Serie A Best XI – Round Eight

Alex Meret (7 points): Napoli would have found themselves in an early hole if it was not for his spectacular triple save in the span of ten seconds on point-blank attempts by Darko Lazovic, Matteo Pessina and Mariusz Stepinski.

William Troost-Ekong (5 points): if Udinese are rock-solid at home a lot of the credit goes to their defensive linchpin and to his quiet leadership, which contributed to holding in check the likes of Andrea Belotti and company. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Five

Standings implications: Inter and Juventus gained some ground in the standings thanks to their wins over Lazio and Brescia, as Napoli were stunned at home by Cagliari. Atalanta are now in third after an excellent victory over Roma. The Sardinians are right there in fifth. Parma took advantage of Sassuolo’s road woes, while Genoa and Bologna and Verona and Udinese shared the spoils in goalless matches. In the lower zones, Fiorentina finally prevailed, over the reeling Sampdoria, while Lecce sunk SPAL away. Torino mounted an improbable comeback against Milan, considering how the game was going up to that point and moved to the 4th spot.  Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round Two

Atalanta: Timothy Castagne will miss another one as he is recovering from a meniscus tear, but he should be ready after the break.

Bologna: no absentees for the Felsinei who will play tonight.

Brescia: Mario Balotelli continue serving his suspension, while Giangiacomo Magnani will miss another one too. Ernesto Torregrossa has recovered and might start. Continue reading

Serie A Weekly Transfer Market Recap

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Another interesting transfer market week is in the books: Roma was the most active among the top teams, both acquiring and selling players. After three solid seasons, Stephan El Shaarawy was lured away by Chinese money, while Pau Lopez from Real Betis is their new starting goalkeeper. They let go two fringe players: Gerson joined Flamengo after the up-and-down loan spell to Fiorentina, while Ivan Marcano returned to Porto after failing to make an impression last season. After much wait, Inter finally concluded the negotiation to sign Nicolò Barella from Cagliari, while Milan announced Rade KrunicContinue reading

Is it the end for Samuel Umtiti at Barcelona?

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There was a time, not so long ago, when Samuel Umtiti was considered untouchable at Barcelona.

One of a select band of players that, come hell or high water, were not going anywhere.

Part of the furniture might be an apt description for the Frenchman at that point.

But how quickly things can change… Continue reading

What next for Barcelona’s Todibo, Murillo and Boateng?

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As we hurtle towards the end of another gruelling La Liga campaign, Barcelona will already be looking towards a successful 2019/20 season, and to that end Eric Abidal will need to do some wheeler-dealing in the transfer market.

With Matthijs De Ligt just one name being mentioned as a possible new signing, it’s clear that the Catalans will have plenty to do across the summer.

The futures of most of their players remain crystal clear, but there are question marks too. Continue reading

De Ligt and a summer of change at Barcelona

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After capturing the mercurial talent of Frenkie De Jong, it appears that Barcelona are in pole position to sign his current Ajax team-mate, Matthijs De Ligt.

The 19-year-old centre-back is wanted by all of Europe’s top clubs but has allegedly told those close to him that he ‘only wants Barcelona.’

That’s a real coup for the Catalans, who see De Ligt as a future captain of the club and a player who’ll be a mainstay in their defence for the next decade. Continue reading

Barcelona linked with shock move for Alberto Moreno

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Barcelona have been linked a surprise summer move for Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno, as they look to find cover for Jordi Alba ahead of the 2019-20 La Liga season.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have been rumoured to be keen on a number of left backs in recent months, as the former Athletic Bilbao boss looks to establish permanent cover for Alba.

With their interest rebuffed for Atletico Madrid’s Filipe Luis, La Blaugrana have struggled to attract players on the premise of playing a supporting role for the Catalan side next season.

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Barcelona face tough run, as Real Madrid mount challenge

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Defending La Liga champions are facing a tough run of fixtures in domestic and European action, just as bitter rivals Real Madrid are preparing a late bid for the league title.

Ernesto Valverde’s side have drawn their last two league games, against Valencia and Athletic Bilbao, dropping four key points, in the same fortnight that Santiago Solari’s team have beaten Alaves and Atletico Madrid.

That has nudged Los Blancos ahead of their city rivals as the Catalan side’s main challengers, and the current leaders will be looking over their shoulder.

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Barcelona keen on PSG star Adrien Rabiot

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La Liga leaders Barcelona have confirmed their interest in signing French international Adrien Rabiot from Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain.

The midfielder’s contract expires at the end of the 2018-19 season, and he is free to confirm terms with non French teams during the January transfer window, with a view to sealing a move in the summer.

His situation has become increasingly tense with the French giants, with widespread reports that he has been banned from the club’s dressing room on match days by the club’s hierarchy.

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