Three Reasons Why Milan are Currently First in Serie A

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Milan haven’t lost a Serie A match since March 8th of this year and currently sit first in the league. There’s a good chance that they may not finish in first when it’s all said and done. However, here are three reasons why I think Milan currently sits in first in Serie A!

1. The Signing of Simon Kjaer

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When Milan announced the signing of Simon Kjaer in January of 2020, I never thought that he would be a huge part of Milan being undefeated since March. He’s a very talented defender. However, I never thought he’d make that much of a difference for Milan. Simon Kjaer previously played in Serie A for Palermo, Roma and Atalanta and came to Milan in January on a loan. In July, Milan made the move permanent only paying €3.5 million. So far, that looks like a steal. He has not only brought great defending to the club which was lacking at Milan for years, but he’s also provided leadership that you can’t teach. His style of defending has also provided balance to this Milan squad. He’s not a centre-back that lines to possess the ball and join in moving the ball into the opponent’s attacking half too often. However, he has eliminated the burden of defending that has plagued Milan for several seasons and has played solid. Many would probably argue that so far this season, he’s been Milan’s best defender and I’d have to agree. If the rossoneri end up winning the scudetto, the rest of the squad should pay for one of his meals, as he deserves it.

2. The Signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic

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When it was announced in December of 2019 that Milan would be signing the Swedish legend once again, I instantly thought that this was going to be a great signing for the squad and so far I’ve been right. Other than Zlatan’s salary, Milan didn’t have to pay any transfer fee for the lion. To say he’s been a great signing is a high understatement. So far, he’s been a world-class signing and a big reason why Milan is currently first in the league. It’s common knowledge that despite his age, Zlatan Ibrahimovic can still score. However, similar to Kjaer he had brought leadership and a winning mentality back to the club. It’s must be tough when a lot of players on the squad are over 10 years younger than you are, as the average age of the squad is 25, which is the youngest in Serie A. He has taken the lead for this squad, which like I just pointed out us not easy and leads them to currently sitting in first in the league. Currently, he’s injured. However, I guarantee that while he’s watching matches and training sessions he’s providing much-needed leadership off the field. When he does step back onto the field, I’m sure Milan’s squad will welcome that.

3. Stefano Pioli

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When Stefano Pioli was hired as Milan’s interim manager last season, it was clear he had a mountain of work to get done. However, slowly the squad starting playing to the tactics of his liking and now he’s turned them into a Scudetto challenger this season in what almost seems like he did overnight. That’s how fast time has flown by. Anyways, he’s made a huge impact with his tactics. A big reason for this in my view has been because he’s willing to play the members of his squad in their preferred positions, especially in the attack. Calhanoglu is now playing his preferred number 10 as a central attacking midfield role and has thrived. Countless other players have played their best under Padre Pioli. He’s also got the best out of the likes of Bennacer, Kessie and others in the midfield. There’s no doubt he’s made a huge difference in the attitude and tactics of the squad. Even if they don’t win the scudetto leading the club to qualify for the Champions League once again would be remarkable. Let’s see if he can continue to consistently get the best out of this squad for the rest of the season.

The Scudetto race is far from over. But, Milan has shown they have the potential to win the trophy for the first time since 2011.

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!

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Predicting Italy’s Euro Squad After Their Latest International Fixtures

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

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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!

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.

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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.

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.

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.

The Most Impressive Serie A Clubs Since the Current Season Resumed

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Image Via: https://mundoalbiceleste.com/

Several months ago, everything was up in the air and I didn’t know whether the current Serie A season would resume. However, flash-forward to now and there are matches scheduled for the majority of each week over close to the next two months. It’s also still early in the resumption of the season, but there have been a few clubs that have stood out. Here are the most impressive Serie A clubs since the current season resumed.

