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

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The anticipation in my head is building like crazy, as tomorrow the Serie A season will resume! Here’s my article previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season (part four). Be sure to enjoy it!

Roma

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I’m not really sure what to make of this season for Roma. I predicted them to finish in the top four at the beginning of the season. But, results-wise, I don’t think they’ve disappointed that much being in fifth. At the beginning of the season, they were a bit inconsistent. As the season has gone on, they’ve definitely improved. Dzeko has been decent upfront. At the back, the likes of Smalling and Mancini have also formed a decent partnership. Even Veretout and Diawara have done their jobs in the midfield. What may help this squad be in the Champions League next season is the fact that Zaniolo will be back. We’ll see if he can help elevate them to that next level for the remainder of the season.

Atalanta

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Like I’ve mentioned many times, Atalanta has been performing above expectations by far this season. They qualified for the Champions League for the first time, as a result of finishing third last season. Once again, they’re holding on to a Champions League spot for next season. The fact that they could perform at this high of a level in the league and qualify to the quarterfinals of the Champions League is amazing, to say the least! Considering, the revenue the club earns. Roma is only 3 points away from them for that final Champions League spot. Don’t ever doubt this squad, though. We’ll see if Gasperini can lead Atalanta to the Champions League once again!

Inter

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This season has been an interesting one for the nerazzuri. During the first half of the season, it seemed like they could go toe to toe with Juve for the scudetto. However, in the second half of the season, their form dipped significantly. They definitely possess the players to be scudetto contenders. However, it seemed as though their opponents began to figure out their tactics more and how to limit them. In Inter’s match last Saturday against Napoli, Antonio Conte changed his formation from a 3-5-2 to 3-4-1-2 and Christian Eriksen started. He definitely showed how good Inter can be when he starts. We’ll see if Conte keeps using the 3-4-1-2 for the rest of the season.

Lazio

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I don’t think that Lazio or even calcio fans, in general, could’ve expected Lazio to perform this well. Kudos to them! Everything has seemed to click for this squad. As a result, they’re neck and neck with Juve for the scudetto. Before this all happened, they went on a massive unbeaten run in the league. This whole situation may effect that momentum. However, one thing is certain. That thing is that if they keep the momentum up from before, surely, they’ll win the scudetto. That’d be something remarkable if it happened! I’m sure Napoli fans wouldn’t be impressed, as they’ve been Juve’s main contender for the scudetto over the last several seasons and they haven’t been able to pull it off.

Juventus

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It’s clear that this season Juve hasn’t had the same fear factor in Serie A as previous ones. Sarri shares a little bit of blame for that. But, it’s mostly because of Juve’s upper-management. In the summer, they didn’t address Juve’s right-back and central midfield issues. As a result, their flaws have been very explicit. Sarri has also had a tough time this season, so far. Yes, they’re in first but he’s had trouble implementing his style of play with their current squad. A big part of that is because the midfield doesn’t fit his style of play. He could implement Sarriball with this squad. But, the issue would be is they’d get exposed badly at the back. We’ll see if Maurizio Sarri can lead Juve to a Scudetto, in his debut season with the club.

Thank you for reading all four articles previewing Serie A clubs for the rest of the season! I don’t about you, but I’m so excited to finally be able to watch Serie A once again! We’ll see how the rest of the season plays out.

Predicting How Well Italian Clubs Will Do in the Champions League This Season

For those who don’t know, this should turn out to be an exciting season for Serie A clubs in the Champions League!  It will make for an exciting season for calcio fans and hopefully, we’ll see all four Serie A clubs in the semifinals of the Champions League. However, based on my predictions for each of them, that’s unlikely. So, here is how I think the Serie A clubs will do in the Champions League this season!

   1. INTER MILAN 

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                              Image Credit: edition.cnn.com

Inter will be playing their first Champions League match this season against Slavia Prague today at 12:55 pm Eastern Time. When Inter fans and members of the club envisioned who would be in their group, no one anticipated that they’d be in the group of death. Indeed, Lionel Messi will return to the San Siro for the second consecutive year to face Inter. Inter is also joined by Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Prague in this group, making it very tough to get through to the round of 16. In all honesty, I predict that Inter will finish third in the group, as they will be with two clubs in Dortmund and Barcelona that are juggernauts in Europe and it may be too much for this Inter side. However, they could definitely surprise many people.

2. NAPOLI

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While, Napoli were in a favorable position before the draw began, I don’t think they could’ve anticipated an easier group on paper than they’ve gotten. Make no mistake, no Champions League match is simple, but the group Napoli got dealt is one of the most simple they could’ve gotten. Yes, they’re with the 2019 Champions League winners, Liverpool. But, other than that, they’re with Genk and Red Bull Salzburg. Considering, Napoli’s group as well as the fact that they made some key signings over the summer in Hirving Lozano, Kostas Manolas, and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t get in second place in the group and get through to the knockout phase of the competition. Their first match will be later today against Liverpool at 3 pm Eastern Time.

3. JUVENTUS

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                                  Image Credit: thenational.ae

Juventus shocked their fans with some of the moves they made in the summer. Many fans were left scratching their heads with some of those moves or lack of moves that weren’t made. However, that’s all behind us and the season has started. They’ve been drawn in a decent group with Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, and Lokomotiv Moscow. I predict that Juve should get through to the round of 16 in second in this group. However, the sky is the limit for this club if they play at their best. Not even the beasts at Atletico Madrid can stop them. Their first Champions League match will take place at 3 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday!

