Serie A Best Fantasy XI – Round 36

Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): the amount of goalie that blanked the opponents was again numbered and out of the four that managed, the Juventus one had the busiest performance as Sampdoria put up a fight to try to spoil the Bianconeri’s title celebration, but he rejected them with timely saves.

Elseid Hysaj (9 points): an uncharacteristically sparkling performance for the defensive-minded Napoli full-back, who broke the deadlock against Sassuolo with a nifty strike from outside the box for his first ever Serie A goal and sprinted down the left flank to wreak havoc multiple times. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 36 vs Sampdoria

Juventus won the Scudetto thanks to an imperfect but ultimately successful performance against Sampdoria that led to a rare shut-out win.

Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): the Bianconeri tried to give away another lead, but the Polish goalkeeper prevented that with great saves on a venomous free kick by Gaston Ramirez and a point-blank header by Fabio Quagliarella. Not exactly superhuman interventions, but just what the doctor ordered these days when the back-line is not on top of its game. Matthijs De Ligt gutted it out again and thwarted a pair of chances, same thing for Leonardo Bonucci, who bounced back from a pair of subpar outings. Alex Sandro was a bit sloppy but won a PK with a late sprint, while Danilo subbed off early after a worrying head-to-head collision. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 34 vs Lazio

A defensive mishap made the final minutes tenser than they should have been, as Juventus had managed to solve Lazio in about an hour, delivering a killer one-two punch early in the second half exploiting the opponents’ mistake. The light did not completely go off this time around and the result stood, so the Old Lady assessed the penultimate blow to the title race.

Wojciech Szczesny: the defence needed to bounce back and it did it up until the last ten minutes, holding in check the opponents pretty comfortably, as they were limited to just one chance, a major one though as Ciro Immobile hit the post with a sudden strike. Continue reading

Sarri gets phylosophical is presser before Supercoppa

Double presser for Juventus in Riyadh ahead of the Supercoppa Italiana against Lazio. Leonardo Bonucci took the floor first: “The recent loss against them taught us that details and episodes can make all the difference.  We could have sealed it and then few things turned against us and allowed them to prevail. We are aware we will be facing a team that is in great form, but we are trending positively too. We are hopeful for tomorrow, our target is always the maximum one.” Continue reading

Sarri discusses tactics in pre-Sampdoria presser

Another game, another presser for coach Maurizio Sarri, who started off by addressing the chances of fielding the trident again: “I want to see the conditions of the players first, we played 48 hours ago. We had just a light practice yesterday to recuperate some energies. So I truly do not know right now.”

On the schedule: “Everybody say that I complain a lot. This is how they decided, so we roll with it. Maybe the mistake was making Lazio play on Monday, perhaps they could have played their Serie A game Wednesday like we do. But that is neither here nor there at this point.” Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Picks – Round 16

Wojciech Szczesny: the Juventus back-line has not been stout in the last two matches, allowing multiple goals for the first time this season, but they might be able to rectify things in the Udinese clash, since the opponents are tied for the least goals scored in the season. The goalie instead has been superb so far.

Aleksandar Kolarov: he has not scored or assisted in five straight rounds, which is odd for him, and he could be due to bounce back in a plum match-up against SPAL. Since Gianluca Mancini is suspended and Chris Smalling is banged up, he is slated to be Roma’s most appealing defender versus a team that has found the target just once in away matches. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 15 vs Lazio

Juventus brought something close to their A-game in the first half of the Saturday night game, but the game took a turn for the worst right before intermission and they ultimately, down to ten men, they could not contain a superb Lazio team, suffering the first loss of the season

Wojciech Szczesny: every defender had their fair share of troubles in this one, but the Polish goalie at least kept the score close for a while with an outstanding double save on a Ciro Immobile penalty and the subsequent rebound. He tried his best not to foul Joaquin Correa there but still brough him down and was hung out to dry by his teammates on the other two goals. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 12 vs Milan

More of the same from Juventus against a very game Milan, as the Bianconeri were unable to take control of the game and were forced to defend a lot, but the depth of the roster and the quality of the substitutions came to the rescue once again, this time through the angel face of Paulo Dybala.

Wojciech Szczesny (7 points): the fact that the goalie was the co-best player is pretty telling about how the match unfolded. He pulled off a sensational save on a Lucas Paqueta header in the first half and then he was supremely focused on all the attempts from long-range, which he never batted away centrally.  Continue reading

Sarri rules out De Ligt and assesses his time in Turin

Maurizio Sarri updated on Matthijs De Ligt’s status and weighed in on Gonzalo Higuain and their journey up to this point in the pre-game presser ahead of the tilt against Lokomotiv Moscow.

“Seeing some growth out of the team and reaching the next stage are goals that go hand-in-hand. You do not collect points in Europe if you do not play well. It will be a difficult game, they gave us fits it the first contest. We want to secure the qualification, then aim at the first place in the following one, but they are still in the running. We have to focus on our performance to get the result we want.” Continue reading

Juventus players talk ahead of Derby della Mole

Some Bianconeri linchpins spoke to the press yesterday in preparation for today’s Derby della Mole. Leonardo Bonucci gave an interview to La Stampa: “It will be a very difficult and balanced game. After a strong start, the Granata are going through a critical moment and the loss with Lazio was tough, but the Derby is always a match of his own: they will throw everything at use, but we must spring towards Scudetto.”

On Maurizio Sarri: “I could not believe he was coming here until I saw him sign. Everything is still in front of us, we want this year to be historic. Continue reading