Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 33

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Juventus: Mattia Perin and Sami Khedira will undergo season-ending surgeries for shoulder and knee problems respectively. Paulo Dybala sustained a quad strain against Ajax and will miss at least a couple of weeks. Giorgio Chiellini (calf) might be back next week, while Mario Mandzukic might not be back at all due to patellar tendon issues. Douglas Costa (calf) and Martin Caceres (thigh) will skip the next two matches.

Napoli: Raul Albiol (knee surgery) has resumed practicing and might be called up this week, leaving Amadou Diawara as the only injured player. Nikola Maksimovic will be on the mend for a while due to a foot infraction.  Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 32

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Juventus: Blaise Matuidi subbed off against Ajax due to a calf problem, but the injury is not believed to be severe. Emre Can (ankle) and Giorgio Chiellini (calf) will sit Saturday’s game too but they are not distant from returning. Juan Cuadrado is back after knee surgery, while Douglas Costa suffered a new calf problem. Miralem Pjanic, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo have not been called up for rest purposes.

Napoli: Simone Verdi was scatched late for the previous match due to muscle fatigue, but he was called up for the London trip. Raul Albiol (knee) and Amadou Diawara will miss another one, but at least of them could be back next week.

Inter: Marcelo Brozovic suffered a pull of the semitendinosus muscle in the right pull and will miss the Frosinone game and perhaps one more after that. Lautaro Martinez and Stefan De Vrij are set to be called up after being sidelined by thigh ailments. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 29

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Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo picked up a thigh strain while playing with Portugal and is unlikely to play in the next three games. Sami Khedira has been cleared to practice after a heart problem, but it will take him a little longer before playing. Douglas Costa (quad, calf), Juan Cuadrado (knee) and Andrea Barzagli (calf) remain sidelined, while Mattia De Sciglio has recovered from a thigh pull.

Napoli: Fabian Ruiz will be available after a tough flu. Lorenzo Insigne was on track to play but suffered a relapse of a thigh contracture.  Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Milan vs Inter

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Goals galore in few matches in a very exciting Serie A weekend, which culminated in a riveting Derby della Madonnina that easily took home the coveted shout-out.

Milan approached the game looking to carry on the momentum that led them to snatching the third position away from the crosstown rivals with five straight wins. Inter prevailed in the last two Serie A matches, but just endured a bitter elimination from Europa League by the hands of Eintracht Frankfurt.

Gennaro Gattuso confirmed his go-to XI, with Davide Calabria, Tiemoué Bakayoko and Hakan Calhanoglu returning to the lineup after being rested last week. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 27

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Juventus-Udinese: despite being under siege for the whole second half, the Bianconeri survived in Napoli and further broaden their lead atop of the standings. Despite the results in the domestic league, where they have won four in a row and seven in the last eight and are still undefeated, the squad seems to be trending down in the last couple of weeks. The Zebrette are coming off two massive wins over Chievo and Bologna, which allowed them to jump to the 15th position and move seven points clear of the final three spots. Miralem Pjanic and Joao Cancelo are suspended and coach Massimiliano Allegri is expected to heavily rotate the squad ahead of the second leg with Atletico Madrid, but they are not particularly deep. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 19

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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

Three ideals upgrades on Nemanja Matic who Manchester United could sign

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When Nemanja Matic was impressively rising onto the scene during his three years as a Benfica player, the European football experts and well-known journalists of the beautiful game were mentioning him as the perfect defensive-midfielder for one of the big clubs in Europe. In January 2014, Chelsea became seriously active in the transfer window and brought him back to Stamford Bridge and simply never looked back.

With the help of Chelsea and Jose Mourinho’s style of play, the Serbian international became one of the best defensive-midfielders in Europe, as his aggression and physical presence allows him to prevent the opposition’s counter-attacks to be taken into the final third of the pitch. Also, he provided the ideal cover in front of the centre-back partnership of Gary Cahill and John Terry.

However, since completing his move to Manchester United for a figure of £40million in the summer of 2017, he looks to be a player that is clearly past his best and cannot keep up with the intensity of the Premier League. Not only that, he is still somehow being seen as a vital individual by Mourinho himself, despite not being able to complete the much needed interceptions and tackles convincingly.

