Reasons Why James Pallotta Should Sell His Shares in Roma

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In 2011, James Pallotta bought a majority share in AS Roma. During his time as owner, there have definitely been some great moments. However, it’s clear he should sell his share in the club. Here are the reasons why James Pallotta should sell his share in Roma.

First Reason: He’s Failed to Keep Key Players at the club

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Of course, this isn’t fully his fault, as it’s the individual player’s decisions to leave as well. But, he could’ve done better. Maybe, he wanted to make capital gain money, which is selling players for than what the club bought them for, as well. But, it clearly hasn’t worked and the squad has suffered for it. I’m not saying he should’ve kept every key player for Roma over the last decade because that’s nearly impossible. However, he clearly hasn’t given big players enough incentive to stay with the giallorossi. If you look at the great players they’ve sold over the decade such as Manolas, Alisson, and Salah, it’s clear to see why they’ve declined in terms of results. Not finding a leader after Totti retired in 2017 and when De Rossi left Roma in 2019, probably also hasn’t helped. But, selling a bunch of key players is a big reason why he should sell his shares in the club.

Second Reason: Roma Has Recorded Record Losses

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According to Football Italia, for the first nine months of the season, Roma has recorded approximately € 126.4 million in losses. Now, I’m sure a bunch of clubs have lost just as much money this season, as a result of the pandemic. But, according to Football Italia, Roma have net debts of €278.5 million. That’s crazy! They’ll need another owner to reduce their debt and that’d also help them earn more revenue. These losses are despite selling so many great players. Selling key players would help financially. However, if you can’t keep your operating costs low enough and can’t make even revenue via other ways, then, that strategy won’t pay off. It’s clear he needs to sell the team so selling players and making capital gains from their sell, isn’t such a huge priority.

Third Reason: Their Results Have Been Disappointing Over The Last Couple Of Seasons

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For many seasons in the early 2000s, Roma was competing for Serie A league titles. Even up to 2017, Roma was a title challenger. However, since 2017 they’ve gone from a club competing for the scudetto to competing for a Champions League spot. You could blame Roma for selling core players and it’s a fair point. But, the reality is Roma haven’t found adequate replacements for those players. It’s not fully Pallotta’s fault. But, he decides the budget that’ll be given to sign players in each transfer window. This is a big reason why Pallotta should sell his shares in the club. Roma needs an owner that’ll be willing to give the budget needed to adequately replace players. Also, an owner that’ll give players reasons to stay at the club would definitely help the club. That’s easier said than done. But, if he sells the club it may help Roma get the results they want once again.

The Most Impressive Serie A Clubs Since the Current Season Resumed

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Several months ago, everything was up in the air and I didn’t know whether the current Serie A season would resume. However, flash-forward to now and there are matches scheduled for the majority of each week over close to the next two months. It’s also still early in the resumption of the season, but there have been a few clubs that have stood out. Here are the most impressive Serie A clubs since the current season resumed.

MILAN

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Ever since Pioli got hired, it’s been obvious that Milan has played significantly better. I think that’s pretty obvious. Clearly, they’ve continued their good form since the resumption of the season. Their first match back was against Lecce. In that match, they were up 1-0 at the half and it seemed as though things we’re going downhill, as Lecce equalized just after half. After that, I’m not sure what happened, but Milan exploded and scored three goals to secure a 4-1 victory. Yes, Lecce isn’t a great team. But, the win was impressive, nonetheless. Then, last Sunday they faced Roma. It was a tight game throughout. However, Milan continued got the job done late in the second half with two goals. This club continues to impress and it’s possible that the Rossoneri can make up for their bad start to the current season. With the form they’re in, it’s definitely possible.

ATALANTA

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Atalanta has impressed me so much over these last couple of seasons. Even once the season resumed, it’s like Atalanta never stopped playing. A lot of fans may complain that their club’s players are suffering from rust from not playing for so long. However, if you look at the way Atalanta has been playing since the restart of the season, those excuses look less valid. Not only did they beat Sassuolo by a good margin, but they also beat Lazio and even got a victory Udinese on the weekend. It doesn’t even seem real that they can come back after that long and score goals for fun. It’s amazing, to say the least! Obviously, defensively they’re a bit vulnerable. However, they’ve scored 80 goals in 28 matches this season so far, so I don’t think they’re afraid of sacrificing defensively to score. It’s amazing to still watch their highly-energetic attack. What’s even more impressive is it feels as though they can outscore almost any other club in Serie A.

NAPOLI

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For the first few matches under Gattuso, Napoli seemed to continue to struggle. However, since then they’ve played on a completely different level. If moving back to the top 6 wasn’t enough for some, winning the Coppa Italia might’ve been. A lot of squads would’ve lost focus for the rest of the season after winning a trophy like the Coppa Italia. However, not Napoli under Gattuso. Since they’ve resumed their season, they’ve beaten both Hellas Verona and SPAL. Now, the match against Hellas Verona seemed to be tough for them throughout. But, they defended well and were able to contain the beast that Hellas Verona has been this season. Then, they were able to capitalize on the Counter Attack. In both matches, the players stayed focused and calm and as a result, they’ve impressed. If they keep playing like this, who knows who they can surpass in the Serie A table.

JUVENTUS

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After Juve’s Coppa Italia performances, it would’ve been easy to write them and Maurizio Sarri off. However, so far Sarri has adjusted things and that has really helped. As a result of Alex Sandro’s injury in the Coppa Italia, he’s had to adjust. In the first match, he deployed De Sciglio as the left-back. Then, in the second match, he deployed Matuidi at left-back, which was odd because he typically plays as a central midfielder. But, they had no other choice and it seemed to work. The biggest difference in my view, though, was the attack. At right-wing, instead of starting Douglas Costa as Sarri did in their Coppa Italia matches, he opted to start Bernardeschi. That definitely paid off. Of course, Douglas Costa is a better player than Bernardeschi. But, the reason their attack has looked better in the last couple of games is one simple reason. Bernardeschi was willing to switch his position in order to allow more freedom for CR7 and Dybala. Costa, however, wasn’t as willing to switch play. As a result, Bernardeschi has surprisingly been better as a starter than Costa, since the season resumed. Time will tell if the front three of CR7, Dybala, and Berna will be truly effective. However, for now, it definitely is.

Thank you for reading this article! If you’re passionate about Serie A and want to constantly teach/learn about the league, you can reach out to me via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, you can also send me a message to my email address, which is calciofanblogs@gmail.com

Here’s Dybala’s impressive goal against Lecce on the weekend. Enjoy!

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Previewing Serie A Clubs for the Rest of the Season (Part Four)

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The anticipation in my head is building like crazy, as tomorrow the Serie A season will resume! Here’s my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (part four). Be sure to enjoy it!

Roma

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I’m not really sure what to make of this season for Roma. I predicted them to finish in the top four at the beginning of the season. But, results-wise, I don’t think they’ve disappointed that much being in fifth. At the beginning of the season, they were a bit inconsistent. As the season has gone on, they’ve definitely improved. Dzeko has been decent upfront. At the back, the likes of Smalling and Mancini have also formed a decent partnership. Even Veretout and Diawara have done their jobs in the midfield. What may help this squad be in the Champions League next season is the fact that Zaniolo will be back. We’ll see if he can help elevate them to that next level for the remainder of the season.

Atalanta

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Like I’ve mentioned many times, Atalanta has been performing above expectations by far this season. They qualified for the Champions League for the first time, as a result of finishing third last season. Once again, they’re holding on to a Champions League spot for next season. The fact that they could perform at this high of a level in the league and qualify to the quarterfinals of the Champions League is amazing, to say the least! Considering, the revenue the club earns. Roma is only 3 points away from them for that final Champions League spot. Don’t ever doubt this squad, though. We’ll see if Gasperini can lead Atalanta to the Champions League once again!

Inter

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This season has been an interesting one for the nerazzuri. During the first half of the season, it seemed like they could go toe to toe with Juve for the scudetto. However, in the second half of the season, their form dipped significantly. They definitely possess the players to be scudetto contenders. However, it seemed as though their opponents began to figure out their tactics more and how to limit them. In Inter’s match last Saturday against Napoli, Antonio Conte changed his formation from a 3-5-2 to 3-4-1-2 and Christian Eriksen started. He definitely showed how good Inter can be when he starts. We’ll see if Conte keeps using the 3-4-1-2 for the rest of the season.

Lazio

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I don’t think that Lazio or even calcio fans, in general, could’ve expected Lazio to perform this well. Kudos to them! Everything has seemed to click for this squad. As a result, they’re neck and neck with Juve for the scudetto. Before this all happened, they went on a massive unbeaten run in the league. This whole situation may effect that momentum. However, one thing is certain. That thing is that if they keep the momentum up from before, surely, they’ll win the scudetto. That’d be something remarkable if it happened! I’m sure Napoli fans wouldn’t be impressed, as they’ve been Juve’s main contender for the scudetto over the last several seasons and they haven’t been able to pull it off.

Juventus

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It’s clear that this season Juve hasn’t had the same fear factor in Serie A as previous ones. Sarri shares a little bit of blame for that. But, it’s mostly because of Juve’s upper-management. In the summer, they didn’t address Juve’s right-back and central midfield issues. As a result, their flaws have been very explicit. Sarri has also had a tough time this season, so far. Yes, they’re in first but he’s had trouble implementing his style of play with their current squad. A big part of that is because the midfield doesn’t fit his style of play. He could implement Sarriball with this squad. But, the issue would be is they’d get exposed badly at the back. We’ll see if Maurizio Sarri can lead Juve to a Scudetto, in his debut season with the club.

Thank you for reading all four articles previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season! I don’t about you, but I’m so excited to finally be able to watch Serie A once again! We’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.

Previewing Serie A Clubs for the Rest of the Season (Part Three)

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Just in case you didn’t know, the Serie A season is only two days from resuming once again! It’s going down to the wire! So, here’s my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (part three).

Bologna

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Not too long ago, I said that Bologna is one of my top four underrated clubs for the rest of the season. One thing that is persistent among clubs around midtable is their inconsistency in terms of results and that’s no different than Bologna this season. Of course, they’ve done decently given the squad at their disposal. Their attack has become one of the most deadly in the league with Palacio and Orsolini headlining it. Of course, on their day, backlines dislike facing them. However, defensively they need to improve if they want to move up in the table. Sinisa Mihajlovic has done a great job managing them this season, though.

Parma

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My admiration for Parma and their manager, Roberto D’aversa is clear. However, they’ve backed that up with results this season. As I’ve mentioned, their counterattack is one of the deadliest in the league. They also defend well. Unfortunately, their brightest player this season, Dejan Kulusevski, probably won’t play for them next season, as Juve signed him in January and loaned back to Parma for the rest of this season. However, Parma should definitely take advantage of the time he still has with the club. Beware of them!

Hellas Verona

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I never expected Hellas Verona to be this good at the beginning of the season. I thought that for sure they’d be relegated at the end of this season. However, they’ve impressed so many calcio fans. Veloso and Amrabat have been rocks in the middle of the park, Kumbulla and Faraoni have been solid at the back as well. Even upfront, they’ve played well. The majority of the credit has to go to Ivan Juric. He’s done a stellar job with the squad so far and I can’t wait to watch them for the rest of the season!

AC Milan

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At the start of this season, things seemed like they were going up for Milan. They hired Giampaolo, who seemed like a great coach for the rossoneri. However, at the beginning of the season, they got off to a horrendous start and Giampaolo got sacked. Stefano Piolo got hired for the job and so far, he’s done a good job with them. I’m sure the squad and fans aren’t satisfied with their current place in the table, which is 9th. However, if they keep improving for the rest of the season, anything can happen. They may even qualify for the Europa League next season, who knows?

Napoli

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To say this has been a disappointing season for Napoli is completely right! They went from competing for the scudetto in previous seasons to competing for a spot in European competition this season. Although, ever since Gattuso took the reins of the squad, they’ve improved immensely. They even re-signed Dries Mertens, which may give the whole club a boost for the rest of the season. If they keep playing this way under Gattuso, they could possibly end up in the Champions League next season. They’re 9 points away from catching Atalanta for the final Champions League spot. But, anything can happen.

Previewing Serie A Clubs for the Rest of the Season (Part Two)

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The resumption of the current Serie A season is getting closer and closer and I can’t be more excited! There won’t be fans present in the stadiums. But, that won’t deter me from watching the matches on tv, that’s for sure! Here’s my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (part two).

Torino

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Last season, Torino conceded the least amount of goals in the whole of Serie A. This season has been almost a completely different case. Their backline isn’t as solid this season. It also doesn’t help that their top striker, Andrea Belotti has been inconsistent. They only sit 2 points above the relegation zone. However, if their backline finds their form from last season, they could turn their definitely season around. Also, Andrea Belotti needs to produce more consistently in order for Torino to get back on track.

Udinese

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Udinese is definitely a club that’s a shadow of itself. Especially, over the last few seasons. However, they do have a decent core of players. Including the likes of Seko Fofana, Rodrigo De Paul and Juan Musso. They have also shown that they can get good results against stronger opponents, as well. It’ll be tough, as they’re not a team that scores a bunch of goals on a consistent basis. However, if they can find consistency, it may work out for them for the rest of the season.

Fiorentina

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Last season was disappointing for Fiorentina. Based on the squad they had, they should’ve achieved better results. Then, in the summer, New York Cosmos’ owner Rocco Commisso bought the club. That signalled a rebuild for the club. So far, they’ve improved from last season, slightly. I’d say their flaws are at the back, as they don’t lack attacking prowess, whatsoever. Even their midfield led by young phenom, Gaetano Castrovilli, looked good. It’ll be interesting to see whether they can maintain consistent enough results to finish in a mid-table spot.

Cagliari

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In the early stages of this season, Cagliari was flying high and looked to challenge for a European Competition spot for next season. However, their form dipped. Although, with the likes of Joao Pedro, Giovanni Simeone, and Nainggolan, this squad is very underrated, despite their current place in the table. In this article, I said Cagliari was one of my four top underrated clubs for the rest of the season. They’ll definitely be a club to keep an eye on throughout the rest of the season. You should never underrate a club with that type of talent.

Sassuolo

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Sassuolo is one of those clubs that are neither underrated nor overrated, at least for me. They definitely possess talent in the likes of Francesco Caputo and Jeremie Boga. As for Domenico Berardi, I definitely believe he possesses the talent to be one of, if not the best wingers in Serie A. But, like many players he lacks the consistency to be at that top level. As for Sassuolo in general, they can be a tough club to beat. Let’s see if they continue that come this Saturday.

Thank you once again for reading this article! If you’d like to read the first of these four articles that I’ll be publishing, here’s the link!

Previewing Serie A Clubs for the Rest of the Season (Part One)

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It’s official! Serie A will be back on June 20th and I can’t be more excited! It’s definitely exciting to write about the current season, once again! So, here’s my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (Part One).

Brescia

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Despite having arguably the brightest prospect in Serie A, Brescia’s season has been disappointing. Now, I did predict they’d be relegated at the beginning of the season. However, to see last season’s leading Serie B goalscorer, Antonio Donnarumma, and Mario Balotelli underperform has been sad to see. As a result, there’s a good chance they’ll get relegated. Let’s see if they can recover and avoid relegation for next season. Of course, if relegation ends up happening.