4. ATALANTA 

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                                Image Credit: acmilaninfo.com

Atalanta will make their first ever Champions League appearance on Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern time against Dinamo Zagreb. They got drawn into a group with Manchester City, Shakhtar donetsk, and Dinamo Zagreb. Based on their position heading into the draw, it was inevitable that they’d be drawn into a tough group. This will be a very tough group for Atalanta, but the good thing is they don’t have high expectations heading into this competition, so it might actually work in their favor. I predict that they’ll finish in second in their group behind Man City. I hope they demonstrate their quality in this group, as I feel their an underrated club coming into competition. They could very well make some noise this season.

I’ve predicted three out of the four Serie A clubs in the Champions League this season to qualify for the champions League round of 16. But, hopefully it’s all four clubs!

 

 

3 Reasons Why Juventus Has a Good Chance of Winning the Champions League This Season

Juventus beat Atletico Madrid and got through to the quarterfinals of the Champions League on Tuesday, just in case you live under a rock. Of course, Cristiano Ronaldo got a hat trick and the whole squad was on point. Heading into this season, I believed that Juve were one of the top 3 favorites to win the Champions League. This belief has become more apparent, at least for me, after Tuesday’s amazing match. I will discuss 3 reasons why I believe Juve’s odds of winning the Champions League has increased ever since yesterday’s match.

1. Cristiano Ronaldo

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Image Credit: https://www.marca.com/en/football/international-football/2019/03/13/5c883ea1ca47417e108b463a.html




I know this is obvious to many fans of footy, but the fact that Juve not only bought CR7 in the summer as well as him having had such a great match on Tuesday, demonstrates that this generational talent gives Juventus a greater chance than ever to win the Champions League this season. Cristiano Ronaldo at 34 years of age is still a defender’s worst nightmare, which helps Juve. Cristiano Ronaldo also possesses the right mentality to win this competition, as he has won it 5 times in his career. Don’t get me wrong, without Ronaldo, the bianconeri (Juventus) still possesses a squad that is very capable of winning the Champions League, but having someone like CR7 at your disposal adds that extra oomph to the squad.

2. Juventus’ Squad Depth

Ronaldo said after the game: 'This is why Juventus signed me'
Image Credit: https://www.skysports.com/football/juventus-vs-a-madrid/403928

Generally, in any winning squad, there is always one player that stands out above the rest. But, in order for that star to be at his/her best they need teammates that can support them. As we have seen in this match and in many others over the past few seasons, Juventus has boasted tremendous squad depth. Even yesterday, both Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa could not play in the match because of injuries. However, Juve has so much squad depth that replacing them with Bernardeschi on the right-wing was no big deal and actually, some would argue that Federico Bernadeschi was Juve’s best player on Tuesday. It’s not just upfront, though. At the left-back position, Leonardo Spinazzola played over their regular starter Alex Sandro and played stellar too. This squad depth, as was shown on Tuesday, will give Juventus a good chance of winning the Champions League this season.

3. Juventus’ Heart and Determination

Maybe, it’s Juve’s manager Massimiliano Allegri or the players themselves, but in the Champions League, this club seems to show heart and determination even if they get eliminated in the competition. It’s like the heart and determination lives in the bloodstreams of players who wear the white and black jersey. We’ve seen countless examples of how this club demonstrates plenty of heart and determination and this season is no different. Juventus seem to be the type of club that can bend easily, but is very difficult to break. This is as a result of the club’s mentality. This will definitely help guide Juventus to winning their first Champions League title since 1996. I am hoping, as are many other fans, that Juventus pulls it off this season. Let’s hope it happens!

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Most Impressive Player and Club in the First Half of the Serie A Season

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This Serie A season has been a roller coaster thus far. I know that fans of other leagues say that this competition isn’t as fun to watch because Juventus wins the Scudetto year after year. However, they are so wrong. There has been a couple players and clubs that have stood out thus far. Although I will choose one of each. So, sit back, relax and enjoy.

MOST IMPRESSIVE CLUB SO FAR : JUVENTUS

If any of you reading this right now, follow my social media pages you’d know that I am a massive Juventus fan. However, as is often the case, I had to be objective. I know, it’s the dreaded 9-letter word when it comes to football fandom.

I must admit that there were two other clubs I was considering for this Calcio Fan Blog award, lol. But Juventus stood out for me. A massive reason in which they stood out in the first half of the season for me was, well, the number 0 in the l column. Indeed, they are undefeated. But, it doesn’t seems as though they’ve hit their full stride yet, which is impressive. The fact that they’ve been accumulating so many good results is amazing, considering how they haven’t looked great all season. That’s why they stood out. They are able to find results, despite the fact that their form isn’t great. If this club remains undefeated the whole season, they will definitely be the club I’m most impressed with at the end of the season. Move along, there is no bias here…………

MOST IMPRESSIVE PLAYER SO FAR: Krysztof Piatek

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During the summer transfer window, Genoa had signed this player named Krysztof Piatek whom many people probably didn’t know of. Fast forward to now and he has 13 goals. Which is mind-boggling! He is one goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo for Serie A’s golden boot.

While, Serie A possesses the talent of CR7, Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala, and many others, no one expected that Piatek would be this good. When Genoa’s scouts picked spotted this player and chose to sign him, they were smart in doing that. He has played amazing so far and is only 23, which makes him even more fascinating. All I will say to Genoa is good luck attempting to keep him, as you’d expect many clubs to come for him in the current January transfer window as well as the Summer one. Piatek is one for the now, as opposed to the future and if he keeps impressing me, it will tough for me not to be so fascinated in the player.

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