Serie A Round 25

1 Mar

There’s only one place to start this week – the top of the table clash at the San Siro between 1st Placed AC Milan and unbeaten Juventus, a point behind with a game in hand. Well, that was the status before the game, and it remained the status after the game – albeit in slightly controversial circumstances. Milan harshly had a 2nd goal disallowed at 1-0, which could have a large say in the final league table, after Matri’s late equaliser for Juventus.

Nocerino opted for a low key celebration against his former club

But I’m not here to talk about refereeing decisions, oh no. This is about looking at how the players perform by looking at their opponents. In this case it’s Antonio Nocerino that’s getting a slap on the back. The midfielder is in his debut season for Milan and his goal against former club Juventus was his 8th of the season. To put it into perspective, he never scored in his 36 games for Juve, whilst in his 122 games for Palermo, he notched only 6 goals. Some players make the step up when they find the right club – this seems to be the case for Nocerino. In terms of Average Opposition ranking, his goals are on average against 10.5 placed opposition. This is exactly the mid point for a 20 team league. The goal against Juve was his 2nd against Top 6 opponents.

For Juve, it was Matri who continued his big game contributions. After his brace against Udinese won the points in round 20, his goal against Milan is his 3rd against Top 6 opposition this season. He also scored against a then 7th placed Napoli in round 12 to leave his average ranked opponent per goal at a very decent 8.80 for the season.

Elsewhere, early season favourite German Denis from Argentina woke from his mid season slumber to single handedly destroy 5th placed Roma. He scored a hat trick and grabbed an assist in 4-1 win for Atalanta. He now has an average opposition ranking of 9.67, and 4 goals against Top 6 opponents. Atalanta are now up to 11th place in the league despite being docked 6 points at the start of the season. With those point back on board, they’d be ahead of Inter in 7th.

Speaking of Inter, without wanting to sound like a broken record, it was more doom and gloom for them at the weekend. Faced with decent opposition in Napoli (6th), they lost their 4th game in a row. They’ve now gone 6 without a win, and have scored in only one of those games. What a topsy turvy season they’ve had – they’d won 7 in a row before this. The Napoli hero was Lavezzi with his 6th of the season.

One quirk of this weekends games came in Siena’s 4-1 win over Palermo. All of Siena’s goalscorers were scoring their first of the season for the club. If I was a Palermo fan, I’d be quite annoyed about this – especially after 25 games.

The Big Game Player tag remains with Fabrizio Miccoli. His 11 goals contain 8 against Top 6 opponents, and his average opposition is 6.27. Impressive stats indeed. But that’s not all, he’s also leading the assists league with 12 (2nd placed Armero is on 8). Although they were on the end of a 4-1 thrashing, he still grabbed an assist for Igor Budan to grab his 6th goal in 7 games. He also has assists against Lazio, Inter (twice) and the impressive feat of 3 assists in one game against Genoa. At 32, he’s showing alongside Di Natale and Denis that there’s a lot to be said for experience.

Now that the top scorers list has moved up to 7 goals that can only mean one thing. There’s a new Flat Track Bully. Juventus’ Marchisio’s average of 13.33 is based on 6 goals. The new Bully is Roma’s Osvaldo with 12.71. He has just the one goal against Top 6 opponents.

Prediction Corner:

After mixed results on my predictions (good on the Premier League, average on La Liga), now’s as good a time as any to try Serie A.

  1.  Big Zlatan should be back for Milan after serving his 3 match ban. Whilst he has an average opposition per goal of 11.8, he’s also scored against Lazio and Roma, and should be refreshed after his break.
  2. Miroslav Klose to score against Roma in the derby match. He scored the winner against Fiorentina, and has the big game mentality with 4 goals against Top 6 opponents. Plus he’s German(ish), and you can never bet against them.
  3. Inter Milan to win against Catania.
  4. Di Natale to score against Atalanta – his average is 12.4 but he has 7 other goals against mid table opposition, and Atalanta in 11th at home should see that continue.



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