Best XI of Serie A Round 18: Five Star Performance from Inter

The final Serie A weekend before the Christmas break is over and teams will be looking to improve their positions ahead of the final fixture of 2021 this midweek.

In Round 18, all eyes were on the key battle between the two teams placed in the top three as Napoli and Milan met at the Stadio San Siro. Luciano Spalletti’s men narrowly won 1-0 to move level on points with the Rossoneri and remain well in contention for the Scudetto.

Here we take a look at the best stats XI of Serie A Round 18.

Goalkeeper – Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (Torino)

Torino claimed their second straight win with a narrow 1-0 victory over Verona on Sunday night. The Turin side kept a clean sheet for the fourth time this season, and goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic helped preventing their opponents from scoring.

The 24-year-old made 2 saves in the match against Verona, posting an xGC (Expected Goals Conceded) of 0.39. The Serbian international also recorded a pass rate of 69% (22/32).

FotMob Rating – 8.0

Right-Back / Right Wing-Back – Juan Cuadrado (Juventus)

Juventus are experiencing a very bumpy ride so far this season, showing little to no consistency. The Old Lady beat Bologna 2-0 on Saturday night and are level on points with Roma and Fiorentina.

Right-back Juan Cuadrado has been one of the few bright sparks for the Bianconeri this season, and he impressed once again on the weekend. The Colombian netted his fourth goal of the season against Bologna and played 2 key passes.

FotMob Rating – 8.5

Right Center-Back – Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter)

It looks like last year’s champions have stepped up a gear and confirmed it with a 5-0 win over Salernitana. The Nerazzurri have been in superb form defensively of late, keeping a clean sheet five times in a row.

The defender who impressed the most in the 5-0 win was veteran Danilo D’ Ambrosio. Against Salernitana, the Italian won 3 of his 4 duels (75% success rate), recovered the ball 8 times and made 1 interception.

FotMob Rating – 8.1

Left Center-Back – Chris Smalling (Roma)

Roma produced by far their best performance of the season against Atalanta, beating the potential title contenders 4-1 in impressive fashion.

Jose Mourinho’s men were solid both defensively and offensively, as evidenced by Chris Smalling’s performance. The former Manchester United defender scored his second goal of the season and also won 3 of his 6 duels (50% success rate) and made 3 ball recoveries.

FotMob Rating – 8.0

Left-Back / Left Wing-Back – Fodé Ballo-Touré (Milan)

It is not often that a player from the losing team is on the best XI list, but in the case of Fodé Ballo-Touré, it is an exception to the rule.

The Senegalese right-back delivered a solid performance despite Milan’s defeat to Napoli. He won an impressive 10 of his 14 duels (71% win rate), recovered the ball 9 times and was successful in 3 out of 5 tackle attempts.

FotMob Rating – 7.5

Central Midfielder – Jean-Victor Makengo (Udinese)

After the departures of several key players in the summer, including star Rodrigo De Paul, Udinese have fared rather poorly in the first half of the season. However, last week they recorded two 4-0 wins in a row, including a 4-0 win over Cagliari.

One of the standout players in that game was central midfielder Jean-Victor Makengo. The French international scored his first goal of the season and recorded 85% pass completion rate (34/40), 1 of which was a key pass.

FotMob Rating – 8.9

Central Midfielder – Lucas Torreira (Fiorentina)

Fiorentina have been on an absolute roll in Serie A this season, but they had to experience a bit of a reality check at the weekend. The Viola came away with a 2-2 draw, trailing 2- 0 at one stage, but thanks to Lucas Torreira they managed to stage a credible comeback.

The Uruguay international set up Dusan Vlahovic’s goal and then scored the vital equalizer to earn Fiorentina a point. Torreira also won 7 duels and recovered the ball 5 times.

FotMob Rating – 8.8

Central Attacking Midfielder – Hakan Calhanoglu (Inter)

There have been concerns over the loss of Christian Eriksen and whether Inter will be able to find a suitable replacement for him. The defending Serie A champions have indeed found a replacement and he is proving to be a contender for player of the season at this stage.

Hakan Calhanoglu put in another impressive performance at the weekend as he contributed 2 assists in Inter’s 5-0 win over Salernitana. In total, the Turkish international created 3 big chances and played an incredible 10 key passes.

FotMob Rating – 9.5

Central Attacking Midfielder – Sofian Kiyine (Venezia)

The Serie A newcomers played to a second consecutive 1-1 draw, this time against Sampdoria. One of Venezia’s standout players in this game was Sofian Kiyine.

The 24-year-old Moroccan contributed with 5 key passes against Sampdoria and collected a total of 0.55 xA (Expected Assists). The midfielder also completed a remarkable 10 of his 11 dribble attempts and won 15 duels.

FotMob Rating – 8.7

Winger / Wide Forward – Gerard Deulofeu (Udinese)

Udinese claimed their highest Serie A win of the season so far with a 4-0 victory over Cagliari, thanks largely to an outstanding performance from Gerard Deulofeu.

The Spanish winger scored an incredible brace from just 0.09 xG (Expected Goals) and also posted a 100% shooting accuracy (2/2).

FotMob Rating – 8.8

Striker – Alvaro Morata (Juventus)

The Juventus striker has come under fire in recent seasons, mainly for his inconsistency in converting chances. However, against Bologna, the Spanish striker posed no such problem and was instrumental in his side’s victory.

Morata scored the first goal of the game, converting a chance worth 0.47 xG, and also played 2 key passes.

FotMob Rating – 8.7