Previewing Both Clubs Ahead of the Turin Derby

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The Turin Derby is one of the most underrated derbies in Italy, in my view. However, this weekend it should be fun to watch. It will take place at the Allianz Stadium this upcoming Saturday at noon ET. Here is my preview of both clubs as well as the most interesting matchup coming into this game.

Juventus

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Coming into the Turin derby, Juve has looked shaky early on during the season. On paper, their squad has improved. However, I believe that because their manager, Andrea Pirlo, is inexperienced and due to Juve’s midfield being overhauled over the Summer, it’s been tough for Pirlo the find the right formation and balance for the squad. However, this match may present the opportunity to rebound. Juve’s backline will have their hands full trying to contain Andrea Belotti. If I were Pirlo, I’d deploy a 3-5-2, as Torino’s strength is mainly down the centre of the attacking half. An extra defender in the middle would provide extra security for aerial duels as well, as Belotti is great in the air.

Torino

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Again, it’s still early in the season. However, Torino under Giampaolo has looked atrocious, to say the least. Defensively, they look mediocre as well as in the midfield. Their saving grace so far has been their attack, especially Andrea Belotti. Andrea Belotti has performed superbly for il toro and could be the main reason Torino won’t get relegated this season. So far, he’s scored 7 goals in the league which is tied for third-highest in Serie A. Torino will be happy to know that Juve’s defence, particularly at centre-back has been vulnerable this season. Torino should look to exploit Juve down the middle in the attacking half. If I were Giampaolo, I would go with a 4-3-3 against Juve. They’ll need a lot of width to swing crosses into the box to the likes of Zaza and Belotti as Juve is particularly vulnerable with aerial balls. Torino will be hoping to get a result in this derby to boost the squad’s momentum, as they need it.

Most Interesting Matchup

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Usually, in a derby, there are several key matchups during a match that catch the viewer’s eyes. However, in the Derby Della Mole, I want to point to one particular match that I think will be the most interesting to watch and that’s Belotti against Juve’s central defenders. Like I pointed out earlier, Andrea Belotti is a handful to deal with. He’s not the most technically sound player and doesn’t possess top-class dribbling abilities. But, he’s very physically strong and is difficult to deal with inside the 18-yard box. Also, he possesses a powerful shot and is quick, so Juventus’ centre backs will have to focus on trying to limit him from getting open looks to shoot. I’m sure Belotti will be extra motivated to score during the derby, so this will be an interesting match, at least for me.

If you’d like to be featured in one of my articles or write articles for this blog, be sure to reach out to me.

You can reach out to me on Twitter  @calciofanblogs1, on Instagram @calciofanblogs, and my Facebook Page Calcio Fan Blogs. Additionally, if you’d like to reach out to me via email, my email address is calciofanblogs@gmail.com and/or connect with me on LinkedIn!

Things That Serie A Can Do To Increase Their Broadcasting Rights Revenue Worldwide

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In a year where very few fans, if any, can attend sporting events worldwide due to the pandemic, broadcasting rights revenue will become more important and could mark a shift in how sports leagues make revenue. As a result of all this, I’ve decided to write an article on things that Serie A can do to improve their broadcasting rights revenue worldwide. So, here we go!

How Does Serie A’s Broadcasting Rights Revenue Compare to Other Leagues Worldwide?

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When I was researching Serie A’s Broadcasting Rights Revenue over the 2019-2020 season compared to other sports leagues worldwide, I couldn’t find stats for that particular season. However, I did find Serie A’s 2019 broadcasting rights revenue compared to other sports leagues. According to statista, in 2019, Serie A earned US$ 1.51 billion, in broadcasting rights revenue worldwide. That was the seventh-highest compared to sports leagues worldwide and the fourth-highest compared to soccer leagues worldwide. The EPL, La Liga and the Bundesliga were the soccer leagues that surpassed Serie A’s broadcasting rights revenue in 2019. Now, stats are great and all. But, how can Serie A increase their broadcasting rights revenue? Here are things I believe Serie A can do to increase their broadcasting rights revenue!

