Serie A Preview: Match Day 12

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Former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte was in the news after letting a 2-0 lead over Borussia Dortmund end up in a 3-2 defeat, but it was not the result itself that grabbed the headlines. The highly-strung Coach used the loss as a way to bemoan a lack of squad depth and bizarrely criticise the two talented midfielders due to the clubs in which they came from. 

“We are talking about a group of players who, apart from [Diego] Godin, haven’t won anything. It’s difficult then to deal with a tough situation,” the boss told reporters after the defeat. “Who do I call on? Nicolò Barella, who we signed from Cagliari? Or Stefano Sensi, who arrived from Sassuolo?”

Serie A Match of the round: Juventus vs AC Milan | Sunday 7.45pm

Involving two of Serie A’s traditional giants, the match between Juventus and AC Milan is always a highly-anticipated fixture. However, this time round there is a huge gulf between the pair, as Juve continue to be the only side to remain unbeaten in all competitions in Europe’s top-five leagues.

Meanwhile, the Rossoneri are languishing in mid-table and are already on their second Coach of the campaign, after the board lost patience with Marco Giampaolo after Week Seven and replaced him with Stefano Pioli. That said, Milan always seem to raise their game versus their Turin-based rivals, so expect to see a keenly contested encounter on Sunday evening.

Best of the rest

Look out for Napoli on Saturday night, as they host Genoa after a tumultuous week with an internal battle that has been played out in the press. After defeat to AS Roma last weekend, owner Aurelio De Laurentiis enforced a week-long training camp, as is common practice for struggling sides in Italian football.

Dries Mertens (Napoli) saving the ball from Leonardo Spinazzola (Roma) in action during the Serie A match between SS AS Roma and SSC Napoli at Stadio Olimpico on November 2, 2019 in Rome, Italy. Rome beat Napoli by 2-1 in the 11th round of Campionato italiano di Serie A (Photo by Giuseppe Fama/Pacific Press/Sipa USA)

However, boss Carlo Ancelotti didn’t take kindly to this, and spoke out in his press conference before the Champions League clash with Red Bull Salzburg in order to publicly disagree with the action taken, and the players failed to return to the camp after the match. This prompted threats of legal action from the owner via the club’s official website, meaning that it will be interesting to see how the team react to the situation on the pitch this weekend.

Serie A player to watch: Salvatore Sirigu (Torino | £0.29)

Here is a goalkeeper who at 32 years old is not only a steady and reliable pair of hands for Torino. His superb performance in the Turin derby prompted calls for Roberto Mancini to consider making the stopper his number one choice for the forthcoming Euro 2020 tournament, but in truth he has been impressing for the Granata for quite some time. 

This may have gone under the radar a little, but the former PSG man is a talented ‘keeper who is right in his prime.

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About Author

Chloe Beresford is a freelance Serie A writer who has been featured in Mundial magazine, Guardian Sport and in addition to Football Index, regularly contributes to The Sportsman, Tifo Football, Football Whispers and more. She supports Fiorentina and can often be found in the Curva Fiesole as well as attending as many other matches on the peninsula as possible.

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