as tactical centre-back and the move panned out against Napoli as he was not shy in attacking despite the role and Napoli were outnumbered when it came to covering men, so he found himself wide-open in the box on a deep incursion and finished with aplomb. Continue reading
AC Milan got the job done against Sampdoria this evening, finding the back of the net four times to pave the way for a comfortable win away from home. The Rossoneri’s quality is undeniable at this point and the decision to keep Stefano Pioli for next season is looking more and more like the right one.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic got Milan off the mark after just four minutes with a nice header, picked out by Ante Rebic in the box. The latter made use of his trademark turn while shielding the ball, easily beating his man before adding the assist to his tally. In the second half, it was time for Ibra and Hakan Calhanoglu’s show. Continue reading
Parma: Dejan Kulusevski willed them to victory, again, versus the lowly Brescia with an assist and a scorcher and he is finishing his stay in style, while Gervinho has been pretty paltry in recent matches, scoring just once in the last seven. Gianluca Caprari took advantage of his increased minutes and converted a PK, while among the other back-ups Luca Siligardi has been the liveliest. Roberto Inglese is tough to trust since his minutes are still spotty. Juraj Kucka returned from a short absence and he and Jasmin Kurtic are surely capable of doing damage offensively. Matteo Darmian is coming off his first goal of the season and also Riccardo Gagliolo notched one lately but their fullbacks will have their hands full defensively in this one.
Suggested picks: Kulusevski, Kucka, Caprari. Continue reading
Standings implications: Juventus did not squander the second chance to wrap up the title race and took home the ninth Scudetto in a row with a two-nil win against Sampdoria. Inter leapfrogged Atalanta in second position with a comfortable win over Genoa, while the Goddess shared the spoils with Milan. Roma gained two points over the Rossoneri in the race to the fifth spot as they topped Fiorentina. Napoli helped those two team out by defeating Sassuolo in a bizarro game and there are no longer doubts regarding who will qualify to Europa League, it is just a matter of positioning. Parma eked out one in Brescia. With Lecce losing to Bologna in heart-breaking fashion, everybody is safe besides Genoa, even tough Torino could not beat SPAL, while Udinese bested Cagliari.
Ahead of tonight’s game against Atalanta, AC Milan were two points behind Roma in the standings, with the Giallorossi sitting in fifth place. Although the Rossoneri failed to grab all three points and at least temporarily move up, they secured an important point against a very good team.
At the start, the game was what you would have expected. Atalanta controlled the game and put a lot of pressure on Stefano Pioli, who managed to fight back and win a free-kick in the 14th minute. Hakan Calhanoglu stepped up and scored a fantastic goal, giving his side the lead against the run of play. Continue reading
Milan: the Rossoneri came out on top again versus Sassuolo, exploiting the one-man advantage like the veteran team they are. Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted a brace to snap out of a short slump and Hakan Calhanoglu continued to do his thing with two more assists. The Turk has been raining hellfire for a while now, while Ante Rebic’s scoring binge has abated a little bit, but he obviously remains a strong option. They will not have two key men in Ismael Bennacer and Theo Hernandez and their replacements are not on the fantasy radar. Alexis Saelemaekers and Franck Kessie also found the target recently, but in easier match-ups. Giacomo Bonaventura has picked up few bonuses but he is a risky play because of his sporadic minutes.
Suggested picks: Calhanoglu, Ibrahimovic, Rebic. Continue reading
Pietro Terracciano (7 points): he got the nod in the previous round due to a process of elimination, instead he fully deserved against Inter, stopping the opponents multiple times with great saves and a little help coming from the woodwork and putting together a man-of-the-man performance.
Bruno Peres (8 points): not one but two goals for the Brazilian fullback, who is loving life in a very offensive role in Roma’s newly-hatched scheme and punished SPAL on two occasions with deep cuts in the box and sharp finishes. He is looking like his old Torino self. Continue reading
Atalanta: they were stymied a bit by their mini clones of Verona, but Duvan Zapata still came through, scoring for the third game in a row, and they had few chances to win it especially with Mario Pasalic, who was coming off a hat-trick. Ruslan Malinovskyi was not as effective in the Josip Ilicic’s role, while he had shined as pure no.10, in lieu of Alejandro Gomez, and that is something to monitor because El Papu does not rest often, while Ilicic is in poor conditions and will be managed cautiously. Luis Muriel might be a better candidate for that spot, while Pasalic is always very involved offensively whenever he is fielded. No doubts on the flanks this round around since Hans Hateboer is suspended and both Robin Gosens and Timothy Castagne are strong options.
Suggested picks: Zapata, Gomez, Muriel. Continue reading