Winners and Losers From the 2021-2022 Serie A Season

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This past season, Serie A was a mixed bag. On one hand, the title race was the best it’s been in years. On the other hand, I would argue that the quality in Serie A was lower this year. It felt like none of the top teams were going to win the Scudetto. I’m kidding of course, but you know what I mean.

Here are my winners and losers from the 2021-2022 Serie A season.

 

WINNERS

Milan

The Scudetto winners will always be a winner. So, this choice is pretty obvious. But, there are several reasons why they won the Serie A title.

One of the big reasons is definitely their Manager, Stefano Pioli. During the 2019-2020 season, he was appointed fairly early into the season. A lot of fans thought he would only be there until the end of the season, which turned out differently than any of us could’ve predicted.

Not only did he stay with them, but he also became one of the best managers in Serie A. Milan fans must be relieved that the upper management decided to keep him for the 2020-2021 season, despite being linked to the veteran manager and sporting director, Ralf Rangnick.

We should also talk about Milan’s squad. Not only do they have some of the best young talents in the league, but they also have top veteran leadership. Additionally, the likes of Sandro Tonali, Rafael Leao, Fikayo Tomori, Pierre Kalulu and Mike Maignan really surprised me this season. In general, the squad emerged at the right time. As a result, they are Italy’s current Serie A champion!

Fiorentina

In the 2021 offseason, Fiorentina originally hired Gattuso to be Fiorentina’s new manager. For some reason, that ended before a game was played. Soon after that, Fiorentina found its new manager. His name was Vincenzo Italiano, who had managed Spezia last season. Little did we know how good Fiorentina would actually perform under him, though.

It turns out he led them to a top 10 finish for the first time since 2017-2018. His combination of ruthless attacking tactics as well as his good squad management led them to be 7th. He didn’t win Serie A Manager of the Year, which I thought he should’ve.

Even if you’re a fan of another league other than Serie A, you should keep an eye out for Vincenzo Italiano. He could be coming to a league near you!

Hellas Verona

In the Summer of 2021, Hellas Verona lost its highly praised manager, Ivan Juric. They appointed Eusebio Di Francesco as his replacement. However, it quickly became a disaster and he got sacked. Then, they appointed former Udinese manager and Juventus assistant manager, Igor Tudor.

What a hire this was! From the first few games of Tudor being in charge, you could see the impact he was making. He did so well. He led them to a top 10 finish, which is incredible given where they were under Di Francesco.

Even members of the squad held their weight. Players such as Antonin Barak, Giovanni Simeone, and Davide Faraone were super important for this team down the stretch. If they want to keep being a top 10 team, they will have to fend off clubs’ interest in some of their talented players.

 

LOSERS

Juventus

When Allegri got hired for another stint with the bianconeri, I was very surprised. As a fan of the club, I didn’t know what to make of it. Yes, he did a lot for Juve in his previous time at the club. But, I wasn’t sure if his style would fit with the squad and if his tactics still work on a consistent basis in today’s game.

After 10 games, it became pretty obvious to me that his style of play doesn’t work anymore and from then on, I realized Juve would be lucky to win a trophy during the season. What I’ve come to realize is that players aren’t taught to defend most games for over 45 minutes anymore. So, that’s a big reason why Juve failed this season.

It wasn’t just Allegri’s tactics that led to Juve performing below expectations, though. It was also the fact that for some reason at the worse times of the season, Juventus’ squads have been injury-ridden. This has been happening for the last few seasons at least. Additionally, I want to point out that this also tends to be a problem for other Serie A teams who compete in multiple competitions, which is interesting as well.

Juve’s other big problems are their midfield and the whole left side of the field. In my view, Juve has improved their central midfield the past couple of seasons. However, they need better box-to-box midfielders, in my opinion.

The part of the field that I think is the biggest concern for Juve is the left side. It’s great to see how well Cuadrado does by generating a lot of Juventus’ attacks on the right side. But, if Juve doesn’t address their left side it will be an issue that not even Chiesa or Cuadrado can compensate for.

