Discussion in 'TSL A' started by HokieNYC, Oct 1, 2012.
The Season is upon us folks and with Serie A getting a major overhaul with 8 new Teams entering the Serie A all being helmed by experienced managers, it looks as if this could be a very interesting Season.
Newboy Parma (heznfire) enters the new Season with hopes of better success than the last two promoted Managers, and Swansea City signals the return of Manager Snake3249 to the Premier League.
Sunderland, Stoke City and Montpellier return to the Serie A competition as the only three Teams from Season past.
Pundits are claiming their Favorites to take Season 7 and while Spartak Moscow and Ajax ended up in a two horse race for the Title last Season, with both Managers not even in the conversation for contention. The shifting of Teams and the acclimation time may prove that the advantage may lie in whomever gets the quickest start.
So without delay- here are the Top three contenders for The Championship in Serie A Season 7.
UDINESEManager Friz Boasting what could arguably be the most Balanced Squad in Serie A- Manager Friz looks prime to Defend the Title as Udinese boast a very strong Starting 11. A backline that rates 78 and up will be a hard Defense to break and with the very dangerous and wily striker in Di Natale roaming upfront any Defense will need to be wary of Udinese's ability to strike at any moment. Compile with Manager Friz efficiency in finding the perfectly weighted pass - Udinese is the clear favorite to take Serie A. Udinese can win any match in a shoot out but are also poise to grind out Wins and with Manager Friz at the Helm- this kind of advantage may spell Success for the Italian Club.
ANZHI MAKHACKALAManager Shiftee Anzhi Makhachkala showcases the most dangerous 1v1 player in Serie A in Sameul Eto, as the Russian Club look to challenge for the Championship. The Frontline has to be one of the most dangerous this Season as Eto is supported by a strike force rated 78 and above in Traore, Boussafa and Zhirkov. The Achilles heel for Anzhi may lie in its Defense as Samba is the only Defender above 75 and the supporting back line will be susceptible to Serie A opponents. Anzhi may prove to be the most entertaining fixture in the Calendar as they will look to impose their Offensive superiority to counter balance their Defensive shortcoming.
HANNOVER 96Manager Rschwep The Darkhorse pick for Season 7 has to be Hannover 96, as the pundits are impressed with the Team's balance on two thirds of the pitch. Hannover can field a squad, while no superstars or big names to make headlines , that can rate 76 or above across the pitch. Manager Rschwep is no stranger to success in league play and has proven to be a very dangerous opponent. In a league filled with squads that has some deficiency either on Offense or Defense - Hannover looks to be well balanced to find some success this Season. A high rated Midfield and Strike force all boasting ratings 76 and above may prove too much for opponents to overcome. The Defense will be slightly suspect, but with two thirds of the Pitch littered with talented players - it may not matter much as Hannover can potentially control any match with their deep midfield.
WHERE ARE THE (REST) NOW?
With the carousel changes in Managing positions we bring to you the Serie A new look squads to watch this Season.
Manager Zikry :
After finding Defensive success at Ajax a Season ago, Manager Zikry has taken position at the Brasilian Outfit Sau Paulo- while he may find it difficult to replicate his Defensive prowess with a Team that sports a very weak back line- he has been given two very talented players to work with to keep opponents at bay in ST Fabiano (82) and RAM Lucas (82). Will it be enough to push the Brazilians into contention? Will Manager Zikry's Defensive touch help a spotty Backline find some form? If Manager Zikry can work his magic - look for Sau Paulo in the top of the Table come Season's end.
After a disaster of a Season, Manager Bronco218 regroups in France as he takes over at Bordeaux. The Talented Manager finally leaves Werder Bremen as he lost his key players to bigger clubs. In Bordeaux he has the Best GK in Carasso (83) in Serie A, and with a solid backline will have some Defense to help him through the Season. A playmaker in midfield in CAM Obraniak (80) and a speedy ST Gouffran (77) - there is potential for offense- but once again it looks like Manager Bronco218 will have to rely heavily on a lone Striker as his options are limited upfront. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
In a surprising move to some experts- Manager RedAl leaves his beloved PSV after a somewhat successful campaign to take over Real Sociedad. Not much is known of the reason, but by the numbers- Both Teams are fairly identical. Real sports a talented frontline that falls well in the 4-3-3 scheme and may be the reason for the move- The Defense is suspect but with wealth of striking options at the Managers disposal, Real Sociedad could be a very explosive opponent. A potential Front Line that sports ST Vela (77), RW Prieto (77), LW Griezman (77) and LW Gastro (79)- can be a very dangerous recipe for opponents- Maybe Manager RedAl925 has decided, that a Good Defense is a Good Offense.
West Ham United
After a brief stint in Brasil, Manager CxMacx10 returns to London to take over at West Ham. A move that returns the Manager to his earlier days with Wolverhampton. Manager CxMac has chosen to helm a more workman like squad in West Ham which has very little flash, and alot more substance. The new loanee ST Carrol (78) provides some Air prowess along with his counterpart ST Cole (73) both standing 6'2". The Midfield is anchored by CDM Diarra (77) and LM Jarvis (76) may prove to be a very dangerous delivery boy to the Twin Towers in the box - will the West Ham Offense get delivered by air this Season?
Great stuff, as usual. Didn't think you could too last season, but you did by far.
SECOND TIME - COULD BE THE CHARM?