MILAN

Image Via: https://www.squawka.com/

Ever since Pioli got hired, it’s been obvious that Milan has played significantly better. I think that’s pretty obvious. Clearly, they’ve continued their good form since the resumption of the season. Their first match back was against Lecce. In that match, they were up 1-0 at the half and it seemed as though things we’re going downhill, as Lecce equalized just after half. After that, I’m not sure what happened, but Milan exploded and scored three goals to secure a 4-1 victory. Yes, Lecce isn’t a great team. But, the win was impressive, nonetheless. Then, last Sunday they faced Roma. It was a tight game throughout. However, Milan continued got the job done late in the second half with two goals. This club continues to impress and it’s possible that the Rossoneri can make up for their bad start to the current season. With the form they’re in, it’s definitely possible.

ATALANTA

Image Via: https://www.espn.com/

Atalanta has impressed me so much over these last couple of seasons. Even once the season resumed, it’s like Atalanta never stopped playing. A lot of fans may complain that their club’s players are suffering from rust from not playing for so long. However, if you look at the way Atalanta has been playing since the restart of the season, those excuses look less valid. Not only did they beat Sassuolo by a good margin, but they also beat Lazio and even got a victory Udinese on the weekend. It doesn’t even seem real that they can come back after that long and score goals for fun. It’s amazing, to say the least! Obviously, defensively they’re a bit vulnerable. However, they’ve scored 80 goals in 28 matches this season so far, so I don’t think they’re afraid of sacrificing defensively to score. It’s amazing to still watch their highly-energetic attack. What’s even more impressive is it feels as though they can outscore almost any other club in Serie A.

NAPOLI

Image Via: https://en.as.com/

For the first few matches under Gattuso, Napoli seemed to continue to struggle. However, since then they’ve played on a completely different level. If moving back to the top 6 wasn’t enough for some, winning the Coppa Italia might’ve been. A lot of squads would’ve lost focus for the rest of the season after winning a trophy like the Coppa Italia. However, not Napoli under Gattuso. Since they’ve resumed their season, they’ve beaten both Hellas Verona and SPAL. Now, the match against Hellas Verona seemed to be tough for them throughout. But, they defended well and were able to contain the beast that Hellas Verona has been this season. Then, they were able to capitalize on the Counter Attack. In both matches, the players stayed focused and calm and as a result, they’ve impressed. If they keep playing like this, who knows who they can surpass in the Serie A table.

JUVENTUS

Image Via: https://mundoalbiceleste.com/

After Juve’s Coppa Italia performances, it would’ve been easy to write them and Maurizio Sarri off. However, so far Sarri has adjusted things and that has really helped. As a result of Alex Sandro’s injury in the Coppa Italia, he’s had to adjust. In the first match, he deployed De Sciglio as the left-back. Then, in the second match, he deployed Matuidi at left-back, which was odd because he typically plays as a central midfielder. But, they had no other choice and it seemed to work. The biggest difference in my view, though, was the attack. At right-wing, instead of starting Douglas Costa as Sarri did in their Coppa Italia matches, he opted to start Bernardeschi. That definitely paid off. Of course, Douglas Costa is a better player than Bernardeschi. But, the reason their attack has looked better in the last couple of games is one simple reason. Bernardeschi was willing to switch his position in order to allow more freedom for CR7 and Dybala. Costa, however, wasn’t as willing to switch play. As a result, Bernardeschi has surprisingly been better as a starter than Costa, since the season resumed. Time will tell if the front three of CR7, Dybala, and Berna will be truly effective. However, for now, it definitely is.

Thank you for reading this article! If you’re passionate about Serie A and want to constantly teach/learn about the league, you can reach out to me via Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Additionally, you can also send me a message to my email address, which is calciofanblogs@gmail.com

Here’s Dybala’s impressive goal against Lecce on the weekend. Enjoy!

Video Via: Youtube- Netizen Indonesia Channel

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

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Image Via: http://juvefc.com

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

Image Via: http://squawka.com

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

Image Via: http://ca.sports.yahoo.com

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

Image Via: http://forbes.com

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

Image Via: http://fcbarcelonanoticias.com

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

Image Via: http://juvefc.com

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.

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

Image Via: http://transfermarkt.us

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

Image Via: http://zimbio.com

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

Image Via: http://transfermarkt.com

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

Image Via: http://worldfootballindex.com

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.