Juventus injury updates, milestone goal, memorabilia and Cancelo’s value

benatia

Juventus’ defence, which has been the healthiest department so far, is suddenly short-handed as Medhi Benatia is dealing with some knee soreness, which will sideline him for the Young Boys contest and will likely require further exams. Andrea Barzagli recently suffered a quad strain and he is not expected to return before the end of the calendar year. After missing two and a half games with a thigh pull, Alex Sandro should be able to contribute, either on Wednesday or on Saturday, while Sami Khedira’s ankle still has not healed.

The Bianconeri will be looking to clinch the top spot of the group in Bern, which would allow them to avoid some dangerous teams in the first round of the knock-out stage. The next goal will be a milestone achievement, as it will be the 5000th scored in the history of the club. Continue reading

Serie A Team of the Week – Round 15

zapata

Goals galore in Serie A this week: here are the top 11 perfomers.

Gianluigi Donnarumma (7 points): just four clean sheets in this round, by Milan, Torino, Napoli and Juventus. The starlet once again showed off his cat-like reflexes with a pair of superb saves on a header by Iago Falque and on an attempt by Andrea Belotti.

Faouzi Ghoulam (9 points): his return on the pitch after over a year and two major knee injuries could not have gone any better as he perfectly set up the two goal by Arkadiusz Milik with crisp crosses. Continue reading

Serie A Match of the Round – Sassuolo vs Fiorentina

sassuolofiorentina

Plenty of pathos in the last Serie A round: Cagliari-Roma and Lazio-Sampdoria would have been worthy candidates for match of the week, but then Sassuolo-Fiorentina outdid them on Sunday.

Both teams came into the game pretty desperate for a win: the Neroverdi had prevailed just once in the previous eight fixtures, while La Viola last grabbed the full three points for the last time in late September. With Kevin-Prince Boateng out with an injury, Roberto De Zerbi used his best XI, with Khouma Babacar spearheading the front-line, Federico Di Francesco on the left wing and Stefano Sensi as deep-lying playmaker. Continue reading

Serie A Club of the Round – Napoli

napoli

An easy call for club of the week this time around, as Napoli quickly disposed of Frosinone on Saturday. As he often does, Carlo Ancelotti looked ahead, at the decisive Champions League clash with Liverpool coming on Tuesday, and spared some of his best men: Raul Albiol, José Callejon, Fabian Ruiz and Dries Mertens. Sebastiano Luperto, Adam Ounas and Arkadiusz Milik drew the start.

It was an evening of debuts and returns, as Alex Meret was between the sticks for the first time after being sidelined by an early forearm fracture, Faouzi Ghoulam got the first start in over a year and Amin Younes played his first minutes with the Azzurri after recovering from an Achilles tear. Continue reading

Ronaldo talks Juventus, Messi & the Ballon d’Or

ronaldo5

Cristiano Ronaldo gave an attention-grabbing interview to Gazzetta dello Sport: “I am happy to be here, the city is very pretty, the fans are nice and Juventus is a fantastic club with an extraordinary organization. The players are humble and work hard. The first impression has been wonderful.”

On the squad: “This is the best group I have played in, we are a team. In other clubs, some players felt like they were bigger than the teammates, while that is not the case here. They are aligned and they want to win. Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic are happy even if they do not score. I noticed the difference. Compared to Real Madrid, this is more like a family.” Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Recap – Round 15

sau

Standings implications: Juventus sank Inter in the most anticipated game of the round, while Napoli wiped out Frosinone, maintaining the distance from the top spot and gaining ground on the Nerazzurri. Both Roman teams were incredibly pipped at the post against Cagliari and Sampdoria and Fiorentina tied the game late versus Sassuolo. Milan and Torino shared the spoils, so the only team prospering in the Europa League zone was Atalanta, which upended Udinese on the road. Among the relegation strugglers, Empoli keep soaring with the third win in the last month, this time over Bologna. Genoa showed grit in the one-one tie with SPAL in Cesare Prandelli’s debut. Continue reading

Juventus Top Performers – Round 15

juventus

Juventus were rather fortunate to not find themselves in a hole after a shaky first half and hour, when they allowed some clear-cut changes to Inter, then begun to take control of the operations late in the first half and managed the game pretty well after getting the lead.

Joao Cancelo (7 points): the Portuguese fullback was a little imprecise defensively in this one, but he continues to be absolutely electric when running up and down the flank. On top of being a constant thorn into Inter’s side, he gets the credit for that cross that had such a sharp trajectory that could not be intercepted by Samir Handanovic and set up Mario Mandzukic’s comfy header. Continue reading

Supercoppa fully set, stock updates, financial outlook & Juventus Travel unveiled

Juventus - Chievo

This week was full of interesting quotes and some of the off-the-field news were left out, so here is a rundown of what went down. The date, place and starting time for the Supercoppa Italiana has been set: Juventus vs Milan will be played in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, with kick-off a 8.30 pm local time, 6.30 pm in Italy and half an hour after noon on the East Coast.

On December 27, in the Milan Stock Exchange, Juventus will enter the FTSE-Mib index, which is the group of the 40 most capitalized companies, joining the other assets of the Agnelli family: FCA, Ferrari and Exor. Continue reading

Genoa dismiss Juric and appoint Prandelli

prandelli

The third stint of Ivan Juric on Genoa’s bench is over as the club elected to move on and hired former Fiorentina and Italy coach Cesare Prandelli. In the seven games at the helm after taking over from Davide Ballardini, the Croatian manager picked up three draws, against Juventus, Udinese and Sampdoria, and four losses, versus Milan, Inter, Napoli and Torino.

The elimination on penalty kicks against Serie C team Virtus Entella in Coppa Italia did him in, alongside the uninspiring brand of football his team has been playing, some locker room tension and the fact that he has not been able to solve the defensive issues like he was supposed to when he was chosen. Continue reading

Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 15

milantorino

Juventus-Inter

Juventus XI: 4-3-3 Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Mandzukic, Ronaldo.

Potential lineup changes: Can for Bentancur, Costa for Dybala.

Questionable: Bentancur (thigh).

Confirmed Out: Khedira (ankle), Sandro (thigh), Barzagli (quad), Kean (thigh).

 

Inter XI: 4-2-3-1 Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah; Brozovic, Vecino; Politano, Mario, Perisic; Icardi. Continue reading