Montpellier manage to survive their Rookie Season in Serie A, overcoming a poor start to scrape enough points to stay middle of the table. The French Squad has lost some fire power, as their star Striker has gone to Aresenal, but still sports a very well balanced squad. Pressure will be placed on talented CAM Belhanda (82) and LW Mounier (79) to provide some Offense as the strike options are fairly limited for Montpellier. The French Goal Keeper GK Jourden (76) will be supported by a strong backline that will keep opponents at bay- however, with a lack of dominant Striker, will the French be able to build up play to take advantage of their talented Midfield.
Sunderland managed a coup by signing the talented LM A. Johnson (80) from Manchester City and two dangerous strikers in ST Fletcher (77) and ST Saha (77) over the summer, and handing CAM Sessegnon (82) some Offensive support. Something that was lacking last Season for the Black Cats. With the Additions, Sunderland has one of the more dangerous Midfields in the Serie A- it is probably why Maanger HokieNYC chose to keep his squad even after a fairly mediocre Season. The new Look Sunderland has pace on the wings, with two prime targets in the box, add a Talented Sessegnon in the middle to pull any Defense out of shape and Sunderland may find themselves closer to the Top of the Table by Seasons end.
Manager Bigox1337 survives their late Season free fall with a stellar run near the end of Season 6. Proving just how dangerous Stoke City can be on any given day. ST Crouch (77) will look to bully his way in the box again this Year as the lanky Striker will prove to be a handful for any Defense to manage. CDM Palacios (79) will anchor the Defense this Year and new Potter LM C. Adam (77) will look to add some depth at the wings for Stoke City. RM Pennant 77 will add pace on the opposite side as the Pottagers can now deliver with deadly precision crosses to their talisman Striker from either side of the pitch.
WELCOME TO THE SHOW!!!
Manager Snake3249 returns to Serie A after a 2 Season absence- as he stands on the helm of a pacey Swansea Squad. Sporting the 2nd Best GK Vorm (81) in the league will help alleviate the limited wing defense for the Welsh club. The squad known for its passing ability will look to breakdown Serie A opponents with its solid midfield and very FAST wings in RW Dyer (75) and LW Routledge (73). ST D. Graham (76) will look to benefit from potential counters. Serie A opponents will have to be wary of the speed as it can KILL the more aggressive Teams throughout the Season. This squad is reminiscent of Manager Snake3249 Stade Rennes days- Speed Kills- something Swansea City hopes rings through the Schedule.
Manager Heznfire is the lone TRUE rookie in Serie A this Season, as he skippers Parma into the Top League. Parma boast one of the more balance squads in Serie A - CB Zaccardo (77) and CBPalleta (77) holds down the backline and a duo of talented Midfielders in CAM Valdes (76) and RM Biabiany (77) can control the possession. Parma lacks firepower upfront and will more than likely rely on its Midfield to create if not score goals for their Team this Season as they lose their 2 highest goal scorers from last Season. Parma will look to win on Defense as they allowed a Serie B low 16 goals last Season to help them wade the dangerous waters of Serie A. Will Parma's Serie B Defense translate well in Serie A, or will the loss of their two key scorers by too much of a hurdle this Season- We will soon see- Welcome to the Show Manager Heznfire, may the schedule be kinder to you than your predecessors....
Appreciate the love but I'd be thrilled to finish top 3! Just so much talent in this league
The Season is nigh... and Everyone is #1. The Season opens with an intriguing match up as the two French Squads Bordeaux and Montpellier look to get a head start with a critical Win. Both Managers will look to take maximum points as both battled it out of relegation Last Season. Manager Broncos218 will need to take advantage of his opportunities as Fixtures against two Pre-Season favorites in Anzhi and Hannover 96 awaits the French side. Manager Vipermansa will feel less pressure as they Welcome Newboy Manager Heznfire and Parma at Home. Albeit Real Sociedad and Manager Red Al925 away could be a stumbling block for Montepellier who has a realistic shot at garnering maximum points in the first week of Serie A play.
Sau Paolo will need to find a Win as Sunderland visits Brazil. In two closely contested Friendlies, the Brazilians found it difficult to break down the English Defense, salvaging a draw in the dying minutes of the last match, but ultimately finishing the Pre Season against Sunderland 0-1-1. Manager Zikry has had a magnificent run against Manager HokieNYC the past few seasons, but with the new Squad, the gap between managers this season seem to have gotten tighter.
Fixtures against West Ham and Stoke City completes the all English schedule for the Brazilian outfit- Teams that have a propensity for Physical play and Air prowess, if Sau Paolo find it difficult to Defend the Air- the Brazilians may find themselves in trouble. Sunderland heads out on the road with a clash against Serie A Defending Champion Udinese and a visit to Brittania stadium to round out their long road week against Stoke City. Manager HokieNYC may find the road a bumpy one and come home with no points after the 1st Week of play.
Two Pre Season favorites clash in Germany as Hannover 96 welcomes the Russian outfit Anzhi. Manager Rschwep hopes to Defend home turf against a potent offense and Manager Shiftee- A Win for either Club can spring board their Title Run. Will the Balanced Germans control the ever so dangerous Eto and hold off the Russian attack long enough to take advantage of the spotty Defense- or will Anzhi prove too much firepower can overcome a weak back line.
Manager Rschwep will take his Squad to Italy to officially Welcome Parma to Serie A. The Italians have proven their mettle in Serie B last Season and look poise to make some noise in Serie A, but will their success translate in the higher division or will the style of play and competition doom the Serie A Rookies to similar fates as their predecessors? Parma will be Tested in their first week of play as they match up with 2 Top of the Table contenders- Real Sociedad and its wily and dangerous quattro Frontline will look to Test the Stalwart Defense Parma built in Serie B and Hannover96 and its balanced attack.
