Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 9

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Serie A returns with a pretty decent slate capped off by the mouth-watering Milan derby on Sunday night.

Roma-Spal: the Giallorossi have solved some of their initial problems and have put together a three-game winning streak, defeating Frosinone, Lazio and Empoli. The Estensi are going in opposite direction, since have suffered four straight losses, to Fiorentina, Sassuolo, Sampdoria and Inter, after a hot start. Eusebio Di Francesco seems to have found the right scheme for his men, a 4-2-3-1 with Lorenzo Pellegrini in the hole. The youngster has been remarkable filling in for the injured Javier Pastore, to the point that there is a real competition here. Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Round – Juventus

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Three of the top Serie A teams, Juventus, Napoli and Roma, came away with two-nothing wins in the last round. The Giallorossi were pretty lucky to not concede considering Empoli’s chances, Sassuolo had a couple of menacing spurts, so the most convincing club this week was the Old Lady, which simply walloped Udinese on the road.

For once, Massimiliano Allegri fielded his best available XI without much rotation, with Paulo Dybala completing the trident and Rodrigo Bentancur over Emre Can in the midfield, which was missing Sami Khedira who had a relapse of his hamstring injury. Continue reading

Allegri talks before Udinese-Juventus

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Massimiliano Allegri touched on some hot-button issue in the pre-game ahead of Udinese-Juventus: “We play many games and, besides the technical aspects and the chemistry, I have to rotate the attack. The physical and the mental elements will be decisive tomorrow.”

On Cristiano Ronaldo: “He is fine. I have known him for just months ago, but I can say that in his whole career he always proved to be a great professional on and off the pitch and he does a lot of charity. He will play tomorrow. He agreed with the Portugal coach and Federation president to not play with the national team this year. It is a delicate moment, but he has broad shoulders. He is serene.” Continue reading

Bonucci and Bernardeschi talk current Juventus squad and more

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Leonardo Bonucci and Federico Bernardeschi gave two interviews today, one to Corriere di Torino and the other to Tuttosport. Here are the highlights, starting with the defender, who began by addressing the fact that he has made peace with the fans: “It is nice to receive a round of applause from the Curva, like it happened on Saturday. I have always had the utmost respect for the supporters, but you can not erase what happened. However, I give something more in black-and-white. I hope one day to hear them scream my name, like in the past.” Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 8

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It will be inevitably a quieter round compared to the previous ginormous one, but Serie A never lacks reasons to tune in.

Udinese-Juventus: the Zebrette have certainly been more interesting this season, but after losing just once in the first five games, they have been defeated two times in a row, against Lazio and Bologna, so their point total is not that conspicuous. The Bianconeri from Piedmont, on the other hand, are coming off a seminal win over the main title contenders, Napoli, and have prevailed in the first nine games of the season. They will eventually come a cropper, but they have had a lot of success in the past in this stadium. Rodrigo De Paul has been leading the charge for the home team, but very little help scoring-wise from his teammates: Kevin Lasagna notched just one, Lukasz Teodorczyk and Darwin Machis are still scoreless, Ignacio Pussetto found his first last week. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 6 & 7

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Because of the midweek round, the point totals in this case comprise two games. Here are the highest earners.

Salvatore Sirigu (14 points): Torino was the only team capable of keeping a clean sheet in both games this week, against Atalanta and Chievo, where they collected four points. Walter Mazzarri is back at it with his unspectacular grit-and-grind playing style, but it paid dividends the last two times, especially for his goalie, who was not particularly threatened in either fixture.

Aleksandar Kolarov (13 points): a fantastic week for the left back, who had a poor start of the season. Just two players scored in both rounds and it is remarkable that a defender pulled it off. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Juventus vs Napoli

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The most anticipated match-up of the early portion of the season did not disappoint and, for a change, was played at a fast pace and with a proactive attitude by both sides. Juventus came out on top by overwhelming Napoli led by their big-ticket summer acquisition, but the Partenopei confirmed their competitivity on Saturday, even though it will be tough for anybody to keep up with the seven-time Italian Champions in the standings.

The Old Lady came into the game having won every fixture, while Napoli dropped points just once as they were defeated by Sampdoria. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 7

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An action-packed Serie A round is almost completely in the books, here is what happened in the fantasy world.

Standings implications: Juventus downed Napoli in convincing fashion, extending their lead over the pack to six points. Roma are now fully back after triumphing in the Derby della Capitale. Inter extended their winning streak to four games by topping Cagliari. Milan finally played a complete game in Sassuolo. Fiorentina were not that great on Sunday but escaped with a win on a pair of set pieces against Atalanta. Genoa and Torino blitzed Chievo and Frosinone on their own turfs, while Bologna and Parma got two quality home wins versus Udinese and Empoli. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 7

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A seminal Serie A weekend is approaching, featuring the Derby della Capitale and Juventus-Napoli.

Roma-Lazio: the Giallorossi shook off at least part of the negativity surrounding them by routing Frosinone on Wednesday, which is not particularly difficult these days, but they needed it. They had won just in the opening round. The Biancocelesti keep feasting on the minnows and are coming off four wins in a row. La Lupa has been so inconsistent so far, but 4-2-3-1 with Javier Pastore in the hole and Steven Nzonzi and Daniele De Rossi screening the defence might ultimately be the way to go, at least in big matches. Stephan El Shaarawy has been their most trustworthy player so far, but Cengiz Under broke through on Wednesday and he does not need a lot to get hot. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 6

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Inter-Fiorentina: the Beneamata is coming off a rewarding result against Sampdoria, their second win in Serie A. They have showed some improvements between the last game and the one versus Tottenham, but they have not turned the corner yet. For instance, they have not found a way to constantly feed Mauro Icardi in the box, and he is still scoreless in the domestic league. Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan have compensated on that front, then their dangerousness on set pieces has helped. Antonio Candreva has surprisingly looked better than the newcomers Matteo Politano and Balde Keita. Continue reading