1. Try to Make More Deals with Streaming Platforms

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I would not say that broadcasting via tv is dying, by any means. However, for several years, there have been additional paid ways for fans to watch sports games in addition to traditional tv and radio. If Serie A wants to earn more broadcasting rights revenue they should look to reward more streaming platforms such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and others the rights to broadcast their matches. Of course, that would be in addition to tv channels acquiring the rights to broadcast league fixtures, as the more mediums used to show live Serie A matches, the better. According to Football Italia, Serie A’s CEO, Luigi De Siervo, in September of 2020, said that Amazon and Netflix are interested in broadcasting Serie A matches on their platforms. If there are more recent developments on these streaming platforms acquiring rights to broadcast Serie A, be sure to let me know. Anyway, I hope Serie A utilizes more streaming platforms to further increase their broadcasting rights revenue in the future.

2. Promote the League’s Matches/Events in More Languages

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This idea is not something that would solely help increase Serie A’s broadcasting rights revenue but would help increase revenue in various aspects for the league. I’ve been pushing for Serie A to promote the league further around the world in previous blog posts. Allowing Serie A broadcasts to be in various languages as well as promoting what happens within the league in different languages via social media more often, would be beneficial. A great example to follow for every Serie A club and even the league itself would be Roma’s Twitter accounts. Roma has Twitter accounts in English, Italian, Arabic, Indonesian, Spanish, Portuguese, Persian, Pidgin and Swahili. It would be beneficial to follow Roma’s lead, as it would attract more viewers to Serie A broadcasts around the world, which would probably incentivize more media companies/streaming platforms to buy the rights to show matches. Here are just some of the tweets from Roma’s English Twitter Account as an example:

3. Market Star Players in Better Ways Around the World

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Say all you want about the quality of Serie A as a league. But, there’s no doubt there’s some top-class players in the league. Not just Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Matthijs De Ligt. Serie A should also be promoting other stars in the league as well. I feel as though promoting other starts in the league as well as the elite ones will allow the league to grow traction around the world, which will lead to more fans and more incentive for tv channels/streaming to broadcast the league, as they’ll get more viewers, which may lead to more ad revenue for broadcasters. This may sound tough as if it’d require more spending on marketing to execute this, but it’d be with it, in my view.

Let me know things that you think Serie A should do to increase their broadcasting rights revenue in the comments below. If you’d like to be featured in one of my articles or write any articles for this blog, be sure to reach out to me.

If you’d like to reach out to 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 via email, my email address is calciofanblogs@gmail.com and/or connect with me on LinkedIn!

Predicting Italy’s Euro Squad After Their Latest International Fixtures

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Italian Legend Slams Gianluigi Donnarumma Following Poor Performance in the European Championship | 90min

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Before I dig into my first blog post, I want to thank Joseph for giving me the chance to write a little bit on his site. 

My love for Calcio really started back in 2006 with Italy’s World Cup triumph in Germany. So, what better way to start contributing to the blog than by writing about the Azzurri? 

Following the debacle that was Gian Piero Ventura’s tenure, Roberto Mancini has moved Italy forward, rebuilding confidence within the national team and getting this side to play some really attractive football. 

After finishing unbeaten in Euro qualifying and top of their group in the Nations League — which qualifies them for the Nations League Finals next fall — Roberto Mancini’s side will head into the European Championships next summer with a ton of optimism. 

I tried my best at predicting Mancini’s 23-man squad for those Euros. With a lot of talent within the player pool, Mancini has some tough decisions to make between now and the first match against Turkey on June 11. 

  1. Gianluigi Donnarumma, GK, Milan 

It’s hard to believe Gigio is still only 21 years old, with 184 league appearances for Milan and 22 caps for Italy. He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and a lock to be Mancini’s No. 1 in goal for the Euros. 

  1. Salvatore Sirigu, GK, Torino 

Despite Torino’s dreadful form over the past 18 months, Sirigu has been a bright spot in the goal. He adds a wealth of experience to the position group and is firmly the No. 2 behind Donnarumma. 