Game by game, the Old Trafford faithful are increasingly wondering if Mourinho’s favourites in Matic, Ashley Young, Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku get away with below-par performances without any actual criticism. Due to this, the Manchester United supporters are witnessing a style of play that seriously lacks movement on and off the ball, pace on the flanks and creativity itself.

At the age of 30, Matic is showing that he is a player that does not have the capability to add further abilities to his skillset, and it’s a surprise that he is still being utilised ahead of the likes Ander Herrera and Fred, two midfielders that have shown glimpses and small moments of what they can offer to the side. It’s a huge disappointment that he is yet to be dropped to the bench by the manager.

Here are the three individuals that Manchester United could target to replace Matic…

Marcelo Brozovic

During the summer transfer window, Manchester United were one of the few clubs that were linked with Inter Milan’s Marcelo Brozovic, someone who is effectively starting to prove himself at club and country level. The 26-year-old has become a key individual for an Inter Milan side that were on the decline for over the last five years or so, but are now looking to get back to their best as a whole.

From protecting the backline to helping the side move the ball forward into the final third of the pitch, Brozovic has impressively improved over the last couple of years, which has allowed him to achieve over 100 Serie A appearances for Inter Milan and 42 caps for the Croatia national team. Overall, he has the mindset and crucial quality to play for a big European club, including Manchester United.

Tanguy Ndombele

Lyon’s Tanguy Ndombele has arrived onto the scene of French football recently, and he is already proving to everyone that he is perfectly made for the defensive-midfield role. Making a name for himself thanks to his impeccable first touch as well as his dribbling ability, he is starting to mainly play as a box-to-box midfielder as he currently enjoys plays alongside Lucas Tousart in the centre of midfield.

With Ligue 1 growing a reputation for producing terrific individuals within the defensive-midfield department, it’s no secret that Ndombele has the perfect potential to turn into one of the best players in his position in Europe. Although he may not have the natural instincts to intercept the ball and tackle the opposition, his reading of the game and his outstanding stamina will allow him to be in the right place at the right time.

Wilfred Ndidi

Although he will be hugely overlooked as a player because he plays for Leicester City, Wilfred Ndidi is showing on a regular basis of how to be a commanding and influential defensive-midfielder in the Premier League. Compared to the rest of the defensive-midfielders in the league, the Nigerian international has superbly completed the third most interceptions (21) and third most tackles (35).

The only issue for any potential buyers is that Ndidi himself signed a six-year deal with Leicester City in the summer, which does imply that he is committed to the football club that brought him to England in January 2017. However, his ambitions and objectives could change anytime soon, especially if he wants to trophies every year and is aiming to play for one of the best teams in Europe.

Serie A Injury Report – Round 13

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Juventus: Federico Bernardeschi and Sami Khedira will not play this week because of an adductor issue and an ankle sprain. Miralem Pjanic should be available after a little muscular ailment with Bosnia. Emre Can is recovering from thyroid surgery. The two German players could return within a couple of weeks, the Italian winger sooner.

Napoli: Simone Verdi worked his way back from a thigh problem, but rolled his ankle in practice and could miss some time. Amin Younes has shaken off the Achilles injury, but he had the same problem of his teammate, even though his one is considered milder. Alex Meret is dealing with a sore shoulder on top of going through a bumpy rehab from a forearm fracture. Dries Mertens got a bruise in practice. Continue reading

In form Inter Milan continue dominant Serie A form

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Inter Milan are the most in form side in Serie A, with Luciano Spalletti’s registering their seventh straight league win on Saturday.

They saw off Genoa in style at the San Siro on Saturday, with an emphatic 5-0 victory, keeping them in second place in the table, ahead of Napoli on goal difference, and six points behind leaders Juventus.

Whilst Max Allegri’s side are still unbeaten so far this season, in domestic and European competition, they did drop points in a 1-1 draw against Genoa in October.

Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Week – Inter

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Frosinone were pipped at the post as far as the award goes: their showing in Ferrara was as impressive as surprising, even though there were some positive signs lately and the pesky trident composed by Joel Campbell, Daniele Ciofani and Camillo Ciano gives them a puncher’s chance in the relegation race. However, Inter beat Lazio three-nothing at the Olimpico and therefore they deservedly get the shout-out.

The game was in doubt until the late afternoon because of inclement weather, but, aside for a quick downpour, it was generally not ruined by the rain. Continue reading