Serie A Round 15 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

We are back again with another weekend of exciting calcio on Italian soil as Serie A round 15 is upon us, and what a set of fixtures we have coming our way.

Things kick off on Friday as first place Inter and Roma take to the San Siro for a truly mouthwatering clash involving two of Italy’s finest outfits, while Juventus visit Rome on Saturday to lock horns with offensive juggernaut Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico.

On top of these two fixtures, there are plenty others that promise to deliver in the form of action and goals, which is where we come in.

Here are five players to consider adding to your fantacalcio roster ahead of the weekend. Continue reading

Serie A Round 5 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Up

This past weekend in round 4 of the Serie A season delivered some scintillating displays. From Nicolò Barella bossing the midfield in Inter’s commanding 2-0 win over rivals AC Milan in the Derby della Madonnina, to Napoli newcomer Fernando Llorente following up his big midweek performance in the UEFA Champions League vs Liverpool with a brace against Lecce, there were plenty of noteworthy performances deserving of much praise. But, with a quick turnaround to the first set of midweek fixtures lurking for round 5, it is time to turn our attention to those whose stock has risen in the world of ‘fantacalcio.’

Here are five players trending in the right direction and deserving of a look for your squad. Continue reading

Classic derby will tell Pellegrini how far Hammers have come

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Ask any West Ham fan which fixture they really look forward to every season, and without hesitation it will be the classic derby against rivals, Tottenham Hotspur.

Even a supposed hatred of south London side, Millwall, pales into insignificance when the north Londoners come to town.

This fixture also has added spice now given Spurs’ own efforts to try and secure the London Stadium which the Hammers currently call home. Continue reading

Same old Arsenal

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It’s been 15 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title. 15 long years.

Almost as many as the gap between their title wins in 1971 and 1989.

That’s far from where the Gunners want to be at this juncture, and whether the blame lies with Arsene Wenger or the board is a moot point.

Since Unai Emery has taken over, nothing really has changed. It’s not a knock at the Spaniard as such, because he can’t possibly be judged on a handful of games, but it would’ve been expected that he’d make an impact.

Perhaps not even in results terms initially, but in the way that the team is set up.

It’s not wrong to hark back to the days of Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn. The game has moved on of course, but one thing hasn’t changed and that is teams who win the title are built on the bedrock of a solid defence.

Even with the addition of Sokratis to partner Mustafi, you feel that this Arsenal side are still beatable.

One only has to look at the way they threw away a two-goal lead at Cardiff, and how lucky they were that Alexandre Lacazette was able to rescue the three points for them.

Similarly, West Ham were all over the Gunners in their fixture but were unable to convert their dominance into goals. Manuel Pellegrini has his own problems, but at least with the east Londoners, not an awful lot is expected of them in truth.

Arsenal have always been a gold standard outfit.

Able to attract the best players, and playing a brand of football that was both attractive and practical. There were players to put their foot in, and these would complement the more technical exponents. They were diligent in their work.

Now Arsenal just look lost, and the reality is that they’re becoming the same old Arsenal. It’s what’s expected.

The knee-jerk ‘fan tv’ assessments directly after a game aren’t helpful but, by and large, some supporters have a point.

If there were a core of players that would ‘put sweat on the shirt’ for want of a better phrase, those that pay their hard-earned every week would give these overpaid superstars their full backing.

But when you have players like Mesut Ozil just strolling around seemingly not worried with what’s happening around him, then there will be problems.

In the Europa League and now unable to attract the best players to the Emirates, unless Emery sorts it out quickly it’ll be another 15 years before Arsenal come close to the Premier League summit.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Fantasy Managers? If you’re up to challenging the best then play now!

Why Pellegrini is fighting a losing battle at West Ham

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After a season full of woe at the London Stadium, West Ham supporters were at least encouraged when Manuel Pellegrini was announced as the new manager for the 2018/19 Premier League season.

‘Big Pel’ as he’s affectionately known in east London is a coach with decent pedigree and as big a name as the Hammers have ever had on their bench.

Securing the Chilean was the first step from the West Ham board in turning the tide of public opinion back in their favour, and they quickly followed it up with giving him the funds they promised to allow the club to get back on its feet again on the pitch. Continue reading

Pressure mounting on Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

It took two goals from Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero to rescue a point away against Queens Park Rangers this weekend, but it was yet another game where the Sky Blues dropped points in the league, and manager Manuel Pellegrini will start feeling the pressure.

Odds have been slashed on the City boss to be the next top-flight manager to exit his post as a result, with the impatient hierarchy wanting a consistent return for their lucrative investment.

City won the Premier League title last season, but have endured a lackluster defence of their crown so far. Manuel Pellegrini’s side have dropped points in 45% of their matches in the top flight, while having already lost and been forced to a draw at the Etihad. They are eight points adrift of league leaders Chelsea after just 11 games, while having been knocked out of the Capital One Cup recently too.

Their poor Champions League campaign has seen the pressure heaped upon Pellegrini, as Man City are winless from four games, picking up just two points in their group. They are on the brink of elimination, which won’t please Pellegrini’s bosses.

While leading the club to the title in his first season in Manchester, the 61-year-old is far form untouchable if results don’t go their way. Predecessor Roberto Mancini had a poor title defence that cost him his job at the end of 2012/13, so there’s no reason why Pellegrini won’t be treated the same if City continue to under-perform.

The Chilean coach has also come under criticism for the failure of his summer signings, as Bacary Sagna and Fernando have been particular disappointments for the Citizens this season, while established midfielders Yaya Toure and Fernandinho have been quite poor.

In addition to a lack of improvement to the squad, Manchester City’s defensive record has been a major concern, with the defending champions conceding two or more goals in more than a third of their league games.

Recent interviews have seen Pellegrini admit to being worried about their recent crisis of results, and with many ruling them out of two of their remaining three competitions already (Premier League & Champions League), he certainly has a difficult task to keep his job. Continual success is the aim, and Manchester City not only look like they’re headed for a trophyless season, but will need to make wholesale changes to the side to turn their fortunes around.

Will that mean the manager is first to go?