  1. Alessio Cragno, GK, Cagliari 

I’ve tipped Cragno to beat out Alex Meret and Pierluigi Gollini for the third-choice keeper. Meret isn’t first-choice at Napoli and Gollini has seen his Atalanta season slowed by injury. Cragno has starred for Cagliari for several years now and has recently been linked with both Inter and Roma. 

  1. Leonardo Bonucci, CB, Juventus

Bonucci’s inclusion in the squad is all but certain. Who plays alongside him is the bigger question. Giorgio Chiellini misses out because of his age and inability to stay fit since his knee injury last August. So, Bonucci will be the elder statesman of the backline and will be tasked with marshalling the defence. 

  1. Francesco Acerbi, CB, Lazio 

Chiellini’s absence is Acerbi’s gain, as the Lazio man should be the favourite to partner Bonucci in at centre back. 

  1. Alessandro Bastoni, CB, Inter 

Bastoni’s confidence on the ball makes him a perfect fit for Mancini’s possession style of play. The 21-year-old has excelled for Antonio Conte’s Inter and put in a great display in the win over Poland this past Sunday in the Nations League. 

  1. Alessio Romagnoli, CB, Milan

He’s only made 12 appearances for Italy, but the Milan captain has been in good form for his club in the midst of their terrific start to the Serie A season. He’s a useful squad member to have. Other names that will be in consideration here are Chiellini, Gianluca Mancini, Mattia Caldara and Angelo Ogbonna. 

  1. Emerson, LB, Chelsea 

Even with limited game time at Chelsea, Mancini has been a fan of Emerson ever since he took over the national team. He should look for a move elsewhere at the club level in January to get some more minutes. 

  1. Leonardo Spinazzola, LB, Roma

Spinazzola’s versatility — he can play at left-back, right-back or as a left midfielder in a back three — makes him a valuable pick for inclusion. 

  1. Alessandro Florenzi, RB, Paris Saint-Germain

After an up and downtime at Roma and Valencia recently, Florenzi has performed well since his loan move to PSG, who seem to play to his strengths as an attack-minded full-back. 

  1. Giovanni Di Lorenzo, RB, Napoli

I’ve been a big fan of Di Lorenzo’s going back to his days at Empoli. He will have to hold off competition from the likes of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Manuel Lazzari and a resurgent Davide Calabria. 

  1. Marco Verratti, CM, Paris Saint-Germain 

When he’s healthy, he’s Italy’s best midfielder. Let’s just hope he stays fit for the Euros. 

  1. Jorginho, CM, Chelsea

Jorginho is an integral player for both club and country. He’s the engine that keeps Italy humming along, even if it doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet. 

  1. Nicolo Barella, CM, Inter

A tireless worker, Barella is the perfect type of player to set up alongside Verratti and Jorginho in Mancini’s three-man midfield. 

  1. Manuel Locatelli, CM, Sassuolo 

It won’t be long until one of Italy’s bigger clubs come calling for Locatelli. His deep-lying playmaker abilities make him the perfect backup to Jorginho and he proved in recent matches he can also play alongside the Chelsea man in the three-man midfield. 

  1. Lorenzo Pellegrini, CM, Roma 

Pellegrini offers something a bit different from other players in the midfield as the quintessential box-to-box player with a decent eye for goal. 

  1. Sandro Tonali, CM, Milan

This was a tough one to call. Tonali hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations at Milan yet, but it’s still very early days in his career at the San Siro. Gaetano Castrlovilli, Giacomo Bonaventura, Stefano Sensi and Bryan Cristante are all in the mix in midfield as well. 

  1. Lorenzo Insigne, LW, Napoli

Insigne has performed better for the national side than some people give him credit for. I think he will shine in his first real action at a major tournament. 

  1. Stephan El Shaaraway, LW, Shanghai Shenhua

Il Faraone is expected to make a move back to Roma during the winter transfer window and that will help him as he tries to play his way onto the 23-man roster. 

