The Four Most Underrated Clubs for the Rest of the Season

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Just before the current Serie A season began, I wrote an article on the four most underrated clubs heading into it. Of course, like any season things have changed like crazy since then. So, here are the four most underrated clubs for the rest of the season.

 

4. Parma

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If you’ve read some of my previous articles, you’d know how much I admire Parma’s Manager, Roberto D’Aversa! I also admire this squad. in general. Kulusevski has been a great addition and the squad seems to have improved throughout the season. Gervinho was supposed to leave in January, but the move fell through. That was probably a huge boost for this squad. Even, their backline has looked very tough to breakdown. Also, as I’ve mentioned in various articles, their counterattack is a threat to any opponent. Clubs such as Napoli, AC Milan, and Hellas Verona will have a tough time fighting this club off for Europa League spots. Parma definitely seems prepared for the fight,  that’s for sure!

 

3. Bologna 

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Near the beginning of this season, Bologna’s manager, Sinisa Mihajlovic, was diagnosed with leukemia. That seemed to give the club tons of motivation. Last season, he came in and the club went from battling relegation. This season, they’ve stayed in a midtable spot. However, this is a club that when on their game can stun the best of clubs. With the likes of veteran, Rodrigo Palacio and young star, Riccardo Orsolini in their lineup, they can be a handful to face. Even their backline with the likes of Ibrahima Mbaye and Mattia Bani can be formidable. Although, their backline has been inconsistent at times. This is definitely a club to watch out for during the rest of the season. They have a manager in Mihajlovic who can pull many unexpected tricks. So, other Serie A clubs beware!

 

2. Cagliari

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At the beginning of the season, Cagliari was challenging for a Champions League place. However, their form dipped and currently, they sit in 12th place. But, there’s no reason to write them off for a second. This season, they have some of the most underrated players in the league. Joao Pedro has been superb at leading the attack, Roma loanee, Robin Olsen, has been crucial for them in the net. Also, I know Inter fans may not want to hear this, but Radja Nainggolan has been a rock in the middle for Cagliari, this season. The squad hasn’t found consistent results since the beginning of the season. However, make no mistake, this squad is definitely capable of pulling together consistent results as well as surprising many fans and pundits.

 

1. Hellas Verona 

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Since Ivan Juric has taken over this Hellas Verona side, they’ve definitely looked different, to say the least! They’re current in 8th, challenging for a Europa League, which is definitely surprising. This squad is full of underrated players. Maybe, that’s motivated them to play at such a high-level. Also, it’s impressive to see the results they’ve gotten, considering they got promoted from Serie B last season. It’s their first season back in Serie A since 2017-2018. Clearly, that one season in Serie B motivated to come back stronger and they have! Davide Faraoni, Kumbulla, Miguel Veloso and others have just been so underrated and have been quietly leading the club to great results! Who knows what will happen to the squad in the next transfer window? Either way, I’m sure that fans and employees of the club are not thinking about that and enjoying this cinderella story. I’m not even a Hellas Verona fan and I’m enjoying this!

 My four most underrated clubs have changed completely since the beginning of the season. But, that’s just the nature of what happens over any season in sports. Either way, I can’t wait to watch it! There you have it, this is my article on the four most underrated clubs for the rest of the season!

 

My Five Serie A Manager of the Year Nominees

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This Serie A season may or may not be continuing after this tough time. However, in any case, the majority of the season has happened already. So, I’ve decided to nominate five managers of the year candidates. Here they are!

5. Paulo Fonseca

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Coming into this season, I expected Roma to barely get a place within the Serie A top 4. However, as of now, they aren’t. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster type of season for the giallorossi. But, they currently sit in fifth. A big reason for that has been the work of Paulo Fonseca. Roma’s backline is still suspect. But, it has definitely improved under Fonseca. Last season they scored a total of 66 goals, which was fourth-best in Serie A. This season they’ve scored 50 goals in 26 matches. So, they’ve definitely improved in that aspect. Their midfield has also stood out, as offensively the speed of their track has improved. Also, without the ball, the midfield looks better this season. Fonseca has elevated Roma this season. We’ll see what he does in the future for them.

4. Roberto D’aversa

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Roberto D’aversa’s Parma side hasn’t been talked about much this season. However, they’re definitely proving to be a formidable force within the league. Last season, Parma was only three points from relegation and ended up in 14th. This season, they’re way past being in the relegation zone. They currently sit in ninth. They’ve proved to be a difficult opponent for any club that faces them. Roberto D’aversa has made them tough to break down at the back. Also, they’re dangerous for any backline to face, as their counter-attack has lots of speed to it. Their biggest flaw is they don’t have a top goalscorer. But, other than that, Roberto D’aversa has gotten the best out of this group.

3. Gian Piero Gasperini

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Based on last season’s spectacular season from Atalanta, many people, including myself didn’t think Atalanta would be able to maintain this level of play because of being in the Champions League this season. Fast-forward to this season and they’ve somehow been able to continue staying in the Serie A top four. They also made it past the Champions League round of 16. They do have issues at the back, but they’re able to outscore most clubs. This should be credited to Gasperini’s work. The likes of Duvan Zapata, Josip Ilicic, and others weren’t big names. But, under Gasperini, they’ve become household names in Italy and around Europe, they’re starting to get the recognition they deserve.

2. Ivan Juric

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The biggest Cinderella story in Serie A has to be Hellas Verona. I expected Hellas Verona to be relegated this season. But, they’ve surpassed my expectations by far. Who would’ve predicted that they’d possibly be challenging for a Europa League spot for next season? I certainly didn’t. Ivan Juric has elevated this squad beyond levels that I could’ve ever imagined this season. They may not qualify for the Europa League, at the end of the season. But, I’d consider it successful for Ivan Juric. Ivan Juric has earned the right to be a top nominee for the Serie A manager of the season, in my view.

1. Simone Inzaghi

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If you would’ve told Lazio fans that they’d be contending for the scudetto at the beginning of the season, I think they would’ve taken it. This season has been beyond anyone’s imagination for Lazio. Like I’ve reiterated in several other articles, over the past several seasons Lazio hasn’t had issues creating chances and scoring goals. However, this season their backline has immensely improved. A massive amount of credit should go to Simone Inzaghi for that. This Lazio project has been a work in progress. But, it seems like they’ve figured out the issues they’ve had and fixed them. Whatever happens, I’m sure this will be a season to remember for fans of the club. Simone Inzaghi has been a big part of making this dream season happen.