Little time left in the window and the clubs are putting the finishing touches on the rosters and getting rid of surplus players. The biggest move of the week was once again made by Inter, which signed Alexis Sanchez on loan from Manchester United and also acquired Cristiano Biraghi from Fiorentina in a swap with Dalbert. The Red Devils sent also Chris Smalling to Roma, who temporarily leaves Old Trafford after eight seasons and was regular in the last three. His experience will give him an edge over the younger options, but it would not particularly surprising to see Federico Fazio lose the starting job at some point. Continue reading
Juventus could not capitalize on a strong first half at the Olimpico Stadium, lost the plot and run out of gas in the second half and eventually conceded two silly goals and suffered the third Serie A loss of the year at the hands of Roma. No point-getters in this case for the Old Lady.
Martin Caceres: sometimes the best attribute for a centre-back is to not be mentioned for the whole duration of a game and that what the Uruguayan defender did on Sunday, holding in check Edin Dzeko and matching the adversary’s physicality. Continue reading
Juventus: Paulo Dybala (quad), Douglas Costa (calf), Mario Mandzukic (knee) and Rodrigo Bentancur (thigh) remain on the shelf and have been joined by Daniele Rugani and Alex Sandro due to new thigh injuries. Martin Caceres has recovered. Emre Can was removed late from the squad list due to a muscular ailment.
Napoli: Lorenzo Insigne and Allan have both recuperated. Nikola Maksimovic (toe) and Amadou Diawara (foot) stay sidelined.
Inter: Matias Vecino has been ruled out due to a thigh contracture. Continue reading
Juventus: Giorgio Chiellini has good chances to be back from a calf contracture and Martin Caceres from a thigh strain, while Douglas Costa (calf). Paulo Dybala (quad) and Mario Mandzukic (knee) will not be back this week. Rodrigo Bentancur has been ruled out with muscle fatigue.
Napoli: Raul Albiol is expected to return after missing time following a knee clean-up surgery. Vlad Chiriches hurt his shoulder in the last game and will undergo surgery, while Nikola Maksimovic and Amadou Diawara are nursing foot issues. Adam Ounas skipped the last two games due to a muscular ailment, but he is back in the squad list. Allan and Lorenzo Insigne are both fatigued and have been ruled out. Continue reading
Defending Serie A champions Juventus are in line to make some changes this summer, following the announcement of Aaron Ramsey on a pre-contract in Turin.
The Welsh international continues the club’s policy of signing established players on free transfers,with the support of a substantial salary, as they look to pursue European glory in the next few years.
However boss Max Allegri is also likely to make other signings alongside the Arsenal midfielder, with bids for Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt, Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane and Sporting Lisbon schemer Bruno Fernandes rumoured to be on the cards.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri talked to the press on Monday night to introduce the second leg of the Atletico Madrid clash: “We believe to have a chance to come back. We will have to be able to understand what course the game will take. Maybe it will go differently from how we prepared it, we will need to grasp the various moments.”
Douglas Costa will not be available due to a new injury: “We tried to force, he did one practice and a half, but he felt some pain again today. It is an important game and we needed him.” Continue reading
Cristiano Ronaldo spoke to Juventus TV on Sunday: “I think this team is having an exceptional season, especially in Serie A. We have a large lead over the second team, the squad is strong and we are happy for our performances. We have took home the Supercoppa against Milan, our goal now is Scudetto and obviously Champions League.”
“The lads are fine and confident, we believe in the comeback. We want to have a special night. Atletico Madrid are tough, everybody knows it: they defend well, they do not take chances and counter. But we are ready, we want to do everything we can in order to beat them. The details will make the difference, but we want to advance. This is how football is made: nobody expected to lose in the first leg, but everything can happen and we want to bounce back at home, in front of our crowd.” Continue reading
Coach Massimiliano Allegri begun by addressing the talk of the week, which was Paulo Dybala leaving the bench early against Parma: “He apologized and it was the only right thing to do since he is an intelligent guy. The club gave him the no.10, which is a big responsibility, and he is the vice-captain. His behavior was not aligned to that, but he understood and the case is closed.”
On Dybala’s role: “It has not changed, it is just a matter of skills of who plays alongside him. Cristiano Ronaldo is different from Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic. He has always had few chances, even though he did not score. He plays in the same position, it is not like he is used as fullback. He has always been involved in the build-up of the action and always tried to finish it as well. Continue reading
With Juventus conceding six goals in their last two games, question marks have been raised about Massimiliano Allegri and his side’s ability to deliver the Champions League for the first time in 23 years. In just over two weeks time a clash against La Liga giants Atletico Madrid awaits where the stakes could not be higher. A round of sixteen exit would be a disastrous end to an indifferent campaign for the bianconeri; a campaign in which European success was stressed from day one at Villar Perosa. Despite signing Mr. Champions League himself – Cristiano Ronaldo – the Italian champions look no closer to winning Europe’s elite competition than they were last season. In fact, you could argue their chances at winning it all are lower. If Juventus’ recent woes are anything to go by, it means a squad overhaul is on the horizon.
After whimpering out of the Coppa Italia in embarrassing fashion against Atalanta, Juventus hosted newly-promoted Parma. For the first time since March 2012, the bianconeri lined up without one member of their famous ‘BBC’ trio and fielded a hardly inspiring centre-back partnership of Daniele Rugani and latest acquisition Martin Caceres. Since Mehdi Benatia’s departure, reports have surfaced that the Juventus brass would entrust Rugani with a bigger role moving forward, however, it’s safe to say, the defender failed in his first real test.
The arrival of Martin Caceres was made official yesterday and the defender re-introduced himself to the club’s TV: “I am very happy for this return, this has always been my home. When I received the proposal, I looked back at all my years here. This jersey has been part of my heart. Everything comes in threes and it is the second time I join in January. I scored on my debut twice and they were meaningful goals, so I hope it will happen again. This team, despite all their winning, does not want to stop and that is how I felt about them looking at them from the outside. I have played in every position in the back-line, so I can be a jack-of-all-trades that can help the squad. I will bring enthusiasm and I will give my best, trying to prove every day that I am the same player I was when I left two and half years ago. As far as Cristiano Ronaldo goes, his career speaks for itself and he can prove in Serie A too what kind of champion he is.” Continue reading