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.

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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.