I know it’s tough to find a top left-back nowadays. But, Juve will need to find one that is explosive and will generate attacking play on that side. Alex Sandro isn’t cutting it. Juve will also need a fast and fairly technical left-winger. If I were Juve, I’d look at trying to sign two out of the likes of Antony, Tagliafico, Julian Draxler or Raphael Guerreiro.

Genoa

As a general Serie A fan, it’s sad to say that the oldest club in Italy has been relegated for the first time in 15 years.

There are so many factors that have led to this, including lack of revenue. But, the one I want to talk about is their managerial situation.

In the past three seasons alone, Genoa has sacked managers eight different times. That’s absolutely insane! How are players supposed to be at their best when there is a lack of stability at Genoa? In that type of situation, it seems absolutely unfair to everybody. However, as a person who loves Serie A, I hope Genoa figures things out and comes back to Serie A stronger.

 

Final Thoughts

Like every Serie A season, there are always winners and losers. I wouldn’t have it any other way. Beyond all that though, this past season was super unpredictable and that made it fun to watch. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next season!

 

 

 

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

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

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

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.

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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

Image Via: http://rossoneriblog.com

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.

The Most Impressive Serie A Clubs Since the Current Season Resumed

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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

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

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

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

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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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

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

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

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

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

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.

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Previewing the Second Legs of the Coppa Italia Semifinal Ties

I’m so excited because the Italian Soccer we’ve all been craving for months will return this Friday and Saturday! The Coppa Italia will return with the second leg of both the Coppa Italia semifinal matches. The first semifinal second leg will take place on Friday between Juve and AC Milan. The other semifinal second leg will take place on Saturday between Napoli and Inter. Here is my article, previewing the second legs of the Coppa Italia Semifinal Ties!

Juventus Vs. AC Milan

In the first leg, Milan definitely outplayed Juve. However, due to Juve scoring a penalty in stoppage time of the second half, they’re at a bit of a disadvantage going into the second leg in Turin. Before this whole situation, AC Milan was beginning to find themselves once again and we’re challenging for a Europa League spot for next season. Indeed, it seemed that Zlatan Ibrahimovic had brought much-needed leadership to the squad. However, he’ll be out of this match with a calf injury. So, it’ll be tough to get a result. Also, going to the Allianz Stadium is already tough to play in, nevermind getting a result. So, it’ll be very difficult to get a favourable result. But, anything is possible.

This season has been shaky so far this season for Juve. Sarri has had trouble implementing his preferred style of play because of Juve’s lack of creative midfielders. Even, in the first leg, Juve didn’t look at their best, whatsoever. They got outplayed for basically the whole match. As a Juve fan, it was definitely frustrating to watch. Despite that, they were able to get the job done and secure the advantage heading into the second leg. Having an advantage will definitely help to go into the second leg at home. However, with no crowd, the home advantage may not apply for Juve in this match.

Napoli Vs. Inter

At the beginning of the current season, Inter were flying high and seemed like the Serie A contender many thought they should be before it started. However, as the season progressed, their performances began to decline. Even, in the first leg of this semifinal match against Napoli, they looked shaky. Although, they may have felt that they should’ve got a result. The match was also at the Stadio San Siro, so that was a big blow to them. Hopefully, Conte changes the squad’s formation going into the second leg, as they’ll play away at the Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli was flying high before. Gattuso was rapidly improving the squad and leading them to better results after performing below expectations for the first half of the season. Signing Lobotka in the winter definitely helped them as well. They even have a lead over Inter going into the second leg of their Coppa Italia tie. They’ll also be playing at home which may tremendously help them. The only issue will be the same as every other club in Serie A, which is they’ll be playing behind closed doors. We’ll see if they can replicate their usual form at home with no fans to cheer them on.

Thank you for reading this article! Let me know your predictions for these matches in the comments. 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.

My Top Four Favourite Italian Defenders of All-Time

Over the years, there have been so many legendary Italian Defenders. Italy has probably produced the best defenders of all-time. However, that’s up for debate. Anyways, here are my top four favourite Italian Defenders of all-time!

