Atalanta: Josip Ilicic was handed a two-game suspension for kicking an opponent from behind. Duvan Zapata is not ready to come back from his thigh strain. Robin Gosens is dealing with sciatica. Ruslan Malinovskyi has a sore glute. Remo Freuler is bang up as well and the trio is legitimately questionable.
Bologna: Roberto Soriano has been ruled out due to a knee bruise, Federico Santanderbecause of a calf one. Takehiro Tomiyasu (thigh), Mitchell Dijks (toe contusion) and Mattia Destro (knee soreness) stay on the shelf. Continue reading →
Standings implications: a weird round results-wise since three of the top four teams shared the spoils against minnows. In chronological order, Juventus could not get past Lecce, Inter equalized against Parma and Napoli did not come up with a game-winner versus SPAL. Atalanta were the only ones to capitalize on the other contenders’ misfortune, demolishing Udinese. Lazio outlasted Fiorentina, while Roma took advantage of Milan’s blunders. Cagliari tied with Torino away, while Bologna and Sassuolo returned to winning ways, sinking Sampdoria and Verona respectively. Genoa bounced back in Thiago Motta’s debut by staging a glorious second-half comeback against Brescia. Continue reading →
The Orobici have signed Ruben Malinovskyi from Genk, who is somebody to keep an eye on fantasy-wise since he was extremely productive in Belgium, thanks to penalties and other set pieces. Continue reading →
The last week prior to the official start of the transfer market was understandably quiet: Sampdoria pulled off the most interesting move by adding another talented youngster, Gonzalo Maroni from Boca Juniors, who can feature in few positions up front and has the potential to be electric. Genoa made a sizeable investment to have Andrea Pinamonti from Inter, who had a very promising rookie season in Frosinone and is set to be their featured guy up front moving forward. Fiorentina are giving the keys to their goal to Barlomiej Dragowki, who blossomed in Empoli last season, and thus sent Alban Lafont to Nantes on a two-year loan. Sassuolo permanently signed left back Rogerio from Juventus after the 18-month loan, Brescia did the same with Ales Mateju, who belonged to Brighton.
After acquiring Radja Nainggolan, Inter have completed another big move and have announced the acquisition of Matteo Politano from Sassuolo. The formula is fairly similar, but this time it will be season-long loan with 20M option to buy and Jens Odgaard moved to the Neroverdi as part of the deal. The 24-year-old winger has signed a five-year contract.
Politano is coming off his best season yet, where for the first time in his career he reached double digits goals and provided five assists on top of that. He truly spearheaded the Neroverdi’s late push to avoid relegation, scoring seven goals in the last ten Serie A games and clearly emerging as their best go-to guy. He recently debuted with Italy. He leaves Emilia after three seasons, 110 appearances and 24 goals. He was intensely pursued by Napoli in January, but the management did not let him go.
A natural left-footed right winger, Politano has very often played on the other flank to co-exist with Domenico Berardi. In the final few months of last year, he has found a lot of success as striker in a light attack after Giuseppe Iachini decided to switch to 3-5-2.
His versatility will give Luciano Spalletti some flexibility as he is pondering a new system based on a three-man defence. In any case, Politano is poised to challenge Antonio Candreva for the starting job, since the production of the former Lazio has steeply decreased last season. The Beneamata also did not have any alternatives behind the starters beside Yann Karamoh, who showed some promise but needs more consistency.
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The top teams will try to avoid some trap games in the next round.
Juventus-Bologna: the Bianconeri responded in a big way after the loss in the Napoli clash, even though they could have probably handled the Inter game better. Anyway, the dramatic win in the Derby d’Italia gave them a big lift in the title race. They will be without Miralem Pjanic and likely Mario Mandzukic in this one. Gonzalo Higuain resumed scoring and Paulo Dybala had a positive cameo, while Douglas Costa continues to be their star. Continue reading →
The next round includes two monumental games for the title contenders and a few other interesting fixtures.
Roma-Chievo: the Giallorossi have easily prevailed in their last two games against Genoa and Spal before being thumped by Liverpool. The Flying Donkeys have shown some fight against Inter and Napoli have and tied with Spal and Torino, but they need to pick up three points sooner rather than later to solidify their position. They have lost in ten of their last 12 away games. Continue reading →
The wheel keeps spinning in Serie A, so it is already time to take a look at the games of the upcoming round, which features the much-anticipated clash of the titans between Juventus and Napoli.
Spal-Roma: the Estensi have not lost in over two months and have drawn in their last six matches. They are a very tenacious and well-organized side, however the lack of a goal poacher makes them a little bland in the fantasy game as they rely mostly on random goals and stout defending. It’s a formula that works, though. The Wolf resumed winning midweek against Roma and Cengiz Under hit the net after a while. Continue reading →
Serie Areturns on the pitch with a heavy heart: the upcoming round is headlined by Inter-Napoli.
Roma-Torino: the Giallorossi will try to carry on their good momentum after a terrific win at San Paolo. While they have an elite road record, they have not been as convincing at home lately, but the last result could propel them. Patrik Schick is set to start because Edin Dzeko is suspended and he will try to turn his season around. Cengiz Under is undoubtedly the most appealing option, recently also Diego Perotti has had some decent showings, but there could be some rotation ahead to the midweek game against Shakhtar Donetsk: Lorenzo Pellegriniand Stephan El Shaarawy are always pretty active when fielded. Torino will try to bounce back after two straight losses: Andrea Belotti has shown signs of his best self, while Iago Falque has been their best contributor so far this season. Both him and Adem Ljajicare ex-Roma players and Eusebio Di Francesco’s back-line has been less stout than usual recently.