Real Sociedad will wrap up its week with what could be the most Entertaining match up of the Week as Anzhi comes calling- both Teams boast a plethora of Attacking options and Suspect Defense. Will Eto and Co - out score Vela and Crew or will the Spanish Side prevail. Whatever the result- it will be goals galore.
The Defending Champion Manager and his new Team Udinese continue their All English Week with an anticipated Match Up against Manager CxMacx10 and physical West Ham United. Will the Best Defense in Serie A hold up against the Twin Towers of West Ham or will they fail to Defend the box and allow West Ham free reign- Udinese ST D. Natale will tax the plodding West Ham back line with his speed and guile. Its a Power vs Finesse match up- and a potential road bump in Manager Friz quest to Defend his Title.
Swansea City and Manager Snake3249 are primed to make a big splash in the first week. Will their Team speed be enough to break Udinese's Top Rated Defense- or will Swansea look to counter quickly to prevent the Defense from setting up. Swansea GK Vorm (81) will need to bring his A Game as ST D. Natale (85) will have opportunities to dictate the final results.
A second and third fixtures against West Ham and Stoke City respectively has the Swans primed as they look to exploit slow Defenses when they visit . It is another Speed vs Power match up and could set up the newly promoted side with easy points but if both Stoke City and West Ham take the fight and get physical with the Newly promoted Welsh squad- it could disrupt the passing possesion play Swansea looks to showcase.
WEEK ONE - LET THE GAMES BEGIN!
MATCHES OF THE WEEK
(2-0-0) Real Sociedad ............(0-1-0) Anzhi Makhackala
(0-0-2) Montpellier......................(1-0-0) Bordeaux
(0-2-1) Hannover96.............(0-1-0) Anzhi Makhackala
(0-2-1) Sau Paolo......................(1-1-1) West Ham
Very well done!
Excited to get things started but really not too confident with the new game yet.
Thanks for the thrilling updates
Week 1 Recap
Manager Zikry opens up the Season in unfamiliar territory as his Sao Paulo squad fall to West Ham United 3-1. The Brazilians were unable to hold on after Luis Fabiano gives the Brazilian the lead. Loanee A. Carrol’s brace was good enough to take all three points Away as Manager CxMacx10 Wins his opener Away.
A draw in their 2nd match of the week leaves the Brazilian looking for Defensive answers as Sao Paulo draw at home to Stoke City – The English Squad records their first point of the Season after opening their Season with a loss.
Unfortunately, West Ham were unable to capitalize on their good form, as Udinese breaks the Hammer’s hearts with a 90th minute goal to steal all three points. Defending Champion Manager Friz walks away from the Match with a smile as Good Fortune on the pitch – gives the Italians the W. The Hammers will be kicking themselves, as an own goal and the last minute defensive lapse cost the more dominant Hammers the Match.
Newly promoted Swansea City’s Defensive presence was good enough to preserve a 1-0 Win at Home to Stoke City. D. Graham scores the only goal of the match in the 76th minute to kick off the Swan’s Season with three points.
Hannover 98 and Anzhi, in the Spotlight Match of the Week, battle to a bitter draw as Hannover98 pull it out after going two goals down to the visting Russians. American S. Cherundolo salvage some German Pride as his 86th minute goal takes 2 points away from the Russians.
Manager Broncos218 adds to the misery of Hannover as the defeat the visiting Germans 2-1. The Germans failed to capitalize on a Penalty Kick in the 45th minute as Bordeaux GK Carrasso guess correctly and parries away the critical PK. Three minutes into the 2nd half Bordeaux makes the Germans pay, winning a 50/50 ball in the box to score the opening goal. Konan equalizes for Hannover but a 2nd goal from Obraniak gives the homside the lead for good as the Germans fail to find the back of the net in the dying minutes.
The Pundits Curse continues for Hannover as they were unable defeat Rookie Parma- a 90th minute goal from M. Abdellaoue, saves the Germans from a dismal start as they end their week 0-2-1.
Real Sociedad takes 6 points as they win out against Serie A Rookie Parma 2-1 and Sophmore Serie Member Montpellier 2-1. Newboy Parma were unfortunate to not get a point against the Spanish side as they played the Real side toe to toe. Montepellier continue their slow start as they open their Season with a loss.
The French squad would fall victim to Newboy Parma in a drubbing at Home as the Italian side put the out of Form Montpellier to the sword with a definitive 4-0 Win. Greek International S. Ninnis (CAM 75) dominates the field and records the Season first hat trick in assists- with the loss, Montpellier is in danger of repeating their disaster of a start in their Rookie Season in Serie A.
Newboy Parma looks to be very comfortable in their inaugural Season completing their Week 1-1-1. S. Ninnis finishes the Week with 3 Assists and a Goal as he guides Parma through the dangerous waters of Serie A.
Sunderland Opens their Season with a convincing Win away to Udinese, walking off the pitch 2-4 winners, a brace from Scottish International S. Fletcher (ST 77) and an assist proved too much to overcome as the Defending Champs lose their first match against Manager HokieNYC in three Seasons.
Sunderland draws against Sau Paolo as the English squad failed yet again to close out a match, as the Brazilian benefit from a 90th minute Penalty Call from a desperate challenge by Captain J O’Shea.
West Ham United finishes their Week with a wild shoot out at Home as they draw against visiting sode Swansea City 3-3. The less than clinical effort from the English squad had them scrambling to draw even against the Swans who had 50% less chances but had the lead 3-2 before Diarra was able to salvage a consolation point with thew final goal.