Spal

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For the previous couple of seasons, Spal has been able to narrowly avoid relegation to Serie B. However, so far this season they haven’t performed with that same fighting spirit that kept them up. As a result, they currently sit in 19th in the standings. Their main striker, Andrea Petagna has been superb with 11 goals in the current campaign. He’s even caught the eye of Napoli. As a result, he’ll join Napoli in the summer. If SPAL wants to stay up, they’ll definitely need to improve their performance

Lecce

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Coming into this season, I expected Lecce to be relegated. They are performing like expected. However, they’ve had some massive results this season. Currently, they sit in 18th, tied in points with Genoa. They could very well avoid descending to Serie B. If they continue to shock some other clubs within the league, you never know. Also, their squad has one of the most underrated players in Serie A in Marco Mancosu. He could definitely lead them to staying up in Serie A. Of course, only time will tell.

Genoa

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It’s sad to see such a historically great club in Serie A fall this far. Even, last season they avoided relegation by such a slim margin. I’m not sure exactly what they have to do in order to change their results week-in and week-out, but something has to change. It doesn’t help that they loaned out two bright young players in Christian Kouamé and Kevin Agudelo to Fiorentina in January. They definitely need to improve immensely if they don’t want to have to fight to stay up for the rest of the season.

Sampdoria

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Coming into this season, I thought that Sampdoria were going to be one of the more underrated clubs. However, I was completely wrong! Instead, they’re fighting to stay in Serie A next season. They only sit 1 point above the relegation zone. What I thought was going to be a great season for Sampdoria under Eusebio Di Francesco, was a disaster. They’ve definitely been very underwhelming. It didn’t help that at the beginning of the season, they lost 6 of their first seven matches. Although, under Claudio Ranieri they’ve improved slightly. I’ll be sure to keep an eye on the blucerchiati as the season progresses.

There you have it! This is my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (part one). If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter @calciofanblogs1, on Instagram @calciofanblogs. Be sure to follow and like my Facebook Page, which is Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, if you would like to reach out to me via email, write to josephporco6@gmail.com or calciofanblogs@gmail.com.

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Previewing the Second Legs of the Coppa Italia Semifinal Ties

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I’m so excited because the Italian Soccer we’ve all been craving for months will return this Friday and Saturday! The Coppa Italia will return with the second leg of both the Coppa Italia semifinal matches. The first semifinal second leg will take place on Friday between Juve and AC Milan. The other semifinal second leg will take place on Saturday between Napoli and Inter. Here is my article, previewing the second legs of the Coppa Italia Semifinal Ties!

Juventus Vs. AC Milan

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In the first leg, Milan definitely outplayed Juve. However, due to Juve scoring a penalty in stoppage time of the second half, they’re at a bit of a disadvantage going into the second leg in Turin. Before this whole situation, AC Milan was beginning to find themselves once again and we’re challenging for a Europa League spot for next season. Indeed, it seemed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had brought much-needed leadership to the squad. However, he’ll be out of this match with a calf injury. So, it’ll be tough to get a result. Also, going to the Allianz Stadium is already tough to play in, nevermind getting a result. So, it’ll be very difficult to get a favourable result. But, anything is possible.

This season has been shaky so far this season for Juve. Sarri has had trouble implementing his preferred style of play because of Juve’s lack of creative midfielders. Even, in the first leg, Juve didn’t look at their best, whatsoever. They got outplayed for basically the whole match. As a Juve fan, it was definitely frustrating to watch. Despite that, they were able to get the job done and secure the advantage heading into the second leg. Having an advantage will definitely help to go into the second leg at home. However, with no crowd, the home advantage may not apply for Juve in this match.

Napoli Vs. Inter

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At the beginning of the current season, Inter were flying high and seemed like the Serie A contender many thought they should be before it started. However, as the season progressed, their performances began to decline. Even, in the first leg of this semifinal match against Napoli, they looked shaky. Although, they may have felt that they should’ve got a result. The match was also at the Stadio San Siro, so that was a big blow to them. Hopefully, Conte changes the squad’s formation going into the second leg, as they’ll play away at the Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli was flying high before. Gattuso was rapidly improving the squad and leading them to better results after performing below expectations for the first half of the season. Signing Lobotka in the winter definitely helped them as well. They even have a lead over Inter going into the second leg of their Coppa Italia tie. They’ll also be playing at home which may tremendously help them. The only issue will be the same as every other club in Serie A, which is they’ll be playing behind closed doors. We’ll see if they can replicate their usual form at home with no fans to cheer them on.

Thank you for reading this article! Let me know your predictions for these matches in the comments. If you haven’t already, be sure to follow me on Twitter @calciofanblogs1, on Instagram @calciofanblogs. Be sure to follow and like my Facebook Page, which is Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, if you would like to reach out to me via email, write to josephporco6@gmail.com or calciofanblogs@gmail.com.

Here’s Napoli’s goal against Inter in the first leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal tie! Video Via: Youtube-Fon Tifunus

The Four Most Underrated Clubs for the Rest of the Season

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Hellas Verona Boss Ivan Jurić Emerges as Unlikely Candidate to ...

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Just before the current Serie A season began, I wrote an article on the four most underrated clubs heading into it. Of course, like any season things have changed like crazy since then. So, here are the four most underrated clubs for the rest of the season.

 

4. Parma

Inter target Kulusevski continues to shine for Parma ...

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If you’ve read some of my previous articles, you’d know how much I admire Parma’s Manager, Roberto D’Aversa! I also admire this squad. in general. Kulusevski has been a great addition and the squad seems to have improved throughout the season. Gervinho was supposed to leave in January, but the move fell through. That was probably a huge boost for this squad. Even, their backline has looked very tough to breakdown. Also, as I’ve mentioned in various articles, their counterattack is a threat to any opponent. Clubs such as Napoli, AC Milan, and Hellas Verona will have a tough time fighting this club off for Europa League spots. Parma definitely seems prepared for the fight,  that’s for sure!

 

3. Bologna 

Calciomercato Juventus, Orsolini resta nei radar: patto col ...

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Near the beginning of this season, Bologna’s manager, Sinisa Mihajlovic, was diagnosed with leukemia. That seemed to give the club tons of motivation. Last season, he came in and the club went from battling relegation. This season, they’ve stayed in a midtable spot. However, this is a club that when on their game can stun the best of clubs. With the likes of veteran, Rodrigo Palacio and young star, Riccardo Orsolini in their lineup, they can be a handful to face. Even their backline with the likes of Ibrahima Mbaye and Mattia Bani can be formidable. Although, their backline has been inconsistent at times. This is definitely a club to watch out for during the rest of the season. They have a manager in Mihajlovic who can pull many unexpected tricks. So, other Serie A clubs beware!

 

2. Cagliari

  Inter Owned Nainggolan Must Take Pay Cut If He Wants To Join ...Image Via: https://onefootball.com/

At the beginning of the season, Cagliari was challenging for a Champions League place. However, their form dipped and currently, they sit in 12th place. But, there’s no reason to write them off for a second. This season, they have some of the most underrated players in the league. Joao Pedro has been superb at leading the attack, Roma loanee, Robin Olsen, has been crucial for them in the net. Also, I know Inter fans may not want to hear this, but Radja Nainggolan has been a rock in the middle for Cagliari, this season. The squad hasn’t found consistent results since the beginning of the season. However, make no mistake, this squad is definitely capable of pulling together consistent results as well as surprising many fans and pundits.

 

1. Hellas Verona 

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Since Ivan Juric has taken over this Hellas Verona side, they’ve definitely looked different, to say the least! They’re current in 8th, challenging for a Europa League, which is definitely surprising. This squad is full of underrated players. Maybe, that’s motivated them to play at such a high-level. Also, it’s impressive to see the results they’ve gotten, considering they got promoted from Serie B last season. It’s their first season back in Serie A since 2017-2018. Clearly, that one season in Serie B motivated to come back stronger and they have! Davide Faraoni, Kumbulla, Miguel Veloso and others have just been so underrated and have been quietly leading the club to great results! Who knows what will happen to the squad in the next transfer window? Either way, I’m sure that fans and employees of the club are not thinking about that and enjoying this cinderella story. I’m not even a Hellas Verona fan and I’m enjoying this!

 My four most underrated clubs have changed completely since the beginning of the season. But, that’s just the nature of what happens over any season in sports. Either way, I can’t wait to watch it! There you have it, this is my article on the four most underrated clubs for the rest of the season!

 

Disadvantages of Resuming the Current Serie A Season

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Last week, I wrote an article on the advantages of resuming the current Serie A season. This week will be the polar opposite. This article will be on the disadvantages of resuming the current Serie A season. So sit back, grab a chair, and get the popcorn ready. This should be a good one!

 

FIRST DISADVANTAGE: HEALTH AND SAFETY RISKS

Serie A group training gets all clear, season decision May 28 ...

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Group training is officially allowed to happen this week! However, there are many risks of contracting COVID-19. What is even more concerning is that the Italian Government changed the rules a little bit. If a player/staff member tests positive for the virus, only those individual people who test positive will be quarantined. That’s definitely controversial. When this season first got postponed, it was because Daniele Rugani tested positive for COVID-19. Initially, it was only him that tested positive. After that of course, other players tested positive for the virus. It should be the same protocol to resume the season. Unfortunately, it won’t be and now there’s a real risk of an outbreak of COVID-19 among the players and staff, which would definitely cancel the current season. It’s something that will have to be discussed among the FIGC and the Italian Government.

 

SECOND DISADVANTAGE: THE OPTICS OF IT MAY LOOK BAD

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One thing that should be considered is that there are still countries around the world where people are quarantined. It may lift people’s spirits to resume the season, but it could also cause anger and bring people down. It may not look good to some fans around the world that they’re in quarantine, while players can do their jobs and get paid the majority, if not all of their yearly salaries. People who are currently not bringing in a lot of income and are fully quarantined, may not see this in a good way. Also, the fact that the games will be played behind closed doors, may rub some fans the wrong way. However, to be fair, we don’t know when fans will ab able to fill up stadiums again, so it’s tough to cancel matches because of that.

 

THIRD DISADVANTAGE: THE PLAYERS WOULD BE MORE FATIGUED 

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Professional Calcio players are definitely in top shape. However, if the current season fully resumes, the matches will definitely be condensed.  Also, unless the start of the next season isn’t delayed by a couple of months, it would most likely cause more injuries among the players as well as fatigue. That would definitely be tough on everyone from the players to the coaching and medical staff. That may make resuming the season not worth it. The only good thing is that FIFA has permitted the use of five substitutes for a match. Here is the rule, for reference. That may help, but condensing the season would definitely impact the next season as well.

Whichever side you’re on in this debate, we can all agree that this is an unprecedented time and hopefully, soon enough fans are allowed to go to stadiums. Thank you for reading this article on the disadvantages of resuming the current Serie A season. Let me know in the comments section as well what your stance on resuming the current season is!

 

 

 

Advantages of Resuming the Current Serie A Season

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Earlier this week, Serie A clubs voted to resume the current season on June 13th. Pending, Italian Government approval, of course! So, I’ve decided to write an article on the advantages of resuming the current Serie A Season. Sometime, within the next week, I will write an article on the disadvantages of resuming the current Serie A season. So, stay tuned! Also, I wrote another relevant to this topic. It was about reasons for and against resuming the current season.  Anyways, here we go! 

 

First Advantage: It’s Something to Look Forward to For Fans 

Video – Inter Fans Support Squad At Appiano Gentile Ahead Of Derby Against Juventus

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For some time, Serie A matches will be played behind closed doors. This would include the current season if it resumes. However, I’m sure fans would be glued to their television every weekend supporting their team. There are a lot of risks to resuming the current season. However, one advantage will be that’ll lift the spirits of Calcio fans around the world. For some, resuming the season would be like opening a birthday present. Also, from the amount of stuff that fans gone through over these past several months, it should provide them with some sense of normality. Although, it may not happen for months. It would definitely help fans, immensely! 

 

Second Advantage: Recovering Some of the Lost Revenue 

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According to The Telegraph, if Serie A cancels the current season, they’d lose 15-20% of the TV money that would be made if the full season was cancelled. According to The Telegraph, the amount they’d lose would be approximately 230 Million Pounds or 257.6 Million Euros. That loss of revenue is immense. Also, in the article, it’s pointed out that there’s a pandemic clause in the TV Deal, whereby even if the rest of the games are played behind closed doors, they will still receive the full TV deal fee. That’s huge for several reasons. One, it will give clubs more room to spend on stuff such as merchandising, marketing, player wages, transfer fees and may even help them to not be overwhelmed by operational costs for other employees and stadium maintenance costs. Clubs probably wouldn’t make all their revenue from the season back, but recovering some of the revenue by resuming the campaign would help.                 

 

Third Advantage: Broadcasters Would Benefit

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Normal fans may not see this as an advantage, but it is. If the season doesn’t resume, Serie A broadcasters would most likely lose tons of advertising revenue. Advertisers pay broadcasters to advertise their company during their programs. If a program such as Serie A is cancelled for the season, companies’ ads wouldn’t happen at different parts during, before and after the match because there’s no audience and no reach to promote their products/services. Therefore, broadcasters would lose a ton of ad revenue just on broadcasting Serie A, alone. In the future, that may hinder those broadcasters from airing matches because it wouldn’t be worth it for the costs they pay to show games. If the current campaign resumes, broadcasters would make some of the advertising revenue they lost back and in the future, they may feel it’s worth it to re-acquire the rights to broadcast Serie A. It might be a bit complicated to understand, but it would be an advantage for fans and broadcasters if the current Serie A season were to resume. 

 

Whether the current Serie A season resumes or not, remains to be seen. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages to resuming the season. However, this article is about the advantages of resuming the current Serie A season. Thank you for reading this article and let me know your thoughts on the advantages of resuming the current campaign. 

 

Inter Milan’s Needs in the Summer Transfer Window

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Man Utd eye swoop for Inter Milan centre-back Diego Godin

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So far, it’s been a season fulls of many ups and downs for Inter. They definitely possess the talent to compete for Scudetto. However, they’ve been exposed in some areas. So, here’s my latest article where I write about Inter Milan’s needs in the Summer Transfer Window. 

 

First Need: A Right-Back/Right-Wingback 

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As I’ve eluded to in previous articles such as this one, a top right-back at a decent price is tough to find. However, like some other clubs, Inter definitely needs one. In Inter’s case, their search is even more difficult, though. Antonio Conte likes to play a 3-5-2, which requires wingbacks. It’s tough to suggest right-wing backs they should go for just because not a lot of clubs play with that formation.  However, one player that could maybe fit that mould is Joao Cancelo. He definitely has to work on his ability to defend. But, he’s fast and can definitely create a lot of great attacking plays from that position. Victor Moses is not good enough in that position for Inter, neither is Candreva. Also, signing Cancelo would be simpler than the last couple of summers, considering at Manchester City, he hasn’t gotten playing time. This is definitely Inter’s biggest need and an area they should invest in, in the Summer. 

