Serie A Team of the Round – Torino

Cagliari fumbled away a glorious fantasy haul by giving away not one but two late cheap goals against Fiorentina. Therefore, the team that earned the best result in this round was Torino, which crushed Brescia on the road in the first game with Eugenio Corini at the helm. The Granata had not won in six rounds coming into the contest, but had fared decently in last week’s Derby with Juventus.

Walter Mazzarri picked Bremer over the other options in the back, selected Ola Aina as right wing-back, fielded both Sasa Lukic and Soualiho Meite with Daniele Baselli out of commission and trotted out Simone Verdi next to Andrea Belotti, as Simone Zaza and Iago Falque are both on the mend. Continue reading

Lazio are flying high again – but are they too dependent on Ciro Immobile?

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It never ceases to amaze how quickly moods shift and narratives change in football.

This time last week, the critics were sharpening their knives as Lazio headed back from Glasgow, having thrown away a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 for the third time this season against Celtic.

It extended the club’s winless run to three games and left the Biancocelesti with a fairly bleak outlook in Serie A and in the Europa League.

But a 2-1 win away to Fiorentina on Sunday was followed by the capital club’s best performance of the season on Wednesday, as they blew away Torino with a magnificent 4-0 victory in Rome. Continue reading

What to Watch For: Torino vs Napoli

Round 7 of the still young 2019/20 Serie A season is highlighted by the Derby d’Italia between first place Inter and reigning 8-time champions Juventus for what has already been confirmed to be a record-setting gate attraction for the affair, generating €6,5 million.

However, there are plenty of intriguing matches taking place elsewhere across the continent, including Turin where Walter Mazzarri’s Torino will host Carlo Ancelotti’s Napoli.

Here are five things to watch for on Sunday. Continue reading

Serie A Round 5 Fantacalcio Player Trends: Stock Down

Match-day four brought just as much drama and stoppage time heroics as previous weeks and has now set up an intriguing slate of fixtures ahead. Inter look to remain atop the table against Lazio while Juventus will be locking horns with yet another newly-promoted side in Brescia. Otherwise, Roma will be taking on Atalanta in what promises goals and excitement. Napoli, on the other hand, take on the in-form Cagliari and will need to be careful not to slip up against the Sardinians.

With match-day five upon us, here are FIVE players you should consider dropping from your fantacalcio side. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Suso (ATT, Milan, Value 17.9) - The former Liverpool man had a performance to forget against Milan’s fierce rivals Inter and will be kicking himself for not passing the ball on the rossoneri’s most dangerous counter-attack in the first half. While Suso has arguably been Milan’s best performer and ther catalyst in the final third, his selfishness and poor decision-making on the ball will not go down well with Marco Giampaolo.

As Milan continue to struggle for an identity and look laborious in the final third, expect Suso to keep encountering issues. At 17.9M there are frankly better options. For the time being, you should seriously consider swapping him out of your lineup.

Nikola Milenkovic (DEF, Fiorentina, Value 18.2) - The Serbian international is among the most promising defenders in Serie A, yet, still has ways to go before establishing himself as a consistent performer in Italy. Despite an ambitious summer, Fiorentina’s struggles have continued from years past and they appear set for another indifferent season. They may have encountered a difficult schedule, but their defensive issues are worrying nonetheless.

Moreover, Montella’s men have already conceded eight goals this season, two of which came in their most-recent collapse against Atalanta. Up two goals, la viola fell asleep conceding two careless goals against Gian Piero Gasperini’s men. While Milenkovic has all the tools to take the next step in his career, at 18.2M it’s time to move on.

Ricardo Rodriguez (DEF, Milan, Value 17.9) - The Swiss international has maintained his spot in the eleven over Theo Hernandez to begin the season, however, has begun showing signs of slowing down. Against Inter, Rodriguez put in a horrid performance and was regularly beaten by his man. Whether he was being careless at the back or lackluster in the final third, it’s clear the former Wolfsburg man needs a spell on the bench.

Considering Hernandez‘ impressive cameo performance, don’t be surprised to see the Frenchman given the nod over Rodriguez this week. As a result, you should consider dropping the Milan man before his value drops too much.

Duvan Zapata (ATT, Atalanta, Value 21.8) The burgeoning forward has picked up where he left off last season scoring three goals in his first four appearances this season, however, simply put, he looked off the pace against Fiorentina.

Zapata is at his best when he imposes his physique on the opposition and plays off the defender. Against Fiorentina, the former Napoli man displayed signs of fatigue indicating some rest may be on the horizon for him. With Luis Muriel and Josip Ilicic in good form, expect Zapata to be rested in Atalanta’s upcoming game. After all, Gasperini can’t afford to burn him out.

Daniele Baselli (MID, Torino, Value 17.7) - The former Atalanta man has thrived since Walter Mazzarri has taken over and has established himself as a key player for I Granata. Despite his notable improvements over the years, Baselli’s game still lacks end-product in the final third as he proves to be often wasteful.

