Will Stefano Pioli and Claudio Ranieri Work Out for AC Milan and Sampdoria?


Image Credit: theguardian.com

This week, two massive developments have taken place within the Serie A. The first was that Di Francesco got sacked from Sampdoria, then, not too many days after, Giampaolo got let go from AC Milan as well. Then, in the same week, Stefano Pioli got appointed to be the rossoneri’s new manager and Claudio Ranieri became Sampdoria’s new manager. So, here’s how I think they will do at their new clubs!


Image Credit: timesofmalta.com

Immediately after Stefano Pioli was appointed as AC Milan’s manager, fans of the club started using the #pioliout on social media. While, I don’t think it’s right to dismiss a manager that quickly, I also don’t believe that by the end of the season he’ll work out for the club. Now, does that mean I don’t think he’ll improve the the club’s results by the end of the season? Of course, I believe he will! However, even if he leads Milan to qualify for the Europa League in fifth like Gattuso did last season, I still don’t believe they’ll want to keep him. AC Milan’s upper-management does not seem to have any patience at all in regards to managers, therefore, unfortunately I don’t see him working out with the rossoneri by the end of the season. However, I do hope it works out for the sake of the fans within the city.



Image Credit: theguardian.com

One of the interesting parts of this appointment by Sampdoria is that it’s the second time in a row that Claudio Ranieri has been hired as a club’s manager right after Eusebio Di Francesco has been sacked at the same team. However, I do think that Ranieri appointment as Sampdoria’s manager will work out for the club. The reason I believe this is because the style he implements at clubs is usually a more defensive one, as opposed to a possession/heavy pressing one. I think that with Sampdoria’s current squad, that style will work the best. I know that under Giampaolo, they played very possession based football, however, a big part of that was banking on the fact that Quagliarella was on his game and constantly banging in goals. However, under Di Francesco, he tried to get them to play a very offensive style of play, but, unlike under Giampaolo, Quagliarella hasn’t been scoring enough so far this season. That lead to Di Francesco downfall at Sampdoria. Anyhow, I do believe Ranieri’s style will cause headaches for opponents, as they’ll be tougher to break down. This will lead to them improving significantly this season.


3 Takeaways From Last Weekend’s Serie A Action


Image Credit: timesofmalta.com

Like usual, this past weekend of Serie A matches were amazing! As a result of the matches this past weekend, there were two managers fired, as well. This made this past weekend’s fixtures seem even more fascinating. So, here are 3 of my takeaways from last weekend’s Serie A matches!




Image Credit: timesofmalta.com

This past weekend, Juve were victors in the Derby D’Italia, beating Inter 2-1. However, this match demonstrated why they’ve won the scudetto 8 consecutive times. Not only did they get the job done, but they dominated such a big match in the Serie A. I’ve had my doubts about Maurizio Sarri ever since he got appointed to be the manager of the bianconeri. However, it seems as though the squad is beginning to learn how to fit within his system. In my view, Juve’s defence still needs work. However, Bonucci looks as though he is becoming comfortable with leading that backline. Despite, Juve’s key injuries, they don’t look like they’re missing a beat, whatsoever.


Image Credit: http://www.goal.com

Last season, Sampdoria seemed like they had so much upside under Giampaolo. Then, he left and they appointed Eusebio Di Francesco. I must admit that before the season started, I had written a blog post that mentioned Sampdoria as being underrated with Di Francesco as their manager. However, I was completely wrong and instead, he was a bust at Sampdoria. After, only leading Sampdoria to one win in his seven matches on the touchline, it was inevitable that he’d be sacked and he was. Now, Sampdoria will need to get back to how they played last season if they want to finish in a mid-table spot by the end of the season. They will need to fix their issues fast, as they are currently on track to be relegated to Serie B by the end of this season.


Image Credit: en.as.com

AC Milan has now gone through 8 different managers in 5 years as a result of this sacking. The weird part is that AC Milan’s upper-management decided to sack Giampaolo after they won against Genoa last Saturday. However, it is not surprising, as AC Milan’s upper-management seems to not have had patience with their managers over the past several seasons. I understand that under Giampaolo, AC Milan were performing way below par, but they should’ve given him more time to implement his philosophy with the squad. However, the club’s board has clearly not possessed patience for a while, in regards to the managers they’ve hired. As a result, they are a mess and all I will say to AC Milan’s new manager is good luck because whoever it is, will need a ton of it.



