Serie A: Team of the Week

Jack Alexandros Rathborn@@jackrathbornContributor IIIJanuary 13, 2013

UDINE, ITALY - JANUARY 06: Antonio Di Natale of Udinese Calcio react during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and FC Internazionale Milan at Stadio Friuli on January 6, 2013 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images)
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Goalkeeper: Christian Abbiati, Milan: Made a string of fine saves to deny Samp from distance. Perhaps this performance will be enough to hold off the competition from Marco Amelia and to reclaim the number one jersey on a permanent basis, too.

Eder and Pedro Obiang in particular hit sensational strikes towards the corners of the goal, and Abbiati was able to save Milan time and again.


Centre-back: Nicolas Spolli, Catania: The leader of the Elefanti's defence, Spolli was typically rough and physical with Roma's mercurial forwards, Erik Lamela and Mattia Destro.

Given that Spolli is a defender who prefers a duel with contact,  it was impressive how he dealt with the agility and speed of the Giallorossi forwards and their movement.


Centre-back: Gonzalo Rodriguez, Fiorentina: This could be the most dangerous defender in the opposition's penalty area. The Argentine really attacks the ball well, with power and direction.

With five goals already for the Viola, Rodriguez thought that he'd added his sixth, but it was ruled as an own goal.


Centre-back: Cristian Zapata, Milan: The Colombian added some much needed speed and agility to a struggling defence. Philippe Mexes was a little rash again today, but Zapata was able to cover well and control the danger of Mauro Icardi in behind, as well as the nimble Brazilian playmaker Eder.


Right midfield: Christian Maggio, Napoli: Under pressure in recent weeks as he has suffered a hangover during the opening months of the season from his exertions with the Italian national team.

With added competition from Giandomenico Mesto, Maggio has reacted and injected a more ruthless approach to his game when driving forward.

Napoli also acquired Pablo Armero, who plays on the left and might signal Juan Zuniga to switch to Maggio's favoured right midfield role.

Form like this will see this competition through, as he is adding goals to his game and putting extra fizz and purpose to his crosses, especially from deeper areas.


Centre midfield: Panagiotis Kone, Bologna: The Greek international is adding a valuable source of goals for Stefano Pioli's side.

Kone, who has a habit of scoring spectacular goals, has now added an element of importance to when he strikes.

Kone can drop deep into midfield or operate in behind the strikers if Alessandro Diamanti is pushed up next to Alberto Gilardino.

When Diamanti picks the ball up in midfield though, Kone pushes beyond the Azzurri international, and his well-timed runs into the box are often rewarded with goals and, now, his best return for Bologna in a season.


Defensive midfield: Daniele Conti, Cagliari: He is the definition of a leader and will go down as one of the Isolani's greatest players.

Conti has undervalued quality on the ball as well as exceptional positional awareness to screen his back four.

Popped up with a priceless late winner to lift Cagliari out of the relegation zone.


Centre-midfield: Andrea Poli, Sampdoria: His passing and movement off the ball caused a constant problem for the Rossoneri.

He supplied Mauro Icardi and Eder with some great service that might have been taken on another day to provide Samp with a victory. 

Poli has a lovely balance when bringing the ball from deep areas, and while not blessed with pace, he is brilliant at shielding the ball with his body and shuffling past the likes of Riccardo Montolivo.


Left midfield: Massimo Gobbi, Parma: Frustrated Stephan Lichtsteiner's drives forward and dragged Andrea Barzagli out wide to deal with his threat linking in the attacking third.

With Ishak Belfodil tending to cut inside on his right foot from the left-wing spot, Gobbi was vital in offering that overlapping run to stretch Juve's defence.


Striker: Alberto Gilardino, Bologna: The veteran striker produced some classic finishes inside the penalty area against Chievo, showing that he is still as canny as any striker in the league when provided with decent service.


Striker: Antonio Di Natale, Udinese: Up against one of the best defences in the league, Di Natale's intelligence won the day. 

Toto displayed immense calmness and mental strength to slot the penalty home after Alberto Aquilani was guilty of poor sportsmanship as he kicked up the turf around the penalty spot.

Then it was all about the movement as he flirted with offside before darting towards goal and away from Facundo Roncaglia before clinically dispatching a half-volley past Neto.