Juventus Host Napoli in Contentious Serie A Clash

Oct 28, 2016 by Alex Baker

League leaders Juventus will host third-placed Napoli in a top of the table Serie A clash on Saturday. While the match could theoretically have title implications, the main subplot revolves around Juve striker Gonzalo Higuain facing his former club for the first time since completing a 90 million euro transfer last summer.

The Argentine, who broke the record for goals scored in a single season with 36 last season, has found the back of the net seven times in 10 appearances for the defending champions so far. Unlike last season, when they started the season on a losing streak, Juve have come out of the gate hot this season.

Apart from losses to AC Milan and Inter Milan, the Bianconeri have dropped no points this season and remain unbeaten at... Read More

Resurgent Milan Welcome Juve to San Siro

Oct 20, 2016 by Alex Baker

After nearly five years of languishing in mid-table mediocrity, AC Milan look to be back on the right track. With five wins in eight league outings this season, the Rossoneri currently sit third, just five points off league leaders Juventus, who they will welcome to the San Siro on Saturday for this weekend’s marquee Serie A clash.

New manager Vincenzo Montella appears to have restored the feel-good factor around the club’s Milanello training center. The former Fiorentina and Sampdoria boss seems to be finding success fielding a young squad devoid of any of the sorts of big name stars we’ve traditionally associated with Milan.

While it’s true that apart from a draw with Fiorentina and a 2-0 over Lazio, Montella’s team haven’t really done one over on any of Serie... Read More

Serie A: Will Anyone Challenge Juventus?

Jul 20, 2016 by Alex Baker

The new Serie A season kicks off on August 21 and although fixtures have yet to be announced, the question many are already asking is, will anyone be able to challenge Juventus’ dominance?

The Bianconeri have been consecutive Scudetto winners for the past five years running and at this point, there is little to suggest the Turin outfit can’t extend this hegemony. Juventus have not only the best squad in Italy, but one of the best in Europe, with arguably more depth than even Barcelona. Although they might lose Paul Pogba to Manchester United, if Juve can succeed in prizing Gonzalo Higuain from Napoli, they may not only be Serie A favorites, but could become a serious contender to win the Champions League.

Let’s take a look at some... Read More

Andrea Pirlo Linked to Inter Loan

Nov 23, 2015 by Alex Baker

New York City FC midfielder Andrea Pirlo is being continually linked with a loan to high-flying Serie A outfit, Internazionale. The Italian World Cup winner spent three previous seasons with Inter between 1998 and 2001.

Pirlo left Juventus to join the MLS expansion side at the close of last season. However, Italy coach Antonio Conte has implied Pirlo’s chances of making the squad for Euro 2016 could be improved by a loan back to Serie A.

“If Pirlo returns to Italy I would be very pleased,” Conte told the Associated Press. “He could train properly and would still make an impact.”

While Pirlo himself has been typically tight-lipped about the situation, there have been conflicting signals coming out of the Inter camp.

Manager Robert Mancini downplayed the rumors.

... Read More

Messi to Miss El Clasico

Nov 02, 2015 by Alex Baker

The Spanish sporting press reported Monday that Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will not recover from his recent knee injury in time for El Clasico. The looming showdown with Barça’s archrivals, Real Madrid, is set for November 21.

The Argentine ace suffered knee ligament injuries against Las Palmas in late December. While the original prognosis was for eight weeks on the sidelines, recent stories in the Catalan media had suggested that Messi’s recovery had fallen behind schedule.

While thankfully no surgery was required, Messi’s injury, like all knee ligament injuries, was a delicate one. Messi’s initial recovery involved spending a couple of weeks on crutches, and with the Clasico less than three weeks away, he has not yet been able to run consistently without pain.

So while his... Read More

Inter vs. Roma Highlights Action-packed Serie A Weekend

Oct 30, 2015 by Alex Baker

League leaders Roma travel to Milan Saturday to face fourth-place Internazionale in another top-of-the-table Serie A clash. While Roma maintains a two-point lead at the summit, the chasing pack behind them is tight. Inter is currently tied on 21 points with second-place Napoli and Fiorentina in third.