3 Ways the Serie A and Clubs Within it Can Produce More Revenue


         Allianz Stadium Interior

                                    Image Credit: stadiumjourney.com

Serie A is a great league. One of those reasons is because of the passion of its fans as well as the beautiful football that is played. However, from a business standpoint, clubs within the league as well as the league itself, need to find a way in which to make more revenue, as it is seemingly clear that they’re falling behind a few of the other leagues in this regard. So, here are three ways in which the Serie A as well as clubs within it can make more revenue.

           1. Promote the League in Different Countries Around the World 

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                                                       Image Credit: sportsnet.ca

Over recent summers, it seems as though the Serie A is beginning to promote their clubs around the world in Countries such as the United States, China, India, Qatar and a couple others. However, if Serie A and the clubs within it want to promote the league in more countries, they need to do it in ones that they either haven’t hosted preseason matches in or where they haven’t had matches  in a while. I’ve previously written a blog post on three countries where I think Serie A clubs  should have  preseason matches. I do believe that promoting Italian soccer within these countries will assist the Serie A in making more revenue. For example, if there were Serie A preseason matches in Argentina, it could lead to new fans of the league within the country. Also, it could become so popular to watch, that it would lead to more deals within Argentina  between the Serie A and cable TV stations in the country. This would bring in more revenue for the league and each club within the league would get a share of the money. This would also allow clubs within the league to spend more on buying players as well as training facilities, marketing, etc.

2. Renovate Existing Stadiums/Building New Ones 

   Allianz Stadium Interior

                                                 Image Credit: stadiumjourney.com

According to football-italia.net, there has been recent changes to Italian laws. So, more investment via private entities is allowed to go into stadiums. This is huge! This could be massive because now clubs in Italy will make more revenue for themselves when building/renovating stadiums. The reason for this is because owners of clubs in Italy will be allowed to invest more in building stadiums, therefore, there would be more money going in their pockets, leading to more revenue being earned for the club. Also, having a new/recently updated stadiums could possibly increase Serie A’s average attendance. According to statista.com, the average attendance at Serie A stadiums last season was 25, 237 people. Which, was the fourth highest average attendance per game among all soccer league in the worlds. Unfortunately, the Bundesliga, the Premier League, and La Liga beat the Italian league in this regard. However, newer stadiums may convince more fans to attend matches, which would bring in additional revenue to Serie A clubs.

     3. Attract More Big Name Players to the League 

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                                               Image Credit: en.as.com

I understand that a lot of big name stars are not affordable  for most clubs within Serie A. However, once there is more money from television deals and newer stadiums, more clubs within the league will be able to afford more well-known stars. I’m not saying Serie A clubs need to attempt to buy someone like Mbappe, but there’s other stars that could be attracted to the league that are more affordable. For example, someone such as James Rodriguez, who was almost bought by Napoli last summer, is affordable for many clubs within the league. There’s a good chance he wouldn’t cost 100 million Euros in the transfer market, so, if certain clubs are willing to pay significantly less, he could boost the revenue for the club that buys him as well as possibly elevate the team to new heights. Look, I’m not saying he’s at Messi or Ronaldo’s level, but he’s an affordable soccer star that would bring in revenue for many Serie A clubs. Just his name on a club’s merchandise alone, would be beneficial for their balance sheet.

Thanks for reading this blogpost! This was my first crack at the business side of things relevant to Serie A. Feedback would be much appreciated! Also, be sure to follow me on Instagram @calciofanblogs and on Twitter @calciofanblogs1. Be sure to like and follow my page on Facebook called Calcio Fan Blogs, as well to connect with my LinkedIn, which is Joseph Porco.

Previewing AC Milan VS. Fiorentina


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                      Image Credit: transfermarkt.com

Sunday’s match between AC Milan will be interesting, as both of them desperately need a result to boost the morale of not only their players, but also their respective clubs. So, here’s my preview of this match for both clubs.


