SPAL-Juventus: after winning three games in a row, against Roma, Frosinone and Lazio, SPAL were bested by Cagliari, but their recent streak gave them a little breathing room over the last three positions. Juventus toppled Milan last week, winning for the eighth time in the last nine matches and they are one point away from clinching the title. For the Estensi, Andrea Petagna has been a rock all year long, showing to be a much more prolific striker compared to his time at Atalanta. Manuel Lazzari is their main playmaker off the right flank and has picked up eight assists thus far. Jasmin Kurtic is also occasionally able to collect some bonus points, while they have not got much out of the second-striker role, as Mirco Antenucci, Andrea Paloschi and Sergio Floccari have combined for just six goals. Continue reading
Milan-Udinese: the Rossoneri slowed down just as things were starting to get really interesting, as they were defeated by Inter and Sampdoria after they had managed to surpass the Nerazzurri riding a five-game winning streak. They also have to look behind at the onrushing Atalanta and Lazio. Udinese came out on top in Igor Tudor’s second debut, besting Genoa after two losses to Juventus and Napoli, although their home numbers were solid also before the firing of Davide Nicola. Milan have had troubles feeding Krzysztof Piatek in the last two matches and they do not really have a second reliable scoring option because Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu are more creators and have not had much feeling with the goal recently. Samu Castillejo did not deliver in Genoa despite the opportunity to start. Lucas Paquetà and Franck Kessie were benched after international duties, but they should be back in the XI here and could provide a decent boost. The Brazilian starlet might play closer to the guy and Patrick Cutrone could get to start over Suso in a different scheme. Continue reading
Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo had a little scare midweek due to an ankle bruise, but he should be able to feature against Napoli. Douglas Costa (quad) is still out of commission, while Sami Khedira is trying to return earlier than expected from his heart problem.
Napoli: Mario Rui will be back in the squad list after missing time with a thigh sprain and Amin Younes could be called up as well after nursing his surgically repaired Achilles tendon away from the team for a while. Arkadiusz Milik was a little fatigued this week, but he should be fine. Continue reading
Juventus: Mario Mandzukic missed the Champions League game with an ankle sprain and will not be available in the weekend. Emre Can is dealing with a thyroid issue and his status is uncertain until further tests. Sami Khedira will skip a couple more games with his hamstring strain.
Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne subbed off against PSG for a knock on the chest but he should be good to go. Simone Verdi could miss up to a month with a grade one thigh (adductor) strain. Alex Meret and Faouzi Ghoulam were called up midweek, while Adam Ounas and Sebatiano Luperto were out because of muscle fatigue, which they will try to solve by Sunday. Continue reading
Here’s the quick recap of what went down in most of the Serie A opening round.
Standings implications: obviously these will not be relevant for a while, anyway Juventus, Napoli and Roma got off to a good start despite some labour, while Lazio and Inter stumbled. Empoli and SPAL grabbed three important points, Parma and Udinese shared the spoils in a sneakily entertaining game.
Here are the best performers of the season finale.
Lukasz Skorupski: just four clean sheets in the last round, the spot goes to the talented Roma player, who denied Matteo Politano with a great save on a one-on-one. He will likely nab a starting job elsewhere next season.
Luca Ceppitelli: Cagliari’s centre-back was the only defender to score and keep a clean sheet, so he was the top earner with his nine points. He buried a typical header off a corner kick to secure the Sardinians’ permanence in Serie A. Continue reading
The final round was a fitting end to a very entertaining season.
Standings implications. Inter won the battle of Olimpico and qualified to Champions League over Lazio thanks to the head-to-head record. Milan battered Fiorentina and held onto the sixth-spot, so Atalanta will have to go through the lengthy Europa League playoffs this summer. Crotone are the third relegated team after Benevento and Hellas Verona: SPAL, Cagliari, Chievo and Udinese all ended up winning, so they would not have avoided the drop even if they had prevailed against Napoli. Continue reading
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
Here are the latest updates on few players’ conditions heading into the next Serie A matchday.
Juventus: Mattia De Sciglio was taken out of the Real Madrid match due to an apparent plantar fascia lesion that will require further testing. Federico Bernardeschi and Andrea Barzagli are working their way back from a knee sprain and an abdominal strain and practiced partially this week, but they will likely not be available this week.
Napoli: Mario Rui is suspended, no other absentees other than the usual one, Faouzi Ghoulam.
Once again the conditions of some of Serie A’s top players need to be monitored entering the next round.
Juventus: Andrea Barzagli suffered an abdominal injury against Real Madrid and he could miss one or two weeks. Federico Bernardeschi is again not in the squad list, even though he is close.
Napoli: Raul Albiol and Jorginho are suspended and Faouzi Ghoulam is out with a fibula fracture. Lorenzo Tonelli is a little banged up, while Vlad Chiriches was called up last week after a six-week absence due to a hamstring injury.