Four underrated clubs heading into the 2020-2021 Serie A season

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Well, it’s that time again! The 2020-2021 Serie A season is almost upon us and as a result, I’ve decided to an article on the four most underrated clubs heading into it! Here’s last season’s article for reference. Anyways, iniziamo questo nuovo articolo (let’s start this new article)!

Fiorentina

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In the summer of last season, Fiorentina began a new era under the ownership of Italian-American Billionaire, Rocco Commisso! When he took over as owner, it was obvious that he was going to pursue a long-term project to get Fiorentina back to where they should be. However, in one season Fiorentina drastically improved. They went from finishing 16th in the 2018-2019 season to 10th place in the 2019-2020 season. In one season, that’s already a drastic improvement! This season they’ll be a squad to watch out for. No opponent should ever be taken lightly. But, especially not la viola. If Fiorentina can keep Federico Chiesa for next season, it’ll be the cherry on top of a squad that already contains the likes of Castrovilli, recently signed, Giacomo Bonaventura, Vlahovic, Ribery, and Dragowski in net. Their attack and midfield certainly look as though it can cause problems for any opponent. I’d say their only flaws are defensively and the fact they don’t have a proven finisher. But, despite that, I believe if things fall into place for this squad their sealing is qualifying for the 2021-2022 Europa League.

Cagliari

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Last season ended in disappointment for Cagliari, despite their unbelievable start to the season. However, fast forward to this upcoming season and they’ve hired Eusebio Di Francesco as their new manager. If you’ve been reading my previous articles, you know how much I admire Di Francesco as a manager. So, this is an obvious pick for me. They may lose Nandez and Nainggolan during the current transfer window. However, even if that happens they have a decent squad. Plus, Di Francesco’s system tends to emulate pressing the opposition’s backline like crazy when the ball is lost, which I believe this current Cagliari squad is suited for. This should be a match made in heaven, at least in my opinion. Like Fiorentina, this squad lacks a backline. This is an area that is really deficient for this squad. I’d also say their midfield is in a similar situation. But, considering Di Francesco is an attack-oriented manager and they don’t lack a lot in that area, they’ll rely heavily on it. Therefore, I believe this will work out. Not to mention in goal they have Cragno, who is such an underrated goalkeeper.

Sassuolo

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During the 2019-2020 season, De Zerbi’s Sassuolo squad truly impressed many calcio fans, including myself. They played such exciting, attacking football and as a result, they challenged for a spot in this upcoming season’s Europa League. Unfortunately, they didn’t qualify. But, they definitely sent a message to the rest of the league by overachieving. I don’t see any reason why they can’t accomplish similar feats this upcoming season. Yes, it’s very possible they’ll sell Jeremie Boga and Locatelli within the next month. But, whether that happens or not this squad is definitely ready to emulate last season. At least, in my view. I’d say the majority of their squad goes under the radar and should get more recognition. The only flaw that they could have this season is at striker. Francesco Caputo has had two superb seasons in a row in Serie A with Empoli and the Neroverdi. However, considering his age and how he hasn’t done it enough at the top flight over the course of his career, he’s a wildcard. However, if he can keep banging in the goals, De Zerbi’s Sassuolo squad will be a force to reckoned with this upcoming season.

Bologna

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Last season, Bologna went through a lot. Especially, Sinisa Mihajlovic who fought off Leukemia and recently, COVID-19. Despite that, they managed to finish 12th. Coming into this season, they have one distinct advantage over many other clubs and that is that so far, they haven’t had to sell any of their key players. I feel if Bologna can keep all their key players, this team can accomplish something big this season. This squad is odd just because on paper, you’d think that Bologna would be fighting relegation. However, Sinisa Mihajlovic has gotten the best out of this squad and has ingrained his warrior spirit within it. Everything would have to go right for Bologna to qualify for the Europa League. But, as we’ve seen, anything is possible. Whatever the outcome, it’ll be fun to watch them try and exceed expectations this upcoming season.

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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!

The Four Most Underrated Clubs for the Rest of the Season

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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

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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 

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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

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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!

 

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.