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Image Credit: akurat.co

     For the AC Milan players and their upper-management, the  previous two  results should be a huge wake up call. Not only did they lose to Inter in the Milan Derby last week, but they also lost 2-1 to Torino. Against Inter, they played a decent first half. Then, in the second half, they got dominated badly by the nerazzuri leading to a 2-0 loss. However, against Torino, AC Milan were getting their chances, but not converting on them. Their defense though, has been terrible these last couple of games. It could be because their midfield is weak as well, so that causes Milan’s backline to possess more pressure from opposing clubs. I don’t know how or when, but from a tactical perspective, that midfield will need to improve. It’ll especially have to move forward for this match against Fiorentina, as la viola is a very attack-minded squad and if AC Milan’s midfield is setup the way it has been so far this season, then it will get exposed terribly by  their dynamic offense.



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    When Fiorentina began the season, they knew it was going to be a very tough set of matches early on, as they had to face Napoli, Juventus, Genoa, Sampdoria, and Atalanta. They were able to manage two draws and a win in their first five games. However, one thing that’ll still need to be improved on immensely is their backline. In their first 5 matches, they’ve conceded a total of 9 goals. That’s nuts! But, their offense seems perfectly fine. In their first five matches of the season, they’ve scored 8 goals. If Fiorentina wants to win this match and many other important ones, they’ll need to somehow find a way in which to concede a significantly lower amount of goals. The great thing about this Fiorentina side coming into this match is that with the ball they’re a fast moving and fluid offense. As a result, they can definitely exploit AC Milan’s vulnerable defense and below average midfield. It’ll be a tall order to get a result at the San Siro. But, it’s very possible.

I hope this fixture will be a fun one to watch. Also, I hope that both of these clubs will put on a showsand give Serie A fans a night to remember. The match will start at 2:45 pm Eastern Time, for those who want to watch.


Will Allegri Leave Juventus After This Season Ends? If So, What Would Be His Ideal Destination?


Image Credit: dailymail.co.uk- Getty Images

There has been many rumors swirling around the football world that Juventus’ Current Manager, Massimiliano Allegri, will leave Juventus at the end of the season. However, these rumors have been circulating for a couple of seasons now. As a Juventus fan, I’m pretty content with him staying as their manager.


For the past couple of seasons, I have doubted any claims that Massimiliano Allegri is leaving Juventus. I don’t know if that’s because I don’t mind him as being Juve’s manager or not. His trophy count for Juventus definitely helps his case, in my view. However, one competition that Juve has not won in a while is the dreaded Champions League. Whatever the reasons are for that, it will be interesting to see if that trophy will dictate whether Allegri leaves Juve or not. We all know that the Drake curse is the main reason. He shouldn’t have worn Juve’s pink shirt. But, in all seriousness, I believe that if Allegri leaves Juventus at end of this season it will be because he won the Champions League with the club. Other than that, I do not see what is holding him back from leaving Juve, as he has won everything else in Turin. If Juventus wins the Champions League trophy, look for Allegri at the airport in Turin a few days later.


There is still a good possibility that Allegri remains at Juventus until the end of his contract in 2020. But, it is fun to think of which club he would be best suited for, if he were to leave Turin. My answer for this is Real Madrid. I know many people may think that right now Real Madrid is a manager’s graveyard currently, but it would be a perfect fit for Allegri. The main reason that I believe this is because while Real Madrid does not possess CR7 anymore, Allegri would be great at working with the talent that Real Madrid has at their disposal. Allegri is very good at scouting out other club’s weaknesses and getting players to buy in to his tactics for any match. Also, one thing Allegri would bring to Real Madrid is discipline. He has shown at Juventus that no matter who you are, you are no bigger than the club which could work for Real Madrid.

Thank you for reading my blog posts! Be sure to follow my Instagram: @calciofanblogs as well as my Twitter: @calciofanblogs1.

Most Impressive Player and Club in the First Half of the Serie A Season

Image Credit: http://www.juventus.fr/actualite/1/12476/LE-CALENDRIER-SERIE-A-2018-2019

This Serie A season has been a roller coaster thus far. I know that fans of other leagues say that this competition isn’t as fun to watch because Juventus wins the Scudetto year after year. However, they are so wrong. There has been a couple players and clubs that have stood out thus far. Although I will choose one of each. So, sit back, relax and enjoy.