With Torino taking on Milan, expect Mazzarri’s men to sit deep and absorb the pressure. This type of game doesn’t exactly suit Baselli’s strengths. As a result, you’d be wise to temporarily drop the midfielder from your side.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Serie A Fantasy Managers? If you’re up for it play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

The facts behind the figures: What we’ve learned about Lazio from the Serie A salary report

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At the start of the week, La Gazzetta dello Sport published its annual breakdown of each Serie A club’s wage bill for the season ahead.

Much of the reaction to the article has focused on Juventus’ massive financial advantage over the rest of Italy and the impact the summer mercato has had on Inter’s spending.

But there were plenty of intriguing sub-plots to be found behind the figures, not least at Lazio. For example…

On paper, a top-four finish would be an over-achievement…

This is by no means a secret, but the gulf in wage spend between Lazio and the teams they are expected to compete with for a top four place this season is significant.  Continue reading

Lazio’s quest for Champions League football has been long and painful – but this could be their time

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Ahead of the opening weekend of the Serie A season, there is no doubt about Lazio’s objective.

Champions League football has proven infuriatingly elusive for the Roman club since they last graced the competition in 2007/08, as they’ve found just about every imaginable way of not quite getting there.

In 2010/11 they finished fifth, losing out on a play-off place to Udinese on goal difference. Continue reading

Early transfers could be key for Torino 2019-20

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Torino have opted to get their summer transfer shopping done as early as possible, ahead of the 2019-20 Serie A season.

Walter Mazzarri’s side were excellent in the end of season run in, in 2018-19, with just one defeat in their final ten games ensuring they finished inside the Europa League qualification spots for the first time since 2014.

However they were denied a place in the 2019-20 Europa League, after 8th place Lazio beat Atalanta in the 2019 Coppa Italia final.

Continue reading

Three Players Lazio Are Set to Target

After yet another indifferent season in the nation’s capital, Lazio are now turning to the transfer window to bolster their roster. Following Simone Inzaghi’s contract extension, Lazio president Claudio Lotito is ready to reward his loyalty with a few signings. Over the past few days, a number of names have been linked with the biancocelesti. This season, their squad lacked depth, and inevitably cost them top four; a prospect Lotito and co. are looking to avoid next season.

1) Wesley Moraes – Club Brugge

Lazio have been linked with the Brazilian for the last couple of transfer windows, and seem to be closing in on him this coming summer. In recent times, Gianluca Di Marzio has reported that Lazio have offered Club Brugge 15 million euros plus an additional 5 million in bonuses. Barring any hitches, the deal should be closed shortly.

The target man would provide some much needed depth to Lazio’s front-line, and could act as the perfect foil to Ciro Immobile and Felipe Caicedo. At times this season, the Italian international was tasked with leading the line on his own, and could use the rest. Moraes is capable of holding up play as a target man or take on his defender.

Give his physical stature, Wesley will slot in wonderfully into the Italian game, and he’ll be able to impose himself on his new surroundings.

2) Manuel Lazzari – SPAL

The SPAL wingback had a phenomenal season with the Ferrara-based club, and is now attracting interest from Italy’s bigger clubs. In 33 appearances this season, Lazzari registered eight assists, and was a true force down the right, earning his first call-up to the senior national team.

This season, Lazio desperately needed depth at the wingback position, and generally deployed Adam Marusic down the right. However, after a bright debut season, the 25-year-old slowed down, and much like Immobile, needed rest. In his 40 appearances in all competitions, the Montenegrin scored three goals and added one assist; a far cry from his first season with Lazio.

Signing Lazzari would go a long way as it would not only offer some much needed fresh legs, but would also encourage competition.

3) Daniele Baselli – Torino 

Another player that has recently been linked to a move to Lazio is Torino’s Daniele Baselli. Since joining I Granata, Baselli’s game has stagnated, and he arguably needs a move away to further his development. Before joining Torino, Baselli was one of Italy’s most highly-rated youngsters, due to his impressive technique and wide range of passing.

While Lazio’s midfield ranks are deep enough for the time being, Marco Parolo, Lucas Leiva and Milan Badelj aren’t getting any younger, and could use some refreshing. Moreover, Baselli has a different skill-set to Inzaghi’s current midfielders, and could offer some much needed invention from the middle of the park.

His five goals in all competitions demonstrate that the talent’s there for Baselli, but he may need a change of scenery to continue his progression. Inzaghi might just prove to be the right manager for the 27-year-old, as he has a positive track record with players ready to take the next step.

Do you have what it takes to challenge the best Fantasy Football Managers? If you want to test your knowledge of Italian football then play www.fantasyseriea.com now!

 

 

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The Top Five Goalkeepers From the 2018/19 Serie A Season

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The 2018-19 Serie A season has come to a close, so it is now time to go position by position and rank the top five players in each role.

We start with the last line of defence, the goalkeepers.  Continue reading

Handanović relieved to secure Champions League berth

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Samir Handanović spoke to Inter TV in the immediate aftermath of the Nerazzurri’s crucial 2-1 victory over Empoli last night. The Nerazzurri captain once again turned in a superb performance, making several critical saves before Radja Nainggolan scored a typically late winner in front of a packed San Siro. Here is what the Slovenian had to say: Continue reading