 

Second Need: A Box-to-Box Central Midfielder 

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This is an interesting one because, on paper, their starting midfield doesn’t have flaws. It definitely has little vulnerability. However, if Inter can, it’d be great if they tried to sign a box-to-box midfielder in the next transfer window. Now, this is a tough position to go for just because similarly to a right-back, it’s tough to find a top box-to-box midfielder for a cheap price. For this Summer, I don’t think it’s realistic for them to sign Sergej Milinkovic-Savic or Paul Pogba, who can play that position. However, since Stefano Sensi is injury-prone, maybe, they can sign a box-to-box midfielder to rotate with him, throughout next season. This is not their primary need in the Summer, but it’s an area worth looking at.  

 

Third Need: Depth at Centreback 

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Within Inter’s starting 11, they definitely have top Centrebacks. The likes of Skriniar, De Vrij and even Bastoni have been tremendous this season. The only thing Inter needs to improve in this area is their depth. Godin has lived up to expectations at Inter. However, I think he’d be a great backup option. I think that if Inter wants to improve their depth in this area, looking at players such as Kumbulla, Armando Izzo, or even Felipe may help immensely. It’d also be good to increase competition with any of those signings, which would increase their level of performance. Hopefully, they can sign either of those three or others in the centreback position. 

Maybe, the current season resumes and Inter improves their place in the standings. However, either way, these needs should be addressed. Of course, if it can be done. So, there you have it, here’s this article where I discuss Inter Milan’s needs in the summer transfer window. 

 

 

 

 

AC Milan’s Needs in the Summer Transfer Window

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Coming into the season, AC Milan had high hopes. However, it hasn’t turned out well for them, so far. This summer may revive the hopes of the club and fans. So, here is an article on AC Milan’s needs in the Summer Transfer Window.

 

A Leader On The Field

Ibrahimovic unable to

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When Zlatan Ibrahimovic came back to Milan in January, I pointed out in this article, that one of the reasons he’d help AC Milan is his leadership qualities. Obviously, he’s brought a ton of leadership to the squad so far this season. However, there’s a good chance he won’t re-sign with the Rossoneri in the summer. Therefore, I think that AC Milan will need to look elsewhere to find a proven leader on the field, considering how young a lot of their players are. It’s tough to say who AC Milan should go for in the summer.  This would be difficult, but I would suggest that AC Milan should go for Thiago Silva in the Summer. His contract expires on June 30th. Also, he has proven to be a leader on PSG and the Brazilian National squad.  Hence, why he was named PSG’s captain some seasons ago.

 

A Right-Back

Milan wants to sell Calabria – football.ua

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AC Milan definitely needs to address their backline in the summer. I’m sure a lot of fans would agree with that assessment. One position that I think needs to be addressed is at right-back. It’s no secret that Andrea Conti is injury-prone and unfortunately, that doesn’t make him a reliable right-back. Also, I personally believe that Davide Calabria is a good backup right-back. However, I don’t think he’s good enough to be playing the minutes he has. The question is, who can AC Milan sign to address this need. It’s tough to say because it’s very difficult to find a top right-back and at a cheap price. Also, consider some clubs have the better financial muscle and they need a right-back as well.

 

A Centre-Back

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When AC Milan bought Mateo Musacchio in 2017, there were many reasons to be excited. Indeed, he was a standout player for Villareal and they thought that maybe Romagnoli would finally get the help he deserved. However, signing him has been a disaster, to say the least.  Romagnoli has had to carry even more of the weight of the backline on his shoulders. Leo Duarte has been a decent partner for Romagnoli. However, I don’t believe he’s been good enough to not sign another centre-back in the summer. However, if AC Milan is somehow able to sign Thiago Silva in the summer, I believe he’ll address two of these issues. I’ll repeat it again, just in case AC Milan’s Upper-Management hasn’t seen it before. Please, try your best to sign Thiago Silva in the summer!

 

An Attacking-Oriented Central Midfielder

Official statement: giacomo bonaventura | AC Milan

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I definitely consider signing an attacking-oriented central midfielder a need for AC Milan. However, I think that other needs should be addressed first before this one. Notably, their backline. However, this is still a need, nonetheless.  It seems as though they are fine at the defensive midfield position, as they have Franck Kessie and Bennacer. Both have shown that they’re capable of being starters in that position for AC Milan, at least in my view. However, they lack central midfielders that can orchestrate attacking plays. Bonaventura is awesome, however, he tends to get injuries. I have nothing against his play on the field. But, I think that AC Milan should consider signing a more reliable midfielder with a similar playing style as him.

Indeed, it’s apparent from this article that AC Milan has a bunch of needs heading into the Summer Transfer Window. However, it may not be easy to address all these issues so fast. Thanks for reading this article on AC Milan’s needs in The Summer Transfer Window. If, you want to have your say, vote in the poll below!

Reasons For and Against Serie A Resuming Its Current Season

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The resumption of many sports league’s seasons around the world has been a hot button topic among fans and organizers, lately. In this article, I will provide reasons for and against Serie A resuming its current season.

Reason #1 Against Resuming the Current Season: The Health and Safety of Players and Staff May Be in Danger

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Earlier this week, Italian Minister of Sport, Vincenzo Spadafora warned that the current Serie A season could be discontinued if they don’t change proposed health and safety protocols. If they are to resume the season, of course, health and safety will have to come first before anything else. If the Italian government feels that their proposed health and safety protocols aren’t good enough, then there’s no better reason why Serie A should resume this season.

Reason #2 Against Resuming the Current Season: The Optics May Not Look Good

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Even if this season resumes, I think it’s obvious that there won’t be fans at stadiums for a while. Now, to be fair, we don’t know how long a while is. However, many fans will not like the decision to resume because they may think that all the club executives care about is making a profit. Also, with all that the world has gone through with this crisis and especially in Italy fans may see it as insensitive to resume the season.

Reason #1 For Resuming the Serie A Season: It May Bring Happiness To People During These Uncertain Times

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The power of the beautiful game has been demonstrated in so many ways. I’m not saying resuming the season would fix all the bad things that Covid-19 has done. However, resuming the current season may give those who are feeling anxious or sad some happiness. It could even give people hope that we’ll get out of this and there’s a rainbow at the end of the tunnel. You never know if it could have this type of effect on people. But, there’s certainly a good possibility of that.

Reason #2 For Resuming the Serie A Season: Clubs Are Losing Money and It May Effect Them For Seasons to Come

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This may not be worrisome at all for fans of the league. However, for club executives, it definitely is. According to statista, the estimated amount of revenue that the Serie A could lose as a result of this crisis close to 650 million Euros. Now, this may not affect clubs such as Juventus or even Inter Milan. But, for smaller clubs in Serie A, this will have detrimental effects. Not only will it force clubs not to spend any money in the transfer market, but it may also force these clubs to sell important players, therefore, weakening their squads, which would lead to a whole downward spiral.

Thanks for reading this article on reasons for and against Serie A resuming its current season. So, do you think Serie A should resume the current season? Also, why or why not?

Clubs That Should Sign Moise Kean in the Summer

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It obviously didn’t work out for Moise Kean at Everton this season. It was definitely frustrating for him. He probably didn’t get the playing time that he wanted in England. So, here’s an article about clubs that should look to sign Moise Kean in the Summer. 

 

    ROMA

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Roma may not desperately need another striker. However, they should definitely look into it. As much as Dzeko is their main no. 9, it definitely wouldn’t hurt for them to buy a cheap player off the bench such as Moise Kean. Firstly, it would take the pressure off of Dzeko to have to constantly score. Also, with someone such as Moise Kean on the bench, Dzeko may become less fatigued as the season goes on. Additionally, as a fan of the Italian National Team, it’d be great to see two top prospects in Italy in Zaniolo and Kean playing alongside each other. It’d be a treat to watch. 

 

JUVENTUS

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During the 2018-2019 season, things were looking great for Moise Kean. He was getting a good amount of playing time for Juventus and was performing well. Here’s the article I wrote on why I thought that selling Moise Kean was a mistake for Juve. In 13 Serie A appearances, he scored 6 goals. For a player that young in a top league, that’s very impressive! However, to the surprise of many fans, last summer Juve decided to sell Moise Kean to Everton. I think that Juve should try to use that buyback option to bring him back to Turin. If he was able to perform well for Juve before, what would stop him now? Like Allegri, I believe that Sarri could get Moise Kean to perform like he did previously at Juve. It’s definitely worth it for Juve, in my opinion.                      

                               

       INTER MILAN             

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Inter fans may be surprised by this. But, I genuinely believe that Inter is one of the clubs that should sign Moise Kean in the Summer. Of course, he wouldn’t be a starter considering they’ll keep Lukaku and possibly still Lautaro Martinez for next season. However, since Conte likes to play two strikers in the starting 11, Moise Kean and Sebastiano Esposito would be great backups. Also, with the number of competitions, Inter is expected to participate in the next season, they may welcome more depth. The only issue would be that if Conte doesn’t like Moise Kean, he wouldn’t get adequate enough playing time. But, other than that, I believe it’d work. 

Thanks for reading this article! I’d love to hear which club you think should sign Moise Kean in the Summer. 

                                                               

 

 

The Three Best No. 10s in Serie A this Season

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Over the years, Serie A has offered some of the best No. 10s of all-time. Del Piero, Baggio, Maradona, and Totti are among those legendary No. 10s. Presently, there are lots of great No. 10s to choose from in Italy. So, I’ve decided to write an article on the three best No.10s this season in Serie A. So, let’s get to it!

3. Lautaro Martinez

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Lautaro Martinez isn’t a typical No. 10. What I mean by that is he’s not primarily a playmaker and has played as a striker this season and throughout his career at Inter, so far. There’s no denying his talent, though. I’d argue he’s probably the most well-rounded strikers in Serie A. He’s a great dribbler and playmaker. Also, he can definitely score. He definitely complements Lukaku perfectly well as well. In my opinion, he reminds me of Carlos Tevez or Sergio Aguero, style-wise at least. Like them, his first touch and dribbling ability, especially in tight quarters are top-notch. Also, his ability to evade defenders reminds me a lot of those two. He’s definitely the youngest player in this article and has plenty of room to grow. I’d love to see how good he can become as his career progresses.

2. Luis Alberto

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Luis Alberto has definitely shown how good he can be throughout his time at Lazio. When you think of a typical playmaker, it’s him. He’s not the best goalscorer. But, what he brings to the table is his ability to pass, which is top-class. Currently, he leads the league in assists with 12. I mean, it helps when you have Immobile in front of you for sure. But, he’s definitely been one of the most overlooked trequartistas in world football. Typically, he either plays at the CAM position or CM position, as he does the most damage there. He’s definitely been a key part of Lazio’s success this season and hopefully, he remains at Lazio through the foreseeable future.

1. Paulo Dybala

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It’s no secret that Paulo Dybala has been Juve’s most important player this season. Indeed, without la Joya, who knows where they’d be in the Serie A standings. He hasn’t had great numbers in terms of assists and goals. However, his impact goes beyond numbers, as is this season it has. A big reason he’s been so crucial for Juve this season is because he’s that player that links the midfield to the attack. Also, Juve’s midfield has been subpar, so he’s had to carry the load in terms of playmaking for Juve. Even, Totti said recently that Dybala is the best No. 10 in Serie A, currently. If Juve finally addresses their major issues in the middle of the field this summer, next season we may see Dybala become Serie A’s top player by far.

Thank you for reading this article! Be sure to find me on Instagram @calciofanblogs, on Twitter @calciofanblogs1. Also, be sure to like and follow my Facebook page, Calcio Fan Blogs as well as connecting with me on LinkedIn, which is Joseph Porco.

Serie A’s Top Five Strikers From 2010-2019

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Last decade, Serie A declined a lot compared to previous ones, at least in my view. However, despite that, they were many tremendous Strikers that were fun to watch. As a result, I’m writing an article on Serie A’s top five strikers from 2010-2019. Before I start, I want to mention that I excluded several notable strikers that played for three seasons or less during this time because I wanted to use number 9s that played in Serie A for a good portion of last decade. My apologies to Carlos Tevez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edinson Cavani, and Diego Forlan. Anyways, here’s my list.

5. Miroslav Klose

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Before Miroslav Klose arrived in Italy, he had pretty much cemented his place as a football legend. However, his time at Lazio further cemented his legacy. With 55 goals in 139 appearances for Lazio in Serie A, he proved his worth. He stood out to me. Previously, I watched him in the Champions League and in international tournaments. However, watching him on a weekly basis helped me gain more appreciation for him. His aerial ability impressed me the most.

4. Mauro Icardi

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This is definitely a controversial choice. Mauro Icardi has definitely caused his fair share of trouble off the pitch. However, there’s no denying that last decade he was one of the best strikers in Serie A. He scored 111 goals in 188 appearances for Inter. He was definitely a goalscoring machine. He imposes his will on defenders in the 18-yard box. Even, the toughest of defenders have a tough time marking him. Even Chiellini said in the past that other than Cristiano Ronaldo, Icardi is the toughest opponent he’s marked in the 18-yard box.

3. Antonio Di Natale

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Antonio Di Natale is probably one of the most underrated strikers to play in Serie A, maybe even in soccer, in general. At the beginning of the last decade, he was already at or past his peak. Despite that, he still carried Udinese on his shoulders for many seasons until his retirement. His goalscoring record and ability to be a leader, speak for themselves. However, one thing that stood out was his playing style. In my view, he was one of the most well-rounded strikers I’ve seen play. Not only, could he score goals, but his playmaking ability was top-notch. His soccer IQ was also legendary.

2. Gonzalo Higuain

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In 2013, when Napoli signed Gonzalo Higuain, I don’t think they knew just how good he’d be. He was world-class at Napoli and very good at Juve as well. People still make fun of him for missing an open net chance in the 2014 World Cup. Despite that, it’s nearly impossible not to see how good he’s been in Serie A. He’s declined a little bit at Juventus. But, he still has a tremendous eye for goal that shouldn’t be overlooked. Sometimes, I wonder what would’ve happened if he signed with Napoli earlier in his career.

1. Ciro Immobile

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Ciro Immobile has drawn criticism for his performances within the Italian National Squad. However, in Serie A he’s been the best striker over several seasons. His positioning in the box, as well as his speed, is the perfect combination to make life difficult for any defender. From 2011-2019 he played for Lazio, Torino as well as Genoa within Serie A. However, it was with Torino in 2013-2014 when he made his mark on the football world. Since then, he’s proven his worth. Now, please perform the same for the Italian National squad, Ciro!

Napoli’s Biggest Needs in the Summer Transfer Window

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Napoli’s fans and players will definitely want to forget that this season happened, altogether. However, maybe this season was good because it highlighted lingering Napoli has had for some seasons. So, here are Napoli’s biggest needs in the Summer Transfer Window!

The Right-wing Position

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Jose Callejon was once an effective player for Napoli. However, it’s been obvious for a while, that isn’t the case anymore. He’s definitely past his prime and Napoli should get rid of him or buy a right-winger to take his place. Now, of course, there’s Hirving Lozano who Napoli bought in the Summer of 2019. But, he hasn’t gotten a lot of playing time over the course of this season and hasn’t proven he can be a consistent starter, yet. Napoli should at least keep him though, as he still has tons of potential. It’s pretty clear to me that Napoli has lacked a substantial attacking threat down the right side of the field and it’s something they need to address in the summer.

