Serie A Match of the Round – Brescia vs Bologna

No proper head-to-head clashes in this round, where Fiorentina-Juventus was the match with the highest profile but ended with in a zero-zero. It was instead goals galore in most of the other ones and in particular in Brescia-Bologna, which was the funniest contest out of the weekend.

The Rondinelle had collected three points thus far due to a road win in Cagliari and a loss to Milan, while the Felsinei were at four as they shared the spoils with Verona but then beat SPAL late. Eugenio Corini picked Alessandro Matri to partner Alfredo Donnarumma as Ernesto Torregrossa is hurt and put the newcomer Romulo in the hole replacing Nikolas Spalek. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round Three

Standings implications: the table is starting to take shape and it has a new leader compared to the past few seasons as, for now, Inter is the only club with nine points after downing Udinese, since Juventus were halted by Fiorentina. Napoli returned to winning ways in convincing fashion against Sampdoria, who instead stay at zero points. Roma allowed Sassuolo to re-open the game but still won by two goals. Lazio dropped an ugly one versus SPAL, but it was not the only surprise win as Lecce shocked Torino on Monday night. It was harder than expected but Milan did best Verona away. Atalanta outlasted Genoa in a thriller, while Bologna mounted a glorious comeback against Brescia. Cagliari surprised Parma on the road.  Continue reading

Serie A Weekly Transfer Market Recap and Expiring Contracts

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Serie A teams have been moderately active over the last two weeks. Atalanta completed the biggest deal by signing Luis Muriel, who was previously at Fiorentina but owned by Sevilla. Inter spent a considerable amount of money to activate the option to buy Matteo Politano from Sassuolo, which was never in doubt despite the formula of the transfer, and youngster Eddy Salcedo from Genoa.

Chievo Verona needed some cash to register to Serie B and few clubs helped them out by poaching the some of their most interesting players: Sampdoria acquired the energetic right back Fabio Depaoli, which will likely lead to the exit of one between Bartosz Bereszynski and Jacopo Sala, while Bologna signed the solid centre-back Mattia Bani, who will contribute to filling in for Lyanco, who was brilliant in the second half of last season but they were unable to retain him after the loan spell from Torino. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 37

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Gianluigi Donnarumma (7 points): the starlet saved Milan once again in the Frosinone game, preventing the opponents from going up in the score by brilliantly parrying away a Camillo Ciano penalty.

Riccardo Gagliolo (5 points): Parma defended very diligently against Fiorentina, holding La Viola scoreless once more. With Bruno Alves on the sidelines, it was up to Gagliolo to lead the back-line and he did not disappoint.

Mattia Bani (5 points): Chievo finally managed to stop and he and his teammate Bostjan Cesar did a fine job in stymieing Fabio Quagliarella and company in Sunday’s lunch match.   Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 36

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Juventus: Paulo Dybala (calf), Rodrigo Bentancur (thigh), Emre Can (thigh) and Alex Sandro have resumed practicing fully and therefore should be available on Sunday, while Douglas Costa (calf) and Daniele Rugani (thigh) will not come back this week. Federico Bernardeschi is suspended. Moise Kean is out with the flu, Leonardo Bonucci with a bruised ankle.

Napoli: David Ospina is on personal leave to tend to a personal matter in Colombia. Nikola Maksimovic (toe) is slated to remain on the shelf, while Amadou Diawara (foot) got in a full practice after a long time, so he might be called up. Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne and Adam Ounas have been surprisingly ruled out due to small ailments.
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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 Injury and Suspension Report – Round 21

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Juventus: Mario Mandzukic is trying to come back from high strain, but it might be too early. Miralem Pjanic and Joao Cancelo are dealing with minor calf ailments, while Sami Khedira has a sore knee: they are unlikely to be available this week, but the fullback has a shot. Medhi Benatia (groin), Andrea Barzagli (thigh) and Juan Cuadrado (knee) remain out.

Napoli: Marek Hamsik will return from a thigh strain, while Allan is experiencing some back pain and has been ruled out.

Inter: Balde Keita (thigh) will not be able to come back this week, while Sime Vrsaljko is under the weather and also nursing an achy knee. Matteo Politano is fatigued.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 12

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Salvatore Sirigu: the veteran goalie has had a solid season so far and the Torino’s back-line has been decent overall, even though clean sheets have been hard to come by. They will try to achieve that versus Parma, which have failed to score in the past three games, mostly because of the imperfect conditions of Gervinho and Roberto Inglese.

Ibrahima Mbaye: the fullback has found the target for two straight matches, which could help him secure a starting job even after Federico Mattiello comes back from injury. While he is highly unlikely to make it to the scoresheet three times in a row, Bologna could take advantage of the fact that Chievo have scored in just two of their six home fixtures so far. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Player Status Updates – Round 7

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Juventus: no updates for the Italian Champions, as Mattia De Sciglio and Sami Khedira remain out with their hamstring strains, Douglas Costa is suspended and Leonardo Spinazzola is working his way back from an ACL tear.

Napoli: Alex Meret is not progressing as planned after an arm fracture and he is not expected to return before to the next break. Faouzi Ghoulam has been practicing regularly for few days, but he has not been called up yet.

Roma: Diego Perotti suffered another thigh injury and will miss the next two games. Kostas Manolas bowed out of the Frosinone game at half time due to some muscle fatigue, but he should gut it out. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round: Chievo v Juventus

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A couple of games in the first round were intense and high scoring: Parma-Udinese deserves an honourable mention, especially because the Friulani did not give up after the two-nothing goal, but Chievo-Juventus was undoubtedly the most compelling match. On Cristiano Ronaldo’s debut in Serie A, two other players shined brightest: Emanuele Giaccherini and Federico Bernardeschi.

As for the line-ups, Massimiliano Allegri opted for a very offensive 4-4-2 with Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala upfront, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa on the flanks and Miralem Pjanic and Sami Khedira in the midfield. Continue reading