Italy 2-0 Finland: Player Ratings for the Azzurri

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On Saturday at the Stadio Friuli in Udine, Italy managed to secure the 2-0 win over Finland in Group J of Euro 2020 Qualifying thanks to Nicolò Barella and Moise Kean opening up their accounts for the Azzurri.

Here are the player ratings from the victory. Continue reading

What to Watch For: Milan vs Inter

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Milano’s rivaling clubs clash on Sunday evening for the marquee matchup of Serie A Round 28 as Milan square off with Inter at the San Siro.

Last October, Nerazzurri captain Mauro Icardi headed home a very late winner to deal the Rossoneri a 1-0 defeat, but Gennaro Gattuso’s in-form group will look to exact revenge and expand on their one-point lead in third place over their struggling rivals.

Here is what you should be watching for in the latest installment of the Derby della Madonnina: Continue reading

What to Watch For: Chievo vs Milan

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On Saturday, Gennaro Gattuso’s flaming hot Milan side pay last place Chievo a visit at the Bentegodi with the goal of keeping the win streak alive and maintaining momentum heading into next weekend’s Derby della Madonnina.

The Rossoneri enter the tie having won four in a row during an overall nine-match unbeaten run, while the Flying Donkeys just look to play spoiler down the stretch here sitting in 20th.

Here is what you should be watching for in Chievo vs Milan: Continue reading

Four Talking Points Ahead of Napoli’s Clash with Juventus

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Stars collide on Sunday in Naples at the Stadio San Paolo as Juventus and Napoli will author another chapter in their heated rivalry.

Back in late September, the Partenopei, led by Carlo Ancelotti, leapt out of the gates early with a Dries Mertens strike 10 minutes into proceedings in Turin. From there on however, ‘the Old Lady’ established dominance once again over their league rivals, as Mario Mandžukić equalized then grabbed the lead before Leonardo Bonucci put the bow on the victory with Juve’s third in the final quarter-hour.

Entering this tie, the Bianconeri hold a firm grasp of first place with a 13 point advantage over Napoli and sit in pole position to make it eight straight Serie A titles. Despite that, Ancelotti men will press on and look to exact revenge from earlier in the season against a Juventus side hoping to catch fire again after a rough patch of form.

Here are four talking points ahead of Napoli vs Juventus: Continue reading

Four Takeaways From Napoli’s Draw with Torino

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For the second week in a row, Napoli dominate the opposition and create the bulk of the chances, yet fail to capitalize as they were forced to settle with another 0-0 draw at home versus Torino Sunday evening.

With the Partenopei dropping four points over these previous two matchdays, they are now -13 from league leaders Juventus who basically have the Scudetto in the bag.

Here are four takeaways from the Partenopei’s scoreless stalemate. Continue reading

Napoli’s Alex Meret is back on the goalkeeping radar in Europe

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When teenage sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma overthrew Diego Lopez as AC Milan’s undisputed number one keeper back in 2016, and was tipped as the heir to heralded champion Gianluigi Buffon’s Azzurri throne, many other young shot-stoppers in Italy’s talent factory fell by the wayside.

Despite the long lineage of developing top keepers and track record of producing in both quality and quantity, the Mino Raiola-represented star seemed to be a notch above the rest the country’s domestic talent. But in 2017, it was Italy U-17 goalkeeping coach Fabrizio Ferron’s bold affirmation of another from Udine as being technically superior to the Rossoneri phenomenon ushering another into the conversation for the peninsula’s top goalkeeping talent. Continue reading

Four Takeaways from Fiorentina’s Scoreless Draw with Napoli

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By no means was it a simple task, nor the ideal route to a result Stefano Pioli drew up, but Fiorentina managed to snag a hard-earned point at the Franchi from Saturday’s encounter with Napoli.

The Partenopei were perhaps the better side on the evening, winning the possession battle (60% to 40%) and showing a bit more going forward that led many to believe they’d leave Florence victorious. But the lack of an end product and clinical touch to finish off counter attacks were ultimately the difference between a road victory and having to settle for the point.

Here are four takeaways from Fiorentina vs Napoli. Continue reading

What to Watch for: Fiorentina vs Napoli

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Off the back of a 1-1 draw with relegation-threatened Udinese, Stefano Pioli’s Fiorentina look to return to winning ways as they play host to second-place Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Saturday.

Unlike the Partenopei who sit cozy in second with an 11-point advantage over Inter, the Viola are currently playing catch-up in the heated race for 4th and have their work cut out, trailing the likes of Lazio, Milan, Atalanta, Roma and Sampdoria.

Napoli managed to trim the deficit between them and Juventus back down to single digits last weekend with a 3-0 win over Sampdoria, and hope to narrow the gap even more at the Franchi – confines proving not so friendly for Fiorentina.

Here are five things to watch for in Fiorentina vs Napoli. Continue reading

Marek Hamsik’s curtain call opens the door for Amadou Diawara at Napoli

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Bombshell transfer news struck post-match of Napoli’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria at the Stadio San Paolo as Carlo Ancelotti revealed to the media “talks are in progress over a potential move” for Slovakian Marek Hamsik.

The eyebrow-raising Italian boss went on further to explain the Partenopei “will work to satisfy his wishes,” but according to Sky Sport’s Gianluca Di Marzio, it seems like president Aurelio de Laurentiis has already.

Di Marzio has reported the 31-year old, who has been a folklore hero in Naples for 12 years and is the club’s all-time leader in goals and appearances, will join Chinese outfit Dalian Yifeng for a fee of €15 million. He is expected to earn €9 million per season under a new three-year contract. Continue reading