If any of you reading this right now, follow my social media pages you’d know that I am a massive Juventus fan. However, as is often the case, I had to be objective. I know, it’s the dreaded 9-letter word when it comes to football fandom.

I must admit that there were two other clubs I was considering for this Calcio Fan Blog award, lol. But Juventus stood out for me. A massive reason in which they stood out in the first half of the season for me was, well, the number 0 in the l column. Indeed, they are undefeated. But, it doesn’t seems as though they’ve hit their full stride yet, which is impressive. The fact that they’ve been accumulating so many good results is amazing, considering how they haven’t looked great all season. That’s why they stood out. They are able to find results, despite the fact that their form isn’t great. If this club remains undefeated the whole season, they will definitely be the club I’m most impressed with at the end of the season. Move along, there is no bias here…………


Image Credit: http://www.mediareferee.com

During the summer transfer window, Genoa had signed this player named Krysztof Piatek whom many people probably didn’t know of. Fast forward to now and he has 13 goals. Which is mind-boggling! He is one goal behind Cristiano Ronaldo for Serie A’s golden boot.

While, Serie A possesses the talent of CR7, Mauro Icardi, Paulo Dybala, and many others, no one expected that Piatek would be this good. When Genoa’s scouts picked spotted this player and chose to sign him, they were smart in doing that. He has played amazing so far and is only 23, which makes him even more fascinating. All I will say to Genoa is good luck attempting to keep him, as you’d expect many clubs to come for him in the current January transfer window as well as the Summer one. Piatek is one for the now, as opposed to the future and if he keeps impressing me, it will tough for me not to be so fascinated in the player.

Thank you for reading my blogposts. Be sure to follow my blog as well as my Instagram @calciofanblogs, my Facebook page: Calcio Fan Blogs, as well as my Twitter account: @calciofanblogs1

3 Reasons Why Mario Balotelli Won’t Prevent Brescia From Getting Relegated

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                               Image Credit: agimeg.it

During the summer, I published a blog post arguing three reasons why Mario Balotelli will prevent Brescia from getting relegated. This blog post will argue three reasons why he won’t prevent Brescia from getting relegated. Then, I will  state my own conclusion to the argument at the end. So, here it goes.


       I understand that adding a striker such as Balotelli may add to an already stacked Brescia frontline. However, he could also hurt it badly. Alfredo Donarumma was Serie B’s leading scorer last season with 25 goals. But, there’s a chance Balotelli may ruin the chemistry that he has with his other teammates. The reason for is simple. When a club adds another striker to the starting 11, the number 9 that was there originally, may not be able to adapt to getting passed to less, therefore causing chemistry problems. When Balotelli gets inserted in the starting lineup, there’s a chance that Alfredo Donarumma won’t be able to adapt to possessing the ball less and as a result, that may cause Brescia to be relegated in the end.


I’ve always admired Mario Balotelli as a player, as I believe he possesses some great talent. However, his off the field antics have hurt him and the clubs he’s played for before. I understand that it seems as though he’s changed and been better off the field. But, there is still a chance that he does something outside of calcio that becomes a distraction for the club and could possibly ruin the club’s harmony. Therefore, leading to Brescia being relegated. However, for Brescia and Balotelli’s sake, I hope this doesn’t happen.


Generally, when Mario Balotelli was on the field, he has had the tendency to perform. However, there’s a chance, even if it’s small, that Mario Balotelli will not perform how he’s expected to at Brescia. If Balotelli does infact not score as much as supposed to, it’ll be a huge negative for Brescia. Below-par performances for Balotelli would put too much pressure on Brescia to score goals throughout the season, which may lead to their relegation.

I’ve argued reasons for why I think Balotelli will and won’t help Brescia get relegated next season. However, based on all this, I’ve formed my own conclusion on the matter. Unfortunately, I predict that despite Brescia’s signing of Balotelli, they’ll get relegated. However, I also believe that even if Balotelli has a great season, he won’t prevent it. The reason is because Brescia has a very deadly attack. But, in my opinion, there are still question marks surrounding how good their defense is. However, this opinion could very well change over the course of the season.

