Sevilla’s sacking of Eduardo Berizzo was ruthless


Sevilla’s decision to dismiss manager Eduardo Berizzo was greeted initially by onlookers with bemusement but it would not be long before dismay quickly took hold. Currently sitting fifth in La Liga, the Andalucian club’s campaign to date has been turbulent with performances and results not reaching the heights of years gone by.

It followed the club’s first transfer window in 17 years without famed sporting director Monchi at the helm – having joined Roma in March – while, as is almost tradition for the club, star players departed including Vitolo  and Vicente Iborra, the two joint longest-serving players. Berizzo’s final match in charge was a 3-1 defeat at Real Sociedad on Wednesday night, but the context of their campaign should include that a win in San Sebastian would have taken them above Real Madrid in the standings and into the top four. Continue reading

Opportunity knocks for Roma


Having failed two of their Scudetto auditions against Inter and Napoli so far, opportunity certainly knocks for Roma when they face Juventus on Saturday. The Giallorossi lie just three points behind their opponents and have a game in hand on them, making this the biggest test of their title credentials in years. However, standing in their way are a Bianconeri side that are well on their way towards looking back to their best.

The Lupi approach their trip to Turin without a defeat in their last 10 League games, although they were eliminated from the Coppa Italia by Torino midweek. Furthermore, they finally have a settled squad and system in place, coached by the philosophical Eusebio Di Francesco, and appear a far cry from the team that were ultimately undone by the political turmoil involving Luciano Spalletti and Francesco Totti over the past year. Continue reading

Juventus vs. Roma: Three Key Figures for the Giallorossi


Juve and Roma square off tomorrow at the Allianz Stadium in Turin in a mouth-watering clash with potential Champions League and Scudetto implications.

The Giallorossi enter the match in the not-so-best of form while the Bianconeri seem to have turned things up a notch and haven’t conceded a goal in seven matches in all competitions.

Juve are the favorites for this match-up, which pits their league-leading attack against Roma’s league-leading defence. In order to snatch a result in Turin, the Giallorossi will certainly need good performances from several: let’s a take a look at who Roma will need to step up in order to claim victory over Max Allegri’s side.



Roma have had major problems over the course of the last month in creating quality goal-scoring opportunities. The Giallorossi’s only technical player in attack seems to be the former Genoa-man and he will need to be the main source of creativity for Eusebio Di Francesco’s attack, which has only scored more than 1 goal in a match twice since 18 November in all competitions. Furthermore, in their last five away matches in all competitions, Roma have scored only four goals. Roma have labored throughout their last eight matches in both creating chances and scoring goals, two trends that will have to be negated if they want to have any hope against Juventus. Perotti has been struggling as of late and the showdown with Juve represents the perfect opportunity for the Argentinian international to get back on track.



Roma’s lack of creativity has affected nobody more than Dzeko. As a result of Roma’s recent inability to create goal-scoring opportunities, Edin Dzeko has, obviously, been the main casualty. The Bosnian #9 has certainly had a dip in form this season after being crowned last season’s capocannoniere.

Dzeko has scored only 1 goal in his last 10 appearances in all competitions after having started the season in sensational form. Should the Giallorossi continue their trend against Juve of creating meager goal scoring opportunities, they will ultimately have to make the most of the few chances they have, with Dzeko being no exception.


The former Sassuolo manager is currently enduring his toughest spell since being appointed Roma’s manager in the summer. After having qualified first in the group in the Champions League as well as a positive early run in Serie A, Di Francesco has encountered a rough patch over the last month, however, a positive result against Juve could turn the tides. The Giallorossi’s inability to score has negatively affected the team’s recent results and Di Francesco has yet to resolve this issue. While the team has remained solid in defence, Di Francesco will have to find a way to open up space and allow his players to get in behind the opposition defence, which they’ve failed to do for nearly a month.

Deportivo and Celta Vigo face pivotal Galician derby

Galician Derby

Most attention on Saturday will focus on El Clasico between Real Madrid and Barcelona, but later than evening one of La Liga’s most intriguing regional derbies will get underway. Whilst neither Deportivo La Coruna nor Celta Vigo will be involved in this season’s title race, this match is equally as important.

Depor striker Lucas Perez – who returned to the club from Arsenal on a loan deal over summer – has already taken an early jibe at their Galician rivals: “Even the city’s mayor wants to take the club out of the city… they know they cannot fill the Balaidos and their patience has run out and now they want to relocate.” Saturday’s clash is not at Celta’s Balaidos stadium but at the scenic Estadio Riazor, in the coastal city of A Coruna, in a potentially crucially match for both clubs. Continue reading

Liverpool Luck Out With Porto Champions League Draw

If you want a challenge, try to look for an online gambling site that does not list Real Madrid as the favorites to win the UEFA Champions League for the third year running. The Spanish giants will have their fair share of challengers this year, but Cristiano Ronaldo and company still remain heavy favorites.  Continue reading

La Liga stars set to clash in El Clasico- Video Preview

There’s no Christmas break for fantasy managers so Nicholas Carroll is back with another Euro Fantasy League preview of the weekend’s fixtures. Continue reading

Paco Jemez return guarantees entertainment at Las Palmas

Paco Jemez

When the news of Paco Jemez’s departure from Mexican club Cruz Azul was confirmed last month, fans of La Liga collectively were put on alert. The 47-year-old had spent a year in the Central American country and Spain’s top flight was distinctly a less joyful place with his absence. The former Spain international has managed six Spanish clubs previously – including a nine-month stint at Las Palmas in the 2010/11 campaign – but is most well-known for his four-year spell in charge of Rayo Vallecano.

Jemez often endears himself to fans for his humour and authenticity whilst his dedication to the principles of high-pressing, high-tempo football sells him to neutrals too. He instructs his players to express themselves, to take risks and to excite the fans. This heart-stopping brand of football can be described as ‘all or nothing’ – a draw is closer to a defeat than a victory, after all. He will be hoping this style of play will benefit Los Amarillos’ attacking talent, such as Jonathan Viera or Loic Remy. Continue reading