The Left-back Position

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Faouzi Ghoulam has definitely proven he’s more than capable of being a starter for Napoli. Unfortunately, his flaw is that he’s injury-prone. Now, I’m not trying to say Napoli should sell him, but they should at least buy a left-back that can at least compete for a starting place with him. Mario Rui has warranted a lot of criticism, in my opinion. He’s not the worst at contributing on the offensive end. However, defensively, he definitely leaves himself exposed multiple times over the course of each match. Therefore, I believe Napoli should look to sell him in the summer. Especially, if they’ve already bought another left-back.

Conclusion

Whichever needs you believe that Napoli has to address in the Summer Transfer Window, one thing is clear. That’s the fact that Napoli needs to improve next season, as this season they’ve performed way below expectations.

Thank you for reading this article! You can also find me on Twitter @calciofanblogs1, on Instagram @calciofanblogs as well as on my Facebook Page, which is called, Calcio Fan Blogs.

Three Ideal Central Midfielders Juve Should Look to Buy in the Summer

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Whether this season resumes or not, one thing is clear, this is that Juventus desperately needs to buy at least one central midfielder. It’s an obvious issue that should be addressed. So, here are three ideal central midfielders Juve should look into buying in the Summer Transfer Window.

1. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

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Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been linked with a move to Juventus for a couple of seasons now. I mean, who wouldn’t want him on their club’s squad? He continues to improve like crazy over time. He’s also a player Juve should look to sign. Not only is he an offensive juggernaut, but he also has the perfect stature to defend in the midfield as well. This makes a perfect box-to-box midfielder, who Juve should go after. His playmaking abilities are top-class, which would help make Juve’s attack more fluid. An issue Juve has also had over the last couple of seasons is they don’t have midfielders that can join the attack and trackback fast enough to defend the middle of the park. He’d be a perfect candidate to address all of Juventus’ needs in the midfield.

2. James Rodriguez

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Ever since the 2014 World Cup, James Rodriguez has had an underwhelming club career, to say the least. For most of his time at Real Madrid, he’s been sitting on the bench. On loan at Bayern last season, however, he demonstrated how good he can be. They even played him as a central midfielder. His style of play definitely suits the central attacking position more. However, at Bayern, he demonstrated he is capable of being an effective central midfielder. He would also be a bargain for Juventus, considering his potential and all the revenue signing him would bring in. He definitely brings the creativity that the bianconeri needs in the midfield. However, one thing that he’d need to work on would be his defensive abilities in the midfield. If he improves in that area, he could prove to be a bang for your buck type of player for Juve. He’d definitely be cheaper to buy than Milinkovic-Savic and Pogba, which is a huge plus considering what he could bring to the table.

3. Paul Pogba

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Last time Paul Pogba played for Juve, everything seemed to be going perfect for him until he decided to move to a new challenge in Manchester United for a record transfer fee. Indeed, when he played for Juve, he was well on his way to becoming a world-class midfielder. However, at Manchester United, it has been close to the opposite. Maybe, fact that he was expected to be the ManU’s new legend or his world record transfer fee. Either way, it hasn’t worked out for the Frenchman. So, Juve should look to buy him once again. Yes, it’ll probably be an expensive fee. But, if he can retain the form he previously had at the club, it would definitely be worth it. Also, consider that at Juventus, he wouldn’t be expected to be the squad’s leader like at Manchester United. There’s a good chance that would help him significantly and it would help the club in multiple ways, as well.

So, Who Should Juventus Buy Out of These Three?

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All these three central midfielders would bring attributes to the table that Juve desperately need in the middle of the field. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic would be the perfect box-to-box midfielder, Pogba would bring plenty of revenue to the club and on the field, he would most likely be a huge asset to their cause. Also, James Rodriguez has a lot of untapped potential and would be a bargain signing for La Vecchia Signora. This was tough. But, I believe that Paul Pogba would be the best player out of these three for Juve to sign. He’d probably have less pressure at Juve, as they already have a few other leaders on the pitch. Also, the brand exposure he’d bring to Juve, who already is well-off, puts him over the top.

Reasons Why This Season Has Been a Success for Atalanta

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To say this has been a good season for Atalanta is an understatement. It’s been a great season! From currently being in a top-four spot in Serie A to qualifying for the Champions League Quarterfinals, it’s been spectacular. So, here the reasons why this season has been a success for Atalanta!

1. Gasperini’s Squad Management

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There are so many articles where I clearly admire Gasperini. See this article and others for reference! One particular aspect from him that I’ve really enjoyed this season, particularly, is how he’s been able to manage the squad. Many people like me, thought that Atalanta didn’t have the depth to compete in three competitions. However, Gasperini has rotated the squad so well that it’s hard to notice their depth issues. He’s been rotating his players particularly well at the attacking positions. But, in saying that, it helps when you have the likes of Papu Gomez, Duvan Zapata, Luis Muriel, Josip Ilicic and a few others to lead your attack. If this season does in fact continue, the only question will be whether they can sustain this level of attacking prowess. But, either way, it’s been another successful season for them.

2. Atalanta’s Market Value Increase

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According to Transfermarkt, Atalanta’s current Market value as of April 1st is $364.76 million USD. On April lst 2019, their market value was $213.35 million USD. That’s approximately a 71% increase in market value. That’s remarkable! Their market value was eighth highest in Serie A on April 1st of 2019. But, on April 1st of 2020, their market value moved up to being seventh-highest in Serie A. This also demonstrates that when clubs get results on the field, results off the field tend to follow. I’m sure Atalanta’s owner, Antonio Percassi, as well as other stakeholders within the club, are enjoying that increase. I mean, who wouldn’t? Let’s hope their market value keeps increasing!

3. Atalanta’s Attack

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I’m no soccer analytics person. However, this season has seen plenty of goals from this la dea side. Once again this season, they’ve scored the most goals in Serie A. They’ve got 70 goals in 25 matches, so far. Last season the squad scored 77 goals in 38 Serie A matches. That’s amazing! Papu Gomez, Josip Ilicic, Luis Muriel, and Duvan Zapata have combined for 45 goals. That’s very impressive and consider the likes of Duvan Zapata and Luis Muriel were injured for several matches during this season. This squad has made goalscoring look like an art form. When opponents face this club, it’s pretty much inevitable that you’ll concede a goal. If their attackers are on top of their game, it’s scary for any opponent to face.

The Most Exciting Serie A Clubs to Watch Over the Course of the Season

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This season has been exciting for a number of reasons. We don’t know what’ll happen with the rest of it, but, nonetheless, here are the clubs that I think have been the most exciting ones to watch over the course of this season.

Lazio

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What else is there to say to about this squad? Not only have they overachieved, but they’ve also been very exciting to watch. Week in and week out they’ve dominated the opponents they’ve faced. Whether Luis Alberto is making some amazing plays or Ciro Immobile is scoring some great goals, this squad is definitely exciting to watch. It doesn’t matter who they face, either. They play the same style no matter how good their opponent is. In other words, it’s constantly fun to have watched them on a weekly basis this season. I’m just hoping that they can keep a lot of their core group of players together in the future.

Parma

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From reading some of my blog posts, it’s obvious that I’m a fan of Parma’s squad and their manager, Roberto D’aversa. Read this article, to see how much I’m a fan of D’aversa’s Parma squad. Not only is he a great manager, but his squad is also super exciting to watch! They defend well and their counterattack is fast as well as fun to see. Their fast attacking players make you feel as though they’ll create something out of nothing. That’s why I think their attack is so exciting to watch. With Kulusevski in the midfield throughout the season as well as Gervinho in the attack, there’s no reason not to smile when watching this club.

Atalanta

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Watching this club under Gasperini has been mesmerizing. Despite, selling a lot of players over the past several seasons, they’ve maintained a high-level of attacking play that makes you want to watch every one of their matches. In February, they even outscored Valencia in the Champions League. Every time I watch them, I feel like they can pretty much outscore anybody. Yes, they tend to leave themselves vulnerable at the back. But, their attack makes up for it, results-wise, and for my own personal excitement. This squad never fails to amuse me.

Lecce

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If the season ends tomorrow, which it literally could in these circumstances, Lecce would be relegated. However, their relegation battle has not provided a shortage of excitement. On the turn of a dime, they can score on you. Unfortunately, they haven’t done that consistently enough. But, either way, they’ve provided tons of excitement. They may not have many players that stand out, but despite that, they play a fun brand of football. They kind of remind me of Benevento in the 2017/2018. Of course, Benevento got relegated to Serie B the next season. But, them and Lecce are fun to watch. It would suck to see this Lecce side not be in Serie B next season, as they’re very fun to watch.

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My Three Favourite Serie A Players of All-Time

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There have been many players that have caught my eyes in Italian Soccer over the years. Even now, there are still tons of players that I like watching on a weekly basis within the league. However, there are three players that stood out for me over all these years of watching Serie A. So, here are my three favourite Serie A players of all-time.

3. Francesco Totti

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The king of Rome was an outright legend and Roma fans worship him like a God. Indeed, he was everything that encapsulates a legend. He was a great captain that won multiple trophies with the Giallorossi. He’s also my third favourite Serie A player of all-time. Similar to other legends I’m going to mention in this article, I liked him for more than just his skill with the ball. He not only had the hunger and mental strength to deliver in clutch moments for the club, but he was also a true leader. By just watching him on TV, you could tell that everyone one of his teammates respected him. You could also tell that he was a leader on that pitch. I’d compare him to a general. That’s why he’s my third favourite Serie A player of all-time.

2. Paolo Maldini

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Paolo Maldini is arguably the greatest football defender of all-time. He narrowed defending down to a science. For the most part, he didn’t have to make tackles. He read the game so well that for the most part, he was able to strip opponents of the ball without being rough. When he was on AC Milan it must’ve been tough for opposing managers to figure out his vulnerabilities, as they were nearly impossible to find. In Maldini’s case, I admired him purely because of his intelligence for the game. Of course, you need certain skills to be as great of a defender as he was. But, the reason why I liked him so much and why I think he’s an all-time great is because it was almost as if he was four steps ahead of his opponents every play. He was able to anticipate opposing player’s movements as well as what they’d do in advance, faster than everyone else. That’s why I loved him as a player so much.

1. Alessandro Del Piero

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I’ve explicitly mentioned multiple times, that Del Piero is my favourite soccer player of all time. I even wrote on article about how I became a Juve fan and watching him was a big part of that. Here’s the article on how I became a Juve fan , just for reference. Anyways, I became a Juve fan because of Alessandro Del Piero. He always been one of the few inspirational athletes for me. Like with Totti, I really admired his mental strength. It didn’t matter how mighty the opponent was, he was never afraid of dribbling past multiple defenders to pass or to score. He’s scored many great goals against formidable opponents. Among my favourites are his clutch free-kick goal against Inter in 2006, his amazing goal at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2008 that made fans give him a standing ovation, as well his goal against Germany in the 2006 World Cup. Sometimes, I wish he’d come out of retirement for just one match, that’s how much I admired him as a player.

My Five Serie A Manager of the Year Nominees

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This Serie A season may or may not be continuing after this tough time. However, in any case, the majority of the season has happened already. So, I’ve decided to nominate five managers of the year candidates. Here they are!

5. Paulo Fonseca

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Coming into this season, I expected Roma to barely get a place within the Serie A top 4. However, as of now, they aren’t. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster type of season for the giallorossi. But, they currently sit in fifth. A big reason for that has been the work of Paulo Fonseca. Roma’s backline is still suspect. But, it has definitely improved under Fonseca. Last season they scored a total of 66 goals, which was fourth-best in Serie A. This season they’ve scored 50 goals in 26 matches. So, they’ve definitely improved in that aspect. Their midfield has also stood out, as offensively the speed of their track has improved. Also, without the ball, the midfield looks better this season. Fonseca has elevated Roma this season. We’ll see what he does in the future for them.

4. Roberto D’aversa

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Roberto D’aversa’s Parma side hasn’t been talked about much this season. However, they’re definitely proving to be a formidable force within the league. Last season, Parma was only three points from relegation and ended up in 14th. This season, they’re way past being in the relegation zone. They currently sit in ninth. They’ve proved to be a difficult opponent for any club that faces them. Roberto D’aversa has made them tough to break down at the back. Also, they’re dangerous for any backline to face, as their counter-attack has lots of speed to it. Their biggest flaw is they don’t have a top goalscorer. But, other than that, Roberto D’aversa has gotten the best out of this group.

3. Gian Piero Gasperini

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Based on last season’s spectacular season from Atalanta, many people, including myself didn’t think Atalanta would be able to maintain this level of play because of being in the Champions League this season. Fast-forward to this season and they’ve somehow been able to continue staying in the Serie A top four. They also made it past the Champions League round of 16. They do have issues at the back, but they’re able to outscore most clubs. This should be credited to Gasperini’s work. The likes of Duvan Zapata, Josip Ilicic, and others weren’t big names. But, under Gasperini, they’ve become household names in Italy and around Europe, they’re starting to get the recognition they deserve.

2. Ivan Juric

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The biggest Cinderella story in Serie A has to be Hellas Verona. I expected Hellas Verona to be relegated this season. But, they’ve surpassed my expectations by far. Who would’ve predicted that they’d possibly be challenging for a Europa League spot for next season? I certainly didn’t. Ivan Juric has elevated this squad beyond levels that I could’ve ever imagined this season. They may not qualify for the Europa League, at the end of the season. But, I’d consider it successful for Ivan Juric. Ivan Juric has earned the right to be a top nominee for the Serie A manager of the season, in my view.

1. Simone Inzaghi

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If you would’ve told Lazio fans that they’d be contending for the scudetto at the beginning of the season, I think they would’ve taken it. This season has been beyond anyone’s imagination for Lazio. Like I’ve reiterated in several other articles, over the past several seasons Lazio hasn’t had issues creating chances and scoring goals. However, this season their backline has immensely improved. A massive amount of credit should go to Simone Inzaghi for that. This Lazio project has been a work in progress. But, it seems like they’ve figured out the issues they’ve had and fixed them. Whatever happens, I’m sure this will be a season to remember for fans of the club. Simone Inzaghi has been a big part of making this dream season happen.

Previewing the Derby d’Italia

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It was officially announced yesterday, that the Derby d’Italia will be played behind closed doors on Sunday, March 8th at 3:45 pm Eastern Time. This means that there will be no fans attending the match. However, despite that, it’s still going to be such a crucial match. So, here’s my article previewing the Derby d’Italia!

Inter Milan

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The season is mostly finished and Inter has definitely looked better than the last several seasons. However, recently their form has dipped. In their last five Serie A matches, they’ve won two matches, they’ve lose two matches and drew a match. That form has led them to go down in the table. Currently, they sit third in Serie A. If Inter are to win this match, I’d advise Conte to not play the 3-5-2. Unfortunately, their wingbacks are vulnerable defensively, which will make this formation very tough to implement. Especially, against a side such as Juve. I’d also advise Conte to start Christian Eriksen in this match.

