Serie A Preview: Match Day 9

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“Paulone d’Oro” was the clever play-on-words written by Il Corriere dello Sport on Wednesday morning, a juxtaposition of the Italian word for Ballon d’Or (Pallone d’Oro) and Juventus forward Paulo Dybala. 

After an average season in 2018/19 and a slow start to the current campaign, the Argentine sprung into life in Juve’s Champions League fixture with Lokomotiv Moscow, scoring two wonderful goals in a 2-1 win. This Saturday, the Bianconeri face the long journey to Lecce, where Dybala will be hoping to replicate the stunning form shown in midweek.

Serie A Match of the round: AS Roma vs AC Milan | Sunday 5pm

A fixture versus two of Italy’s top clubs is always one to watch out for, and Sunday’s encounter between Roma and Milan is no different. Only this time, rather than a fixture between two sides in top form, the Stadio Olimpico will play host to a struggling duo.

Roma have been hit hard by injuries this term, with Cengiz Under, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Amadou Diawara, Bryan Cristante and Nikola Kalinic and Davide Santon all on the treatment table. 

Meanwhile Milan have already changed Coach this season, with former Fiorentina boss Stefano Pioli having replaced Marco Giampaolo after just seven matches. The new man oversaw a somewhat disappointing 2-2 draw at home to Lecce last weekend, although the performance had improved from previous displays. Yet the Rossoneri are still in crisis, having earned just 10 points from their opening eight games. 

Best of the rest

Inter play host to Parma at 5pm on Saturday, directly after Juve’s match with Lecce. This means the pressure will be on Antonio Conte to keep pace in the title race, with their opponents fresh from a 5-1 win over Genoa last weekend.

Atalanta are also right up there at the top of the table, and they will be looking to erase the disappointment of a 5-1 defeat to Manchester City in midweek when they take on Udinese on Sunday afternoon. The late kick-off should be a fascinating matchup between an emerging Fiorentina and an erratic Lazio, as the European contenders face off at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Serie A player to watch: Sandro Tonali (£1.98) vs Genoa

This 19-year-old midfielder has been compared to Andrea Pirlo, and it’s easy to understand why. Not only does the youngster resemble the former Italian international in terms of looks, he looks as comfortable in the Brescia midfield as Pirlo did all those years ago. 

He put in a superb performance last Monday night versus Fiorentina, helping his side earn a credible 0-0 draw. In truth, this player has the potential to become an even more influential member of the side than Pirlo was, his strength in the tackle and energetic runs just as effective as his easy-on-the-eye passing range.

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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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