Goals continue for King Cristiano Ronaldo at Juventus

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Was it ever in doubt when Juventus bought Cristiano Ronaldo for a mind boggling 100m euros in the summer? For a 33 year old such an amount of money would never have been thrown on the table, and it may never happen again- but there are rare exceptions and one of them is Ronaldo.

Ronaldo has kept himself in such good shape that many of his teammates believe that he is playing in a body of a 27 year old. Ronaldo himself believes that he can play at the top until he is at least 40, and that means 7 more seasons of his greatness. It  is also great news for Portugal where Ronaldo is set to play not only at Euro 2020 but at the Qatar World Cup in 2022, which would fittingly end his international spell.

But back to Serie A and Ronaldo’s new club Juventus. When Ronaldo joined the old lady, there were some cynics that said that the free scoring record breaking player would naturally struggle in a league that prides itself on defence. And for a brief moment they were absolutely correct. Ronaldo wasn’t scoring for the first few weeks, game after game would come and go, Juventus would win, whilst Ronaldo would miss chances, hit the woodwork and yet still set up goals. It was key and showed and does show the depth of this Juventus side that they could win without Ronaldo’s goals- but let’s be honest, Ronaldo lives for goals.

Then came the game against Sassuolo where after four league games he finally broke his duck, and then in typical fashion added a 2nd which also marked his 400th league goal of his career. Ronaldo was off and running and hasn’t looked back. It was ironic too that his first Champions League goal for Juventus actually came against one of his former clubs Manchester United.

As for stats well Ronaldo already has 8 goals in Serie A from 12 games and is just one behind in the standings, something that he would dearly love to top in his debut season in Italy.

Since Ronaldo became the complete player and not counting his youth his least amount of goals overall in the season was 23 for Manchester United 11 years ago. He is well on track as a 33 year old to beat that and also on track to add even more trophies to his cabinet. Juventus are clear at the top of Serie A and will qualify for the next stage of the Champions League- can Ronaldo continue his glittering career and fantastic stats? Absolutely, he already is and yes it was never really in doubt.

 

Blitzed in Bergamo: Inter thrashed as Atalanta deal harsh reality check

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During an interview with DAZN ahead of yesterday afternoon’s match against Atalanta, Inter CEO Alessandro Antonello warned Luciano Spalletti’s players of the potential danger that comes with facing Gian Piero Gasperini’s men: “We need to stay alert, Bergamo is traditionally a very difficult place to visit and it’s never easy to get a result here. We’re counting on our players’ focus to continue on this positive run in the league following the big match against Barcelona in the Champions League.” Continue reading

Spalletti urges Inter to show positive reaction after international break

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Unsurprisingly, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti did not mince his words following his side’s disastrous 4-1 defeat to Atalanta earlier this afternoon. Here is what the 59-year-old Tuscan tactician had to say: “We fell back into bad habits today and failed to keep our concentration levels high, with our carelessness giving them space to exploit. When you come up against a determined and ruthless team, everything becomes more difficult. Continue reading

Spalletti warns Inter stars against complacency ahead of Atalanta clash

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Luciano Spalletti held his traditional pre-match press conference today ahead of his side’s trip to Bergamo where they will face Atalanta tomorrow afternoon. The 59-year-old addressed a variety of issues, including the recent performances of João Mário, Milan Škriniar and Samir Handanović. He also discussed José Mourinho’s celebration after Manchester United’s 2-1 victory over Juventus at the Allianz Stadium. Here is what he had to say: Continue reading

Atalanta will prove tough opponents as Inter look to make it eight in a row

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For the vast majority of the millions of Inter fans across the world, it will seem like an eternity since their beloved team’s season was in ruins following a 1-0 defeat at home to newly-promoted Parma. Since that fateful afternoon, the Nerazzurri have clinched seven consecutive victories, propelling themselves into second place ahead of Napoli on goal difference. Sampdoria, Fiorentina, Cagliari, SPAL, AC Milan, Lazio and Genoa have all been brushed aside as Luciano Spalletti and his players look to make up for lost time. Continue reading

Resurgence of forgotten man Danilo Cataldi indicative of Lazio’s improved squad depth

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The scars of the 2017/18 season finale will take some time to heal for Lazio fans.

A final-day collapse to Inter saw the Roman club throw away a Champions League spot, before star defender Stefan de Vrij headed to their conquerors on a free transfer, soon to be joined in the departure lounge by West Ham-bound Felipe Anderson.

This came little over a month after the Aquile had conceded three goals in four minutes to throw away a Europa League semi-final place to RB Salzburg.

Inevitably, you didn’t need to venture far at the time to find the usual forecasts of doom and decline as Lazio looked to avoid being stripped of assets like Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, Ciro Immobile and Luis Alberto.

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Serie A Probable Lineups – Round 12

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Frosinone-Fiorentina

Frosinone XI: 3-4-3 Sportiello; Goldaniga, Ariaudo, Capuano; Zampano, Chibsah, Maiello, Beghetto; Vloet, Ciofani, Campbell.

Potential lineup changes: Beghetto for Goldaniga, Gori for Maiello, Cassata for Vloet.

Confirmed Out: Ciano (thigh), Molinaro (quad), Dionisi (knee), Hallfredsson (knee), Paganini (knee), Ardaiz (thigh).

 

Fiorentina XI: 4-3-3 Lafont; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Hugo, Biraghi; Benassi, Veretout, Gerson; Chiesa, Simeone, Pjaca. Continue reading

Serie A Injury Report – Round 12

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Juventus: Sami Khedira (hamstring) and Mario Mandzukic (ankle) played in Champions League, while Douglas Costa was ruled out for another thigh problem, same for Moise Kean. They are unlikely to be available for the weekend. Federico Bernardeschi is questionable for the muscular ailment that has been bugging him for a while.

Inter:  Radja Nainggolan started against Barcelona, but he is still less than 100 percent because of the recent ankle sprain so he could be rested.

Napoli: Dries Mertens subbed off versus PSG because of a bruised shoulder, but he avoided further complications and should be good to go for the weekend. Continue reading

Serie A Fantasy Predictions – Round 12

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The next slate before another international break is pretty juicy.

Genoa-Napoli: the Griffon have not won in four games and the effects of the coaching change have not been palpable, since they continue to concede a lot. They lost twice in San Siro last week and the schedule does not do them any favor. The Partenopei easily romped Empoli last week and have won three out of their last four games, looking splendid at times. Krzysztof Piatek has not scored for four games in a row, which is unlikely to be a coincidence, and their last goals under Milan Juric have been pretty random, by Cristian Romero on a free kick, by Romulo on a penalty and by Daniel Bessa on a defensive mishap. Continue reading

Barcelona clash a true test of Inter’s European credentials

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During his pre-match press conference, ahead of tomorrow night’s UEFA Champions League group stage match against Barcelona, Inter coach Luciano Spalletti made no secret of the fact that he sees the Catalonian side as the benchmark for his squad of players. Here is what the 59-year-old said: “We’ve always said that we can play against any opponent. The fact that the team is doing well, in terms of performance and results, demonstrates that this is the chance to see if we really can compete against any side. Barcelona represents the highest level of difficulty that there is.” Continue reading