With 5 matches left in Week 1 Season 7 it looks like PARITY is going to be prevalent this Season as no one has taken a commanding presence out of the blocks.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
S. Ninnis (CAM 75) PARMA
1 goal , 3 assist
S. Fletcher (ST 77) SUNDERLAND
4 goals, 1 assist
M. Jarvis (LM 76) WEST HAM UNITED
4 assists, 1 goal
It seems that after Week One play, the matches have been unpredictable. Could it be first week jitters for all the Managers, or has the coaching carousel made the Field more competitive. At this point in the Season with five games left through the week- traditional powerhouse managers have found their new Clubs not as comfortable as their old Seat. Hannover and Sau Paolo are a surprising 0-2-1 in their first three matches respectively- and with Manager Zikry's Defensive reputation solidified after his impressive Ajax campaign has allowed 7 goals in three matches with Sau Paolo. Will the Brazilians Defensive shortcomings pose a problem through the season?
In a Season of changes, Consistency may be the key to success as Manager RedAL has found ways to Win regardless of the scoreline- similar to what he accomplished in Season 6. Sitting a top the League after the First Week or does the opening schedule for Real Socieadad mask an underlying issue as the Spanish side has opened their season with Rookie Parma and Sophmore Montepellier and failed to win in convincing fashion, but win None the less.
The Surprise must come from Manager Friz and Udinese, long tap the run away favorites for Season 7 - have failed to impress as they have only gained 3 points in the early campaign- a surprising loss to Sunderland and a poor showing in Coppa play has Pundits wondering if their is some chemistry issues in the Italian squad- A. Di Natale has failed to impress in the goal department, his presence needs to be more pronounce if Udinese will live up to the expectations.
Sunderland has pulled some punches early- beating the defending Champs and but for a lack of focus in the last Match- lost two points in the dying minutes - has shown some offensive Teeth scoring 6 goals in two matches- something that was lacking a season ago when goals had to go through a lone striker- Sunderland will just need to learn how to close out matches but they are shaping up to be a tough out this Season. S. Fletcher has been a surprise as his 4 goals in two matches has him a top the scorers table- and with a game in hand can solidify his reputation as a scorer early on.
Hannover98 another Season favorite has been unable to impress as well- as the Germans sit at 0-2-1 after the first week, which could easily have 0-0-3 not for some opportune last minute goals - one at the 86th minute against Anzhi and a 90th minute goal against Parma.
Rookie Serie A Manager heznfire has taken this Table by the horn- with impressive match play wrapping up the week 1-1-1. A Defensive lapse in the dying minutes of the Match against Hannover has cost the Italians top billing to end Week 1 as their impressive win against Montpellier 4-0 has them and closely contested Loss to Real has their Goal Differential top in Serie A.
Swansea City has also been impressive as they sit with four points after 2 matches- a match up with Udinese can have the newly promoted Manager sitting a top Serie A after the first week . They will need to find some success against Udinese vaunted Defense but this Match Up is winnable- as Udinese lack of Form has them primed for the upset.
Montpellier are unable to shake their slow start bug, as for a 2nd Season in a row they are in danger of dropping maximum points after Week 1- A massive last match against Bordeaux looms for the French side, as the All French affair is Montpellier's last gasp in getting points.
Bordeaux is the last Team this week with a shot at running the Table with two games in hand. A tantalizing match up pitting the Best GK ( Carraso 83) in Serie A vs the Best Attacker (Eto 85) looms for the French Squad- success and Manager Broncos218 can wash away the poor showing a Season ago. Stumble against the Russian or Montpellier will leave the first week of Serie A Season season wide open...
Which Team and Manager can pull away or will this Weeks performances be the barometer for the Season. Hopefully the parity stays through and any Team in Serie A can Win or get relegated- it would certainly be a First, every Match Up a potential loss. This could be the most interesting Race to the Championship yet...
awesome Inside Serie A write-up! well done
Second Week begins with a bang as Manager Broncos718 look to solidify their splendid start as they Welcome an out of Form Sau Paolo to Stade Chaban Delmas. The French side is enjoying a stellar start to the Season, and with the Brazilians looking to find some Defensive presence, this could be match that Manager Zikry for the first time in his managerial career comes in as the underdog. Bordeaux will look to take as many points as possible as they follow their Brazilian encounter with key match ups against two English Squads- Stoke City and Sunderland.
The Brazilians begin a daunting road trip as they face the ever so dangerous Anzhi and pre season favorites Hannover98. The Russians have started their season slow as well- but with Manager shiftee at the helm, with a very dangerous frontline, the Sau Paolo Defense may be in for a very long evening. Hannover98 will also present a challenge as the talented Manager Rschwep can make it very difficult for Sau Paolo to build up play with their midfield.
Hannover look to find some form and live up to they pre season hype as they welcome In Form Sunderland- the last meeting between the two Managers had Manager Rschwep walking away heavy winners- this is a Match that could go either way- and with the Germans looking for points could be a stumbling block for the high flying Black Cats. Hannover faces another PRe season favorite in Udinese in the 2nd week as the Italians welcome the invading Germans- the winner of this Match can jump start their sluggish start and hopefully build some momentum for the Race.
Real Sociedad look to build on their hot start as they meet the Serie A Stalwarts from Seasons Pass in West Ham, Sunderland and Stoke City- all three Teams garnering points in the first week and could present some match up issues for the Spanish side. Manager RedAl is in for a crazy week as they can easily find themselves down 9 or up 9 or something in between come end of Match play.
Montpellier will need to find some rhythm as their sluggish start has them as the only pointless Squad in Serie A. Winnable match ups against Stoke City and Swanse City can shake the French side from their funk but a challenging match again Manager CxMacx10 and the in Form West Ham United could be a tantalizing scalp for the bottom dwellers or an ominous sign of things to come.