 

4. Fabio Grosso 

Fabio Grosso is probably one of the most underrated defenders that I’ve seen. Not only was his positioning great when he defended, but also his offensive prowess. He was a fast defender who could fling nice crosses into the opponent’s box while tracking back effectively. I’d say that his style is similar to modern fullbacks such as Alphonso Davies, Achraf Hakimi, and even Raphael Varane to a certain extent. Although, Varane is a Center back, not a full-back. Also, another huge reason he’s one of my favourite Italian Defenders of all-time was his performance in the 2006 World Cup. In that tournament, he scored a crucial goal against Germany in the Semifinals. However, his most notable moment was when he scored the winning penalty against France that gave them the World Cup Trophy. To this day, that is still my favourite Italian Soccer moment!

 

3. Fabio Cannavaro

At number three comes Fabio Cannavaro! Aside from him being a crucial part of Italy winning the 2006 World Cup, I admire his style of play. He was fairly short for a centre-back, as he’s 5’9″. Despite that, I admired his aggressiveness. If you were an attacker, it was very difficult to avoid getting tackled hard by Fabio Cannavaro. A big part of that was that he could read plays like the back of his hand and anticipate what would happen faster than the majority of defenders. I wouldn’t say he was spectacular going forward. But, what makes him one of my favourite Italian Soccer defenders was his fierceness. When he made his many tackles, opposing players could feel them. That’s one of the big reasons why even before the match, opposing attacking players were scared of facing Fabio Cannavaro. In my view, Giorgio Chiellini is the modern player that most resembles him, style-wise. However, Chiellini is significantly taller.

 

2. Alessandro Nesta

Similar to Fabio Cannavaro, I admired Alessandro Nesta because of his aggressiveness. However, unlike Fabio Cannavaro he’s 6’2″. If you were an attacker in the box against Nesta, chances are you wouldn’t get many good chances. That was evident when Alessandro Nesta gave a hard tackle on Lionel Messi in the box. Messi thought he was going to score, but then Nesta made a good tackle to prevent that from happening! Not many players could beat Nesta in the box. His tackles were fierce, he was very strong and his aerial ability was next to none. At AC Milan, he was joined by the likes of Maldini, Zambrotta, Cafu and other legendary defenders. So, you could imagine how many opponents didn’t want to face the Rossoneri at that time! It’s tough to compare his style to any modern footballer. I guess Chiellini most replicates his style. Maybe, even Koulibaly as well.

 

1. Paolo Maldini

There’s no question that Paolo Maldini is arguably the best defender of all-time. He’s also my favourite Italian Defender of all-time. I also wrote about him being one of my favourite Serie A players of all-time. I admired him for several reasons but above all, his leadership ability. He was AC Milan and Italy’s captain for several years. He was a born leader! Of course, his ability to defend was above basically any other in the history of soccer. But, his leadership ability was just as great, in my view. He’s also one of the most decorated Italian Players ever. Not only did he win seven scudetti, but he also led AC Milan to five Champions League trophies. It’s very tough to pinpoint a player who has won that. Not even Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi have won that many domestic titles and Champions League yet. Paolo Maldini was on a different level from every defender on the pitch. Hopefully, he leads AC Milan back to the glory days as the technical director.

There you have it, this is my article on my top four favourite Italian Defenders of all-time. Like always, thank you for reading this article! I really do appreciate it.

 

Why Fabio Paratici Needs to Rebound This Summer

Last Summer, it was quite obvious that Fabio Paratici failed to address Juve’s needs. Signings such as Danilo didn’t help. Hopefully, this summer Paratici gets his redemption. So, here are the reasons why Fabio Paratici needs to rebound this summer. Be sure to enjoy!

 

1. To Satisfy Fans

  A lot of fans tend not to be experts. However, the power of fans shouldn’t be dismissed. A good portion of the time, clubs such as Juve, make marketing decisions to cater to fans. That’s one of the reasons why they’re successful. But, fans may boycott the club if they don’t make great player-personnel decisions. It was quite obvious that Paratici made a few blunders, last summer. In my opinion as a fan, the biggest blunder was selling Joao Cancelo and not adequately replacing him. Now, I don’t know what happens at training and in the locker room, but Paratici should’ve found a better replacement. It seemed as though, signing Danilo was done out of panic. Also, not addressing Juve’s Central Midfield probably didn’t help fan opinion. This summer, Paratici will need to come back strong if he wants fans to be satisfied.

