Juventus turned a good shift in despite the lack of real objective in the Bayer Leverkusen clash and did their coach a solid by extending his undefeated streak in Europe.
Danilo: granted it was not the most challenging test, all the reserves in the back showed well in their own right. Merih Demiral put his explosiveness to good use with a pair of flashy slides and constantly forestalling his opponents, Daniele Rugani had some very good reads and Mattia De Sciglio stayed away from the usual blunders and started the decisive action by nutmegging an opponent. A very diligent all-around performance that allowed Gianluigi Buffon to be called into action just once. Danilo put in a consistent effort in both phases and added and bust out some quality incursions, passes and longballs. Continue reading →
Miralem Pjanic and Maurizio Sarri talked to the press late on Tuesday ahead of the Bayer Leverkusen game, mostly discussing the team’s poor form: “This is a different competition compared to Serie A, we take it game after game and we carry with us the confidence we accumulated in the previous one. It is important to play well, we will try to win in order to gear up for the next domestic match. We will face a nice team that can still go through. It will not be easy, but we are prepared.” Continue reading →
Juventus-Sassuolo: Cristiano Ronaldo came back midweek and now it will be interesting to see whether or not he will be load managed in Serie A player after the knee injury. Nevertheless, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala have been excellent in relief and have been able to contribute also when coming off the bench in their standard configuration. Douglas Costa got hurt again, which takes away their most explosive option at no.10, so it will Federico Bernardeschi and Aaron Ramsey running the show there for a while, but they both have not done damage in a while. Ramsey has the most upside in the duo. Khedira is fading and, while Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi are serviceable contributors, they are not strong fantasy options. It could be instead the right kind of match-up for Miralem Pjanic to have a meaningful offensive role, while Juan Cuadrado has been a pretty good fullback for a while now. Continue reading →
Maurizio Sarri held an early presser ahead of the Atalanta and begun by addressing the status of Cristiano Ronaldo and the recent controversy: “We did not really need to clear the air. I come from the amateurs in the 90’s and the reactions after subbing off were the same. Either I spent all my time trying to clarify that or I let them blow some steam. It is not a problem, the issue is his knee injury, which got worse in the second Portugal match. We are trying to solve it through some specific practices: it is affecting him mentally as well. We want him back for the Champions League tilt with Atletico Madrid, he has 99 percent chances of missing tomorrow’s match.”
After the win over Luxembourg, which allowed Portugal to punch their ticket to Euro 2020, Cristiano Ronaldo put a bow to the controversy surrounding him recently in an interview with A Bola: “I have been limited by an injury in the past three weeks. There was not any polemic on my part, but it is true that I do not like to sub off. I have tried to help Juventus playing through it and was taken out in the last two matches. Nobody likes that, but I understand because I was not 100 percent.” Continue reading →
Inter-Verona: while Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku continue to be very reliable, the Beneamata are getting additional pieces back, as Matias Vecino scored in Champions League and Stefano Sensi looked pretty good in his stint off the bench. The two are certainly better fantasy options than Roberto Gagliardini, who filled in while they were sidelined, and the ex Sassuolo player, in particular, was fantastic at the beginning of the season. Valentino Lazaro was okay against Brescia and his skill-set is interesting, especially against the minnows where he would not need to defend a lot. Matteo Politano got hurt in Dortmund, so the first man up off the bench in the attack would be Salvatore Esposito. Verona have scored just nine times so far, so their back-line is certainly in play despite the ongoing clean sheet-less run. Continue reading →
Some Bianconeri linchpins spoke to the press yesterday in preparation for today’s Derby della Mole. Leonardo Bonucci gave an interview to La Stampa: “It will be a very difficult and balanced game. After a strong start, the Granata are going through a critical moment and the loss with Lazio was tough, but the Derby is always a match of his own: they will throw everything at use, but we must spring towards Scudetto.”
On Maurizio Sarri: “I could not believe he was coming here until I saw him sign. Everything is still in front of us, we want this year to be historic. Continue reading →
Atalanta: Marten De Roon is suspended. Andrea Masiello and José-Luis Palomino were available for the midweek round, so the only injured player is Duvan Zapata.
Bologna: Mitchell Dijks will remain sidelined for what is now billed more as a foot sprain than a contusion. Gary Medel is back in the squad list, while Mattia Destro and Takehiro Tomiyasu remain sidelined. Federico Santander was hit on the calf but he is available.
Brescia:Jesse Joronen is questionable due to the bruise that forced him to miss the last game. It is unlikely that there will any return among their injured players, with Giangiacomo Magnani being the closest. Continue reading →
Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri set the stage for the clash with Torino in the usual pre-game presser: “The Derby is never a completely normal game. It is worth more for Torino, but is not just another match for us too. Every fixture is meaningful for us for what is at stake, meaning the three points. It is always special and hopefully that will help us mentally. The Granata will be very motivated, due to their recent result and because the Derby can provide them with an important emotional charge. They will be ready to do battle. We want to win to stay on track, keep the contest on a flow that suits us. Sometimes it is easy, sometimes it is not. We were a bit chaotic tactically against Genoa.” Continue reading →