Sunderland continues their road trip as they have to find a way to win at Bordeaux and Hannover- The Black Cat Fans wait eagerly for their first Home stand as they Welcome the high flying spanish side Real Socieadad. The Black Cats has shown some offense but will need to find some focus if they are to walk away with points.
New boy Parma look to prove critics they are true contenders as they battle it out with Serie A Defending Champs- Udinese and the dangerous West Ham United. A match up against fellow promoted side Swansea City may be the only reprieve for Parma as the Italians look to build on their momentum.
Udinese has a tantalizing Match of The Week contender match up with Anzhi as both Pre Season Favorites look to jump start their sluggish start. Look for both Teams to gain maximum points.
WEEK 2 MATCHES OF THE WEEK
2-4 Udinese vs Anzhi
1-4 Sunderland vs Real Sociedad 1-4 Udinese vs Hannover98 2-1 West Ham vs Real Sociedad
WEEK 2 RECAP
As the second week of the Serie comes to a close, West Ham United has edged father out as they capture maximum points in the 2nd Week. The English squad has defeated Parma (1-0), Montpellier (3-2) and Real Sociedad (2-1). Loanee A. Carrol (ST 78) has scored in all three matches, including a 90th minute strike that sinks Real Sociedad and hands the Spanish side their first loss.
Real Sociedad bounces back with a complete performance, as they dominate Stoke City and win 2-0 at Home. A clean sheet for Real GK Bravo was preserved as the Chilean Keeper parries away a PK agasint P. Crouch (ST 77). An end of week match up against Sunderland looms for Real as a Win will keep them in pace with League leaders West Ham.
Stoke City has had a difficult time garnering points- two matches two shut outs for the English side as they were completely beaten by Montpellier and Real this week- a Final match against Bordeaux becomes critical as a loss will insure that they become the 2nd Team this Season to drop all points. The English Squad has shown a glimmer of Offense as a late Match in Week 1 had them scoring 4 goals in an 8-4 loss to Sunderland- but alas this week barring an offensive explosion against Bordeaux, it looks as if Stoke City will finish the Week with one of the league's worse goal FOR and goal AGAINST- a recipe that will more than likely doom them into Relegation.
A draw and a loss for Bordeaux this week means that their clash against an out of form Stoke City will be important if the French club is to keep pace with the leaders of the pack- win and they tie for 1st , loss and be gobbled up in the middle of the Table as teams conclude their week with a shot to leap from the French club.
The biggest Surprise of the Season continues to be Udinese, who has been unable to find any form- this week critical match ups against Hannover and Anzhi were lost in convincing fashion as the Italians were unable to keep pace with their opponents offense. A Loss to Hannover 1-4 has pundits wondering if Udinese vaunted Defense is a mere sheep in Wolf's clothing as they hold the dubious record of holding the highest GOAL AGAINST in Serie A, at 3.25 per match. Even with a Brace from Udinese's talisman striker A. Di Natale (ST 83) was not enough to keep pace with Anzhi as the Russians handily beat Udinese 4-2. A final match against Italian counterpart Parma puts Manager Friz in unfamiliar territory- lose and for the first time in his Career he will drop maximum points in a week- a dubious distinction in this Manager's solid track record.
Parma's run has been slowed a bit as West Ham hands the upstart Italians their second loss- the Italians will need to gain positive results against out of Form Udinese to salvage some points and keep pace with pack - With a game in hand - the Italian will need all 3 points to remain relevant in Top of the Table conversation- a poor result can push them further down the Table as Udinese look to leap frog the New Boys in their match ups. A win against Swansea City 4-1 has some of the pressure off the Italians as they distance themselves from the Drop zone, but a win against Udinese puts Parma in the Championship conversation.
Swansea City has been unable to complete any of their matches- with only 2 games completed in 2 weeks- The Welsh squad are primed to leap frog many in the Table if they garner positive results from all 4 matches- Swansea is the last remaining squad without a loss in Serie A and with a possible 12 points still up for grabs, the Manager can easily become leader of the pack in a short amount of time.
Sau Paolo's L. Fabiano (ST 82) Player of the Week performance has the Brazilians getting hot as they Win 2 straight in the 2nd Week- Wins against Hannover and Bordeaux sets up a critical match against the Russian side Anzhi away. Win and the Brazilians can officially shake off the poor start and become relevant in the Championship race Early-
Anzhi holds 2 games in hand - a critical Match against an in Form Sau Paolo and high flying Welsh Club Swansea City. The Russians will need great Results - a win against Sau Palo will close the gap, and gives Anzhi a shot to leap frog a slew of squads if results favor their way. S. Eto (ST 85) is beginning to warm up as his 2 goal 2 assist performance against Udinese personally put the Italian Defense to the sword. Teams will need to play close attention to the dimunitive Striker as the Season progress.
Sunderland's offensive outburst has been dampened as the English squad has only 1 goal in 2 matches this week- a surprise as the Black Cats unloaded 14 goals in 3 matches last week- a complete dismantling against Hannover 4-0 had Sunderland on notice- and a Defesive draw against Bordeaux 1-1 leaves Manager HokieNYC second guessing his line up in his final match of the week- against the very dangerous Real Sociedad who sits 2nd in Serie A.