Roma beat Udinese midweek to remain in the driver’s seat in the Italian title race. With Juventus languishing in mid-table, the Giallorossi are many peoples’ favorites to win the Scudetto. While goals were a problem for Roma last season, Rudi Garcia’s team is the top-scoring outfit in Italy this season with 25 goals: Gervinho, Mohamed Salah, and Miralem Pjanic have racked up five each.

Inter, on the other hand, have struggled to find the net despite excellent early season form. Coach Roberto Mancini... Read More

PSG, Roma and Chelsea Among Clubs Targeting Conte

Oct 14, 2015 by Alex Castle

Antonio Conte is reportedly on the radar of a number of Europe’s top clubs, with Roma, Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea all reportedly interested in the Italy boss. Conte led Juventus to three consecutive Serie A titles before assuming the role of national team manager for the Azzurri.

This week, Conte further fueled speculations that he would take on the manager job at Roma following Euro 2016.

“I’ve had the pleasure of living in Rome more often this year as national team coach and I’ve got to say I’ve found it really good. I’m very serene because of this,” Conte told RAI television.

But Conte refused to be drawn on rumors that Roma had already contacted him about succeeding Rudi Garcia. “Roma have got to be very serene because... Read More

AC Milan Abandon Plans to Build New Stadium

Sep 21, 2015 by Alex Baker

AC Milan President Silvio Berlusconi has scrapped plans to build a new stadium, claiming he is too “in love with the San Siro” to leave the 81,277-seat stadium that has been home to the club since 1926.

Milan had secured funding for a new, state-of-the-art 48,000-seat stadium that was to be built near the club’s new training ground in the Portello district of Milan. But those plans have now been abandoned due in part to a disagreement with the company that owns the land the stadium was to be built on.

Bee Taechaubol, the Thai businessman who is set to take a 48 percent ownership stake in the club next month, is also said to prefer keeping the Rossoneri at San Siro.

The San Siro, which is also home... Read More

Napoli vs. Lazio Highlights Serie A Action

Sep 18, 2015 by Alex Baker

Fresh from its 5-0 thrashing of Club Brugge in the Europa League Napoli will host Lazio in Serie A at 4:30pm ET Sunday (watch live on beIN Sports). The win over Brugge came as a welcome respite for the Neapolitan outfit that’s started its season with a loss and two draws.

After beating Bologna 2-1 in its season opener, Lazio suffered a dispiriting 4-0 loss to Chievo before blanking Udinese 2-0 last week.

If Napoli is to come away with its first Serie A win of the season, the man to watch will be Gonzalo Higuain, who has eight goals in four previous appearances against Lazio.

Watch Napoli vs. Lazio LIVE at 4:30pm ET Sunday on beIN Sports.

Balotelli Looking for First AC Milan Goal
After... Read More

Ronaldo Hits Five Past Espanyol, Becomes Real Madrid’s Leading Scorer

Sep 14, 2015 by Alex Baker

Cristiano Ronaldo struck five goals into the back of the net against Espanyol on Saturday to break the record held by Raul and become Real Madrid’s all-time leading La Liga goal scorer.

What is so impressive about Ronaldo’s feat is not just the speed at which he accomplished it – 230 goals in 204 matches as opposed to Raul’s 228 in 550 – but the fact that CR7 isn’t really an out-and-out striker.

While Ronaldo’s goals have typically involved using pace or trickery of some kind to strike from the wing or outside, against Espanyol the former Manchester United man operated more like a traditional center forward. All five of his goals were converted with a single touch.

Seeing Ronaldo’s ruthless efficiency begs the question as to what kind of... Read More

Inter Host AC Milan in Season’s First Milan Derby

Sep 11, 2015 by Alex Baker

The Serie A season is barely three weeks old and one of the most anticipated matches of the season is already looming, as Internazionale hosts AC Milan (2:40pm ET Sunday on beIN Sports) in the first Milan Derby of the season.

Not long ago, the Derby della Madonnina could be a potential title-decider between two of Europe’s heavyweights, but this Sunday’s Milan Derby opponents finished 8th (Inter) and 10th (Milan) last season.

