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

Featured

Image Via: http://thestreetjournal.org

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

Image Via: http://transfermarkt.us

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

Image Via: http://thestreetjournal.org

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

Image Via: http://espn.co.uk

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

Image Via: http://goal.com

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.

Thanks for reading this article! Be sure to spread the word about my blog to people you know that are interested in calcio or want to learn more about it. If you’d like to follow me further, my Twitter handle is @calciofanblogs1, my Instagram account is @calciofanblogs, and my Facebook Page is Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, if you’d like to reach out to me, email me at calciofanblogs@gmail.com and/or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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

Featured

Image Via: http://transfermarkt.com

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

Image Via: http://bleacherreport.com

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

Image Via: http://sempreinter.com

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

Image Via: http://forbes.com

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

Image Via: http://dailymail.co.uk

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

Image Via: http://90min.com

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!

Three Things Napoli Should Do to Turn Things Around This Season

Featured

Image Credit: http://fantamagazine.com

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

Image Credit: http://sempreinter.com

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

Image Credit: http://zimbio.com

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

Image Credit: http://calciomercato.com

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 AC Milan VS. Fiorentina

Featured

          Image result for ac milan piatek 2019-2020

                      Image Credit: transfermarkt.com

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

Image Credit: akurat.co

     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 

     

   Image Credit: tuttomercatoweb.com

    When Fiorentina began the season, they knew it was going to be a very tough set of matches early on, as they had to face Napoli, Juventus, Genoa, Sampdoria, and Atalanta. They were able to manage two draws and a win in their first five games. However, one thing that’ll still need to be improved on immensely is their backline. In their first 5 matches, they’ve conceded a total of 9 goals. That’s nuts! But, their offense seems perfectly fine. In their first five matches of the season, they’ve scored 8 goals. If Fiorentina wants to win this match and many other important ones, they’ll need to somehow find a way in which to concede a significantly lower amount of goals. The great thing about this Fiorentina side coming into this match is that with the ball they’re a fast moving and fluid offense. As a result, they can definitely exploit AC Milan’s vulnerable defense and below average midfield. It’ll be a tall order to get a result at the San Siro. But, it’s very possible.

I hope this fixture will be a fun one to watch. Also, I hope that both of these clubs will put on a showsand give Serie A fans a night to remember. The match will start at 2:45 pm Eastern Time, for those who want to watch.