Juventus

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Juve fans like myself will find it tough to complement Juve’s season so far. They’ve looked a bit shaky. However, in Serie A, they’ve had a pretty good season through the majority of it. They’re one point clear at the top of the table. Their form hasn’t been superb in the league lately, as they’ve won three out of their last five matches. If I were to give advise to Maurizio Sarri, it’d be to implement the 4-3-1-2 for this match. Unfortunately, Juve doesn’t seem to have good enough wingers going forward to play the 4-3-3. In my opinion, I think the 4-3-1-2 works for them, as they’ve looked more fluid going forward.

Match Prediction

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Based on this match being played behind closed doors, the Derby d’Italia will definitely be different this time around. Juve won’t be about to feed off the energy of the crowd, as they do with most matches they play at the Allianz Stadium. Just because of that, I think it’ll be a 1-1 draw. Whatever the result, get ready for the popcorn. It should be awesome!

Four Reasons Why Lazio Has Surprised This Season

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If I’m being completely honest, I’ll admit that at the beginning of the season, I thought Lazio would finish outside of the top four. Fast-forward to March 1st and they are now scudetto contenders. For the past few seasons, they’ve finished in Europa League spots. It has completed changed this season. Here are the four reasons why they’ve surprised many this season.

1. Simone Inzaghi’s Tactical Flexibility.

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Ever since Simone Inzaghi took the reins behind the bench, I thought he’s been underrated. It’s been even more apparent this season. Whenever Lazio’s opponents seem to take leads on them, Inzaghi is very tactical flexible and can change their tactics on the fly. It’s absolutely remarkable! Simone Inzaghi has all got the best out of the players he has, which is always easier said than done. If Lazio keeps getting results, Simone Inzaghi should be the Serie A coach of the season, in my opinion.

2. Lazio’s Attack Has Been Spectacular

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Lazio’s attackers have been scoring like crazy this season. It’s been exciting to watch and it’s obvious opposing clubs would rather not face Lazio’s frontline. Also, consider, the likes of Luis Alberto and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic have contributed mightily to this already deadly attack. One thing is for sure, it’s highly-difficult to prevent Lazio from scoring on your club, as their attack is so deadly.

3. Lazio’s Midfield Has Been Deadly

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When another club faces Lazio, one thing that is very hard to do is contain their dynamic midfield. Sergej Milinkovic-Savic leads the Biancocelesti in the middle of the park. It’s amazing to watch on a weekly basis. The dynamism of their midfield is nearly flawless and the transition they create from midfield to attack is top-class. Luis Alberto has also been the best player to combine Lazio’s attack and midfield very well. Not a lot discuss this, but their midfield is very good at tracking back and assisting on the defensive end, which also makes them fun to watch.

4. Lazio’s Backline Has Been Solid

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Over previous seasons, a massive part of Lazio’s inconsistency has been their vulnerable backline. However, this season it’s been a completely different story. They’ve only conceded 23 goals in the league this season. That’s the Second lowest in Serie A. Francesco Acerbi has been the leader of a backline that’s been solid. Manuel Lazzari has looked the same. I’d argue that Lazzari and Acerbi have been the some of most underrated signings in the last Summer Transfer Window. They seem to have more structure at the back and they’re harder to break down. Combine all these reasons and you have a Lazio squad whose contending for the Scudetto and currently sit first in the Serie A table.

Previewing Lazio Against Inter

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There are a lot of matches over the course of the Serie A season that are crucial. However, this one probably tops all of them so far. Both Inter and Lazio are competing in a tight scudetto race and this could be a deciding match in it. So, here’s the article of me previewing Lazio against Inter.

Lazio

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Coming into this match, Lazio are among the scudetto contenders. I assume that pundits and fans can’t believe it. However, they have the potential to win the Scudetto, for sure. Everything has been working out for them this season. Immobile is Serie A’s leading scorer with 25 goals thus far. His partner in crime, Joaquin Correa is doing decent as well. Things have definitely fallen in to place for them. Heading into this match, they’re undefeated in their last 5 league matches. Indeed, if they play as they have for the better part of the season, Inter will have a very difficult match on their hands. Consider, Lazio is playing Inter at the Stadio Olimpico as well.

Inter

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For Inter, this season has definitely been a good one so far. Yes, many expected them to be scudetto contenders this season. But, I don’t know who thought they’d make the title race this tight. Antonio Conte has definitely got the best out of his squad. Their defence and midfield are great sights to watch. Even, upfront both Lautaro Martinez and Romelu lukaku are having tremendous seasons. That striker duo has combined for 28 goals so far this season, which is very surprising. Coming into this match, they’ve been undefeated in the last 5 matches. However, out of those 5 matches, they’ve only got 2 wins. However, one thing is for sure and that’s the fact that this match will probably be Inter’s biggest challenge so far this season.

Comparing Atalanta and Roma’s Market Values from February 15, 2018 to now.

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Coming into this weekend’s match, both Atalanta and Roma are battling for the last Champions League spot for next season. For each of these clubs, this could be the most important match. It should be a good one. So here’s an article each club’s respective market value from February 15th, 2018 to February 15th, 2020. The market value is in US Dollars, so keep that in mind when you read this article.

Atalanta’s Market Value

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As a result of last season, Atalanta is in the Champions League for the first time in their history. That remarkable feat is definitely reflected in their market value. According to transfermarkt.us, on February 15, 2018, Atalanta’s club market value was $167.59 million . At that time, Atalanta was Serie A’s 8th most valuable club. Now, if you fast-forward a year later, their market value increased to $188.93 Million. However, as a result of them being in the Champions League this season, and possibly other factors, their market value is currently $328.79 million. Which, is a massive jump in value. From February 15, 2018, to February 18, 2020, Atalanta’s market value increased by 96.2 %, which is remarkable. Looks like things are looking up on and off the pitch for this club.

Roma’s Market Value

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Since 2018, Roma has qualified for the Champions League Semifinals as well as being in the competition every season other than this one since then. So, here is their market value from 2018-2020. On February 15th of 2018, their value was $378.84 million. That was a couple of months before they made it pretty far in the Champions League, of course. Their market value was forth-highest in Serie A at the time. Exactly, a year later in 2019, their market value was $438.24 million. However, they went down a place and we’re the fifth most valuable club in Serie A. Then, today their market value is $484.33 million. As a result, from February of 2018 to February of 2020, their market value increased by 27.8%. It’s obvious that since 2018, they’ve been doing well off the field. However, in the field, it hasn’t been that great.

As you can see, off the field Atalanta and Roma’s market values have increased since 2018. But, we’ll see how they do on the pitch when they face each other today.

Top 5 Players That Have Played For Both Milan Clubs

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This weekend, there will be a huge derby. That derby is between Milan giants, AC Milan and Inter. Historically, they’re definitely some of the greatest football clubs in the world. Many legendary players have also decided to play for both clubs. As a result, I’ve decided to write an article on the top 5 players that have played for both Inter and AC Milan. Enjoy!

5. Christian Vieri

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Christian Vieri was probably one of the strongest and most physical strikers of all-time. His power combined with his finishing ability and eye for goal was an enjoyment to watch. He also played for both Inter and AC Milan. He spent 6 years at Inter from 1999-2005 and won a Coppa Italia trophy. He only spent a season at AC Milan. However, it was in 2005-2006, which was when his playing career was almost over. Nonetheless, he’s a legend and played for both of these legendary teams.

4. Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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Despite, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s often arrogant remarks to the press, you can’t deny he’s a legendary player. Even, at the age of 38, he plays for AC Milan and looks sharp on the pitch. He may not have the athletic ability that he used to, but he still dazzles on the field. Also, he’s played for both of these legendary clubs. His trophy haul for both clubs has been immense as well. During Ibrahimovic’s three seasons at Inter, he won three Serie A titles and two Italian Supercup trophies. Also, in two full seasons at AC Milan, he’s won two trophies. Like I mentioned earlier, he still plays for AC Milan as well.

3. Andrea Pirlo

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When Andrea Pirlo played it was like he was an actual magician. His playmaking, as well as his passing abilities, were world-class. It took a while for his retirement to sink-in for me when it became official in 2017. He won so many trophies over the course of his career as well. He only played two seasons for Inter and didn’t win any trophies. However, he spent a good portion of his career at AC Milan, 10 seasons to be exact. During that time, he established himself as a world-class player. During his time at AC Milan, he won a total of ten trophies, which included two Serie A and Champions League titles.

2. Roberto Baggio

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Roberto Baggio is considered by many to be among the greatest Italian football players of all-time. He nearly perfected so many faucets of the beautiful game. He was a world-class dribbler as well as being a great goalscorer. While a good portion of his career was spent at Juve, he also spent a couple of seasons at Inter and AC Milan. He only won one trophy combined for both Milan clubs. Despite that, he is definitely an all-time great in Italian football.

1. Ronaldo Luis Nazario De Lima

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Ronaldo Nazario De Lima is considered one of the top football players of all-time. He was probably the most well-rounded striker of all-time, at least in my view. He could do it all. Despite him not winning a Champions League trophy, he was still a very likeable and world-class player. It’s common knowledge for many football fans that he played for both Inter and AC Milan. He spent five seasons at Inter and only two seasons at AC Milan. Some would even say that he established himself as an all-time great, whilst at Inter. There’s no doubt he made a huge mark for both clubs as well as football in general. That’s why I’ve decided to put him at number one.

Two Reasons Why Napoli Needs to Beat Juve

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Today, two Italian football giants will face off with each other at the Stadio San Paolo, which is Naples. However, if there’s any club that needs to win this more, it’s definitely Napoli. So, here are two reasons why they desperately need to win this game.

1. To Move Up in the Serie A Table

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Something that is obvious that Napoli needs to do is move up in the Serie A table. What better way to do that than beat your rivals, Juve, at your home stadium? They need the points and beating Juve could possibly move them up in the Serie A table. If they do win this match they could possibly overtake Fiorentina, who is above them in 12th. It’s definitely obvious for many Serie A and Napoli fans that the Azzuri (one of Napoli’s nicknames), is way below what they’re supposed to be this season. Of course, as I just said above moving up in the standings is a reason why they need to beat Juve.

2. To Boost the Morale of the Squad

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One thing that seems to be a problem with this Napoli squad is their morale. They’ve gotten a result here and there, however, based on the talent of the squad their morale seems low based on results this season. A win against Juve may only be a one-off. However, a win in this match could also significantly boost their morale and may kickstart a turning point to their season. Beating the reigning Serie A champions could change their season for the better and in the end, they could qualify for European competition for next season. It’ll be interesting to see if Napoli can get a result in this massive game.

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Previewing the Derby Della Capitale

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It’s only the first month of 2020 and there’s already a weekend with some great rivalry matches taking place. The Rome Derby is the first one, then, the Juve and Napoli match will be the second one. Both matches take place on Sunday. However, fans of Serie A will be spoiled for choice. So, let’s take a dive into the first match between Lazio and Roma. Here’s the preview!

ROMA

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Coming into this match, Roma has won 3 of their last 5 Serie A matches. They have a Champions League spot in their site for next season, as a result. Indeed, they’re currently fighting with Atalanta for that final Champions League spot. Unfortunately, for Roma, they’re missing such a key player that would be crucial in any match, especially for this match. That player is Nicolo Zaniolo. He got injured against Juve and will probably miss the rest of the season. However, with the way Roma has been playing, they shouldn’t be worried about this match. If they play their typical 4-2-3-1 against Lazio I believe it’ll definitely help them. Veretout and Diawara have shown that they’re very capable of shutting down opponent’s midfield as defensive midfielders. Also, by playing this formation, Roma is adding an extra dimension to their attack, which would help them against their rivals.

LAZIO

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If you would’ve told Simone Inzaghi that his club would’ve been in third at this point of the season and possibly challenging for the scudetto, I’m sure he would’ve taken that 100 % of the time. Lazio has definitely been in superb form, as they’ve now won all 5 of their last Serie A matches. That’s tremendous. It seems that everything is clicking for this squad. Francesco Acerbi has been a rock at the back for them. Their midfield has been superb, led by Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. However, the thing that’s stood out the most has been their frontline. Immobile can’t stop scoring and is Serie A’s leading scorer so far with 23 goals. Even, Joaquin Correa has looked solid with him. However, derbies such as this tend to be more difficult to win and Simone Inzaghi will definitely meet his match in Paulo Fonseca. It’ll be interesting to see who’ll win tactically. If their match in September is similar to this one, it’ll be very exciting to watch.

What to Make of Inter’s New Signing, Ashley Young

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I have to admit that when I first heard the news that Inter would sign Ashley Young, I didn’t agree with it. However, as I started thinking about it, I realized he’s actually a decent signing for Inter. So, this may actually work out in Inter’s favour in the end. Here’s why signing Ashley Young may be beneficial for Inter this season.

WHY WILL ASHLEY YOUNG FIT INTO INTER’s SYSTEM OF PLAY?

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Like many, I thought that Inter signing Ashley Young would be ridiculous, considering his age. However, he has way more to offer than that. Right now under Antonio Conte, Interplays very tight and for the most part, their defenders lack speed and the ability to create in open play. Fortunately, Ashley Young can do that. He’ll provide an extra bit of creativity to Inter when they’re trying to create offence from the back. Ashley Young is fairly fast and is also a decent crosser of the ball, so, he’ll provide that extra boost inter needs going forward. That provides balance to this Inter side that doesn’t have many players at the back who can go forward with the ball as he can. There’s no doubt, Inter being tight at the back has worked for the most part under Antonio Conte. However, in modern calcio, a club needs defenders who can provide decent service going forward. The only drawback of Ashley Young other than his age is his vulnerability defensively. However, if he buys into Antonio Conte’s system, he should enjoy his time at Inter Milan.

WILL SIGNING ASHLEY YOUNG INCREASE INTER’s CHANCES OF WINNING THE SCUDETTO?

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I’m sure the biggest question that many Serie A fans are asking is whether Ashley Young can help Inter win the scudetto. I definitely think that if Ashley Young buys into Conte’s system, he’ll be of great assistance to Inter. The question here though is whether Ashley Young’s signing will actually increase their chances of winning the scudetto. Personally, I don’t think he’ll increase Inter’s chances of winning Italy’s most coveted prize. I believe he’s a good player, however, I don’t believe he’s a gamechanger. Maybe, ManU or even Inter fans will read this article and think that I’m completely wrong, which may be true. However, in my opinion, he’s not the calibre of play to instantly increase Inter’s chances of winning the Scudetto. He may provide balance to their very tactical squad, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll make the ultimate difference for them. However, I’m curious to see whether he makes a bigger impact on Inter than I think he will. We’ll begin to see the scope of his impact tomorrow at 9 am Eastern Time, when Inter squares off with Lecce.

Three Things Napoli Should Do to Turn Things Around This Season

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It’s no secret that Napoli hasn’t been stellar so far this season. Before the season started, I predicted that they’d be Juve’s number one title challenger this season. I was wrong and now for Napoli to qualify for the Champions League next season it’s next to impossible. As a result of this disastrous season for Napoli, I’m doing an article on three ways they can improve. So, get ready for me to be an armchair manager and armchair member of Napoli’s upper-management.

