Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 20

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Juventus: Miralem Pjanic is suspended, while Douglas Costa (calf) and Rodrigo Bentancur (thigh) are banged up after the Supercoppa, but they could recover by Monday. Mario Mandzukic will be on the mend for a couple more weeks and Medhi Benatia remains iffy with a sore groin.

Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne, Allan and Kalidou Koulibaly are disqualified. Dries Mertens is trying to shake off an ankle sprain and his presence is not 100 percent certain. Marek Hamsik is not expected to come back from his thigh strain. Raul Albiol is fatigued, but available.  Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 19

lazzari

Juventus: Blaise Matuidi and Medhi Benatia missed the last game, but they will be available to play. Federico Bernardeschi has been called up after missing time with a thigh pull. Rodrigo Bentancur is suspended. Juan Cuadrado underwent knee surgery and could be on the shelf for three months. 

Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne and Kalidou Koulibaly were handed two-game bans. Marek Hamsik subbed off against Inter due to a thigh injury and will try to recover for the first game of 2019. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 18

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Thomas Strakosha: Lazio have conceded at least a goal in few matches in a row, but they were a little unlucky against Cagliari and the match-up versus Bologna is favorable in that department, since the Rossoblù have scored just seven times at home, the second fewest of any Serie A team, and have had very little juice offensively lately.

Alex Sandro: a trip to Bergamo is never too comfortable for any team, but the Juventus back-line has repelled even better opponents on their way to six consecutive clean sheets. The fullback, fresh off a contract renewal, always makes his presence felt on offense. Continue reading

Serie A Injury Report – Round 17

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Juventus: Sami Khedira should be back to the squad list after missing time with an ankle sprain. Joao Cancelo, Juan Cuadrado (knee) and Andrea Barzagli are not expected to return in 2018.

Napoli: Simone Verdi is likely to be called up as he has been working with the rest of the team for a week now. Mario Rui missed the last game due to muscle fatigue and has been excluded from the squad list again. Alex Meret has a sore shoulder that needs to be monitored. Allan has been ruled out due to back pain.

Inter: Kwadwo Asamoah is suspended. Matias Vecino (thigh) and Dalbert (calf) have been on the sidelines for the last few games, but they will be available. Joao Miranda is fatigued and is very likely to miss the game. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 17

ACF Fiorentina v AC Milan - Serie A

Lazio-Cagliari: after four draws in a row, the Biancocelesti came a cropper in Bergamo, following another subpar performance. The Sardinians have been unable to win in the past six weeks and they caught on Sunday their first L at home versus Napoli. So both teams are reeling, one more of the other considering their seasonal targets. Simone Inzaghi is giving Sergej Milinkovic-Savic every opportunity to get off his schneid, but he keeps misfiring. Luis Alberto is showing some signs of life, but he is far away from last year’s level of brilliance. So Ciro Immobile and Joaquin Correa remain their only two productive fulcrums, with Marco Parolo at times able to chip in. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 15

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Andrea Consigli: Sassuolo are not in their best period, but they have tightened up in the back and this week they will host a Fiorentina team that has managed to put it on goal just four times on the road, which is the worst clip in the League.

Joao Cancelo: he will try to stick it to the team that did not pick up the option to buy him this summer and the fact that Alex Sandro is unlikely to play will give him more opportunities on offence. Juventus have kept three clean sheets in a row.

Kevin Malcuit: he is always very active when he called upon and he should get the start against the lowly Frosinone. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 13

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The next round could be a little one-sided for the top clubs, but surprises are always around the corner in Serie A and there still a couple of juicy games on deck.

Juventus-SPAL: the Bianconeri prevailed in the always tense match-up with Milan, surviving a penalty but appearing pretty dominant overall. They have won in 11 of the first 12 games, setting a new Serie A-point record to start the season. SPAL looked a little better against Cagliari, but squandered a two-zip lead and had to settle for a tie. They had lost in six of the previous seven fixtures. Mario Mandzukic returned to the starting XI with an immediate goal, then Cristiano Ronaldo bagged another one. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 12

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There are plenty of surprise appearances in the latest edition of the team of the week.

Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): just to highlight how painful it is to pick goalies and defenders, there was only a clean sheet this week, which arrived in an unpredictable spot and only because the Pole parried away a penalty by Gonzalo Higuain.

Alex Sandro (7 points): the Brazilian fullback deservedly gets the token spot for the whole Juventus back-line, which could have crowded the XI since Giorgio Chiellini and Joao Cancelo hauled in five points. Sandro topped them because he sent in a pinpoint cross to assist the first goal. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 10

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Salvatore Sirigu: Torino’s defence has had its up-and-downs, but they will face a Fiorentina team that has been lousy on the road and has scored just two away goals so far.

Francesco Vicari: Frosinone have made some progress, but mostly at home and they have been shutout in three of their four road games, so picking the leader of SPAL’s sturdy back-line could be a decent idea.

Pol Lirola: Bologna have yet to find the target away from the Dall’Ara Stadium, while Sassuolo is fresh off a clean sheet versus Sampdoria. The pesky right back could also do some damage on offence.  Continue reading

SPAL continue their incredible Serie A start

Spal - Perugia

The story of SPAL’s rise up the Serie A table has been one of the stories of the season so far in the Italian top flight.

Earmarked as relegation candidates before the campaign started, following their 17th place finish in 2017-18, just three points off relegation.

However they have begun the 2018-19 season in storming fashion, winning three of their first four Serie A games, and maintaining a 100% home record at the Stadio Paolo Mazza.

The results have been impressive, but the performances have been built on pragmatism, and ensuring that a shaky defence is shored up.

Continue reading