Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Eight

Lazio-Atalanta: the formula for the Biancocelesti never really changes, as Ciro Immobile is going like gangbusters this year, while Luis Alberto has been their second-best player, especially thanks to his playmaking, as he has already provided five assists. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Joaquin Correa have both broken the ice, but they have yet to turn into consistent scorers. The ancillary contributors like Manuel Lazzari and Adam Marusic have been stuck in a timeshare, while Senad Lulic’s fantasy appeal is limited.

The Goddess lost Duvan Zapata for some time due to a muscular injury, so it now will have to be Luis Muriel’s time to shine as the primary go-to-guy. He has scored three times in five appearances despite the irregular playing time and, despite the different skillset, they might not take a big hit there. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Inter vs Juventus

The best game on paper going into the round turned out to be a riveting contest and therefore Inter-Juventus easily gets the nod this weekend.

The Beneamata had a perfect record prior to Sunday, while the Old Lady had dropped two points so far. Antonio Conte confirmed his standard lineup, with Romelu Lukaku returning after missing one with a quad problem. Maurizio Sarri picked Paulo Dybala up front and Federico Bernardeschi in the hole instead of the predicted Aaron Ramsey. Continue reading

Juventus considering bringing back Buffon


Yesterday night, few outlets broke the news about Gianluigi Buffon possibly coming back to Juventus a year after his departure and his agent Silvano Martina promptly addressed the matter to Sportmediaset: “It would be nice if such opportunity materialized. It is possible that the Bianconeri have considered him if Mattia Perin left. He is 42 but he is still fine physically, he likes to play and challenge himself. If there will be this opportunity, I am sure he will evaluate it with pleasure. We have not reached any agreement yet. It is just a thought, we would have never believed it could be in the cards. I have heard that he would be the second highest paid player behind Cristiano Ronaldo, but that it is nonsense. It would be a pleasant operation if it went through, but it is only at its preliminary stages.” Continue reading

Bentancur pens extension with Juventus


Juventus announced on Saturday a new five-year deal for Rodrigo Bentancur, who is now signed until 2024. His previous contract was set to expire in 2022 and had not been modified after he joined form Boca Juniors in the summer of 2017. According to the reports, he will now earn close to €3M per year. He has collected 67 appearances in his two seasons in Turin, scoring twice, and played his best football in the final months of 2019, when the midfield was ravaged by injuries. His playing time then took a hit when Sami Khedira and Emre Can got healthy.

The Uruguayan international commented to the club’s TV: “It is an incredible emotion, I am very happy for tacking on two more years to my contract. I want to fully take advantage of this opportunity by improving as much as possible and bring many more titles to this club.” Continue reading

Juventus reach agreement for Empoli’s Traore and Bentancur wants to stay


Empoli president Fabrizio Corsi confirmed the recent buzz about Juventus being hot on the trails of Hamed Traore in an interview to Tuttomercatoweb: “The deal is on the homestretch, only the signatures are missing but everything has been defined and we gave our word. In January, he was a kid with a high potential, in the last five months he became a player with a very important future. Right now, he is a complimentary piece for big teams, but I believe he is destined to have a fantastic career because he is at 70/80 percent of his technical and physical abilities right now. His smartness is off the charts and the rest of his game will eventually catch up to it.” Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 38


Juventus ended the season with a loss against Sampdoria following yet another subpar perfomance where the lack of motivation played a big factor. The Bianconeri therefore finish the 2018/2019 campaign with 90 points, four losses, all on the road and two of them in the last month, an 11-point gap over the second-placed team Napoli, the best statistical defence (30 goals allowed) and the third most prolific attack (behind the Partenopei and Atalanta).

Mattia De Sciglio: nobody really impressed in the back-line, or in the whole squad to be really honest, but at least the ex-Milan fullback was not among those duped by Gregoire Defrel on the first Blucerchiato goal and added a pair of decent forays on offense that led to semi-dangerous situations. Martin Caceres had a similar showing on the other flank minus the okay contribution on the other end. Continue reading

Allegri dodges questions about future


Massimiliano Allegri talked to the press earlier today: “I will meet with the president next week. What has been written in these last few days amuses me because I wonder what would have they done to me if I did not take home any trophy. Maybe they would have burned or impaled me. I am used to it, it is part of the game, it shakes things up a little otherwise there would not be much to talk about regarding Juventus. We will discuss everything with the chairman. I had told him before the second leg with Ajax that I would stay.”

“It has happened every season, there is more buzz now because we were eliminated early in Champions League, maybe somebody thought we would have an easier path. The summit has not been postponed, it will go down earlier than usual. It does not make sense to speak now about what will happen there.” Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 36


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.
Continue reading

Sandro update, Juventus linked to Ndombele and Bentancur talks


The injury bug continues to hit Juventus: Alex Sandro bowed out of the last game and was diagnosed with a thigh pull, which puts his presence in serious jeopardy for Friday’s Derby with Torino. Coach Massimiliano Allegri also stated post-game that the fullback has been playing through a toe fracture for a while, which would explain his subpar performances in the last period. On the same front, Sami Khedira underwent an arthroscopic clean-up surgery of the right knee yesterday in Augsburg, performed by the doctor Uli Beonisch. He is fully expected to be ready for the beginning of offseason activities. Continue reading

Allegri addresses the media before the Inter tilt


Massimiliano Allegri held the traditional pre-game presser today: “We do not feel scrutinized. We had a good game in Ferrara, Juventus-Inter is always important. We will play in front of 70k people in a marvelous stadium, we will try to do our best to come away with a satisfying result. We can not have gaffes, we are Juventus, we aim to make more points and have some stimulating fixtures coming up.”

On the meeting with Andrea Agnelli: “Our motivation will be the same as previous years. We will plan to create new goals growing-wise for everybody involved and to be as competitive as we should be. We will analyze what went well and what poorly. You need to evaluate the seasons properly in order to lay the foundations to be successful in the future. We have not set a date, there have been some holidays after the Fiorentina game. We are already ahead of schedule since we usually sat down in June.” Continue reading