While both the blue and the red side of Milan have invested in their squads over the summer and said all the right things in terms of returning to the summit of Italian football, it remains to be seen whether either can actually do so. Of the two, Inter has certainly started off the season stronger, with... Read More

Strootman’s Doctor: Midfielder Expected to Make Full Recovery

Sep 04, 2015 by Alex Baker

Still basking in the glow of last weekend’s 2-1 win over Juventus, Roma fans received more good news this week with Kevin Strootman’s doctor declaring the midfielder is expected to make a full recovery.

The Netherlands' international tore his cruciate ligament in March of 2014 and has missed a season and a half of football as a result. After attempting to come back on two separate occasions, both of which resulted in the need for additional knee operations, it was rumored that Strootman’s career might be over.

But Dr. Pierpaolo Mariani, the surgeon who performed the most recent operation, has rubbished such suggestions.

“He will be playing again – this is a promise I make as a surgeon and half as a fan,” the doctor told Il Corriere dello... Read More

Roma vs. Juventus Preview

Aug 28, 2015 by Alex Baker

Serie A champions Juventus will look to bounce back quickly from their season-opening defeat to Udinese when they make the trip south on Sunday to face AS Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Last weekend’s loss put an end to a 47-game unbeaten run in the league.

On paper, losing at home against Udinese, a team that finished just outside the relegation zone last season, doesn’t look that good. But the result doesn’t tell the whole story: Max Allegri’s team dominated possession against the visitors and new signings Mario Mandzukic came close to scoring on more than one occasion, as did Paul Pogba, who remains at the club for now.

Cyril Thereau’s 78th-minute goal for the visitors, on the other hand, was Udinese’s first shot on target. And Juve wasn’t... Read More

Mario Balotelli Returns to AC Milan on Loan

Aug 25, 2015 by Alex Baker

Mario Balotelli’s ill-fated spell at Liverpool appears to have come to an end, as it was revealed Tuesday that the player has rejoined AC Milan on a season-long loan. Having already passed his medical at the club where he spent one previous season and that he supported growing up, Balotelli is expected to start training with his new teammates immediately and could be in the lineup to face Empoli this weekend.

The move is somewhat surprising, given the nature of Balotelli’s exit from Milan 12 months ago when then- coach Pippo Inzaghi said Milan would gain “team spirit and hunger” with Balotelli gone.

But one year can be a long time in footballing terms. With Milan in the process of retooling its team, club owner Silvio Berlusconi has been... Read More

Gunners on Alert After Higuain Rejects Napoli Deal

Aug 05, 2015 by Alex Baker

Gonzalo Higuain has been offered a new deal from Napoli but plans to reject it, according to the player’s agent and brother, Nicolas Higuain. The news has, according to reports in England, cleared the way for Arsenal to sign the player, who came very close to joining the North London outfit two years ago.

One report in Italy claimed that the Gunners had already made a bid upwards of $60 million for the striker that was rejected by Napoli. And while Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentis has maintained that the former Real Madrid man is not currently for sale, he also admitted that if a club did come along that was willing to pay his $100 million release clause, Higuain would be allowed to leave.

Higuain’s current contract,... Read More

Ibrahimovic Edging Towards PSG Exit

Jul 24, 2015 by Alex Baker

Despite assurances to the contrary earlier this month, it’s looking increasingly likely that Zlatan Ibrahimovic will leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer. The prolific striker continues to be linked with a return to former club, AC Milan, and recently it was reported he was offered a three-year deal with Manchester United.

Ibrahimovic has spent three years with PSG, helping to propel the capital club to the pinnacle of French football and to establish it as a European power. However last season the Swede fell afoul of fans and the French public with a profanity-laced tirade against France and French football. With a season hampered by injuries, Ibra failed to win the golden boot for the top scorer in Ligue 1 for the first time since moving to France.

... Read More

Barça’s Want-Away Duo of Adriano and Pedro

Jul 22, 2015 by Alex Baker

Barcelona fullback Adriano Correia wants to leave the Catalan treble winners and has reportedly reached a verbal agreement with Roma. The Brazilian defender joined Barça in 2010 and thanks to his versatility, became an integral part of Pep Guardiola’s team. Able to play as a right-back, left-back, central midfielder, and on the wing, Adriano has won three La Ligas, two Copa del Reys and two UEFA Champions Leagues during his time at Barça. But under Luis Enrique, he has fallen behind the likes of Dani Alvez, Douglas and Aleix Vidal at right-back and Jordi Alba and Jeremy Mathieu at left-back.

