Cristiano Ronaldo turned 34 yesterday and briefly talked to the club’s TV after practice: “I am very happy to be celebrating my birthday here, it is nice to be in Italy. I want to thank the fans to the messages and the affection. Being at Juventus in a great experience and I feel lucky to play in Serie A. People are treating me very well, especially within the club and Torino is a very nice and quiet city. My family and my kids are happy and therefore so am I. The squad is in a good moment, we feel well and we are top of the league, we advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals and we won our first trophy. We are ready for the upcoming games.” Continue reading
Juventus resumed practicing yesterday after the Winter break and Joao Cancelo worked partly with the rest of the group, so his recovery from a meniscus removal is progressing as expected. He will likely be held out for the Coppa Italia match on Saturday, but he has a chance to be available for the Supercoppa, which will take place the following Wednesday. There were no updates with Andrea Barzagli, who has been dealing with a significant thigh strain for about three weeks, while Juan Cuadrado is ways away from coming back after his knee surgery. Continue reading
Defending Serie A champions Juventus kick off 2019 with a double header of cup action, and the chance to write another chapter of history in their recent dominance.
Max Allergi’s side face a trip to Bologna on January 12th, in the first leg of their last 16 tie of the Coppa Italia, and then on January 16th they take on AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup final.
The match has already attracted attention, albeit controversial, as the Italian FA have sanctioned the game to be played in Saudi Arabia, at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium, in Riyadh.
Juventus: Federico Bernardeschi has a thigh ailment and he is likely to miss the next two games. Juan Cuadrado will not undergo knee surgery, but his timetable is uncertain. Blaise Matuidi is under the weather and out for the Bergamo trip. Moise Kean has a hamstring ailment.
Napoli: Allan is set to return after missing one due to back pain. Mario Rui is back to the squad list.
Inter: Radja Nainggolan has been suspended by the team for disciplinary reasons. Joao Miranda is out again due to muscle fatigue.
Lazio: Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic are fatigued and might sit initially. Luis Alberto subbed off against Cagliari, but just for cramps. Milan Badelj is iffy with a muscular problem. Valon Berisha and Riza Durmisi will not be available. Continue reading
Sami Khedira resumed practicing with the group yesterday and could be in the squad list on Saturday, so after a long stretch where it was severely short-handed, the Juventus midfield will soon be back to full force. As for Juan Cuadrado’s hyperextended knee, the conservative approach agreed upon by the player and the club could allow him to return in late January. If he does not make enough progress, the surgical option would sideline him for three months.
The transfer market rumours are beginning to heat up and, after the scarse words by the son at the Golden Boy award, Matthijs De Ligt’s father clarified to Tuttosport that nothing is imminent: “Juventus are in the mix, but they are not the only team following him. Continue reading
Massimiliano Allegri talked to the press earlier today for the customary pre-game rendez-vous: “Torino are doing well, it is a Derby and they have lost just thrice this year. They showed well against Milan. We need to have some continuity in this final four games, this is the start of the final push. It will be a difficult game, we will have to find the right energies.”
On the injured players: “Joao Cancelo’s knee buckled this morning, he will undergo surgery to remove a torn meniscus and he will return after the break. Juan Cuadrado has a knee problem too, he will be further evaluated to see if he needs to go under the knife. Emre Can and Leonardo Spinazzola are fine, Sami Khedira will come back next week.” Continue reading
Juventus: Joao Cancelo has a torn meniscus and will return after the break. Juan Cuadrado hyperextended his knee against Young Boys and he will not play in the weekend, while Medhi Benatia (knee soreness) has recovered. Rodrigo Bentancur is suspended, Sami Khedira will not come back from his ankle injury. Andrea Barzagli is out with a quad strain.
Napoli: Mario Rui subbed off against Liverpool due to a muscular injury that has yet to be evaluated, while Simone Verdi should make the squad list after being on the mend for a good chunk due to a pair of injury, the latest being an ankle sprain. Continue reading
An extra-long Serie A round is main evented by the Derby della Mole on Saturday night.
Inter-Udinese: the Nerazzurri will be looking to bounce back after a heartbreaking elimination from Champions League, where they fumbled away a great opportunity, and the tough loss against Juventus, where they squandered their chances. The Zebrette were handed their first loss under Davide Nicola by Atalanta last week. Inter continue to be carried by Mauro Icardi and Matteo Politano, with Balde Keita capable of some impressive showings, but still lacking that consistent playing time necessary to be a fantasy stud, even though the real Ivan Perisic has not showed up in a while. Continue reading
Massimiliano Allegri previewed today the Fiorentina tilt: “We will have to play well because the matches in Florence never end. Their squad will be pushed by the entire city, they will be fierce and will try everything to beat us. The first three teams will all play on the road in this round. It is not a trap game, but certainly a difficult one.”
On the midfield: “Rodrigo Bentancur still has some energy in him and will start, then we will evaluate the conditions of Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi. Juan Cuadrado could be used there, but we will see where they are at physically. Wednesday’s bout was intense and draining, we need mental and physical energies.” Continue reading
The next round could be a little one-sided for the top clubs, but surprises are always around the corner in Serie A and there still a couple of juicy games on deck.
Juventus-SPAL: the Bianconeri prevailed in the always tense match-up with Milan, surviving a penalty but appearing pretty dominant overall. They have won in 11 of the first 12 games, setting a new Serie A-point record to start the season. SPAL looked a little better against Cagliari, but squandered a two-zip lead and had to settle for a tie. They had lost in six of the previous seven fixtures. Mario Mandzukic returned to the starting XI with an immediate goal, then Cristiano Ronaldo bagged another one. Continue reading