Archive for the ‘ Serie A ’ Category

Lazio vs Fenerbahce Europa League Preview: Biancocelesti have mountain to climb

Fenerbache player

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

LAZIO

Marchetti
Gonazalez, Biava, Cana, Radu
Ledesma
Candreva, Mauri, Hernanes, Lulic
Klose
FENERBAHCE

Demirel
Gonul, Yobo, Korkmaz, Ziegler
Kuyt, Topal, Meireles, Topuz
Baroni,
Webo

Goals from Pierre Webo and Dirk Kuyt last Thursday mean Fenerbahce are firmly in the driving seat ahead of the second-leg of this Europa League quarter-final.

Lazio will need all of the cutting edge they can muster in their quest to produce a comeback and progress to the semi-finals of the competition.

Their cause was dented somewhat in the first leg by the sending off of midfielder Ogenyi Onazi, meaning the Biancocelesti will be without his services at the Stadio Olimpico.

The game will also be played behind doors as part of Lazio’s punishment for repeated episodes of racist behaviour from supporters – the latest incident coming in February’s last-32 clash with Borussia Monchengladbach.

Fenerbahce will be without the injured Emre and Moussa Sow, while defender Bekir Irtegun is suspended.

DID YOU KNOW?
  • Lazio have won six, drawn one and lost two of their clashes with Turkish opposition.
  • The Biancocelesti last reached the quarter-finals of a Uefa competition back in 2002-2003 when they beat Besiktas in the last eight of the Uefa Cup.
  • Lazio striker Libor Kozak is the top goalscorer in this season’s Europa League, with eight goals in nine appearances.
  • Fenerbahce are unbeaten in five Europa League away games and have not conceded in their last four matches on the road in Europe.
  • Fener have now reached the quarter-finals of all three major Uefa club competitions – Champions League (2007/2008), European Cup Winners’ Cup (1963/1964) and this season’s Europa League.
  • Only two clubs have overturned a 2-0 first-leg deficit in the knock-out phase of the Europa League.
Advertisements

Juventus vs Bayern Munich 2nd Leg UCL Preview: Die Roten to reach third semi-final in four years

Nicolas Anelka

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

JUVENTUS

Buffon

Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini
Padoin, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Peluso
Vucinic, Quagliarella
BAYERN MUNICH

Neuer
Lahm, Van Buyten, Dante, Alaba
Martinez, Schweinsteiger
Robben, Muller, Ribery
Mandzukic

Juventus will be without Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal for the second leg clash in Turin following their first-leg bookings, as the Bianconeri look to overturn a 2-0 deficit against newly-crowned German champions Bayern Munich.

The bulk of the Old Lady’s starting XI were rested at the weekend which means there could be up to seven changes to the side that beat Pescara 2-1. Gianluigi Buffon should return, while Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini are welcomed back from their domestic suspensions, meaning the back four that has served Juve so well this season will be unchanged.

Federico Peluso is likely to start ahead of Ghanaian Kwadwo Asamoah, who has suffered indifferent form since returning from the Africa Cup of Nations. Simone Padoin could fill the right wing-back slot while Paul Pogba is in contention to start in place of the suspended Vidal.

Mirko Vucinic has fully recovered from illness but Sebastian Giovinco will miss the match after being stretchered off on Saturday, leaving Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri to battle it out for the remaining place upfront.

Javi Martinez is available again for Bayern after being suspended for the first leg, but Toni Kroos injured his adductor in Munich which means there is likely to be a reshuffle in attack, with Arjen Robben wide on the right, Thomas Muller drifting inside to occupy the No.10 role and Franck Ribery wide left.

Mario Mandzukic was rested against Frankfurt at the weekend but he is likely to start again against Antonio Conte’s men.

  • Juventus’ 2-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the first leg encounter ensured their 18-game undefeated sequence came to an end in the Champions League.
  • The Bianconeri have not lost in their last five games at Juventus Stadium and Emmanuel Cascione’s strike at the weekend for Pescara ended Juve’s 465-minute run without conceding at home.
  • Juventus managed a 2-0 comeback earlier in the group stages when they came from behind to salvage a 2-2 draw against Chelsea. Fabio Quagliarella  got the equaliser 10 minutes from time.
  • Bayern Munich wrapped up their 22nd Bundesliga (23rd title) with a record six matches to spare thanks to their 1-0 win over Frankfurt on Saturday.
  • Die Roten have won 13 of 14 away games in their domestic league this season, conceding only twice and their only away defeat in the Champions League was a 3-1 loss to BATE Borisov.
  • Bayern have won 14 of their 15 games in 2013, with the defeat to Arsenal in the second-leg of their last 16 clash their only loss so far this year.