Analysis of Saturday’s Serie A Matches

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                                      Image Credit: sportinglife.com

On Saturday, there were three very interesting Serie A matches that took place. The first match was Udinese vs. Brescia, then Juventus vs. Hellas Verona. After that the Milan Derby took place to wrap up a thrilling Saturday. So, here is my analysis of each of the Saturday Serie A matches!


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                                             Image Credit: statsfindings.com

For Udinese, this was a match in which they needed to win at home. As much as Brescia can be a tough club to beat, you need to win these matches, as when you are in a stretch during the season where you’re facing tougher clubs, matches like these will matter. Romulo was the player of the match for me and I thought that he played well. Also, it seemed as if Brescia could’ve scored more, as they had some decent chances that they should’ve capitalized on. All in all, I believe Brescia deserved those three points and this will definitely help them in their bid to avoid relegation to Serie B.


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                                          Image Credit: sportinglife.com

In this match, Sarri changed around his starting  11 a little bit. He started Dybala as the number 9, he started Aaron Ramsey over Sami Khedira, he also started Buffon over Sczesny in goal. I only watched the second half of this match, however, Juve looked like they were struggling mightily in this match. Yes, they won, but it was a sloppy win at home and they did not look like a Sarri-type of club yesterday. What I mean by that is they still lack the fluidity going forward, especially in their midfield. I understand that you cannot start Ramsey, Pjanic, and Rabiot as your midfield three, as that would lack balance, but if Juve wants to win all the trophies they are expected to win this season, Sarri needs to start two of either Rabiot, Ramsey, or Pjanic in every match in order to continue winning.


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                                         Image Credit: foxsportsaasia.com

During this match, I had the pleasure of watching it with members of the Milan Club or Toronto as well as the TLN Television team. During the first half, I thought that it was a  pretty even match and both clubs had their chances. However, in the second half, Inter absolutely dominated, in my opinion. One thing I don’t understand is why AC Milan didn’t start Bonaventura or Lucas Paqueta over Lucas Biglia.  That midfield 3 of Calhanoglu, Biglia, and Kessie was bound to fail for the simple reason that none of those three can create chances or provide offensive output the same way Paqueta or Bonaventura can. As for Inter, it was obvious they would dominate in that midfield and they did. Inter’s midfield definitely looked really deadly and opposing clubs should really look at game tapes of this match to see how you don’t deal with them.

Predicting How Well Italian Clubs Will Do in the Champions League This Season

For those who don’t know, this should turn out to be an exciting season for Serie A clubs in the Champions League!  It will make for an exciting season for calcio fans and hopefully, we’ll see all four Serie A clubs in the semifinals of the Champions League. However, based on my predictions for each of them, that’s unlikely. So, here is how I think the Serie A clubs will do in the Champions League this season!


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                              Image Credit: edition.cnn.com

Inter will be playing their first Champions League match this season against Slavia Prague today at 12:55 pm Eastern Time. When Inter fans and members of the club envisioned who would be in their group, no one anticipated that they’d be in the group of death. Indeed, Lionel Messi will return to the San Siro for the second consecutive year to face Inter. Inter is also joined by Borussia Dortmund and Slavia Prague in this group, making it very tough to get through to the round of 16. In all honesty, I predict that Inter will finish third in the group, as they will be with two clubs in Dortmund and Barcelona that are juggernauts in Europe and it may be too much for this Inter side. However, they could definitely surprise many people.


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Image Credit: http://www.espn.com

While, Napoli were in a favorable position before the draw began, I don’t think they could’ve anticipated an easier group on paper than they’ve gotten. Make no mistake, no Champions League match is simple, but the group Napoli got dealt is one of the most simple they could’ve gotten. Yes, they’re with the 2019 Champions League winners, Liverpool. But, other than that, they’re with Genk and Red Bull Salzburg. Considering, Napoli’s group as well as the fact that they made some key signings over the summer in Hirving Lozano, Kostas Manolas, and Giovanni Di Lorenzo, there’s no reason that they shouldn’t get in second place in the group and get through to the knockout phase of the competition. Their first match will be later today against Liverpool at 3 pm Eastern Time.