1. TRY TO SIGN A STRIKER IN THE WINTER TRANSFER WINDOW

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Like most things, this is way easier said than done. However, Napoli urgently needs a striker. Last summer and even the one before that, Napoli fans have been wanting their club to sign a proven striker. However, now that Mertens is out, it’s been even more noticeable. Milk has done pretty well and scored 7 goals in 10 game of action so far this season. But, Dries Mertens, Lorenzo Insigne, Jose Callejon, and Hirving Lozano have only combined for 8 goals in total, so far this season. For players who play as either wingers or strikers, that’s absolutely pathetic! They’re also tied for 8th most goals scored this season as a team with 28 goals, which highlights their problems even more. Listen, there are only close to two weeks left until the January Transfer Window is done, but Napoli’s upper-management should make buying a striker a priority this month.

2. BENCH LORENZO INSIGNE OR REMOVE HIM AS CAPTAIN

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Don’t get me wrong, I’ve admired Lorenzo Insigne as a player throughout his career. However, desperate times call for desperate measures. In this case, it holds true, as Insigne clearly hasn’t been near his best this season and maybe benching him will give him the motivation he needs to perform better. With only 4 goals and 3 assists so far this season, it’s obvious just how below par he’s performing. Also, by benching him and starting someone such as Hirving Lozano, it could improve their frontline and turn things around for them. One other thing that Napoli should consider is stripping his captaincy from him. Now, I’m not fully for this move, as it’s really drastic. But, ever since Hamsik left Napoli and the captain’s armband was given to Lorenzo Insigne, they haven’t performed how they should. There’s some food for thought for Gennaro Gattuso and other members of Napoli’s management.

3. PUT DI LORENZO BACK AT RIGHT-BACK

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Ever since 2020 began, Gattuso decided it’d be a good idea to place Giovanni Di Lorenzo at centre-back, instead of at right-back, where he seemed to be performing well. I understand that Koulibaly is injured. But, it’d be better to place Di Lorenzo at the position he was at before because he doesn’t look comfortable as a central defender. It’s only been a small sample size of two games, but Napoli clearly needs to string together some good results and this would definitely help. Luperto or Tonelli aren’t ideal options to replace injured Koulibaly for the time being. However, it’d be better to place players in that position that are used to playing as central defenders. If Gattuso implements this change, they may actually get the results they want and might actually move up in the Serie A table. Let’s hope Gattuso thinks about this before Napoli’s next match against Fiorentina

Previewing Roma Vs Juventus

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There have been some massive matches this season in Serie A so far, such as last week’s game between Napoli and Inter. However, not many matches get bigger than the one that’ll be played today at the Stadio Olimpico between Roma and Juventus at 2:45 pm Eastern Time. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.

ROMA

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Paulo Fonseca has led Roma to heights that a lot of people have been surprised about. Coming into this match, they are in decent form, by winning their last 3 matches, losing a match, and drawing one. They do have a few injuries coming into this match, however, that shouldn’t faze them, based on their recent form. They will have a massive test against Juventus, who are currently competing with Inter for the scudetto. It’s possible, though, that being at the San Siro against this other Italian giant may inspire them to victory. However, a victory for them in this match for Roma would depend on how well they can contain Juve’s attack. That will be a monumental task for them, but maybe, Paulo Fonseca has something up his sleeve.

JUVENTUS

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So far this season, Juve has had a huge challenge trying to win Serie A’s biggest prize, once again. Inter has been challenging them for the title throughout the season and this match against Roma just adds to the tough season. However, coming into this match Juve should be motivated to win, as this will probably be one of Juve’s toughest matches over the whole season. Juve will have to be on their game if they want to get a result in the Eternal City. The key to the game for Juventus is being clinical and converting their chances. There’s a good chance they will get a lot of chances in this match, so being clinical would give them the edge. This will prove to be a big test for this Juve squad.

MATCH PREDICTION

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This match should be a very close one. I don’t see either club blowing out the other. As much as Roma is in decent form and are really coming into their own under Paulo Fonseca, I see Juve winning this match 2-1. Just because upfront, they’re on a roll and I don’t see how Roma can contain their frontline.

Ways Serie A Clubs Can Increase Their Attendance at Stadiums

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Serie A is a very attractive league to watch. However, in regards to attendance numbers at stadiums, it’s still behind other top football leagues such as the EPL (England Premier League) and the Bundesliga. So, I decided that it’d be a good idea to compare the EPL’s average attendance numbers to Serie A’s numbers. Also, I want to write about ways Serie A clubs can increase their attendance at stadiums. So, let’s get it done!

EPL’s AVERAGE STADIUM CAPACITY AND ATTENDANCE NUMBERS THIS SEASON

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To start off, I got each individual club’s stats from https://www.soccerstats.com in order to write this article. Then, added the numbers from each club. After that, once I got the total numbers from each league, I divided it up by the number of clubs that are in each league. That’s how I was able to get the average attendance, stadium capacity, and the average percentage of seats being filled from both leagues. From my calculations, so far this season, the average number of fans that are attending EPL matches this season is approximately 39,295. The average capacity of English Premier League stadiums close to 40, 546 people. Finally, the average percentage of each stadium in England’s top-flight that has been filled this season is 96.6%.

SERIE A’s AVERAGE STADIUM CAPACITY AND ATTENDANCE NUMBERS THIS SEASON

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To calculate Serie As average attendance and stadium capacity numbers, I used the same method as I did above. Serie As average numbers in these categories are lower, which means they need to improve. So, here are the numbers. Based on what I calculated from the https://www.soccerstats.com website, Serie As average stadium capacity is approximately 39, 331 people. Also, Serie A’s average attendance so far this season is about 26, 641 attendees. To cap off Serie A’s average attendance and capacity numbers, approximately, 71.7% of the league’s stadium capacities have been filled.

SO HOW CAN SERIE A CLUBS INCREASE THEIR ATTENDANCE NUMBERS?

1. BUILD NEWER STADIUMS/RENOVATE OLDER ONES

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This solution is a very difficult one to implement, as it would have to go through a lot of political barriers as well as major planning. Also, some club owners would be hesitant just because there are a lot of costs associated with this. Permits, building costs, and more would be part of those costs. However, in the long-term, I believe that it would attract more fans to attend Serie A stadiums each week. Personally, if I were to go to any Serie A stadium, it’d be a dream. However, some fans would love to go to stadiums that are newer and aren’t crumbling apart. One of the big factors as to why Stadiums in the EPL have a high number of fans attending their matches each week is because of a lot of stadiums being newly built or renovated.

2. ELIMINATE THREATS OF VIOLENT AND DISCRIMINATORY BEHAVIOUR WITHIN THE STADIUMS

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Unfortunately, sometimes Serie A gets a bad reputation because of some people within the stadium who look to cause physical violence as well as displaying discriminatory behaviour towards fans as well as players. Serie A needs to crackdown on people who display this type of behaviour in the stadium because first of all, it’s wrong and shouldn’t be tolerated at all. We are all human beings who shouldn’t be threatened by violence or discriminated against in any shape or form. Second of all, if fans feel that they’re in danger by going to a stadium and watching their team play, it’ll result in them not wanting to go. Therefore, Serie A needs to crack down on these types of actions within stadiums.

References:

https://www.soccerstats.com/attendance.asp?league=italy

https://www.soccerstats.com/attendance.asp?league=england

Three Reasons Why Zlatan Ibrahimovic Will Help AC Milan

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For the past couple of years, Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been rumoured to be rejoining AC Milan. However, that hasn’t happened until now! On January 3rd, Zlatan Ibrahimovic was once again presented to Rossoneri fans. Since this signing, a lot of people have given their opinions on him. So, here are the three reasons why I think he’ll be a good signing for AC Milan!

1. He’ll Bring Leadership and a Winning Mentality to this Group

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For some people, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can seem arrogant. Despite that, you can’t deny that he’s a natural winner. He’s won league titles in four different countries. He’s also had six seasons throughout his career where he’s scored 25 goals or over. So, it’s no secret that he has a proven track record of success. I don’t think that he’ll lead AC Milan to a Champions League place for next season. But, I do believe that he’ll elevate the level of the squad and be a great leader for them. Once other players on the squad see his work ethic and his motivation to be the best, it’ll rub off on the squad very quickly. His presence should significantly improve their place in the Serie A standings.

2. The Club Will Make Revenue Off Him

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It’s easy to see why Ibrahimovic is a good signing on and off the pitch. Off the pitch, he should definitely help AC Milan make tons of revenue. There are so many ways for them to make more revenue of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Merchandise with his name on it should sell out like crazy ticket sales should also definitely increase significantly. Also, he should be able to increase AC Milan’s following on all of its Social Media platforms. That increase in the following will also lead to more companies wanting to advertise themselves on AC Milan’s Social Media platforms. Therefore, it will pull in more revenue for AC Milan right now.

3. He’ll Help Improve the Rossoneris Results

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Coming into this season, AC Milan were expected by many to compete for a spot in next season’s Champions League. However, this season has become a complete mess for this iconic club. But, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can change that. There’s a very small chance that AC Milan will compete in a European competition next season, based on the current table. However, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can definitely somewhat save this season for AC Milan. I don’t think he can fully save it. But, if they play in the Europa League next season, it’ll turn out to be a decent season for them. It’ll be interesting to see if he can somehow elevate their game.

Three Current Players I’d like to see Play in Serie A

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It’s official! Franck Ribery, Cristiano Ronaldo, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Romelu Lukaku will all be playing against each other in the same domestic League for the first time ever! That league is, of course, the wonderful Serie A. As a result of these players joining Serie A at the same time, I’m writing about three other ones I’d like to see play in Italy. So, enjoy!

1. KYLIAN MBAPPE

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The legend of Kylian Mbappe keeps growing at a fast rate. At 21, he’s already won the World Cup as well as three Ligue 1 titles with both Monaco and PSG. He definitely boasts an impressive resume for his age. That is exactly why I’d love to see him play at a Serie A club. Imagine Cristiano Ronaldo, Ibrahimovic, and Kylian Mbappe playing in the same league. That’d be something remarkable and I hope it happens. However, the big limitation to trying to buy the player is his price. He was purchased by PSG in 2017 for 145 Million Euros plus 35 Million Euros in bonuses. Also, he keeps getting better by the day, so, I’m not sure which Serie A clubs can afford to buy him without selling many of their key players. But, it’s a dream of mine for this young star to grace the calcio fields of Italy.

2. LIONEL MESSI

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As of now, it’s very difficult to see Lionel Messi going to another club other than Barcelona. Indeed, the loyalty he has for the club seems unbreakable. However, in 2005, Inter were nearly able to sign the young Lionel Messi. That’s in the past now, but, I’d still love to see him play in Serie A, not just because of his technical abilities or dribbling technique, but also because it’d be cool to see him pursuing a new challenge in his career. What better challenge than to play in Italy? Lionel Messi would also join many other Argentinean legends by playing in Italy. However, it is still only a dream, as, like I mentioned earlier, I can’t see him ever leaving Barcelona to go to another club.

3. KEVIN DE BRUYNE

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It’s an interesting thing to say, but, compared to the other players in this article, I’d say Kevin De Bruyne is the most likely to make a move to Serie A. His price would be crazy. However, he would definitely be cheaper than the other two players. Also, while, he has won a bunch of silverware for Manchester City, I feel like he’s the type of player to want a new challenge. Maybe, if Manchester City plateaus with their current group, he’ll want higher level trophies such as Europa League or even Champions League trophies. A move to Serie A for Kevin De Bruyne would depend on if Man City keeps achieving the level of success that they have for the past couple of seasons. Hopefully, this move happens in the near future.

How Serie A Clubs Will Do in the Champions League Knockout Round

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Something remarkable has happened in the Champions League this season! That something, is the fact that there will be three Serie A clubs in the round of 16 this season in the Champions League. For Serie A fans, it’ll be more fun than usual to watch. So, here’s how far I think the Serie A clubs will do in the round of 16.

ATALANTA

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Earlier this week, Atalanta qualified for the Champions League in a triumphant fashion against Shakhtar Donetsk. It was absolutely amazing, to say the least! There were videos of Atalanta fans as well as players and staff celebrating this remarkable accomplishment. Now, they will be in the round of 16 for the first time in their history. They are coming in hot, as well. Based on the way they’re playing right now, many clubs should be scared to face them. However, I don’t think they’ll make it past the round of 16. I understand that they’re in pretty good form right now, however, I feel that their lack of experience in this type of situation is why they won’t advance past the round of 16. Sorry, La Dea fans!

NAPOLI

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There’s been a lot of drama surrounding Napoli lately. The players reportedly rebelled against Aurelio De Laurentiis and Carlo Ancelotti got sacked this week as well. So, it’s been an interesting few weeks for Napoli. However, fans will be happy that they went undefeated in the Champions League Group Stage and are now in the round of 16. Yes, Gattuso isn’t experienced as a manager at all with a club in the Champions League. However, based on how they’ve performed in the Champions League this season, no top club will want to face them. They’ll be a tough squad to beat, especially this season. That’s why I think they’ll make it through to the quarterfinals this time.

JUVENTUS

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If you didn’t know too much about Juventus and you based your knowledge off of what Bianconeri fans and pundits say, you’d think Juventus are doing terrible and they’re in a crisis. However, that’s not the case at all. Yes, they currently sit in second in Serie A and still have deficiencies in their Midfield, but, they went undefeated in the Champions League Group Stage. They also came in first in their group. Which, leads me to believe they’ll make it far in this competition. In my opinion, there’s no reason why Juve shouldn’t at least make the semifinals. I actually predict they’ll make the Champions League finals this season. Despite, their deficiencies in the midfield, I think they’ll continue to improve over the season under Sarri and should find themselves in Istanbul on May 30, 2020.

Here’s a video of Atalanta Fans Celebrating after they qualified to the round of 16! Video Credit: YouTube-Light Yagami

The Most Disappointing Serie A Clubs So Far This Season

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Last week, I published an article of who I thought were the most impressive Serie A clubs so far this season. However, in this article I will be writing about who I think have been Serie A’s biggest disappointments this season. So, here they are! Enjoy!

SAMPDORIA

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Sampdoria’s start to the season was worst than I think anyone could’ve imagined. They had only won 2 matches in their first 8 under Di Francesco. After that horrible run of form, Eusebio Di Francesco got sacked and in came Claudio Ranieri. Ranieri has only earned two wins so far as Sampdoria’s managers. However, they’re steadily improving. Their place in the standings is not where they should be at all, despite their improvement. They currently sit one point above the relegation zone in 17th, which is disappointing, considering at the beginning of the season, I thought they’d be able to challenge for a spot in a European competition. It could still very well happen, however with Quagliarella not scoring like last season, I don’t see anyone bailing them out enough for that to be possible.

UDINESE

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For me, at least, coming into this season I would’ve thought Udinese would fight for a midtable place in the Serie A. However, fast-forward to their current situation and they sit in 16th, only being 4 points from relegation. Their current position is very surprising, considering, some of the talent they have. For example, a player like Rodrigo De Paul is very underrated, in my opinion and may very well leave Udinese soon if they are this low in the standings down the road. However, there are rumors linking him with a January move to Inter. I’m hoping that this iconic club stays up. But, if they continue to play the way they are, I don’t see it. Indeed, they’ve developed some great players such as Dino Zoff, Alex Meret, Antonio Di Natale, etc. It’d definitely be a tragedy if they were to go down to Serie B.