 

 2. To Help Juve’s Chances of Winning the Champions League

We don’t know what’ll happen with the Champions League this season. However, because Paratici didn’t address Juve’s biggest needs adequately last summer, I didn’t think Juve was a serious Champions League contender this season. In my opinion, it’s obvious which areas Juve needs to address this summer. A previous article of mine talks about one of them. Here is the article. I’d argue Juve’s biggest need to become a serious Champions League contender, is their central midfield. Since 2017, Juve has lacked a top central midfielder. For Paratici to redeem himself, he’ll need to look into signing a top central midfielder. I know that’s not a simple signing. But, to be a serious contender for the Champions League, that’s a must! Another position on the squad, Paratici needs to seriously address this summer is at right-back. Since Lichtsteiner left, Juve has lacked a right-back that can defend well and influence the attack at the same time. Anyways, for Paratici to rebound in July and August, he needs to make signings that’ll give Juve a great chance at winning the Champions League.

Paratici will definitely have a massive challenge trying to address Juve’s needs while adapting to the possibly unusual Summer Transfer Window this year. Thank you for reading this article on why Fabio Paratici needs to rebound this summer.

The Three Best No. 10s in Serie A this Season

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Over the years, Serie A has offered some of the best No. 10s of all-time. Del Piero, Baggio, Maradona, and Totti are among those legendary No. 10s. Presently, there are lots of great No. 10s to choose from in Italy. So, I’ve decided to write an article on the three best No.10s this season in Serie A. So, let’s get to it!

3. Lautaro Martinez

Lautaro Martinez isn’t a typical No. 10. What I mean by that is he’s not primarily a playmaker and has played as a striker this season and throughout his career at Inter, so far. There’s no denying his talent, though. I’d argue he’s probably the most well-rounded strikers in Serie A. He’s a great dribbler and playmaker. Also, he can definitely score. He definitely complements Lukaku perfectly well as well. In my opinion, he reminds me of Carlos Tevez or Sergio Aguero, style-wise at least. Like them, his first touch and dribbling ability, especially in tight quarters are top-notch. Also, his ability to evade defenders reminds me a lot of those two. He’s definitely the youngest player in this article and has plenty of room to grow. I’d love to see how good he can become as his career progresses.

2. Luis Alberto

Luis Alberto has definitely shown how good he can be throughout his time at Lazio. When you think of a typical playmaker, it’s him. He’s not the best goalscorer. But, what he brings to the table is his ability to pass, which is top-class. Currently, he leads the league in assists with 12. I mean, it helps when you have Immobile in front of you for sure. But, he’s definitely been one of the most overlooked trequartistas in world football. Typically, he either plays at the CAM position or CM position, as he does the most damage there. He’s definitely been a key part of Lazio’s success this season and hopefully, he remains at Lazio through the foreseeable future.

1. Paulo Dybala

It’s no secret that Paulo Dybala has been Juve’s most important player this season. Indeed, without la Joya, who knows where they’d be in the Serie A standings. He hasn’t had great numbers in terms of assists and goals. However, his impact goes beyond numbers, as is this season it has. A big reason he’s been so crucial for Juve this season is because he’s that player that links the midfield to the attack. Also, Juve’s midfield has been subpar, so he’s had to carry the load in terms of playmaking for Juve. Even, Totti said recently that Dybala is the best No. 10 in Serie A, currently. If Juve finally addresses their major issues in the middle of the field this summer, next season we may see Dybala become Serie A’s top player by far.

Thank you for reading this article! Be sure to find me on Instagram @calciofanblogs, on Twitter @calciofanblogs1. Also, be sure to like and follow my Facebook page, Calcio Fan Blogs as well as connecting with me on LinkedIn, which is Joseph Porco.