  1. Federico Chiesa, RW, Juventus 

It remains to be seen if Chiesa’s long-awaited move to Juventus from Fiorentina was the right one for the 23-year-old. His finishing and decision making in the final third still needs improving.

  1. Federico Bernadeschi, RW, Juventus

There might not be a more polarizing figure on this squad than Bernardeschi. It’s no secret he’s struggled mightily at Juve recently. He’s rated by Mancini and seems to perform a bit better with Italy than he does for his club. Had he not suffered a torn ACL for the second time in eight months, Nicolo Zaniolo would have taken this spot. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely Zaniolo will be ready in time for the Euro’s next summer. Other options on the wing include Domenico Berardi, Vincenzo Grifo and Riccardo Orsolini. 

  1. Ciro Immobile, ST, Lazio

Immobile has failed to meet expectations for the Azzurri, but he’s been sensational for Lazio, taking home Capocannoniere honours this past season with 36 goals in Serie A. Mancini — and Italy fans everywhere — will hope that Immobile can finally replicate that form for the national team. Italy needs a reliable goalscorer at forward if they are to win the Euros. 

  1. Andrea Belotti, ST, Torino

Similar to Immobile, Belotti hasn’t been able to replicate his club output for the Azzurri. One thing you can’t ever question, though, is the Torino skipper’s work rate. Francesco Caputo is also very much in contention here. 

  1. Moise Kean, ST, Paris Saint-Germain 

Kean’s move to Everton from Juventus didn’t quite pan out, but he seems to have found his form with PSG, tallying five goals so far this season.  

That was my crack at predicting Italy’s Euro squad. 

I don’t expect to be 23 out of 23 on my predictions, as things will certainly change between now and next June. 

Let me know of any disagreements you have with my choices or who you think will be a part of the squad in the comments!

Thanks for reading and Forza Azzurri!

If you’d like to follow/connect with Vincent, you can do it via his LinkedIn profile and you can also follow him on Twitter @VinceLungaro. Additionally, if you or anyone you know who is a huge Calcio fan would be interested in being featured in an article or wants to write an article for this blog, you can reach out via email at josephporco6@gmail, com or calciofanblogs@gmail.com. Additionally, you can reach out to me via my LinkedIn profile, my Twitter account @calciofanblogs1, my Instagram account @calciofanblogs, or my Facebook Page Calcio Fan Blogs

Previewing Napoli Vs.Milan

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We will have to wait ten days to watch Napoli take on Milan due to the international break. However, this will be a top match early in the season, so I’m already thinking about it. Here’s my preview of both clubs heading into this thrilling match.

Napoli

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I’ve reiterated this multiple times and I’ll say it again. Last season, was very disappointing for Napoli, as they finished 7th. So far this season, they’ve looked the opposite. I mean, Napoli signing Osimhen and Bakayoko might’ve helped. Also, keeping Koulibaly might’ve boosted their’s squad morale. Either way, they look like a Scudetto contender early on. They’ve lost two Serie A matches. One was against Sassuolo and the other was against Juve. However, that loss to Juve was due to a controversial decision where Napoli didn’t show up to the Allianz Stadium in Turin to face Juve. Despite that controversial decision and the loss against Sassuolo, Napoli should be a formidable opponent for Milan. Also, who knows? Maybe, they’ll produce a master-class and get the win. It wouldn’t be surprising, that’s for sure.

Milan

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If you’re a Milan fan right now, I’m sure you’re pleasantly surprised at just how good the rossoneri have done early in the season. Currently, they sit two points clear atop the Serie A table. Everything has gone their way, so far. Ibrahimovic is the current top scorer in Serie A at 39 years old. Add to that, how well Theo Hernandez, Rafael Leao, Donnarumma and the rest of the squad have been playing and you’ve got yourself a possible fairytale. The match against Napoli on November 22nd will be a stern test for this squad. It could be a measuring stick to see where they’re at as a squad. This clash should be one for the ages and could be a scudetto decider for the end of the season. I can’t wait to watch it and I’m sure fellow calcio fans are excited in anticipation of this match as well.

