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 Krunic. Continue reading
Marco Giampaolo joined Milan, but Sampdoria made a splash with their new hiring as they have picked former Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco, who has inked a three-year contract, as announced by the club on Saturday. In the last three seasons, the Blucerchiati finished tenth twice and ninth in the most recent one.
Di Francesco was sacked in March after being eliminated in Champions League’s round of 16 by Porto due to a combination of disappointing results, they were outside of the top four spots, and locker room turmoil. He had led the team to the third position and to a deep run in Europe in his first season in the Italian Capital. Continue reading
Juventus: Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi are suspended, while Joao Cancelo and Mario Mandzukic both fractured their nose in the same week and are unavailable for Sunday. Alex Sandro is dealing with a rib contusion. Douglas Costa (calf), Mattia Perin (shoulder) and Sami Khedira (knee) remain sidelined as expected. Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested, while Wojciech Szczesny has suffered a knee injury.
Napoli: Allan and Kalidou Koulibaly are disqualified. Amadou Diawara looked close to returning from a foot fracture for a pair of weeks, but he was again unable to make the squad list, like Adam Ounas that is banged up and David Ospina, who is still in Colombia. Mario Rui is out with an undisclosed injury. Continue reading
Juventus: Paulo Dybala (quad), Douglas Costa (calf), Mario Mandzukic (knee) and Rodrigo Bentancur (thigh) remain on the shelf and have been joined by Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro due to new thigh injuries. Martin Caceres has recovered. Emre Can was removed late from the squad list due to a muscular ailment.
Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne and Allan have both recuperated. Nikola Maksimovic (toe) and Amadou Diawara (foot) stay sidelined.
Inter: Matias Vecino has been ruled out due to a thigh contracture. Continue reading
Andrea Consigli (7 points): a solid week for defences, as ten teams managed to keep a clean sheet. There was no particularly outstanding pieces of goalkeeping though, as the clubs that did not allow a goal mostly stymied the opponents before they could get to shoot. Consigli had a pair of solid saves on Daniel Ciofani early.
Alessio Cragno: the upstart goalie has had a decent season so far and saved a penalty in the stoppage time in the last home game against Sampdoria. More importantly, Cagliari will host Bologna, which have yet to find the target on the road.
Romulo: Genoa have won all three of their home matches, conceding just once. On Sunday, they will square off against Parma, who was shut out in two of their three away fixtures and will be without Gervinho and perhaps Roberto Inglese as well.
Ola Aina: the newcomer was immediately thrusted into a big role because of the injuries of his teammates and he has held his own, bringing a lot of energy on the flanks. Frosinone has scored just once so far, on a penalty. Torino are coming off two straight clean sheets. Continue reading
There was the international break in between, but Sampdoria are the first club this season to earn the shout-out twice in a row. While the first one, which came against Napoli, was a little unexpected, the eruption versus Frosinone was more predictable. The had troubles maintained a high level of performances on the road last season, but they took advantage of a cozy match-up in this case.
Marco Giampaolo confirmed most of his line-up from the previous fixture, but this time chose Omar Colley over Lorenzo Tonelli, who had a physical hiccup during the week, and Gianluca Caprari as attacking midfielder instead of Gaston Ramirez, while Riccardo Saponara was out with a hamstring strain. Continue reading
Some of the biggest names finally delivered in the last weekend: here are the best players for round 4.
Thomas Strakosha (7 points): five teams managed to keep a clean sheet, so few goalies are together atop of the positional rankings. The Albanian had easily the best save of the week, which might easily go down as one of the finest in the year, as he thwarted a point-blank attempt by Francesco Caputo at the last second by sticking his foot out with perfect timing. Continue reading