AC MILAN

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At the start of this season, many thought that while AC Milan was going through a rebuild, they’d Challenge for a Champions League spot. However, as of now, they are in 10th place and their performances this season have been consistently underwhelming. Yes, they seem to be improving under Stefano Pioli, however, they’re still not performing as expected. Gennaro Gattuso may have said why he resigned as the rossoneri’s manager last summer. But, now many are starting to realize what he said about the players was true. There’s still a long way to go before the season is done and dusted, however, they need to improve immensely before the end of the season. A signing of a certain someone in January may help them. That someone would be Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

NAPOLI

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If you were to look at Napoli’s results in the Champions League this season, you’d think they’d be scudetto contenders. However, it’s not been like that at all. They’ve been very disappointing this season. So much so that they fired Carlo Ancelotti earlier this week and replaced him with Gennaro Gattuso. There are many reasons people think as to why this has been a disastrous season for Napoli, so far. A big portion of the blame is going to some of the core players that have been underperforming. There are also several other reasons why they’re underperforming. However, if Napoli want to be scudetto contenders this season, they’ll have to improve immensely. With the squad that the club has, there’s no excuse not to finish in the top 3, in my opinion.

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The Most Impressive Clubs So Far This Season in Serie A

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Like every season, there’s been several surprises so far. However, it seems as though there has been more surprisingly overachieving clubs than usual, this season. Here’s who I think have been the most impressive Serie A clubs, so far this season.

HELLAS VERONA

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Many Serie A fans would’ve thought that coming into this season, Hellas Verona would battle relegation throughout. However, they’ve proved so many wrong and may challenge for a spot in a European competition if they continue like this. They currently sit in ninth in the standings. The interesting part of Hellas Verona is the fact that they don’t possess any notable players. But, they’re getting the job done and that’s what matters the most. Well see if they can avoid a relegation battle throughout the rest of this season.

CAGLIARI

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When Nainggolan was loaned to Cagliari, it seemed as if his biggest motivation was to prove Inter wrong. So far, him and Cagliari are doing just that. Yes, Cagliari sold their star player last season, Nicolo Barella. However, they’re boasting players such as Joao Pedro, Giovanni Simeone, and of course Radja Nainggolan, who are taking the league by storm. Also, they boast some decent veterans such as Ragnar Klavan and Luca Cigarini as well. All in all, they’re a very underrated squad and at this rate, they have a good chance of being in the Europa League next season. They’re also challenging for the Champions League, so watch out for this squad.

LAZIO

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So far, Lazio looks like a very tough club to face. Ciro Immobile has scored the most goals out of all players in Europe’s top 5 leagues, this season. Once again, he is feeling it. They also sit 3rd in the Serie A table and are an exciting club to watch. They play a very offensive style. Also, unlike past seasons, it seems they’ve found a defender who can be a rock for them at the back. Right now, that’s Francesco Acerbi. They also possess Joaquin Correa who plays as a forward. Him and Immobile seem to complement each other’s games. They also a boast a midfield that has the highly touted? Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, as well as Luis Alberto, who is massively underrated. It’ll be tough, however if they can keep being this consistent, we’ll see them in the Champions League next season.

INTER

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Inter has a very good manager in Antonio Conte at their disposal. However, despite that, I predicted they’d finish in third before the season started. But, Inter is definitely proving me wrong by a wide-margin. Antonio Conte has gotten this squad to play how he wants them to already. Also, although Barella and Sensi are currently injured, they’ve been a massive part of this midfield that has dominated many other Serie A sides. Upfront, with Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez, they’ve been pretty good, as well. That midfield is a big part of it, in my opinion. Not to take away either from Martinez or Lukaku, but the service that midfield has provided to those two is a big part of why they’re playing tremendously right now. As for their backline, nothing needs to be said. Many expected that backline to be a wall and it has lived up to that, so far. We’ll see if they’re able to get enough points to win Serie A’s iron throne this season. One thing is for sure, it’ll be a tough fight, but one they’re winning as of now.

3 Reasons Why Juventus Has Been Quietly Successful Under Sarri So Far

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Many fans of the bianconeri have been complaining that so far, the style of play Juve has implemented under Sarri hasn’t looked different than that of Allegri’s. However, despite that, Juve is undefeated in all competitions. They’ve also sealed first in their Champions League group. But, Juve has not been as heavily talked about this season compared to the last, at least from what I’ve heard and witnessed. In the summer of 2018, Juve signed CR7. Within the season that proceeded, it seemed as if all eyes were on Juve to finally triumph and win the Champions League. But, it didn’t end up happening and Massimiliano Allegri got sacked the following summer. This season, Sarri has guided Juve to massive wins and they’re doing it very quietly, which makes them scary to face. So, here are 3 reasons why I think Sarri has led them to being undefeated , thus far.

Reason #1: Sarri Has Revitalized Dybala’s Career

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Last season, Dybala did not start as much many would’ve wanted him too, as Allegri decided to play a 4-3-3 formation, which led him to be an outcast. Even during this past summer, there were rumors that Dybala would be sold to numerous clubs. Among the clubs rumoured to be interested in Paulo Dybala were Tottenham and ManU. However, Dybala stayed put in Turin and already has 4 goals and 1 assist in 11 Serie A appearances. Last season, he got 5 goals and 4 assists in 30 total appearances in Serie A. This demonstrates that Sarri has gotten the best out of Dybala. Sarri has been consistently deploying a 4-3-1-2 formation for Juve this season, which suits Dybala’s style of play. Dybala has been playing as one of the two strikers up top. The reason this formation is the most beneficial for him is because he’s a very technical player, whose also a great play maker. As a result, putting him as one of the two players up front as a support striker allows him to playmake freely, as he’s used to doing. Also, he’s a very good goalscorer, so putting him up front takes the load off of Gonzalo Higuain, who is typically the other player up top with him.

Reason#2: Maurizio Sarri Has Allowed Juve To Have More Creativity in their Midfield

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Yes, Juve’s midfield is still missing another creative spark. That’s just my opinion. However, Sarri has allowed Juve’s midfield to become more creative in the opponent’s half. He hasn’t really deployed his famous “sarriball” at Juventus yet, as the midfield overall, doesn’t fit this type of system. However, from what I’ve noticed, they’ve looked more fluid. Maybe, it’s because Dybala has been starting more or for other reasons. But, for me the big reason Sarri has allowed Juve’s offense to look more fluid this season is because of the formation change. From reading this article, you probably think my favourite formation for any club coach to deploy is the 4-3-1-2, however that’s not always the case. It’s just that in this instance, having that central-attacking midfielder or better known in Fifa as CAM, has provided a link between Juve’s central midfielders and attackers. As a result, the service the attackers have received has improved from last season. My opinion is that if a club has a midfield who doesn’t have enough flair to provide adequate service to the players upfront, a CAM is needed so that there’s that extra creativity, if necessary. It seems to have been working under Sarri so far, let’s see if it continues.

Reason#3: Maurizio Sarri Has Made Them Less Dependent on Cristiano Ronaldo to Score

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I’m sure this is a very unpopular opinion and I may get some flack for it, however, I think that a big reason why Sarri has been successful with Juve thus far, is that he’s limited the over-reliance on Cristiano Ronaldo to provide offense. I don’t believe that Sarri has tried to undermine Cristiano Ronaldo, I think he’s attempted to coordinate the offense so that there’s less responsibility on CR7 to generate the majority of it himself. Unfortunately, last season under Allegri, Dybala under-performed, Higuain was on loan, Douglas Costa was often injured, and Mandzukic also underperformed. As a result, Ronaldo had to carry the majority of the offensive load for Juve. Yes, at Real Madrid, CR7 had to carry their offense load as well, during his last couple of seasons with the club, however, at least he had adequate service from the midfield to do that. Last season at Juve, the service to the players upfront wasn’t great. Unfortunately, that forced Cristiano Ronaldo to have to be more of a playmaker than he normally would be. In his prime, CR7 was a very technical and creative player. However, he’s a bit past his prime and doesn’t have the speed he once had. Therefore, when they centred the offense around him and didn’t get the best out of the other players upfront, it wasn’t beneficial for the club at all. Sarri has implemented a system to ensure that there’s less pressure on one particular player to generate offense in the opponent’s half. It has definitely yielded better results this season than the last one, so far. This is especially true in the Champions League for Juve.

Three Serie A Clubs Where Pochettino Should Manage

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Just in case you haven’t heard, Mauricio Pochettino has been sacked as Tottenham’s manager and Mourinho is now his successor. I’m currently running poll on my Twitter account @calciofanblogs1, asking which Serie A club Pochettino should manage next. As a result, I decided to write an article about the three clubs in Italy that I think Pochettino Should manage. So, here they are!

1. ATALANTA

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Atalanta currently sit fifth in the Serie A standings. However, they don’t seem to be in crisis mode, as they are two points off of a Champions League spot and Duvan Zapata is out with an injury. So, it’s not like Gasperini is under the hotseat. However, if Gasperini leaves within the next couple of seasons for some reason, Pochettino would be the perfect successor. Most likely, Atalanta would be playing in a European Competition. Also, domestically, Atalanta would most likely be challenging for a Champions League spot. Therefore, it would be a great place to manage. Pochettino wouldn’t have the pressure that he might have managing other clubs in Italy.

2. AC MILAN

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Based on the way AC Milan has played this season and the last several ones, I’m sure fans would love for Mauricio Pochettino to manage their club. I feel that this would be more of an immediate appointment, as they desperately need a top level manager. However, there is one big problem that might hinder Mauricio from managing AC Milan. That big issue is the fact that they aren’t playing in any European Competition this season and have a good chance of not doing the same next season. The challenge of this job would definitely be immense for Mauricio Pochettino. However, if he were to succeed at this project, he would become a legend to AC Milan fans. Also, AC Milan are at a low point in terms of results, therefore, the expectations probably won’t be unreasonable for him to accomplish.

3. NAPOLI

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Current, Carlo Ancelotti finds himself on the hotseat as Napoli’s manager, as they’re in seventh in the Serie A table and haven’t really looked as they should on the pitch this season. If Napoli continues this poor run of form under Ancelotti, Pochettino would be an ideal replacement for him. If you really think about it, his situation at Napoli wouldn’t be too different than what it was at Tottenham . Yes, there is a bit of a difference because Napoli has actually won a couple trophies within the last five years. However, they are similar in that they’ve both consistently qualified for the Champions League, recently. Theyve also challenged for their respective domestic titles in recent years. Pochettino will also have a pretty skilled squad at his disposal. It’d be a challenge, however, not as much as some other clubs he’s been linked to.

Twitter Poll

My Preview of Napoli against Genoa

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Coming into Saturday’s match, both Genoa and Napoli are going through some interesting times. Genoa recently hired Thiago Motta to be their new bench boss and seem to be feeling good lately. Whereas, Napoli seem to have been struggling on the pitch lately and the relationship between their upper-management and players has taken a bad turn. However, anyway you sum it up, it should be a beautiful game of calcio to watch. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.

NAPOLI

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Napoli are currently sitting at seventh in the Serie A table. They have also only won one Serie match in their last five. Add to that, all the drama that’s currently happening between Napoli’s board and players and you get a mini- crisis out of it. It is very possible that this club could go undefeated in their next 10 matches domestically, then this part of the season would be completely forgotten. But, right now it looks like a nightmare scenario for Napoli. Of course, there is still plenty of time for the season to unfold. But, it doesn’t look good for the partenopei. The thing that Napoli will need the most coming into this match, is for someone to step up and be clinical in front of goal, as that seems to be their most glaring weakness. We’ll see whether they can fix their lack of goalscoring.

GENOA

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When Aurelio Andreazzoli got sacked a few games before by Genoa, it seemed as though they were on track to be relegated. Then, Genoa hired Thiago Motta as their manager. Now, I’m not saying he won’t get them relegated. But, Genoa looks like they’re playing a lot better. It also seems as though, Thiago Motta is getting the squad to play more technical and pass the ball around a lot more often. As a result of that, they’ve kept possession a lot more under Thiago Motta, so far. During the first 8 matches under Aurelio Andreazzoli, Genoa averaged 50.62% possession of the ball. Whereas, in his first three matches, Thiago Motta has gotten Genoa to average 58.67% possession of the ball. Albeit, it’s a very small sample size, but it looks like this style of play is already bearing some fruit for the rossoblu. Here is a great example of that last week against Udinese:

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2 Reasons Why Roma Is Surprising Serie A Fans

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So far, Roma seems to be impressing many Serie A fans. Before the season started, I predicted that Roma would qualify for the Champions League next season. However, it’s still early. Here are two reasons why I believe Roma is surprising calcio fans, thus far!

1. Paulo Fonseca’s Brilliance

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Despite the fact that Roma upgraded their backline over the summer, it still seemed very suspect on paper. However, it seems as though Fonseca has gotten the best out this backline, so far. In the last couple of seasons, Roma’s defence has looked vulnerable, but Fonseca has improved that backline. It also seems as though Roma’s midfield has been improving under Fonseca. Veretout and Mancini are very underrated and have been doing well in the midfield. Under Fonseca, they’ve improved in several different ways. If Fonseca keeps this up with this group of players, their potential is endless. Time will tell.

2. Roma’s Improvements on Defence

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When Roma signed Chris Smalling and Leonardo Spinazzola in the summer, I thought that they’d definitely be upgrades to Roma’s vulnerable backline. However, I didn’t anticipate that they’d be as good as they’ve been during this season. At Manchester United, Chris Smalling was used as a scapegoat for their recent lack of success. However, at Roma he’s definitely proved his doubters wrong. Even, Spinazzola has been superb, thus far. As a Juve fan, it’s still mind-boggling that they decided to sell him to Roma. He is very underrated and has looked better than he ever has been. This backline has proved many critics wrong and it’ll be interesting to see whether they can continue to do that.

Previewing the Turin Derby

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Derbies in Italy are amazing. However, this one should be extra good. Torino will face Juve in the famous Turin derby this Saturday at 3:45 pm Eastern Time. It should be exciting! So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs!

JUVENTUS

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So far, despite having to adjust to a new system and different style of play Under Sarri, Juve still remains the club to beat. As of now, they’re in a tight scudetto race with Inter. But, heading into the Derby Della Mole, Juve look good. They may not be winning by multiple goals consistently, but they’re getting the job done and that’s what is the most important thing. The one issue Juve has right now is injuries. Douglas Costa is still injured, also, Chiellini being out definitely makes their backline look a bit more vulnerable than it should be. They’ll have to watch their defensive line, as Torino’s Belotti is in decent form and can be very tough to stop.

TORINO

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So far this season, Torino hasn’t looked close to the way they did last season. Last season, they conceded the least amount of goals in Serie A. However, their defense does not look remotely close to how it did last season. Yes, they have a lot of the same players leading that backline, but there seems to be something missing. However, I can’t seem to point to the main issue with them. As of right now, they are 13th in Serie A. It’ll be a huge challenge for them to beat Juve, despite the fact that they’re at their home stadium. We’ll see if they can rise to the occasion.

