Could Alena’s emergence see Suarez/Rafinha moved on?

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Having patiently waited for an opportunity to become part of the first-team squad on a regular basis at Barcelona, Carles Alena finally appears ready to emerge from the shadows.

The 20-year-old is over his injury and playing consistently well, and the recent acknowledgment by the club that they won’t send him out on loan suggests that they have big plans for a player who is coveted by other teams.

Mauricio Pochettino was recently at a Barcelona B fixture, and the rumours, though unsubstantiated, were that he had come specifically to watch Alena. Continue reading

Inter acquire Radja Nainggolan


Inter have announced the purchase of Radja Nainggolan from Roma on Tuesday. The Nerazzurri have paid €24M in cash and included the fullback Davide Santon and the prospect Davide Zaniolo in the deal, for a package worth €38M in total. The 30-year-old has signed a four-year contract.

Nainggolan joined La Lupa from Cagliari in January of 2014 and quickly became one of the most complete midfielders around, dramatically improving the offensive contribution that appeared to be his weakness in his younger years. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 38


Let’s take a look at the most interesting games of the conclusive round.

Cagliari-Atalanta: the Sardinians are one point above Spal and Crotone and would be safe with a win, however Orobici are on the hunt for points that could allow them to leapfrog Milan and avoid the long Europa League playoff next summer. After some disappointing performances, Cagliari came to life in Florence with a key victory. The Goddess have not lost in their last seven matches. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 37


The title race has ended, but there is still a lot to play for in the final two rounds of Serie A. Here is the preview of the penultima one.

Inter-Sassuolo: both teams have won three out of their last four games. As a result, the Beneamata are now just two points behind Lazio and the head-to-head clash is coming next week, while the Neroverdi have secured a Serie A stay. Luciano Spalletti is getting excellent contributions from Mauro Icardi and Ivan Perisic, as usual, while Rafinha has finally notched his first Serie A and Marcelo Brozovic has emerged as their best central midfielder. Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Week – Round 36: Inter


Inter had an impressive showing in the drubbing of Udinese and was also just one of the two teams who scored multiple goals while also maintaining a clean sheet. As a result, they deservedly get the Club of the Week shut-out regarding the last round.

Inter approached the game fuming for the result in the Derby d’Italia, but had won in the previous two fixtures. Luciano Spalletti opted for Dalbert to substitute the suspended Danilo D’Ambrosio and picked Antonio Candreva over Yann Karamoh on the right wing. He had to put in Andrea Ranocchia due to a last-minute injury to Joao Miranda.  Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 36


There were few scorers in the last round, but nobody managed to notch a brace, so there were not any particularly high point totals.

Alisson: four clean sheets in the weekend, as he has often done this year the Brazilian goalkeeper stood out with a couple of monster interventions against Cagliari, first on an attempted own goal and then coming out to shoot the gap against Marco Sau.

Andrea Ranocchia: he was inserted at the last moment as Joao Miranda got hurt in the warm-ups and he found the opener in the Udinese game with a brilliant header off a corner kick that kissed the far post before going in. He was the top earner in the last round with nine points.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 32


Here’s a breakdown of the top five matches of the next Serie A round.

Atalanta-Inter: the Goddess has slowed down a little after a hot comeback and have failed two win in their last two outings, against Sampdoria and Spal. Their offence is missing a key piece in Josip Ilicic and Alejandro Gomez and Bryan Cristante look spent after a demanding year: it would be the right time for either Andrea Petagna or Andreas Cornelius to carry the load a little bit, but neither has been consistent so far. Two disappointing results for Inter as well, first in the Derby della Madonnina, then against Torino. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 31


An interesting Serie A round is coming up, let’s take a look at the most intriguing matches.

Benevento-Juventus: even though they are too far away from the positions that would allow them to avoid the drop, the Sanniti always perform well in front of their crowd, having won four of their last six games here. They were defeated only by Napoli and by Cagliari after a late comeback by the opponents. The Bianconeri quickly returned to winning ways after drawing against Spal as they defeated Milan last Saturday, helped by Sami Khedira and Juan Cuadrado.  Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 30


A pretty uneven Serie A round is capped off by the mighty clash between Juventus and Milan.

Bologna-Roma: the Felsinei came away with a good point at Olimpico against Lazio, which marked the return to the scoresheet of Simone Verdi, who is by all accounts their best players. They stopped the slide after two tough losses and the return of Rodrigo Palacio adds some versatility and some pizzazz to their attack. Blerin Dzemaili started with a bang after coming back, but he has not been heard since. The Wolf has prevailed in six of their last seven Serie A fixtures and have won in four straight away matches. Edin Dzeko has resumed scoring consistently and they have gotten good contribution from Stephan El Shaarawy and Diego Perotti, while Radja Nainggolan is back to his “ninja” levels. Cengiz Under has understandably slowed down a little and suffered a knee sprain with Turkey. Alisson and the rest of the Giallorossi back-line is worth consideration because they have kept four clean sheets in the last five matches.

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Serie A Club of the Week – Round 29: Inter


There were two 0-5 results in the last Serie A round, so Inter and Atalanta would be both deserving of the shout-out. The Nerazzurri get it because they did it against a more competitive opponent, Sampdoria.

They were coming off an encouraging result against Napoli, where they did not concede against a high-powered offence, but they flopped in the recent trip to Marassi to face the other Genoa team and had not prevailed on the road in a while. This time, they laid the smackdown.

Continue reading