Montpellier begins to shake off the sluggish start as they defeat an out of form Stoke City handily 3-0. Unfortunately it seems it was a false sense of confidence as West Ham dominates the French squad in a 3-1 drubbing- with a consolation Utaka goal at the end of the match made the scoreline respectable. A match up against Swansea City becomes critical as the lossing Team will be dropped into the danger zone. The French club will need to find some balance in their play as they are in the Top 5 in both GOALS AGAINST (2.60) and PPG (.60) this early in the campaign.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
A. Carrol (ST 78)
3 goals, 1 assist
L. Stindl (RM 77)
3 goals, 1 assist
L. Fabiano (ST 83)
4 goals, 1 assist
As the Second Week rolls on- the parity in the Table is still present, but as In Form Sau Paolo gather momentum the Table is beginning to shape up- Montpellier's Sophmore season has been a rough one, as the the French club have been unable to find some rhythm- registering 4 losses in 5 matches- the sheen on Montpellier's march up to the Top Competition is but a distant memory-this could be Manager Vipermansa's last season with his current club as the Borad is beginning to grumble about the lack of results.
Udinese manager Friz carries no pressure as the reigning Championship Manager has the full backing of the Italian Club, even with the string of poor results and poor Defensive showing of what was the highest rated Defense in Serie A, A Goal against of 3.25 has many wondering if Udinese can muster enough offense through their Captain to keep them in matches long enough to garner a Win.
Real Sociedad has taken care of business, and if for not a late go ahead from West Ham- would have been Top of the Table, Manager RedAl has brought consistency into his locker room- as the Spanish side has found ways to win early in the campaign, but as Real move forward into the heart of their schedule will the weak strength of schedule the first 2 weeks be setting up Real for a major fall from grace- as they tackle the old stalwart managers of Serie A- who has had two weeks of match play under their belts and are beginning to show some teeth?
Bordeaux has quietly drafted behind the league leaders- and with a consistent Defense the French squad has never looked out of any match played this season- a close loss to Sau Paolo 2-1 the separation between them and the league leaders. Sunderland and Hannover has jeckled and hyded themselves into the middle of the pack as both Teams have become increasingly unpredictable this early in the Season. Both Teams has shown glimmers of prowess only to drop points in other matches- the lack of consistency will doom both squads to the middle if things do not shape up in Germany and/or England in the near future.
Montpellier and Stoke City seem to have found themselves early Relegation favorites this campaign as both have register 4 losses already in 6 matches- another poor shof from either Clubs may put them out of the race completely- oth Managers will need to find some points or else both can easily find themselves in a hole too deep to climb out of for a second Season in a row.
WEEK 3 PREVIEW
Third Week opens as Swansea City ( 1-1-3) reeling from 3 straight losses must find some form to dig themselves out of the Danger Zone- the schedule for the newboys is not kind as they face three very strong managers and squads in Real Sociedad (3-1-1) , Bordeaux (3-2-1) and Hannover (2-2-2). There is a potential that Swansea can end the week with no points and further adrift of the Championship race and find themselves mired in a relegation battle. A very important week for Swansea as they fight for their Serie A lives.
Real will look to put away the out of Form Swansea City as they brace for two epic match ups against out of Form Udinese ( 1-0-3) and long time rival Manager Zikry and the red hot Sau Paolo (2-2-1) . The Brazilians have found their from in he second week gaining 6 possible points with a game in hand. L. Fabiano fresh of his Player of The Week performance will look to solidify his presence as Real Sociedad comes toEstadio Pompeu de Toledo in Brasil.
If Sau Paolo can walk away winners in their rivalry match up- the Brasilians will look to take advantage of a soft schedule- as they meet Serie A rookie Parma and a rematch of a contentious draw in coppa play against Montpellier. It is no secret that Montpellier (2-0-4) have struggled in their second season- wins against fellow bottom dwellers Stoke City (0-2-4) and Swansea City (1-1-3) aside, the French squad have not found any luck against Teams up top. going 0-0-4 versus the top half of the Table. Parma started Red Hot- but much as Montpellier, has found it difficult to win out against the Top Half- with successes against Swansea City and Montpellier - the Rookie Italian Clubs will need to bring their A game if they are to find some success against the visiting Brazilians.
Udinese will have to find a way to defeat Real and jumpstart their season as the Italians are scrambling to find some sort of Defense- the porous backline has allowed a league high 3.25 goals a game- and Real Sociedad and their potent strike force will look to improve upon their 2.40 goals per match average. The Italians are in danger of losing way as failure to gain points against Real will distance the top from the talented Manager and with a looming Match Up against a powerful Bordeaux in the horizon - could be a disaster of a week if results do not go the Italians way-
The scorching West Ham United (4-1-1) will be tested this week as they arguably have the toughest fixtures- matches against a offensively gifted Anzhi (2-2-1) averaging 3.2 goals a match, a very balanced Bordeaux (3-2-1) and Hannover98 (2-2-2) can reel back the league leaders into the pack if results do not go their way- but if they find some success can be become the front runner the rest of the season.
If Anzhi find some success against West Ham, match ups against an out of Form Sunderland and Stoke City can vault the Russian club into the front- Anzhi Manager shiftee has found some success against Stoke City (0-2-4) and Sunderland (2-2-1) and will enter those fixtures favorites. Sunderland will have to find their scoring touch as they look to keep pace with Anzhi's offense- both teams are 1st and 2nd respectively in the scoring per match department with Anzhi scoring 3.20 goals a match and Sunderland scoring 3.0 per fixture.
Out of Form Sunderland is prime for the picking as Parma and Montpellier look to takes points from the English Squads- after a hot start in the 1st week- the Black Cats have been unable to get goals- the poor finishing has the Manager scrambling to put out a line up as they look to jumpstart their offense.
This week is turnign out to be an interesting one as West Ham will look to establish themselves as the run away favorites while the rest of the pack look to reel the League Leaders back in. Anzhi and Sao Paolo look to become extremely relevant in the Championship race this week as they both enter the 3rd week in great form. This is Udinese make it or break it week- success and they are back in the picture.