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                                  Image Credit: thenational.ae

Juventus shocked their fans with some of the moves they made in the summer. Many fans were left scratching their heads with some of those moves or lack of moves that weren’t made. However, that’s all behind us and the season has started. They’ve been drawn in a decent group with Atletico Madrid, Bayer Leverkusen, and Lokomotiv Moscow. I predict that Juve should get through to the round of 16 in second in this group. However, the sky is the limit for this club if they play at their best. Not even the beasts at Atletico Madrid can stop them. Their first Champions League match will take place at 3 pm Eastern Time on Wednesday!


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                                Image Credit: acmilaninfo.com

Atalanta will make their first ever Champions League appearance on Wednesday at 3 pm Eastern time against Dinamo Zagreb. They got drawn into a group with Manchester City, Shakhtar donetsk, and Dinamo Zagreb. Based on their position heading into the draw, it was inevitable that they’d be drawn into a tough group. This will be a very tough group for Atalanta, but the good thing is they don’t have high expectations heading into this competition, so it might actually work in their favor. I predict that they’ll finish in second in their group behind Man City. I hope they demonstrate their quality in this group, as I feel their an underrated club coming into competition. They could very well make some noise this season.

I’ve predicted three out of the four Serie A clubs in the Champions League this season to qualify for the champions League round of 16. But, hopefully it’s all four clubs!



Three Countries That Should Host Serie A Preseason Matches

In the past couple of years, Serie A TV rights have expanded across the globe like crazy. According to http://www.footballbenchmark.com, Serie A’s revenue from international TV deals has increased more than double since 2018. This demonstrates how far Serie A has expanded its reach. So, I thought it’d be fun to list three countries that I think should host Serie A preseason matches in the future.

    1. CANADA 

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                                            Image Via: impactsoccer.com

  While, the great white north is known for having very passionate fan bases in hockey and other sports, in Canada we also have a huge community that loves Italian Soccer. For fans that love soccer in Canada, it is a fact that Serie A is the only major European League being broadcast on cable TV in the country. Also, Canadian calcio fans like me, need another match here that involves at least one Serie A club, as the last time we had such a game was in Toronto was in 2014, when Milan faced Benfica. It would also be interesting to see a game happening at Stade Saputo in Montreal, where the Montreal Impact play. For those of you that don’t know, the owners of the Montreal Impact also own Bologna. So, that’d be interesting to see Bologna play another Serie A club there as well.


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Image Via: http://www.90min.com

If you’ve been paying close attention over the past several seasons in Serie A, you’ll notice that many talented Colombian players seem to want to play in Italy. Napoli almost bought the best current Colombian player in world football this past summer in James Rodriguez. So, I believe there’s a need to promote the league in Colombia now more than ever. Imagine, if Luis Murillo and Duvan Zapata were still on Atalanta next summer and they faced Sampdoria, who has another Colombian star on their squad in Jeison Murillo. Also, imagine that it was at Colombia’s biggest stadium, Estadio Deportivo Cali! That would make for a special and unique atmosphere. Also, there’s a good chance that a match like that would spark a massive amount of interest in Serie A within the country.


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                                                  Image Via: http://www.planetfootball.com

The country of Argentina has had a connection with Italy for many years. There have also been many greats from Argentina that have stepped on Italian soccer fields such as Diego Maradona, Esteban Cambiasso, Javier Zanetti and Gabriel Batistuta. The list is almost endless. Also, Italian legend, Daniele De Rossi recently made a move to Argentina to play for Boca Juniors. I think it would be a spectacular experience to witness two clubs that are close to Maradona’s heart in Napoli and Boca Juniors faceoff at the iconic La Bombonera Stadium in Buenos Aires, wouldn’t you agree? Also, it would be unreal if Roma travels to the exact same stadium and faces De Rossi on his current club. I believe that because both players from Italy and Argentina have a history with each other’s clubs, it’d be a great place to promote Serie A.


Like I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, Serie A’s broadcasting rights from abroad has increased significantly lately. As a result, I believe there are certain countries where Serie A can expand its promotional activities in order to earn even more revenue from TV rights abroad. Also, by promoting the league in a variety of countries with these friendly matches, it’ll only help each club increase their revenue as well.