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!

Three Possible Ways Juve Should Lineup On Sunday

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Lately, Juve’s form has been under par, to say the least. Juve’s loss against Barcelona should motivate Pirlo and the coaching staff to make some changes to the starting 11. So, here are three possible ways I think the bianconeri should lineup on Sunday. Cristiano Ronaldo also got cleared to play this Sunday, so that should help them. Anyways, here we go!

Option 1: 4-2-3-1 Formation

The first possible option for Juve to deploy this weekend should be a 4-2-3-1, in my view. Let’s start with the backline! At the centre-back, position, there are not many options for Juve at the moment, as De Ligt and Chiellini are both injured. As for the full-backs, I don’t think there are many options right now, either. Where this lineup would be interesting is in the central midfield and the attack.

In the Central Midfield, I think starting McKennie and Arthur would provide the most balance. McKennie is a player who loves winning the ball back in the midfield. While Arthur can be the player that starts attacks with his superb playmaking abilities. Also, I think that starting Dybala as the Central Attacking Midfielder role would be key in linking the midfield to the attack. On the left-wing, Ronaldo is a shoe-in. As for Kulusevski on the right, I think that’s pretty obvious considering his performances so far this season. As for Morata, I’m not a big fan of starting him, I’d rather he came off the bench as super-sub. But, in this formation, there’s no other option that would be effective.

Option 2: 4-3-3 Formation

So, if Juve we’re to deploy the 4-3-3 on Sunday, the backline should remain unchanged. Right now, this is the best backline Juve could field in a 4-man backline, in my opinion.

The Central midfield would look different in this formation. Bentancur would be that extra central midfielder. He’s a very effective box-to-box midfielder, who can also be the last midfielder back due to his pace and defensive abilities. This midfield would be balanced. Bentancur would be the box-to-box midfielder, McKennie would the more defensive-oriented midfielder, while Arthur would be the playmaker. As for the striker, Juve should deploy Dybala as a false-nine in this formation. Starting Kulusevski on the right would help because if Dybala decides to drop back, he can cover Dybala’s position. Dybala would have a lot more free space to roam in this formation.

Option 3: 3-4-3 Formation

In this 3-4-3 formation, Danilo would be the extra centre-back. Unfortunately, because Juve don’t have other options right now, Danilo would have to be deployed here in my view. Of course, this lineup and formation would look better with De Ligt or Chiellini available. But, that’s not possible at this moment.

In my view, the most interesting part of using this formation for Juve would be the amount of coverage there would be on either wing, defensively. In this formation, Juve would be strong on the flanks. However, the flaw of this lineup would be down the middle. I’m not sure I trust a three-player backline without De Ligt or Chiellini there. But, I think this would be interesting to see, nonetheless.

So, which lineup should Juve deploy on Sunday? Let me know your thoughts on this article in the comment section below!

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!

The Three Best Serie A Signings of the Summer Transfer Window

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Now that the Summer Transfer Window has concluded, all the focus has turned to how these new signings will perform with their new clubs. Here are my top three signings from Serie A clubs in the Summer Transfer Window!

3. Marash Kumbulla

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Last season, Kumbulla played absolutely marvellous and grabbed the attention of some clubs in Italy. You probably already know this. But, just in case you didn’t, Kumbulla signed with Roma! In some people’s eyes, this is the best Serie A transfer of the transfer market. I’m rating at number three. However, that doesn’t take away just how good of signing this is. Roma clearly needed another centre-back and they definitely got another adequate one in Kumbulla. The toughness and defensive skill he’ll bring to the squad is already noticeable early in the season. Kumbulla is probably one of the most physically imposing defenders in his age group. He also possesses the defensive intelligence to be world-class. One of his weaknesses is his technical abilities. But, Roma just needs another defender that knows how to defend at a top-level.

