Atalanta: Timothy Castagne is out with a sore knee for the second week in a row.
Bologna: Mattia Bani and Nicola Sansone are suspended. Stefano Denswil and Gary Medel and Ladislav Krejci (knee) remain sidelined.
Maurizio Sarri kept his cards close to the vest regarding the XI in the presser ahead of the Coppa Italia tilt against Roma: “I expect a very difficult game, you just need to look at Roma’s results on the road to have proof of that. They conceded little and score as much as at home. They are a quality team. We would lose sight of reality if we thought we are not going to have some challenging moments against them.” Continue reading
Atalanta: Alejandro Gomez and Josip Ilicic are expected to return from the ailments that held them out last week, barring late setbacks, while Duvan Zapata has commenced working to be available for the first game of 2020.
Bologna: Danilo is suspended. Roberto Soriano should be back from a knee contusion that sidelined him for a while, while Ladislav Krejci is out for the same kind of injury, joining Blerin Dzemaili, who picked up a thigh one.
Napoli-Parma: there is great curiosity to see what immediate changes Gennaro Gattuso will bring to the table. In his introductory presser, he hinted that he is going to use 4-3-3, which would lead to few duels up front. The first order of business will have to be reviving Lorenzo Insigne, who has not fared well in a long time, while Dries Mertens is in a domestic slump but has done some damage in Europe. Arkadiusz Milik came back midweek and he looked like a million bucks and he was en fuego before getting injured. He should be front and center in the new project. The new tactic would see José Callejon and Hirving Lozano alternate and the Mexican winger has abated after a decent stretch. It would give Piotr Zielinski and Fabian Ruiz more freedom and the Polish midfielder finally broke through last week. Giovanni Di Lorenzo is trending back up after a period of lull.
Juventus made official another extension today as they locked up Juan Cuadrado until 2022. The Colombian international, who has been at the club since 2015, had an expiring contract and has become an integral part of the squad this season reinventing himself as a fullback. He has notched 15 goals and 15 assists in 151 appearances thus far.
The other right back Danilo instead spoke to Sky Sport on Thursday night, looking ahead at the upcoming Atalanta clash: “The games after the international break are never easy, especially against opponents that are having a good season and have outstanding players. We can not stumble though, we have to defend the top spot. If we want to maintain the ambition of winning the League, we have to succeed in every match. We must stay focused and go there aiming at getting the three points.” Continue reading
Leonardo Bonucci weighed on Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the stadium after subbing off against Milan at the end of a presser in Coverciano, where Italy practice: “We will discuss it when we will be all back in Turin. There are a lot of games left to be played, he will have several opportunities to do better than in the past and achieve new records for himself and for Juventus.”
Despite the recent knee ailment, after stating that he felt great before the game, Ronaldo scored a hat-trick against Lituania. According to a report coming from Portugal, which was not confirmed by Italian sources, the star has already cleared things up with the coach and will have a meeting with vice-president Pavel Nedved and few teammates after he will return from international duties. Continue reading
Standings implications: the top two teams prevailed as Juventus defeated Bologna, while Inter survived Sassuolo’s late rally. Napoli got closer to the third spot after besting Verona since Atalanta three away a three-nothing lead against Lazio. Roma stumbled away against Sampdoria. Cagliari remain in the high-end district thanks to an easy win over SPAL and they have now put together the best start in their history. Milan got halted at the one-yard line by Lecce despite a decent debut for Stefano Pioli. Fiorentina’s winning streak was stopped by Brescia. Parma humilated Genoa, while Udinese grabbed another home win. Continue reading
Maurizio Sarri was back in front of the press today to discuss few topics ahead of the Bologna game. He started off by assessing the form of Douglas Costa and the other injured players: “I do not know where the news about his return came from because he has always been practicing on his own so far. The question about the scheme will be relevant at a later time. Danilo, Aaron Ramsey and Mattia De Sciglio all re-joined the group in the last few days.” Continue reading
Juventus: Danilo is the only injured player returning, while Aaron Ramsey, Mattia De Sciglio and Douglas Costa need more time, even though the first two have resumed practicing fully.
Inter: Alexis Sanchez underwent surgery to repair some torn peroneal tendons in the left ankle and will miss up to three months. Danilo D’Ambrosio fractured a toe while with Italy and should be out for four weeks. Continue reading
Matthijs De Ligt talked about his mixed start in Italy in an interview with Dutch site Nu.nl: “The most important lesson I have learned so far at Juventus is that you need to have confidence in yourself. At the beginning, I was very worried about not making mistakes, but obviously you should never do that. I had never played before with that in my mind. My focus centred too much around that in the first few weeks. I took stock after the Atletico Madrid match, I wanted to resume performing with confidence. Something can always go wrong, but I am sure things will improve and I have started getting better from that day on.” Continue reading