Fiorentina vs AC Milan Serie A Preview: Can Allegri’s men make it five straight wins?

Niang and Pazzini

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

FIORENTINA

Viviano
Tomovic, Savic, Compper, Pasqual
Aquilani, Pizarro, Valero
Ljajic, Toni, Cuadrado
AC MILAN

Abbiati
Abate, Mexes, Zapata, De Sciglio
Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari
Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy

It seemed unthinkable prior to Christmas, but victory over Fiorentina on Sunday will effectively see AC Milan book their place in next season’s Champions League and tighten their increasingly-firm grip on third spot.

The Rossoneri have won their last four Serie A games and kept clean sheets in all of those encounters, a run of form which sees them six points ahead of fourth-placed Viola and two adrift of Napoli in second spot.

Nigel de Jong is the only unavailable player in Massimiliano Allegri’s first-team squad as he continues his recovery from a long term Achilles injury.

The home side have greater cause for concern, however, with Matias Fernandez, Ahmed Hegazy, Giuseppe Rossi, Michele Camporese and star man Stevan Jovetic all injured, while Gonzalo Rodriguez misses out through suspension.

  • AC Milan’s attacking trio of Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng are all one booking away from suspension.
  • The Rossoneri will move nine points clear of Fiorentina if they win on Sunday.
  • Giampaolo Pazzini  Milan’s second top goalscorer with 13 strikes to his name, should return to the first-team squad for the trip to Florence.
  • Massimiliano Allegri’s side have led at half-time and full-time in each of their last four Serie A games.
  • Fiorentina will have to do without main man Stevan Jovetic on Sunday through injury – the forward has found the back of the net 12 times this season.
  • The Viola have scored at least two goals in nine of their last 11 Serie A games.
  • Vincenzo Montella’s side have won their last four home games.

Inter vs Atalanta Serie A Preview: Injury-riddled Nerazzurri looking to build on midweek win

Cambiasso and Cassano

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

INTER

Handanovic
Ranocchia, Samuel, Juan Jesus
Zanetti, Kovacic, Cambiasso, Pereira
Guarin
Cassano, Rocchi
ATALANTA

Polito
Raimondi, Stendardo, Canini, Grosso 
Giorgi, Cigarini, Biondini, Bonaventura
Livaja, Denis

As if losing Diego Milito for the rest of the season wasn’t enough, late this week Inter learned that striker Rodrigo Palacio—who scored twice against Sampdoria on Wednesday—could miss up to three weeks after picking up a muscle injury.

Midfielder Dejan Stankovic, who has barely featured this campaign, remains sidelined with an ankle problem while Gaby Mudingayi, Luca Castellazzi and Joel Obi are all long-term injury concerns for Andrea Stramaccioni.

The Inter coach will, however, have Esteban Cambiasso available for selection after the Argentine served a one-match ban against Sampdoria, and Walter Samuel—who was rested midweek—will slot back into the centre of defence.

Atalanta striker Marko Livaja, on loan from Inter, will regain his spot in the attack after missing last weekend’s scoreless draw with Sampdoria due to disciplinary reasons. But defender Stefano Lucchini and goalkeeper Andrea Consigli are suspended and will be replaced by Michele Canini and Ciro Polito, respectively.

Boss Stefano Colantuono will also be without defender Gianpaolo Bellini, who has an adductor problem, and striker Guido Marilungo, who is recovering after suffering a serious cruciate ligament injury.

  • With both Diego Milito and Rodrigo Palacio sidelined, Inter’s highest scorer in Serie A is Antonio Cassano with seven goals.
  • Of Inter’s six remaining matches only one (Napoli) is against a side higher than them in the table.
  • Inter’s 2-0 win over Sampdoria represented just their second clean sheet in 10 Serie A matches.
  • Inter last beat Atalanta in April 2010. Since then the two sides have drawn twice, with Atalanta winning their previous match this season in November.
  • Atalanta are presently 16th in Serie A, but had they not been handed a two-point deduction as a result of last season’s corruption scandal they would be 14th in the Italian top flight.
  • German Denis, 31, leads Atalanta in both goals (12) and assists (4) this season.

Juventus vs Pescara Serie A Preview: Bianconeri to bounce back from Bayern defeat

Nicolas Anelka

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

JUVENTUS

Storari
Bonucci, Marrone, Peluso
Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Pogba, Asamoah
Matri, Vucinic

PESCARA

Inter
Pelizzoli
Zauri, Kroldrup, Bianchi, Bocchetti
Bjarnason, D’Agostino, Cascione
Sculli
Sforzini, Caprari

Juventus will be hoping to put behind them their disappointing 2-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in their Champions League quarter-final first leg match at the Allianz Arena.

