PLEASE READ BEFORE VOTING: voting should be based on player performances in Serie A/Coppa Italia from the 90/91 season to 99/00. Performances outside this timeframe or other competitions do not count. TEAM MOBY/PAT VS TEAM GIO/THEON TEAM MOBY/PAT TACTICS Formation: 3-4-1-2 A classic Serie A formation, and a familiar one for our era-defining centre forward Gabriel Batistuta, who tore up Serie A for most of the decade and played a similar setup for Fiorentina. The reinforcement round has been kind to us, allowing us to add balance and control to our lineup in the form of all-time great RWB Cafu and one of the best playmaking CMs in the pool in Juan Sebastian Veron. Goalkeeper: Luca Marchegiani. Boasting both an impressive peak and top-notch longevity, Marchegiani was a first-choice GK for the entire decade in Serie A, first at Torino and later at Lazio. Defence: Fabio Cannavaro and Julio Cesar flank our sweeper Luca Fusi. Fusi played much of his career as a midfielder before dropping back to play as a sweeper with distinction during his final two seasons with Torino. Torino boasted the fifth and sixth best defensive records respectively in those two Serie A seasons, and Fusi was ranked by Dbscalcio.it as their first and second best player respectively. His intelligent reading of the game and good distribution will kickstart our transitions here, and in the defensive phase he’s amply protected by two monstrous defenders in Cannavaro and Cesar. Cesar was an ox-strong and technical CB who excelled alongside Jurgen Kohler in a miserly Juve defence, while Cannavaro’s credentials as one of the all-time great Italian defenders speak for themselves. At wing back, Alberto Di Chiari will run our left flank. An industrious and creative converted winger, he impressed for an excellent Parma team in the same role. At RWB we welcome the legendary Cafu, entering his athletic peak during this time-frame aged 27-30, and a huge upgrade on Birindelli. Midfield: The voracious ball-winner Matias Almeyda reprises his Serie A winning partnership with Juan Sebastian Veron. The addition of Veron along with Cafu allows us to change our stylistic emphasis slightly - while we'll still look to counter-attack quickly in general and find our explosive and free-scoring attackers early, we've now got it in our reportoire to control the tempo of the game and play in a more controlled style at times as match situations demand. Trequartista: Roberto Mancini takes centre stage here in the role that he revered sufficiently to write a Masters Thesis on it. If the increasingly pervasive Sacchi 4-4-2 orthodoxy led to him playing much of his career in a two-man attacking line, his skill-set and instincts mark him as a classic trequartista. A wonderfully creative talisman who book-ended a decade at the cutting edge of Serie A with a Scudetto win at either side, he was at his zenith during Sampdoria’s 1990-91 triumph. Here, as with Sampdoria, he’ll be at home playing on the counter, and he’ll be in his element supplying two prolific goalscorers. Attack: Batistuta’s credentials bear comparison with any forward in the draft: 151 goals in 243 Serie A games across the decade, all of them playing outside of the traditional powerhouse clubs for Fiorentina, with a high-water mark of 26 goals in 32 games in 1994-95. He’s in a familiar system here, and he’ll thrive off the creativity of Mancini and his dynamic, hard-running partner Enrico Chiesa, a consistently good performer across the decade who hit an astonishing peak in 1995-96 (playing with one Roberto Mancini at Sampdoria) of 22 goals in 27 Serie A appearances. A scorer of great goals as well as a great goalscorer, Chiesa had an incredible knack for the spectacular from long-range – videos to follow in the match thread. TEAM GIO/THEON TACTICS DEFENCE The defence is built around two of the meanest units in 90's Serie A - Baresi's Milan unquestionably remain the gold standard for defending during the era and unsurprisingly recorded the best defensive record across the decade (15 goals conceded in 93/94), but just as impressive was the Torino defence in 91/92 led by Cravero which conceded just 20 goals - the second best defensive record in the entire decade. Given those credentials it's no surprise that the heart of the defence contains three of the highest peaks in the draft- with the central trio rated the 1st, 2nd and 3rd best performers (in any position) during the 90/91 season: Serie A 1990/91: highest rated players Reuniting the impregnable Zenga-Baresi axis from Italia '90, Zenga's three IFFHS World Goalkeeper of the Year awards mark him out as one of the finest keepers in the pool. On the left is Andreas Brehme, whose left peg was such a telling outlet for Inter. To the right is Cravero's partner in crime Pasquale Bruno, whose physicality and relentlessly ruthless defending was an important part of that great Torino side. MIDFIELD We expect the all-conquering Juventus partnership of Didier Deschamps (highest rated midfielder in 96/97) and Paulo Sousa (Serie A Player of the Year in 94/95, third highest rated midfielder in Europe) to take meaningful control of the midfield - both fit the theme to a tee, playing their best football in the era and forming one of the most complimentary pairings of the decade. To their right Brian Laudrup is introduced on the flank. He will be tasked with stretching and getting in behind Di Chiara and pulling Moby/Pat's nearest central defender out of position. With his pace and ball-carrying ability, he is well suited to this specific tactical job. ATTACK Linking the midfield is Fiorentina legend Il Maestro Rui Costa, boasting perhaps the strongest portfolio of top level performances of any playmaker in the draft. A superb technician who cut opposition midfield and defences to shreds with his incisive service and will find pockets of space to thread balls through to the electric Ruben Sosa and George Weah spearheading the attack. Sosa and Weah were all-round attackers who both hit their peaks in 90's Serie A - Sosa smashing in 20 strikes in 28 games in 92/93, and Weah securing a Ballon D'Or and FIFA World Player of the Year in 94/95. With their electric pace both players are lethal on the counter attack (something Weah performed for Milan with huge success) and both fit the formation given their ability to roam wide and penetrate through the channels. WHY WE WILL WIN Midfield superiority - Man for man we believe we are stronger in midfield. The Deschamps and Sousa partnership is arguably the most impressive of the decade and proved itself at every level. The Portuguese duo of Sousa and Rui Costa should also dovetail well and overstretch Almeyda and Veron. As well as an edge in quality, there is an advantage in collective work rate with not only Deschamps and Sousa outgrafting the Argentine pair, but Rui Costa as a proper 10 offering clearly more contribution off the ball than the support striker Mancini. Ability to contain - As leaders of the two meanest defences in all of 90's Serie A, Baresi and Cravero can weather their way out of any storm - particularly with the likes of Deschamps patrolling the middle of the park. Bruno retains his place now operating as a tucked in right full-back, strengthening the core in the absence of any genuine left forward threat. Baresi has an impeccable Serie A record against Batistuta, shutting him out 6 times out of 6. Ability to counter - On the break Sosa and Weah are explosive and likely to burn past Julio Cesar, Fusi and Cannavaro with their pace and sheer power - Weah became the best player in the world doing just this in a counter-attacking Milan side and he's as likely as anyone on the park to make the difference. They will thrive on Rui Costa's unerring delivery. Quality advantage in key positions - we have the best keeper (Zenga), best defender (Baresi) and best midfielder on the park (Rui Costa). While Batistuta is the top finisher on the field, Weah is a Ballon D'Or winner who is custom designed for our counter-attacking set-up.