Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 24

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Juventus-Frosinone: the Bianconeri quickly bounced back in Sassuolo after the 3-3 draw with Parma and have won four times in the last five fixtures, fortifying their lead in the standings. The Ciociari have been pesky recently and they are coming off a surprise win over Sampdoria, their second in a row on the road, and they are now within striking distance from the 17th spot. With Champions League just around the corner, Cristiano Ronaldo might be rested for the second time in Serie A, which would mean more scoring opportunities for Mario Mandzukic, Federico Bernardeschi and Paulo Dybala, or whoever will compose the front-line. Continue reading

Why Marotta deserves credit for handling of Icardi situation

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For millions of Inter fans across the world, the last 24 hours have proved to be rather tumultuous. Mauro Icardi has been stripped of his role as team captain as he once again finds his future at the club clouded in uncertainty. Indeed, the Argentine striker has also been omitted from the Nerazzurri squad which travelled to Austria to face Rapid Vienna in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 tomorrow night. Yes, the black and blue half of Milan once again finds itself in a state of absolute chaos. Continue reading

Spalletti backs Lautaro to thrive in Icardi’s absence

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Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media ahead of Inter’s crucial UEFA Europa League round of 32 match against Rapid Vienna tomorrow night. Here is what he said to the journalists who gathered in Austria this evening: “Rapid are a team with character, they won in Moscow against Spartak on a pitch that I know very well. They made it out of a really difficult group. We congratulate them on this but at the same time we’re here to win.” Continue reading

From PSG v Manchester United- who will take advantage in the Champions League knock out round of 16?

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This week sees the beginning of the Champions League knock out stages. And as ever there are some genuinely tasty fixtures to look forward to, so let’s take a look at the teams who can take an advantage from the first leg and try and get one foot into the quarter finals.

Tuesday kicks off with a gigantic match when Manchester United play PSG. When this match was drawn out of the hat in December, United would have been running for cover. Under Jose Mourinho the team had become a shadow of their once great self and it was felt that PSG would be just too strong for them. But if a week is a long time in football then 2 months is a lifetime. Mourinho has since been sacked and Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer has come in and still not lost a game after 2 months in charge.

The Norwegian has worked miracles for the club who have gone from 6th to surpass both Chelsea and Arsenal in the league, and just keep winning games. They are arguably favourites to at least win the first leg on what should be a very atmospheric night in Manchester. Since December PSG have finally lost a game and have also lost Neymar to injury. Edinson Cavani could also be a doubt for the first leg. But surely United can win this game: Prediction Manchester United 2-1 PSG

The other game will take place between Roma and Porto and this is a classic match up of teams who only seem to perform when they are at home. We could see a very attacking game with goals but the pick here will be to see the Serie A team get a narrow win. This game much like the United one will be settled only in the second leg. Prediction: Roma 2-1 Porto

On Wednesday the games continue with Ajax v Real Madrid. Ajax lost at the weekend to stay 2nd in the league but of course their thoughts would have turned to this game sometime ago. Ajax used to be a great side but have dipped heavily in recent years, and yet this side look like getting the famous name of Ajax back to their best- there really has been a big shift. We all know about Real Madrid, 3 times winners of this competition in the past three years- an unbelievable feat, but many think that the clubs time is up now. Ajax can get the advantage in this first leg against a Madrid side who have blown hot and cold this season. Prediction: Ajax 3-2 Real Madrid

The final game of this Champions League week will take place between Tottenham and Borussia Dortmund and the English club will need a good start if they are going to get to the last 8 against the Bundesliga leaders. Tottenham have shown some real resilience but there is a question mark over a team who have failed at Wembley time and again against the best teams in the Premier League. This could be a classic game sure to have a few goals in it. A draw could be on the cards. Prediction: Tottenham 2-2 Borussia Dortmund

Serie A Club of the Round – Roma

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Three perfect results in this long Serie A weekend, by Milan, against Cagliari, Juventus, versus Sassuolo, and by Roma in Verona. While the Bianconeri had the toughest opponent, the Giallorossi were the ones that risked less defensively and therefore they are the pick for the club of the week.

They were coming off two draws in Serie A, against Atalanta and Milan. Eusebio Di Francesco did not really rotate the squad despite the upcoming Champions League with Porto and only rested Daniele De Rossi among the projected starters, who however is not quite ready to play twice in a row after a tough knee injury. Continue reading

Inter finally taste victory in 2019 thanks to super-sub Lautaro

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Make no mistake, there was huge pressure on Inter to claim all three points at the Stadio Ennio Tardini tonight. It was very much a case of needing to win at all costs. Luciano Spalletti has been under heavy scrutiny over the course of the past month and there is a sense that his job would have been under serious threat had the Nerazzurri failed to beat Parma. However, to the relief of the coach and his players, the Beneamata have finally won a Serie A match in 2019. Continue reading

Lautaro delighted by match-winning contribution

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Lautaro Martínez spoke to Inter TV in the immediate aftermath of the Nerazzurri’s 1-0 victory over Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini. Here is what he had to say after scoring the winning goal in Emilia-Romagna: Continue reading

Why Inter must be wary of Parma’s counter-attacking threat

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If Luciano Spalletti and his players require a reminder of why tomorrow night’s match against Parma will be one of the toughest matches they play all season, they need only look at what happened in Turin last weekend. Indeed, Roberto D’Aversa’s Crociati side scored a last-minute equaliser versus Juventus which, in many ways, epitomises how the season has gone so far for the Emilia-Romagna outfit. Make no mistake, the Gialloblu will fancy their chances of consolidating their Serie A status with another impressive result against one of the league’s most prestigious clubs. Continue reading

Spalletti urges Inter to show grit and determination against Parma

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Luciano Spalletti spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial Serie A match against Parma. Here is what he said to the journalists who gathered at the Suning Training Centre earlier this afternoon: Continue reading

Serie A Injury and Suspension Report – Round 23

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Juventus: Federico Bernardeschi will be good to go after leaving the last game with a chest injury. On the other hand, Douglas Costa is iffy due to a bruised quad and Leonardo Spinazzola has a sore ankle. Giorgio Chiellini (calf) will be out again, while Leonardo Bonucci (ankle) is making a late push to be in the squad list.

Napoli: Amin Younes is having troubles with the surgically repaired Achilles tendon. Raul Albiol is reportedly dealing with a patellar tendon issue that could turn out to be a very serious one.

Inter: Matteo Politano will serve the final game of his suspension. Balde Keita has been called up despite the coach saying that he is not ready. Borja Valero is out with knee soreness.

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