Serie A Team of the Week – Round 27

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Lukas Skorupski (7 points): just three clean sheets in this round and, out of the trio, the Polish goalkeeper had the best performance as he denied a point-blank Joao Pedro header with a miraculous save to protect his team’s lead.

Erick Pulgar (9 points): it has not been easy this season to beat Alessio Cragno from the penalty spot, but he did it with great aplomb in Sunday’s lunch match.

Cedric Soares (7 points): he finally started in Serie A and had a very solid showing motoring down the right flank and sending in multiple juicy crosses. He was credited for an assist to Gagliardini, but he really was trying to shoot there. Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Week – Bologna

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Three teams managed to seize a shutout win in this round, two of them did it by scoring multiple, Inter and Bologna, but Felsinei had by far the most influential success over the weekend, which allows them to get the nod over Juventus, who had the best showing overall but ruined the fantasy haul by conceding.

The Felsinei were coming off three straight losses against Roma, Juventus and especially Udinese, which had kept in third-to-last position. Sinisa Mihajlovic picked Blerin Dzemaili over Andrea Poli in the midfield and quickly lost Federico Santander because of a bruised shoulder and he was replaced by Riccardo Osolini, with Rodrigo Palacio used as false-nine. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Report – Round 27

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Standings implications: Juventus further extended their lead after pummeling Udinese as Napoli equalized in Sassuolo. Both Milan and Inter were successful against minnows in this round, the Rossoneri beat Chievo, the Beneamata did the same with SPAL, and therefore head into next week’s Derby separated by just one point, with the Devil on top. Roma sweated it out by bested Empoli and remain in pursuit. Atalanta recorded a big win in the Europa League race by besting Sampdoria on the road, but Torino staged a comeback in Frosinone and the two remain hand-in-hand, while Lazio lost some ground as they were held to a one-one tie in Florence. Waiting to see what Empoli will do, only Bologna took home the W in the rear: they stay in the 18th spot, but have closed a little the gap with Empoli, SPAL and Udinese.

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Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 22

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Napoli-Sampdoria: the Partenopei had a disappointing two-game meeting with Milan, as they did not manage to beat them in the weekend and then got got in Coppa Italia. They are undefeated at home, where they have won four games in a row, often scoring multiple goals. The Blucerchiati are coming off a thumping against Udinese, their fourth W in the last six fixtures and they lost only to Juventus since the beginning of December. While Lorenzo Insigne is stuck in a prolonged drought, Arek Milik has done most of the damage for the Azzurri up front, with Dries Mertens chipping in from time to time and some contribution from José Callejon, Marek Hamsik and Piotr Zielinski, but not in a consistent way. Continue reading

Bologna turn to Mihajlovic after firing Inzaghi

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Bologna gave Filippo Inzaghi a couple of matches after the Winter break to turn things around after a poor first half of the season, but it it not happen, so they sacked him and chose Sinisa Mihajlovic, who signed a season-long contract with an option in case they avoid relegation.

Despite the early additions of Nicola Sansone and Roberto Soriano and a modified approach, they collected just one point out of the two key clashes with SPAL and Frosinone. The 0-4 home thumping by the hands of the Ciociari represented the end of the road for Inzaghi. The Felsinei were quickly down to ten men there, but also failed to put up any resistance.

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Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 21

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Alban Lafont: Chievo can be an annoying opponent, especially lately, but they still have one of the least prolific attacks in the League, while Fiorentina have been able to keep three clean sheets in the past four road games. The young goalkeeper has been as good as advertised thus far.

Nicola Murru: Sampdoria have won three in a row at home, shutting down opponents twice, while Udinese have failed to score in their last three away fixtures. The ex Cagliari full-back has also been able to pick up some bonus points offensively here and there. Continue reading

Serie A Transfer Market Weekly Recap

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The January window official kicked off on Thursday and the first official deals have started to trickle in at a slow pace, as the clubs do not seem much in a rush to get things done. Fiorentina beat Milan in the race to sign a Luis Muriel from Sevilla on loan with option to buy: a smart addition that does not break the bank for a player that has proven track record in Serie A. He could feature in multiple positions in the attack, either relieving Giovanni Simeone or playing alongside him and has the potential to be really effective off the bench. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Torino vs Frosinone

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The last round had a pair of really intriguing and well-balanced match-ups, Lazio-Fiorentina and Atalanta-Sampdoria, but those were decided by a single goal. The most entertaining game was surprisingly the Friday one between Torino and Frosinone.

The Granata were coming off a late win against Chievo, while Frosinone picked up just one point so far. Walter Mazzarri gave Simone Zaza the start after the deciding goal in the previous contest, picking Daniele Baselli over Roberto Soriano as attacking midfielder and Ola Aina and Alex Berenguer as wing backs since Lorenzo De Silvestri was out. Moreno Longo, former coach of Torino’s youth team, stuck with a 3-4-3 featuring Joel Campbell, Daniele Ciofani and Camillo Ciano up front. Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Player Status Updates – Round 5

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Juventus: Sami Khedira and Mattia De Sciglio both pulled their hamstrings and are unlikely to be available for the upcoming three games. Douglas Costa was handed a four-game suspension in Serie A and got hurt in Valencia as well, but the test results have yet to be announced. Andrea Barzagli remains out with a calf problem.

Napoli: no significant updates on their long-term injured players, since Alex Meret and Faouzi Ghoulam are still working their way back from an arm and a kneecap fracture. Amin Younes could return sooner rather than later from an Achilles tear. Adam Ounas is out with muscle fatigue. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Game Predictions – Round 5

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There are not any mammoth clash this week, but a pair of match-up could turn to be very succulent.

Sampdoria-Inter: if it was not for the tumble they took in Udine in their season opener, the Blucerchiati would be regarded as one of the most impressive squads in Serie A, considering they how they dusted Napoli and Frosinone and came back against Fiorentina. Their attack is humming: Gregoire Defrel, Fabio Quagliarella, Gianluca Caprari and Dawid Kownacki have all already found the target at least once and the former Roma and Sassuolo striker is raining fire.  Continue reading