Top 3 Italian Players in This Season’s Serie A So Far

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Right now, the Italian National team is going through a rebuild that is being led by Roberto Mancini. As a result, it seems that there are many talented players emerging from the shadows. Also, older players seem to back themselves after that disaster a couple years ago. So, here are my top 3 Italian Players in the Serie A, so far this season.

3. Andrea Belotti

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So far, il gallo (Andrea Belotti’s nickname), has looked very impressive. So far, he’s looked very similar to how he did in the 2016-2017 season, when he scored 25 goals in the Serie A. However, it’s still early. He has also scored 4 goals in Italy’s qualifying campaign, thus far. He looks like he just can’t stop scoring and he may the reason that Torino gets a spot in a European competition next season. I wouldn’t put it past him and his club to accomplish something like that.

2. Ciro Immobile

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Once again, Ciro Immobile is on fire for Lazio. He’s currently the leading scorer in Italy with 8 goals and it’s almost like defenders can’t stop him. However, one common theme over Ciro Immobile’s career has been that outside of the Serie A and Serie B, he’s struggled. When he played for Sevilla and Dortmund he struggled. Also, when he’s been called up to the Italian national squad, he has struggled time and time again. However, his domestic this season has been unreal. That’s why he’s been my second best Italian player so far in this Serie A campaign.

1. Stefano Sensi

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When Inter signed Stefano Sensi over the summer, I don’t think they knew exactly how good he can be. So far this season, he’s scored 3 goals and 2 assists. However, he doesn’t play as an attacker so that’s not as valid. But, one thing that has impressed me about him is how dangerous he looks when Inter are attacking. He tends to draw defenders to him, as he dribbles the ball deep into Inter’s half. Then, in dangerous areas, defenders get drawn to him, so he gives the ball to his other teammates in these parts of the field. Therefore, making him so dangerous. He’s played so good this season that I wonder if he would’ve changed the match for Inter if he wasn’t injured early on against Juve. Either way, he’s definitely been the best Italian player in the Serie A, so far. At least, that’s my view.

Previewing Lazio vs. Atalanta

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Heading into this weekend of Serie A action, there will be some exciting matches taking place. For me, the most exciting match will be between Lazio and Atalanta. Both clubs will be heading into this match, having scored tons of goals, early on. Atalanta has scored 18 goals so far and Lazio has scored 13 goals. So, it should be a very exciting and high scoring match! Here’s my preview of this match for both clubs!

LAZIO

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There definitely hasn’t a been a shortage of goals from Lazio so far this season, as I mentioned earlier. However, the thing that is plaguing this club early in the season is what has plagued them over the past several seasons. That thing is being inconsistent in terms of their results. Even, in the Europa League, they’ve been inconsistent, as they won one match and lost another, so far. Their backline is definitely vulnerable. However, the inconsistency of results from them should be something to worry about especially, if they want to push for a top 4 spot in the Serie A this season. Against Atalanta, they’ll be at the Stadio Olimpico, which should help. However, we’ll see whether or not their inconsistency will hinder them against this tough Atalanta squad.

ATALANTA

 

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In Atalanta’s last 5 Serie A matches, they haven’t lost a match. Indeed, they don’t look much different from last season when they finished third. However, it’s still early. They haven’t performed how they’d like in the Champions League, as they’ve lost both their matches in the competition, thus far. However, they look red hot in Italy. They’ll definitely have a tough test against Lazio, especially considering they are playing away. This club continues to impress and prove the doubters wrong, though. One concern they’ll have going into this match is the fact that whilst on international duty for Colombia, Duvan Zapata picked up an injury. He’ll be out for at least three week. However, I do believe that their other attackers can get the job done.

MY PREDICTION

The first prediction I’ll make is that it’ll be a highscoring match, as both clubs can put the ball in the back of the net. Despite, Atalanta’s good Serie A form lately, I see this match ending in a 2-2 tie. This is because, whilst Lazio is inconsistent, I believe they’ll be motivated to step up and get a good result against a tough opponent at home.

How I Became a Juve Fan

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I’ve made it no secret on my blog website, that I’m a bianconero. Indeed, I’ve been a Juventus fan since 2006. It has come with many moments of heartbreak and joy, however, I wouldn’t change it for anything. So, here’s why I became a Juventus fan as well as when I started liking calcio.

THE ORIGINS OF MY SERIE A FANDOM

Basically, ever since I was born, I’ve been a Serie A fan. Growing up, I was born into a family that really liked the Toronto Maple Leafs and of course, calcio. However, it wasn’t until 2006 that I started to become a Juve fan. I remember that when I was growing up, I would wake up early to watch the first Serie A matches of the day on Saturdays and Sundays. This even happens now. I remember, I’d try to watch as many matches as possible. For me, it was something I fell in love with early on. Occasionally, I would watch an English Premier League match, however, it never compared to watching the Serie A, in my opinion. Indeed, I’ve watched Serie A when the likes of Maldini, Del Piero, Totti, Inzaghi, and Figo were in the league to now when Lukaku, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Insigne are playing in Italy. It’s been a lifelong passion for me and I will keep it that way.

HOW I BECAME A JUVE FAN

Growing up, members of my family were usually either Lazio or Napoli fans. That has to do with the fact that on my mom’s side my nonni (grandparents) came from the province of Frosinone, which is in the province of Lazio. Also, on my dad’s side, my Nonna (grandmother), came from a small town in the region of Campania. My Nonno (grandfather) on my dad’s side, came from a small town in the province of Cosenza in the region of Calabria. So, it’s understandable why many of my relatives root for Napoli and Lazio.

Until a certain moment in 2006, I didn’t have a specific club I was rooting for. However, in February of 2006, I remember watching a huge match between Juve and Inter, which was big for both clubs, as, at that time it would possibly decide the Scudetto winner that season. It was tied 1-1 and my favourite player of all-time, Del Piero, was taking a freekick that was pretty late in the game. Of course, he scored it with ease and Juve ended winning that game 2-1. However, that very moment is when I became a Juve fan.

For the record, I’ve always admired Del Piero as a kid, even before I became a Juve fan. He’s my favourite football player of all-time. But, for some reason that one moment of his is when I became a Juve fan. Ever since then, I’ve become a huge bianconero. However, there is one thing I’d like to see Juve do one day and that’s winning the Champions League. As much as I’ve witnessed some incredible moments as a Juve fan, that would be beyond incredible. I hope it happens in the near future.

Will Stefano Pioli and Claudio Ranieri Work Out for AC Milan and Sampdoria?

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This week, two massive developments have taken place within the Serie A. The first was that Di Francesco got sacked from Sampdoria, then, not too many days after, Giampaolo got let go from AC Milan as well. Then, in the same week, Stefano Pioli got appointed to be the rossoneri’s new manager and Claudio Ranieri became Sampdoria’s new manager. So, here’s how I think they will do at their new clubs!

STEFANO PIOLI AT AC MILAN

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Immediately after Stefano Pioli was appointed as AC Milan’s manager, fans of the club started using the #pioliout on social media. While, I don’t think it’s right to dismiss a manager that quickly, I also don’t believe that by the end of the season he’ll work out for the club. Now, does that mean I don’t think he’ll improve the the club’s results by the end of the season? Of course, I believe he will! However, even if he leads Milan to qualify for the Europa League in fifth like Gattuso did last season, I still don’t believe they’ll want to keep him. AC Milan’s upper-management does not seem to have any patience at all in regards to managers, therefore, unfortunately I don’t see him working out with the rossoneri by the end of the season. However, I do hope it works out for the sake of the fans within the city.

CLAUDIO RANIERI AT SAMPDORIA

 

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One of the interesting parts of this appointment by Sampdoria is that it’s the second time in a row that Claudio Ranieri has been hired as a club’s manager right after Eusebio Di Francesco has been sacked at the same team. However, I do think that Ranieri appointment as Sampdoria’s manager will work out for the club. The reason I believe this is because the style he implements at clubs is usually a more defensive one, as opposed to a possession/heavy pressing one. I think that with Sampdoria’s current squad, that style will work the best. I know that under Giampaolo, they played very possession based football, however, a big part of that was banking on the fact that Quagliarella was on his game and constantly banging in goals. However, under Di Francesco, he tried to get them to play a very offensive style of play, but, unlike under Giampaolo, Quagliarella hasn’t been scoring enough so far this season. That lead to Di Francesco downfall at Sampdoria. Anyhow, I do believe Ranieri’s style will cause headaches for opponents, as they’ll be tougher to break down. This will lead to them improving significantly this season.

3 Takeaways From Last Weekend’s Serie A Action

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Like usual, this past weekend of Serie A matches were amazing! As a result of the matches this past weekend, there were two managers fired, as well. This made this past weekend’s fixtures seem even more fascinating. So, here are 3 of my takeaways from last weekend’s Serie A matches!

 

1. JUVE SHOWED WHY THEY’VE KEEP WINNING THE SERIE A TITLE WHEN THEY FACED INTER.

 

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This past weekend, Juve were victors in the Derby D’Italia, beating Inter 2-1. However, this match demonstrated why they’ve won the scudetto 8 consecutive times. Not only did they get the job done, but they dominated such a big match in the Serie A. I’ve had my doubts about Maurizio Sarri ever since he got appointed to be the manager of the bianconeri. However, it seems as though the squad is beginning to learn how to fit within his system. In my view, Juve’s defence still needs work. However, Bonucci looks as though he is becoming comfortable with leading that backline. Despite, Juve’s key injuries, they don’t look like they’re missing a beat, whatsoever.

2. SAMPDORIA NEED TO GET THEIR ACT TOGETHER QUICKLY

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Last season, Sampdoria seemed like they had so much upside under Giampaolo. Then, he left and they appointed Eusebio Di Francesco. I must admit that before the season started, I had written a blog post that mentioned Sampdoria as being underrated with Di Francesco as their manager. However, I was completely wrong and instead, he was a bust at Sampdoria. After, only leading Sampdoria to one win in his seven matches on the touchline, it was inevitable that he’d be sacked and he was. Now, Sampdoria will need to get back to how they played last season if they want to finish in a mid-table spot by the end of the season. They will need to fix their issues fast, as they are currently on track to be relegated to Serie B by the end of this season.

3. AC MILAN WON AGAINST GENOA, BUT GIAMPAOLO IS NO LONGER THEIR MANAGER

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AC Milan has now gone through 8 different managers in 5 years as a result of this sacking. The weird part is that AC Milan’s upper-management decided to sack Giampaolo after they won against Genoa last Saturday. However, it is not surprising, as AC Milan’s upper-management seems to not have had patience with their managers over the past several seasons. I understand that under Giampaolo, AC Milan were performing way below par, but they should’ve given him more time to implement his philosophy with the squad. However, the club’s board has clearly not possessed patience for a while, in regards to the managers they’ve hired. As a result, they are a mess and all I will say to AC Milan’s new manager is good luck because whoever it is, will need a ton of it.

 

 

3 Ways the Serie A and Clubs Within it Can Produce More Revenue

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         Allianz Stadium Interior

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Serie A is a great league. One of those reasons is because of the passion of its fans as well as the beautiful football that is played. However, from a business standpoint, clubs within the league as well as the league itself, need to find a way in which to make more revenue, as it is seemingly clear that they’re falling behind a few of the other leagues in this regard. So, here are three ways in which the Serie A as well as clubs within it can make more revenue.

           1. Promote the League in Different Countries Around the World 

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Over recent summers, it seems as though the Serie A is beginning to promote their clubs around the world in Countries such as the United States, China, India, Qatar and a couple others. However, if Serie A and the clubs within it want to promote the league in more countries, they need to do it in ones that they either haven’t hosted preseason matches in or where they haven’t had matches  in a while. I’ve previously written a blog post on three countries where I think Serie A clubs  should have  preseason matches. I do believe that promoting Italian soccer within these countries will assist the Serie A in making more revenue. For example, if there were Serie A preseason matches in Argentina, it could lead to new fans of the league within the country. Also, it could become so popular to watch, that it would lead to more deals within Argentina  between the Serie A and cable TV stations in the country. This would bring in more revenue for the league and each club within the league would get a share of the money. This would also allow clubs within the league to spend more on buying players as well as training facilities, marketing, etc.

2. Renovate Existing Stadiums/Building New Ones 

   Allianz Stadium Interior

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According to football-italia.net, there has been recent changes to Italian laws. So, more investment via private entities is allowed to go into stadiums. This is huge! This could be massive because now clubs in Italy will make more revenue for themselves when building/renovating stadiums. The reason for this is because owners of clubs in Italy will be allowed to invest more in building stadiums, therefore, there would be more money going in their pockets, leading to more revenue being earned for the club. Also, having a new/recently updated stadiums could possibly increase Serie A’s average attendance. According to statista.com, the average attendance at Serie A stadiums last season was 25, 237 people. Which, was the fourth highest average attendance per game among all soccer league in the worlds. Unfortunately, the Bundesliga, the Premier League, and La Liga beat the Italian league in this regard. However, newer stadiums may convince more fans to attend matches, which would bring in additional revenue to Serie A clubs.

     3. Attract More Big Name Players to the League 

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I understand that a lot of big name stars are not affordable  for most clubs within Serie A. However, once there is more money from television deals and newer stadiums, more clubs within the league will be able to afford more well-known stars. I’m not saying Serie A clubs need to attempt to buy someone like Mbappe, but there’s other stars that could be attracted to the league that are more affordable. For example, someone such as James Rodriguez, who was almost bought by Napoli last summer, is affordable for many clubs within the league. There’s a good chance he wouldn’t cost 100 million Euros in the transfer market, so, if certain clubs are willing to pay significantly less, he could boost the revenue for the club that buys him as well as possibly elevate the team to new heights. Look, I’m not saying he’s at Messi or Ronaldo’s level, but he’s an affordable soccer star that would bring in revenue for many Serie A clubs. Just his name on a club’s merchandise alone, would be beneficial for their balance sheet.

Thanks for reading this blogpost! This was my first crack at the business side of things relevant to Serie A. Feedback would be much appreciated! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @calciofanblogs and on Twitter @calciofanblogs1. Be sure to like and follow my page on Facebook called Calcio Fan Blogs, as well to connect with my LinkedIn, which is Joseph Porco.

Previewing AC Milan VS. Fiorentina

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Sunday’s match between AC Milan will be interesting, as both of them desperately need a result to boost the morale of not only their players, but also their respective clubs. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.

    AC MILAN 

                         Image result for ac milan piatek 2019-2020

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     For the AC Milan players and their upper-management, the  previous two  results should be a huge wake up call. Not only did they lose to Inter in the Milan Derby last week, but they also lost 2-1 to Torino. Against Inter, they played a decent first half. Then, in the second half, they got dominated badly by the nerazzuri leading to a 2-0 loss. However, against Torino, AC Milan were getting their chances, but not converting on them. Their defense though, has been terrible these last couple of games. It could be because their midfield is weak as well, so that causes Milan’s backline to possess more pressure from opposing clubs. I don’t know how or when, but from a tactical perspective, that midfield will need to improve. It’ll especially have to move forward for this match against Fiorentina, as la viola is a very attack-minded squad and if AC Milan’s midfield is setup the way it has been so far this season, then it will get exposed terribly by  their dynamic offense.

FIORENTINA