MATCHES OF THE WEEK 3-1 WEST HAM (4-1-1) vs BORDEAUX (3-2-1) VS REAL SOCIEADAD (3-1-1) vs UDINESE (1-0-3) VS WEST HAM (4-1-1) vs ANZHI (2-2-1) VS SAU PAOLO (2-2-1) vs REAL SOCIEADAD (3-1-1)
WEEK 3 RECAP
It was a fairly quiet week in Serie A as Teams have yet to complete 60% of their Fixtures- however West Ham United continues their unbeaten streak, after dropping their opener 1-2 to Udinese, the Hammers have been unbeaten in their last 5 matches- A win against Bordeaux 3-1 had the English flying high, but were challenged by a strong Hannover showing and had to walk away with a draw as the Germans were able to equalize 3-3 and spilt the spoils.
Hannover continued their even streak as a battle against Bottom dweller Stoke City in a rare defensive match produces a 1-1 draw. Two points in two matches has the German squad in 5th place- as the race for Top Billing has been tight and dropped points can flip a Serie A teams fortune quickly.
Real Sociedad were bitten by the upset bug as Newboy Swansea City outgunned the talented Spanish squad 4-2. Real Sociedad had to no answer for the quick counter strikes of the speedy Welsh squad as D. Graham (ST 76) hat trick proved too much for Real to overcome.
Real rebounds from the lost as they thrash Sunderland away- 4-1 with a comprehensive passing display that put the Spanish side up 3-1 by halftime. Sunderland were unable to rally as the Spanish side buckled down on defense and sealed the match with a 4th goal near the end as the Black Cats pushed forward looking for goals.
Sunderland reeling from a humiliating Defeat at home- bounces back with a win against Parma 3-0, recording their first League play clean sheet of the Season. Parma were unable to run away from the defense as Sunderland methodically moved the ball and made sure the shape of the Defense did not get pulled by the speedy Biabanny (RM 77). Goals from Adam Johnson (LM 80), S. fletcher (ST 77) and Cattermole (73 CDM) insures the Black Cats all three points for their first Home win of the Season.
Several Matches left on the Table for this Week as Teams look to move up the Chase for the Championship.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
D. Graham (ST 76), Swansea City
3 goals Hat Trick Match
C. Vela (ST 77) , Real Sociedad
2 goals 1 assist
After three weeks of Match play- the race for the Championship is still very tight. Any dropped points can change the fortunes of teams- Udinese is still lost in form and seems to be following the Fate of last Year's Defending champion. The Italians have 4 losses and and only recording 1 point in their last 5 fixtures- has the Defending Champion manager deep in the drop zone. Will Udinese find the Form or will the focus now be on surviving for another Serie A Season?
Real Sociedad and West Ham United have proven to be dangerous- but an uncharacteristic loss for Real to lowly Swansea City has West Ham United giddy as their own dropped points do not shrink their lead in Serie A. Sunderland finds themselves in 3rd place with Bordeaux- even with a poor run of form- but with the Red Hot Sau Paolo squad holding three games in hand- West Ham United may find themselves with unwanted company if the Brazilians are able produce positive results.
Parma and Montpellier stand in Sau Paolo's way - the two junior Managers in Serie A will look to cool down the Brazilians to turn their own fortunes. The loss of Parma to Sunderland means that a a loss at home to Sau Paolo can mean that Parma ends the week with no points. Montpellier's 3 goal explosion last week has the French squad finding some form and they look to steal points this week as they face two battle hardened managers in their two fixtures.
Hannover failed to capitalize on an out of form Stoke City as they draw with the English squad, and another draw to Red Hot West ham means the Germans were only able to get 2 points out of six- dropping them to 5th place. Stoke City gain some points but still find themselves winless in 7 matches- a must win match up against the offensively minded Anzhi looms as they Potters will need to find a way to stop league scoring leader Eto (ST 85) from adding to his 8 goal tally.
Three weeks in and no clear cut favorites - Hannover draws with the Top and the Bottom pretty much sums up the race this Season- its anyones to take and it doesnt look like a Champion will be decided until the Final goal of the Season finds the back of the Net.
WEEK 4 PREVIEW
Week four is looking to be top billing this Season - as Teams look to find some room up top. Real Sociedad arguably has the toughest match ups as a Rivalry clash against Manager Zikry looms for the Spanish side, The Real vs Sau Paolo match look to be a lively one as both teams are In Form and looking to catch West Ham. Bordeaux and Hannover look to compund on Real's rough week as both Team can be very dangerous. There is a potential for Real to lose some gorund this week if results do not go their way.
West ham United will have to battle it out with Anzhi as the look to keep Teams at bay- an all English Match up between West ham and Sunderland may prove a stumbling block as Sunderland matches up very well with the workman like ethos of West Ham. Stoke City may find themselves spoilers for the Hammers as their physical presence has the West Ham at a disadvantage.
Bordeaux look to stake their claim - a match up against out of form Udinese has the French squad primed for a leap- if results against out of form Parma and Real go their way. We may have ourselves a new League Leader by end of Week as the French squad hit their schedule in stride against struggling squads.
Anzhi looks primed to claim Top Honors as well if they are able to defeat West Ham- their next 2 fixtures against two Teams who have little experience in Serie A play- Rookie Parma and Sophomore Montpellier. The Russian Defense will need to find a way to stifle the opponents offense- and allow their talisman striker the opportunity to win it for the Russians- the high scoring Russian (3.2 per match) will look to over power their opponents- if Parma with their 5 defender scheme can stifle the Russians- Parma may find themselves with a very important scalp.