Adriano did feature in Barça’s 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Galaxy in a preseason friendly at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena Tuesday, but the 31-year-old has found it hard... Read More

Gotze to Join Juventus as Part of Vidal Deal?

Jul 17, 2015 by Alex Baker

In an interesting development to the ongoing saga of Arturo Vidal’s impending move to Bayern Munich from Juventus, multiple reports have surfaced, indicating that the Bundesliga outfit may be prepared to offer Mario Gotze as a makeweight in the deal.

Earlier this week, it seemed Vidal’s transfer to Bayern was imminent. However club executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has insisted no deal has yet been completed for the Chilean. But Corriere dello Sport has now reported that one aspect of the deal could see Gotze headed in the opposite direction.

Since moving to Bayern from Borussia Dortmund, the World Cup-winning goalscorer has found it tougher than expected to nail down a regular spot in Pep Guardiola’s team. While it may not seem the most obvious move at first glance, leaving... Read More

Could Edin Dzeko Be the Missing Piece for Roma?

Jul 08, 2015 by Alex Baker

Over the weekend the Manchester Evening News and other sources reported that Roma are eyeing a bid for Manchester City’s Edin Dzeko. The Bosnian striker was instrumental in helping the Citizens become Premier League champions in 2012 and 2014. However, the former Wolfsburg man, who scored only two goals in his last 23 appearances for City, has fallen down the pecking order at the Ethihad of late.

Meanwhile Roma, who are Serie A runners up for the second consecutive season, have been suffering from a serious deficiency in the goals department. Last season not a single player on the squad was able to crack double digits in the scoring column, with Francesco Totti and Adam Ljajic tied on eight goals for top scorer at the club. For two seasons... Read More

Bankrupt Parma Relegated to Serie D

Jun 22, 2015 by Alex Baker

The sad, strange tale of Parma FC’s decline reached its most likely conclusion, as the club was officially declared bankrupt and relegated to Serie D Monday. Although there had been two offers on the table and another in the works from former baseball catching great Mike Piazza, in the end no one was willing to take on the financial challenge of bringing the club back from the brink.

Parma’s problems began about a year ago when UEFA refused to grant the Serie A outfit a license to compete in the Europa League over financial mismanagement issues. In December, club president Tommaso Ghirardi sold Parma for just one euro to a Russian-Cypriot conglomerate. Two months later the club was sold again for the same price, this time to Giampietro Manenti.

Manenti,... Read More

Can Anyone Challenge Juventus in Serie A Next Season?

May 22, 2015 by Alex Baker

Having already clinched the Serie A title and Coppa Italia, it’s been a big season for Juventus. It could get even bigger if they beat Barcelona in the Champions League final. The best team in Italy by a long shot, the Old Lady has already re-staked her claim to continental greatness just by making it into the final against Barça. Should they actually pull off a win, it might force fans and pundits alike to have a serious rethink about Serie A and Italian football in general.

Although the problem for Serie A currently is that Juve are establishing Bayern Munich-like dominance over the rest of the league. A full 16 points ahead of Roma in the standings, no one has come that close to challenging the Turin outfit... Read More

Juventus Move Closer to Treble with Coppa Win

May 21, 2015 by Alex Baker

Barcelona aren’t the only Champions League finalist that could be in line for a historic treble. Juventus just added the Coppa Italia to a haul that’s already seen Max Allegri’s team crowned Serie A champions this season. And while popular wisdom has it that Juve have no chance of beating Barça and winning a historic treble, the same was said before they beat Real Madrid in the semis.

