Serie A 2013-14: Team of the Week – Round 1
In Round one’s Team of the Week, the formation chosen is the 4-3-3 after Verona’s win over Milan. Each week, the formation will change as will the players.
Some of the player’s this week were obvious picks, while others were more difficult. The two most impressive teams this weekend were Napoli and Fiorentina, especially the Viola who look strong with Rossi and Gomez at the top.
Make sure to leave a comment and let us know who’s missing from this week’s team of the week!
Rafael – Hellas Verona
It’s not every week that a huge upset occurs but Hellas Verona’s Rafael played a fine match and he deserves his credit. Milan took 14 shots, five being on target with Rafael stopping four of them. His biggest and finest save came in the 86th minute when Milan striker Mario Balotelli curled a shot but the Brazilian keeper punched it over the goal, preserving the 2-1 victory. Behind Luca Toni, his efforts helped Verona achieve their first Serie A victory in 11 years.
Maicon – Roma
The Brazilian joined Roma after only playing in a handful of games at Premier League side Manchester City, but the former Inter defender played well enough to make Roma fans do double take. He’s been known to be a smart player and judging by his 56 out of 63 successful passes, he doesn’t make many errors. The Brazilian found himself on the offensive end, extending up the sides, and crossing the ball effectively into the box. He even had two solid looks at goal, but his screamer from well out of the box just sneaked past the crossbar.
Nicola Murru – Cagliari
The Cagliari defender appeared in just 13 matches last season, but his first of the new campaign was fantastic. Murru assisted Matias Cabrera for the game winner as Cagliari defeated Atalanta 2-1. Murru impressed on all sides of the ball, especially his passing; the 18-year-old completed 46 of 51 passes successfully and had four successful tackles. He’s a youngster to watch for this season and the uncertainty surrounding Cagliari’s Davide Astori could find Murru with more playing time.
Leandro Castan – Roma
The Brazilian defender played a fine game in a 2-0 victory over Livorno. He sent a long ball down the line to a streaking Alessandro Florenzi, whose finished spectacularly, but Castan lead ball created the opportunity. The defender was extremely efficient with his passes and moved the ball around nicely, completing 85% of his passes.
Sime Vrsaljko – Genoa
Vrsaljko arrived from Dinamo Zagreb in July and has already appeared in four games for Croatia’s senior team. The 21-year-old defender played strong against Inter and should be monitored closely for this season. He also moved the ball well; completing 26 of 28 passes with two tackles. If he continues playing strong, he could be suited for a bigger club comes next season.
Marek Hamsik – Napoli
The new captain of Napoli, Marek Hamsik dazzled in the opener against Bologna. The Slovakian international assisted new signee Jose Callejon on the first goal of the game and grabbed two of his own. Additionally, Hamsik successfully moved the ball around; working mainly in midfield, completing 35 of 44 passes. With more playmakers around him, Marek Hamsik has the players and skill to bring Napoli to new heights and Napoli should be looked as a force in the Champions League.
Hernanes – Lazio
Hernanes caused havoc against the Udinese defense and was awarded a goal after a near post screamer while fighting off Udinese defender Danilo Larangeira. The Brazilian international was most of Lazio artillery, recording five shot on target and moving well in the midfield. The only knack on Hernanes night was the yellow card.
Paul Pogba – Juventus
With injured midfielder Claudio Marchisio out, Paul Pogba started the season opener against Sampdoria and picked up where he left off. Last season, Pogba burst onto the Serie A scene after his screamer against Napoli. But now he’s widely considered one of Europe’s best young midfielders and isn’t a secret anymore. Pogba moved well without the ball on Saturday and had the assist for Carlos Tevez’s goal. He’s quickly forcing himself to see more minutes for Juventus, could he possibly dethrone Marchisio from the starting eleven?
Striker: Luca Toni – Hellas Verona
The striker nobody wants but continues to find ways to survive in top-flight football, Luca Toni found the fountain of youth on Saturday with a magnificent effort against AC Milan, in which his side defeated the Rossoneri 2-1. The 36-year-old striker added two headed goals to help his side grab an early three points against an a strong opponent. It’s early in the season, but on Saturday, the Luca Toni of a few years ago returned.
Carlos Tevez – Juventus
A new signee from Manchester City, it wasn’t a question of whether Carlos Tevez could become a force in Serie A, but when. The Argentine striker slotted up front with Mirko Vucinic and worked well with Vucinic. He scored the only goal of the game which was enough to see Juventus grab three points. Tevez can give Juve the goals they need to succeed in the Champions League, something they starved for last season.
Giuseppe Rossi – Fiorentina
Who would have thought it, Giuseppe Rossi starting up front for Fiorentina next to new signee Mario Gomez. Amongst the transfers that Fiorentina completed this summer, Rossi’s arrival in January seemed to float in the fog. But the forward scored his first goal since October 1, 2011 when he was with Villerreal, against Catania in a 2-1 victory. The moment is massive for Rossi as it puts the injuries that have plagued the forward behind him and gives the forward a little confidence to return to old form.