2. Victor Osimhen

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One of Napoli’s needs coming into the Summer Transfer Window was a striker. There were several names linked to the club. However, they ended up landing a highly-touted young striker, Victor Osimhen, from Lille. It cost them a pretty penny. However, this addressed Napoli’s huge need at striker. Also, he’s young so he should benefit Napoli long-term. He possesses so many great qualities that a striker needs. His positioning and all that stuff are very good. He even possesses the above-average technical ability and is also a good passer of the ball. So, he’s versatile. Another reason why this was such a great signing for Napoli is that it gives them more options in the attack. That’s key for Napoli because they’re competing in the Europa League as well as the Coppa Italia and Serie A, so he provides much welcome depth. I can’t wait to watch him blossom for Napoli!

1. Achraf Hakimi

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During his time at Dortmund, Hakimi showed how world-class he is as well as can be. Now, he’s part of Inter’s squad. I’m not even an Inter fan and still hasn’t even sunk in that Hakimi is playing in Serie A. He possesses so many good qualities. Not only is he super fast, but he also provides so much in the attacking half and can defend well for a full-back of his age. By signing Hakimi, Inter addressed one of their massive needs which were signing a wingbacks. At Dortmund, Hakimi was deployed as a right-back. However, it’s clear from the first few matches that he fits being a right wing-back. He possesses top attacking ability down the right side of the field. It’s not only that, though. He has so much speed up and down the field, that his tracking back is also world-class. I don’t know if I’ve seen a player in a while that can transition from attack to defense or vice-versa so rapidly. It’s remarkable to see it!

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!

My Serie A Top Four Predictions for the 2020-2021 Season

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The 2020-2021 Serie A season will kick off at 12 PM ET this upcoming Saturday, where Fiorentina will face Torino. One race that will be very fun to watch this season should be the Serie A top-four race. For me, there’s a clear top 3 heading into this season. However, I believe that the fourth spot should be a fight to the finish. I don’t know about you, but I’m getting my popcorn ready! Here are my predictions for the top four places in Serie A this upcoming season!

4. Milan

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For Milan, it seems as though everything has fallen into place for them this offseason. Not only were they able to keep Stefano Pioli and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. They also signed probably the most in-demand player in Italy, currently, Sandro Tonali. Add to that the possibility of Bakayoko returning Milan and the summer couldn’t have gone more perfect for the Rossoneri. Considering the mix of old and young talent in their squad and also considering Milan have solidified their central midfield, I think they’ll finally qualify for the Champions League in 2021. It should be a tight race to the end. However, I see them claiming that fourth spot. Their only issue in my view is at right-back. But, I don’t think that weakness will be enough from them accomplishing a top-four finish.

3. Napoli

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On paper, Lazio, Inter, Juve and possibly Atalanta have better starting lineups than Napoli. However, under Gattuso, they’ve shown that how their squad is on paper doesn’t matter. In saying that, they made some crucial signings. Their biggest need for the last couple of seasons has been buying a Striker that’s more clinical. Well, they addressed that issue by signing both Andrea Petagna and Victor Osimhen. That attack will be dangerous for any opposing defence. They’ve also added depth in the Centreback department by signing Amir Rrahmani from Hellas Verona. In my view, they still lack a proper right-winger and a left-back. However, given they have Gattuso as their manager and they finished way below par last season. Expect them coming into this season wanting revenge. As a result, I believe they’re a lock for third this upcoming season.

2. Juventus

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As a Juve fan myself, this prediction is very difficult to make, trust me. However, the fact that Pirlo was appointed as their manager and has no experience managing at this level influenced this prediction. Also, while there is still time left in the transfer window to address their weakness, particularly at right-back, as of now I think that’ll be their biggest Achilles’ heel. In saying that, bringing in Arthur, Kulusevski, and McKennie has resulted in them significantly upgrading their midfield, which is a big positive. Also, if Juve keeps Luca Pellegrini that’ll also be a positive and will lessen Alex Sandro’s load at left-back as well as giving him competition to ensure he consistently performs. Obviously, time will tell. But, as of now, Juve haven’t convinced me they’ll win the scudetto for the 10th time in a row this upcoming season.