Okay, granted, we’re talking about a Real Madrid team that’s had its problems this season. Luka Modric’s injury has hit Carlo Ancelotti’s team hard. Gareth Bale is being persecuted by his own fans, and Cristiano Ronaldo’s conduct appears to be increasingly getting under his teammates’ skin. As opposed to a Barcelona side that’s recently regained its status as the best club side... Read More

Ibrahimovic, Ancelotti Linked with Milan Return

May 08, 2015 by Alex Baker

AC Milan are in the midst of their worst season in over 20 years, and the powers that be at the club apparently feel that the best way to bring the club forward is to look to its glorious past. Set to receive a badly needed injection of cash from its new mega-rich Thai businessman co-owner, Bee Taechaubol, the club is reportedly on the market for a marquee player to rebuild the team around. Apparently the first choice is former Rossoneri striker, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Zlatan enjoyed a successful spell at Milan between 2010 and 2012, winning the Scudetto and the Copa Italia before moving on to Paris Saint-Germain. But after being Ligue 1’s darling for the past couple years, it’s all come a cropper for Ibra in the City of... Read More

Juventus Within a Point of Title

Apr 30, 2015 by Alex Baker

Juventus bounced back from their surprise loss to Torino last weekend with a 3-1 win over Fiorentina in midweek. But the Serie A leaders had to postpone their title celebrations as Lazio, who are currently in second, romped to a 4-0 win over Parma, keeping the title race alive, at least mathematically.

Despite holding a 14-point lead over Lazio, this was the second time in the space of a few days that Juve failed to close the deal on the Scudetto. But the Turin outfit will have a chance to wrap up their fourth consecutive title this weekend when they face Sampdoria away. Although even if the title is secured, manager Max Allegri has ordered that there be no celebrations until the following weekend.

“It would be better... Read More

Mancini’s Inter Faces Tough Test Against Roma

Apr 24, 2015 by Alex Baker

After playing out last weekend’s lackluster Milan Derby to a scoreless draw, Internazionale will welcome Roma to the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium Saturday. This Roma side, which spent the early part of the season hot on Juventus’ heels, is currently tied with Lazio on 58 points in second place.

Rudi Garcia has seen his team has draw 10 of its last 14 matches with goals having been the main problem for Roma this year. Despite not giving up too many, they’ve been unable to score more than one a match since early February. And finding the net against an Inter side that’s kept a clean sheet in its last three will be no easy task at the Giuseppe Meazza.

But Roma are in desperate need of all three points... Read More

Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi Nearing Return to Action

Mar 25, 2015 by Alex Baker

Fiorentina striker Giuseppe Rossi is reportedly making a quicker than expected recovery from his latest knee surgery and could return to training within two weeks. The New Jersey-born Rossi, who represents Italy internationally, has been sidelined for seven months following the latest bout with a recurring knee ligament injury that has dogged him throughout much of his career.

Rossi, 28, has yet to make an appearance for Vincenzo Montella’s Fiorentina side this season, but could be in line for a return to action before the season ends in May. The former Villarreal man missed last summer’s World Cup after aggravating his knee and suffered a further setback in preseason, which required additional surgery.

While the club had initially hoped Rossi would be back on the pitch this month, it now... Read More

Roma’s Scudetto Hopes Dashed by Juventus Draw

Mar 03, 2015 by Alex Baker

If there was a moment when the title race well and truly slipped beyond Roma’s grasp, it likely came in the 62nd minute of Monday’s Serie A clash with Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Defender Vasileios Torosidis came in for a reckless tackle on Juve’s Arturo Vidal. Already on a yellow, the Greek defender was shown a red card and ejected from the match.

Carlos Tevez stepped up to take the ensuing free kick, bending in a right-footed effort from outside the box that floated into the bottom left corner, leaving Roma keeper Morgan De Sanctis no chance. And just like that Roma found themselves a goal and a man down with 30 minutes left to play, and any remaining title aspirations hanging in the balance.

However,... Read More

Can Juventus Finally Make It In Europe?

Feb 25, 2015 by Alex Baker

Juventus took one step towards the Champions League last night with a narrow 2-1 victory at home over Borussia Dortmund, an impressive overall performance from the Serie A side who now find themselves at least slight favorites to go through.

But Juventus have a habit of winning home, both domestically and in Europe. They’ve lost just one of 15 European home fixtures since moving to the new Juventus Stadium in 2011. And while Juve have been the dominant force in Italy of late, if they do progress, it will only be their second appearance in the last eight since 2008.

Antonio Conte, the manager who ushered in this new era of Juventus' dominance, always saw his teams fall short somewhat in Europe. His successor, Massimiliano Allegri, now at least... Read More

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