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.

3 Reasons Why Mario Balotelli Won’t Prevent Brescia From Getting Relegated

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During the summer, I published a blog post arguing three reasons why Mario Balotelli will prevent Brescia from getting relegated. This blog post will argue three reasons why he won’t prevent Brescia from getting relegated. Then, I will  state my own conclusion to the argument at the end. So, here it goes.

1. MARIO BALOTELLI WILL RUIN THE SQUAD’S CHEMISTRY

       I understand that adding a striker such as Balotelli may add to an already stacked Brescia frontline. However, he could also hurt it badly. Alfredo Donarumma was Serie B’s leading scorer last season with 25 goals. But, there’s a chance Balotelli may ruin the chemistry that he has with his other teammates. The reason for is simple. When a club adds another striker to the starting 11, the number 9 that was there originally, may not be able to adapt to getting passed to less, therefore causing chemistry problems. When Balotelli gets inserted in the starting lineup, there’s a chance that Alfredo Donarumma won’t be able to adapt to possessing the ball less and as a result, that may cause Brescia to be relegated in the end.

2. MARIO BALOTELLI MAY RUIN BRESCIA’S BID TO STAY IN THE SERIE A WITH HIS UNPREDICTABLE OFF THE PITCH ANTICS.

I’ve always admired Mario Balotelli as a player, as I believe he possesses some great talent. However, his off the field antics have hurt him and the clubs he’s played for before. I understand that it seems as though he’s changed and been better off the field. But, there is still a chance that he does something outside of calcio that becomes a distraction for the club and could possibly ruin the club’s harmony. Therefore, leading to Brescia being relegated. However, for Brescia and Balotelli’s sake, I hope this doesn’t happen.

      3. MARIO BALOTELLI MAY NOT PERFORM HOW HE’S SUPPOSED TO. 

Generally, when Mario Balotelli was on the field, he has had the tendency to perform. However, there’s a chance, even if it’s small, that Mario Balotelli will not perform how he’s expected to at Brescia. If Balotelli does infact not score as much as supposed to, it’ll be a huge negative for Brescia. Below-par performances for Balotelli would put too much pressure on Brescia to score goals throughout the season, which may lead to their relegation.

I’ve argued reasons for why I think Balotelli will and won’t help Brescia get relegated next season. However, based on all this, I’ve formed my own conclusion on the matter. Unfortunately, I predict that despite Brescia’s signing of Balotelli, they’ll get relegated. However, I also believe that even if Balotelli has a great season, he won’t prevent it. The reason is because Brescia has a very deadly attack. But, in my opinion, there are still question marks surrounding how good their defense is. However, this opinion could very well change over the course of the season.

Analysis of Saturday’s Serie A Matches

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                                      Image Credit: sportinglife.com

On Saturday, there were three very interesting Serie A matches that took place. The first match was Udinese vs. Brescia, then Juventus vs. Hellas Verona. After that the Milan Derby took place to wrap up a thrilling Saturday. So, here is my analysis of each of the Saturday Serie A matches!

UDINESE VS. BRESCIA

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For Udinese, this was a match in which they needed to win at home. As much as Brescia can be a tough club to beat, you need to win these matches, as when you are in a stretch during the season where you’re facing tougher clubs, matches like these will matter. Romulo was the player of the match for me and I thought that he played well. Also, it seemed as if Brescia could’ve scored more, as they had some decent chances that they should’ve capitalized on. All in all, I believe Brescia deserved those three points and this will definitely help them in their bid to avoid relegation to Serie B.

              JUVENTUS VS. HELLAS VERONA

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In this match, Sarri changed around his starting  11 a little bit. He started Dybala as the number 9, he started Aaron Ramsey over Sami Khedira, he also started Buffon over Sczesny in goal. I only watched the second half of this match, however, Juve looked like they were struggling mightily in this match. Yes, they won, but it was a sloppy win at home and they did not look like a Sarri-type of club yesterday. What I mean by that is they still lack the fluidity going forward, especially in their midfield. I understand that you cannot start Ramsey, Pjanic, and Rabiot as your midfield three, as that would lack balance, but if Juve wants to win all the trophies they are expected to win this season, Sarri needs to start two of either Rabiot, Ramsey, or Pjanic in every match in order to continue winning.

      AC MILAN VS. INTER MILAN 

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                                         Image Credit: foxsportsaasia.com

During this match, I had the pleasure of watching it with members of the Milan Club or Toronto as well as the TLN Television team. During the first half, I thought that it was a  pretty even match and both clubs had their chances. However, in the second half, Inter absolutely dominated, in my opinion. One thing I don’t understand is why AC Milan didn’t start Bonaventura or Lucas Paqueta over Lucas Biglia.  That midfield 3 of Calhanoglu, Biglia, and Kessie was bound to fail for the simple reason that none of those three can create chances or provide offensive output the same way Paqueta or Bonaventura can. As for Inter, it was obvious they would dominate in that midfield and they did. Inter’s midfield definitely looked really deadly and opposing clubs should really look at game tapes of this match to see how you don’t deal with them.

3 Reasons Why Mario Balotelli Will Prevent Brescia From Getting Relegated Back Down to Serie B

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It was announced late last week that Mario Balotelli would be returning to Italy. Not only that, he returned to play for his hometown club, Brescia. For this club, it’ll be an exciting season, as Balotelli will be upfront alongside young Italian phenom, Sandro Tonali. However, they still need to stay up in the Serie A, which will be a tall order. Here are the reasons why I think Balotelli will help them do that.

 

REASON#1: HIS TALENT WILL KEEP THEM UP IN SERIE A 

With Mario Balotelli, his problem in the past has not been his eye for goal or his goal scoring instinct, it has been what he has done off the pitch as well as in training. However, I strongly believe that his time with Brescia will be different. The reason why I think it’ll be different is because he’ll be playing for his hometown club and there’s  something about representing your home in sports that gets the best out of you. If Balotelli doesn’t cause trouble off the pitch, his talent will really stand out and  for opposing clubs, it’ll be scary to go up against.  He’ll also play alongside Sandro Tonali, which should help Brescia avoid relegation.

 

REASON#2: HIS TROPHIES AND EXPERIENCES IN TOP COMPETITIONS WILL HELP BRESCIA AVOID RELEGATION 

For those who have followed Mario Balotelli throughout his career, it is well-known that he’s competed in the biggest competitions in world football. He’s won league titles in Italy and England as well as winning Europe’s golden prize, the Champions League. Indeed, his accomplishments throughout his career should inspire the rest of Brescia’s squad to perform, which should help them stay in Serie A. I personally believe that because he’s won all these trophies throughout his career, he’ll inspire and motivate the squad to perform at a higher level than they already do. This should help Brescia stay up.

 

REASON#3: HIS HEART AND DETERMINATION ON THE FIELD WILL PREVENT BRESCIA FROM FALLING BACK DOWN TO SERIE B 

Anytime Mario Balotelli steps onto the field, the one thing many people never doubt is his heart and determination. He can be arrogant and get into trouble at times on the pitch, but when he has the ball at his feet he shows the determination that a striker needs to score. That’ll help Brescia avoid the fall, as he’ll inspire the squad to be bold, confident and determined on the field. With the determination that Balotelli has, they could very well upset some Serie A heavyweights and cause headaches for opposing clubs.

 

Watching Mario Balotelli at Brescia will definitely be something to remember and I hope to see his full potential on display for Brescia this upcoming season in Serie A.