Having rediscovered his best form under Maurizio Sarri, Paulo Dybala has been praised for a complete change of mentality by Juventus Vice President Pavel Nedved. The Argentina international managed just 10 goals in all competitions last term, but took his 2019/20 tally to seven with the decisive goal in this week’s win over Atletico Madrid.
“Dybala is doing great things this season, you can perhaps see the difference more from last term,” Nedved told Sky Italia this week. “He played below expectations last season, but has changed completely and it is above all a change of his mentality. It was all him and I am pleased because he can still get stronger.”
Serie A Match of the Weekend: Hellas Verona -vs AS Roma
Promising to be a tough battle between attack and defence, a surprisingly good Hellas Verona side welcome AS Roma to the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi on Sunday and will hope to spring another upset.
The Gialloblu beat Fiorentina last weekend and have won on three of their last four Serie A outings, climbing up to eighth in the table thanks to their rock-solid backline. Only Juventus (10) have conceded fewer goals than the 11 allowed by Hellas this term, and there have been under 2.5 goals in seven of their last eight home games.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Roma will be looking to keep their own good form going after losing just twice all season. They have notched some comfortably victories along the way, beating Udinese 4-0 and Brescia 3-0 in recent weeks, making this an intriguing battle between two vastly different philosophies.
Rest of the Weekend
Earlier on Sunday, AC Milan travel to Parma, sitting a surprising four league places below their opponents. The Ducali are ninth and have beaten Roma and Torino already this term while an impressive 2-2 draw away at Inter should indicate that San Siro’s other club will be in for a tough test this weekend.
The Rossoneri will be desperate to improve their own recent results, after a tough schedule led to them losing three of their last five games as they faced Juventus, Roma, Lazio and Napoli over that spell.
Serie A Player to Watch: Federico Chiesa – Fiorentina – £2.27
Federico Chiesa needs little introduction, Fiorentina’s young winger linked with almost every top club in Europe over the past two years. Yet he has suddenly seen his contributions for La Viola questioned, dropped by Vincenzo Montella last week as the coach raised doubts over his mental approach.
That would have been no surprise to Fiorentina supporters who see first hand the juxtaposition between his lofty reputation and the inconsistent performer who actually turns out for their beloved club every weekend. Yet his footballer father Enrico has been pictured meeting club officials this week to discuss a new contract.
It will be worth tuning in to their encounter with Lecce on Saturday evening to see if he is given a chance to prove his value, and surely playing alongside Franck Ribery has to help Chiesa learn just what it takes to succeed at the highest level?