1. Inter

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The Scudetto was already wrapped up for Juve last season with two matches to spare. However, Inter managed to only 1 point behind Juve. Fast-forward to currently and they’ve addressed pretty much all of their main issues in the Transfer Window, so far. At the left-wing back, they’ve signed formidable veteran, Alexsandar Kolarov. They’ve also signed top-class right-back Hakimi, which couldn’t be better for Inter. Also, consider that Nainggolan has come back from a loan at Cagliari and could very well feature in Inter’s plans for the upcoming season. It seems unlikely that’ll happen, but you never know. They’ve addressed their squad’s biggest needs so far and they possess a top-class manager in Antonio Conte who has a track record of success in Serie A and the EPL. His biggest flaw may be his stubbornness to make changes. But, now he has a squad that fits his style of play. Therefore, Inter should win the scudetto this upcoming season.

Honourable mentions should go to Lazio, Atalanta, and Roma, who I don’t think will finish in the for the top four. But, anything is possible and as I’ve reiterated throughout this article, there should be a tight race for that fourth spot.

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.

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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Determining Whether Inter’s 2019-2020 Season Has Been a Success

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Inter’s 2019-2020 season has been a thrilling rollercoaster ride. They finished second in Serie A and will play in the Europa League Finals on Friday, August 21st at 3:00 PM EST. So, here’s my assessment of their season.

Assessing Inter’s Three Best Players This Season

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I won’t name who I think has been Inter’s MVP just because they’ve had key players in almost every position that have helped them a ton.

In my view, one of Inter’s three best players this season has been none other than Stefan De Vrij. Of course, I could also give credit to Bastoni as he’s improved immensely this season and is proving he can be a force to be reckoned with in the future. However, De Vrij has been that defender. He’s been the defender that every club needs. His overall game is not only world-class, but he also provides the leadership at the back that not many clubs have. If Inter want to be Scudetto Champions long-term, they need to keep De Vrij at all costs.

The next of Inter’s players that I think have been among the best in the squad this is, of course, Romelu Lukaku. Coming into this season, they were doubters of how Lukaku would do in the Nerazzurri colours. Especially, after his stint at Manchester United. However, he’s proved his critics wrong with Inter. He found himself once again and with his brace against Shakhtar Donetsk, he doesn’t look he’ll stop in the Europa League Finals or in the future for Inter. What a purchase he’s turned out to be!

The last player I want to highlight has had a tough season with injuries. But, has been key with Inter in the midfield. Nicolò Barella has gone through a lot with injuries this season. However, there’s no denying how key he’s been for Inter’s midfield this season. Overall, he’s a great box-to-box midfield. He can retain possession so well in the midfield. While also being a huge threat on the counter-attack.

So, Has Inter’s Season Been Successful?

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Just to recap, Inter finished second in Serie A, only losing the scudetto to Juve by one point. They also got eliminated in the Coppa Italia semifinals. But, they managed to qualify for the Europa League finals.

My verdict on this is definitely 100% yes. Listen, some fans may have expected Inter to win the Scudetto given thru significantly upgraded their squad and now have Antonio Conte on the touchline. However, just to put their Serie A season into perspective, this is their best finish in the table since the 2010-2011 season. Not only that, but you can also tell as a result of mainly Antonio Conte, they’re playing as a cohesive unit and look better than they have since 2010. At least, that’s my view of things. Also, the last time they qualified for a Finals of a European Competition before this year was 2010. That’s remarkable! If they address their wingback positions, which have already been partly fixed with the signing of Achraf Hakimi, they’ll be a force to be reckoned with domestically and in the Champions League.

If you’d like to talk to me about Calcio, be sure to email me at calciofanblogs@gmail.com as well as on Instagram @calciofanblogs, on Twitter @calciofanblogs1 and on my Facebook Page, Calcio Fan Blogs. Also, if you’d like to reach out to me on LinkedIn, my name is Joseph Porco.

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.