The dangerous French has found some form- and they will need it as they run into the meat of the Table in Sunderland, Hannover and Anzhi- Sunderland has proven to be a handful for the French side last season- and with a newly tooled offense may pose a problem. Hannover has proven to be dangerous and could overpower the French.
Swansea City will need to find that scoring touch - as they run into some old friends- Swansea will look to capitalize on their speed- as all three teams they face have slower lumbering Defensive back lines- will their counter attacks prove deadly - or will the Fixtures be too much for the Welsh squad?
We may have ourselves a new league leader by end of Week 4- as Teams start to rack up points- will the bottom half of the Table rise up or will the Top Half distance themselves from the Pack?
MATCHES OF THE WEEK VS WEST HAM (5-2-1) vs ANZHI (2-2-1) 1-1 SAU PAOLO (2-2-1) vs REAL SOCIEADAD (4-1-2) VS SUNDERLAND (3-2-2) vs WEST HAM (5-2-1) VS BORDEAUX (3-2-2) vs REAL SOCIEDAD (4-1-2)
WEEK 4 RECAP
As Week four concludes- inclement weather has postponed many matches as Serie A contenders have only manage to complete 33% of their weekly matches- A surprising turn as Swansea City has shown some teeth defeating convincingly two Teams in Hannover and Sau Paolo. The sudden form of Swansea has vaulted the squad into 2nd place and looks to take maximum points as they visit Sunderland. The Welsh squad has also won a make up match against Real Sociedad 4-2.
Parma has claimed an important scalp as they defeat Bordeaux 3-2.
Real Sociedad were unable to hold their 2nd place lead as they fall to Hannover 4-1 and were held to a draw in their Derby against Sau Paolo 1-1.
The Week looks to end unfinished but with what we have seen- the underdogs had their day this week, as both Parma and Swansea City have close the gap in the race for the Championship.
Sunderland were able to win against Montpellier to buck the trend and keep their relevance in the race close- but with key matches against league leaders West Ham and In Form Swansea - may yet still fall from their comfortable perch.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
L. Obraniak , Bordeaux
3 goals 1 assist
S. Graham , Swansea City
4 goals, 1 assist
WEEK 5 PREVIEW
As Week 5 opens up- the race has gotten tighter- but with West Ham clinging to a slim lead against Red Hot Swansea City the English squad find themselves a top the Table for a 3rd straight Week. Swansea City has played 2 more matches but if they can maintain their form against the League Leaders in a match of the week clash- they may prove a worthy of the pundits attention. West Ham will need to cool down Swansea and protect their lead against Montpellier- in what was suppose to be their easiest Week of the Season- but with Swansea's form may end up becoming their stumbling block of the Season.
Swansea City look to build on their form as they meet Out of From and winless Stoke City- will power overcome finesse or will Swansea over run the lumbering Stoke City back line?
Montpellier finds themselves in a very hard weekly schedule with Bordeaux, Real Sociedad as the look to avenge two matches lost by a 1 goal margin- and if they find themselves with positive results- will have to contend with League Leaders West Ham United. This could possibly end the French squads week with zero points if they fail to overcome their tough schedule.
Sunderland will face a tough match as a rematch of a 1-1 draw against Sau Paolo looms and a thrashing still remembered at the hands of Hannover has the Black Cats on notice- this may me the week that Sunderland falters in the race.
Real Sociedad face three teams that are looking for pay back as fixtures against Montpellier and Parma ended in a 1 goal wins- and Stoke City looking to jumpstart their season and avenge a 2-0 loss in the first match.
Hannover looks to maintain their winning ways against their match ups as success against Sunderland and imporve upon their two results against Anzhi and Parma- both matches ending in draws.
Stoke City will need to find some form as they stand winless in 5 weeks- if the English squad are unable to gain a Win - may find themselves relegated to Serie B by Weeks End. Arguably one of the hardest schedule of the Week- Stoke City will need some luck to avoid being the first real candidate for relegation in the Season.
Sau Paolo still hurting from a surprise loss to In Form Swansea City will look to improve upon their Draw against Sunderland and Stoke City- and hope that Hannover does avenge their lop sided loss in the first half of the Season.
The Italians of Udinese have found it difficult this Season- and as their Manager step down, the Italians have faded into the back- Parma looks to buck that trend as the lone representative for Italy as they clash with Hannover, looking to improve upon their Draw and avenge a 1 goal loss to Real Sociedad.
STAY TUNED FOR MID SEASON REPORT CARDS -
WEEK 5 REVIEW
Matches 12- 13
A quiet Week in Serie A has Teams bunching up together as the parity of the Season has proven no true league leader- Six Teams are separated by 6 points as West Ham United end Week 5 Top of the Table. Sau Paolo and Hannover move into contention as their Fine Form has proven to be a galvanizing moment for both Squads.
Real Sociedad has maintained within striking distance as they spilt their matches- falling to a surpriing Montpellier squad and defeating Parma.
Hannover takes all 6 points and now beginning to live up to the Pre Season hype-
Sunderland clings to 4th as poor showings against Sau Paolo and West Ham United has the out of Sorts English squds clamoring for some points.
Anzhi has amassed enough games on hand to leap frog the whole Table - but a poor start against Hannover is not how the Russians wanted to jumpstart their Season
Swansea City, Montpellier and Bordeaux hover within a point as they all look to make their move in the 2nd Half of the Season-
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
M. Diouf HANNOVER 3 goals in a Match
K. Jones STOKE CITY 2 goals 1 assist
Separate names with a comma.