Are Sampaoli’s Sevilla ready to challenge?

November 2, 2016

“Before last Sunday’s clash between Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, Diego Simeone had suggested that his opponents could challenge for the title this season. ‘Mind games’ was the initial reaction. Put a little pressure on the home side who had begun the season encouragingly. The second thought was that Simeone was just being nice, bigging up his compatriot Jorge Sampaoli who succeeded Unai Emery at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán in the summer.” backpagefootball

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Guardiola wants Manchester City to be perfect in crucial Barcelona clash

October 31, 2016

“Pep Guardiola has warned his Manchester City side they will have to play “almost perfectly” if they are not to suffer again at the hands of Barcelona and leave their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages at serious risk. Two weeks after Guardiola’s team lost 4-0 at the Camp Nou, the sides renew acquaintances in Manchester with City’s manager knowing that another defeat against his former club could have costly repercussions given the standings in Group C and the possibility of Borussia Mönchengladbach moving into second position by beating Celtic.” Guardian (Video), Guardian – Champions League


Tactical Analysis: Juventus 2-1 Napoli | Juventus drag Napoli into a mud fight

October 31, 2016

“Serie A leaders Juventus hosted Napoli in this highly anticipated encounter. It was the first time Gonzalo Higuain played against his former team since his controversial transfer to Turin this summer. He scored the winning goal, and Juventus beat Napoli 2-1. Massimiliano Allegri’s side fielded a 3-5-2 formation. Because a win in the UCL encounter with Lyon will seal the qualification, Juventus rested Dani Alves, Claudio Marchisio, and Juan Cuadrado and replaced them with Andrea Barzagli, Hernanes, and Stephan Lichtsteiner.” Outside of the Boot


Tactical Analysis: AC Milan 1-0 Juventus | Juventus lose their intensity and 3 points

October 31, 2016

“Serie A leaders Juventus visited 2nd placed Milan in a packed San Siro Stadium in this early Saturday feature game. Milan beat Juventus by a single goal, closing Juventus’s lead to 2 points. Vincenzo Montella’s side fielded a 4-3-3 formation. The only notable change is Manuel Locatelli started in place of injured captain Riccardo Montolivo. Massimiliano Allegri played the usual 3-5-2 formation. The only significant change is Mehdi Benatia replaced Giorgio Chiellini as the left center back.” Outside of the Boot


Gonzalo Higuain’s “betrayal” adds fuel to Napoli’s fire as they visit Juventus

October 27, 2016

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“Carlos Tevez joined Juventus the same summer Gonzalo Higuain moved to Napoli. Inevitably it started a debate about who had got themselves the better striker. ‘A true Argentine doesn’t play in Turin!’ declared a banner welcoming Higuain to Naples. The implication was that by not following in the footsteps of Diego Maradona, Tevez could never be considered as such. Just try telling that to Juventini and the people of Fuerte Apache, the Buenos Aires barrio where he grew up.” ESPN (Video)


Tactical Analysis: Juventus 2-1 Udinese | Absentees force Juventus to seek balance

October 20, 2016

“With a series of injuries and to rest players to prepare for the upcoming UCL encounter against Lyon, Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has fielded an experimental side with a hybrid system. Juventus used a standard 4-4-2 formation during the defensive phase with two full backs (Stephan Lichtsteiner / Patrice Evra) and two wide midfielders (Alex Sandro / Juan Cuadrado).” Outside of the Boot


Season Preview: Serie A 2016-17

October 16, 2016

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“With €155 million already spent this summer and another Serie A title in their sights, opposition fans will be praying for anything to stop the Old Lady of Juventus dominating another 12 months of domestic competition. Whether it be a Leicester-style upset or fairytale end to the career of Roma legend Francesco Totti, any side close to challenging the Bianconeri will probably receive widespread support throughout the Peninsula. However, while strengthening in preparation of Paul Pogba and Alvaro Morata’s departure to the Premier League and La Liga, Juventus have weakened their closest rivals, Napoli and Roma, with the capture of Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic.”
Forza Italian Football
World Soccer: Paddy Agnew’s preview of the 2016-17 Serie A season
Serie A 2016-17 season preview – Football Italia
2016-17 Serie A (Italy/1st division) location-map…