3 Takeaways From Italy’s Euro 2020 Qualifying Campaign So Far

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                                            Image Credit: http://www.skysports.com

    Coming into this campaign, Italy needed to start rebuilding for the future  to return to what they once were and  so far, they’ve done that under Mancini. Here are my three takeaways of Italy’s Euro 2020 Qualifying Campaign, thus far.

    Roberto Mancini Has Called Up A Lot of Young Players 

    Coming into this, fans of the azzuri wanted to see Mancini call up players to the national squad that were younger, as under Ventura, we all know what happened and it just so happened that  throughout the 2018 World Cup Qualifying Campaign there  were a lot of older players there. Even if these younger players haven’t gotten the desired playing time for the club they represent, Mancini still seems to call up as much young players as possible. So far, many of these players haven’t disappointed and I hope Mancini keeps recognizing the talent of some of these young guns and continues to bring them to the azzuri’s squad.

    Italy Has Flourished Offensively Under Mancini 

       So far, in this qualifying campaign, the Italian national team has scored 18 goals with 4 matches remaining. Whereas, in 2018 World Cup Qualifying, they scored a total of 21 goals. A big reason for this has not only been Mancini’s implementing of a new philosophy, but also the wingers he’s deployed to play alongside the strikers. For many years, Italy has relied on a talented number 9 to carry the load in terms of goals. However, by calling up wingers such as Bernardeschi, Federico Chiesa and others he has taken the pressure off the starting striker to score and that has benefited them significantly.

The Amount of Goals They Conceded Has Reduced

   During 2018 World Cup Qualifying, Italy conceded 9 goals in total. Whereas, in this campaign, they’ve only conceded three goals, which is a significant difference. Although, it could change. But, on the surface you’d wonder why this has happened, as Italy has played a more offensive style, which leaves them more exposed at the back, right? Well, think again. By pressing so high up the pitch when they don’t have possession, they’ve slowed down the flow of their opponents offensively. Also, as a result of an improved central midfield, it’s now way more difficult for opponents to enter Italy’s half, which makes it harder for the opposition to be in good attacking positions. I hope this continues, as it’ll be important should they qualify for the 2020 Euros next summer.

Previewing Lazio vs. Roma

                    Image result for immobile

                        Image Credit: http://www.90min.com

     The event of the day in Rome will happen at 12 pm Eastern time today and should not disappoint. Both clubs will want to get ahead, as they’re going to most likely compete for a spot to qualify for the Champions League next season. This blog post will preview both Lazio and Roma heading into this match!

    Previewing Lazio Heading Into This Match

    The Derby della Capitale should be a cracker. Lazio made a huge statement in their opening match of the season, as they won 3-0. Immobile looked in his usual form and Lazio didn’t look vulnerable whatsoever in this match. However, Roma is definitely a tough opponent and based on the way they play, it’ll be a handful to deal with for Lazio. Lazio has also tended to be inconsistent over the last few seasons, which has prevented them from qualifying into the Champions League. Fans of the blucerchiati are hoping that they will brush off that inconsistency and take Rome’s biggest derby. It’ll be fascinating to watch.

Previewing Roma Heading Into This Match 

    After Paulo Fonseca’s first game in charge of Roma, one thing has become clear. The need for an upgrade of their backline is necessary. They were at home last week and still managed to only get a draw vs. Genoa. Against Lazio, they will need to immensely improve their defensive tactics because their local rivals have a significantly better attack than Genoa. However, they did sign Chris Smalling from ManU on a loan. That should help their defense, for sure. But, who knows if he’ll be in their starting lineup for the derby. Roma fans will be happy about their attack, though. They scored 3 goals and looked very fluid and dynamic. This front line can cause tons of harm to Lazio. However, in order to win this match, their defending will need to improve immensely from their first game of the season.

This match should be one to remember and I’m hoping both clubs will be at their best during it. Thanks for reading this blog post! Be sure to follow my blog. Follow my Instagram, @calciofanblogs, my Twitter, @calciofanblogs1 as well as liking and following my Facebook Page, Calcio Fan Blogs. Also, be sure to connect with my LinkedIn account, Joseph Porco.