The Bianconeri will have to do so without key defenders Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini as both serve suspensions for the clash against bottom of the table Pescara.

They may also rest the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, who has suffered some criticism lately, Claudio Marchisio and Fabio Quagliarella could drop to the bench, giving Paul Pogba and Mirko Vucinc a chance to stake their claim, although reports in the Italian media suggest Nicolas Anelka could be in line for his first start for the Old Lady. Lichtsteiner and Vidal likely to start because they’re suspended for the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final clash.

Simone Padoin, Andrea Pirlo, Alessandro Matri and Paolo De Ceglie are all a booking away from missing the next match.

The visitors are without defenders Antonio Balzano and Uros Cosic, attacking midfielder Vladimir Weiss and striker Ante Vukusic through injury. Mervan Celik is suspended.

Colombian starlet Juan Quintero is walking a discplinary tightrope as his next caution will result in a ban.

  • Juventus previous meeting with Pescara earlier this season ended in a thumping 6-1 victory for Antonio Conte’s men, who were 5-1 up at half-time. Fabio Quagliarella, Juve’s top scorer, netted a hat-trick.
  • The Bianconeri have conceded just two goals in their last five games and sit nine points clear at the top of Serie A.
  • The Old Lady have just lost once in their last seven encounters against Pescara, however, this was a 5-1 defeat back in 1993. They have never been beaten at home to the Delfini.
  • Pescara are rooted to the bottom of the table and have lost 10 of their last 11 games in Serie A, scoring just four goals.
  • Their last league win was a 2-0 triumph over Fiorentina on January 6.
  • Pescara have still to play Roma, Napoli, Milan and Fiorentina before the season’s end as well as six-pointers against Siena and Genoa.

Bayern Munich vs Juventus UCL 1st Leg Preview: Bianconeri hoping to maintain quarter-final dominance

Lahm and Schewinsteiger

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

BAYERN MUNICH

Neuer
Lahm, Boateng, Dante, Alaba
Gustavo, Schweinsteiger
Muller, Kroos, Ribery
Mandzukic
JUVENTUS

Buffon

Barzagli, Chiellini, Bonucci
L’stiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah
Matri, Quagliarella

Bayern Munich could welcome back Jerome Boateng and Bastian Schweinsteiger, who both missed the 2-0 second-leg defeat to Arsenal, for their quarter-final showdown with Serie A champions Juventus.

However, Javi Martinez is suspended for the clash, which means Luiz Gustavo should replace the Spaniard. Long-term absentee Holger Badstuber remains sidelined with ruptured knee ligaments.

Brazilian centre-back Dante and Philipp Lahm are in danger of missing the return leg in Turin on April 10 should they pick up a booking in this encounter.

Juventus, meanwhile, have concerns over the fitness of attacker Sebastian Giovinco, who was scythed down by Esteban Cambiasso in their 2-1 Derby d’Italia victory over Inter, although he has been included in the 22-man squad.

Mirko Vucinic is recovering from flu, which means Fabio Quagliarella and Alessandro Matri are likely to be Conte’s preferred striking partnership, although Vucinic could be fit to feature.

Stephan Lichtsteiner, Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio are walking a discipinary tightrope as a booking incurred here would mean they miss the next match.

  • Bayern Munich go into this match in sparkling form having destroyed Hamburg 9-2 at the weekend. Claudio Pizarro grabbed four goals and two assists.
  • In the previous meeting Bayern beat Juventus 4-1 in Turin to eliminate them from the group stages in 2009-10 season. Only Gianluigi Buffon and Claudio Marchisio are likely to survive from that starting XI in this game for the Bianconeri.
  • Die Roten coach Jupp Heynckes masterminded victory over Juventus when he was Real Madrid boss, guiding them to a Champions League final 1-0 win in 1998.
  • Juventus last lost an away match in Europe back in 2010 when they were beaten 4-1 by Fulham in the Europa League.
  • Fabio Quagliarella  has netted four goals in 248 minutes of action in the Champions League.
  • The Old Lady have not reached the last four since overcoming  Barcelona in the 2002-03 campaign.

Inter vs Juventus SerieA Preview: Nerazzurri target Bianconeri double

Stramaconni

 

PROBABLE LINEUPS

 

   INTER
Inter
Handanovic
Zanetti, Ranocchia, Chivu, Pereira
Gargano, Kovacic, Cambiasso

Guarin

Palacio, Cassano
JUVENTUS

Buffon

Barzagli, Marrone, Bonucci
L’stiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah
Giovinco, Quagliarella

In this second league installment of the Derby d’Italia, Inter will be aiming to once again spoil the Bianconeri party as Andrea Stramaccioni celebrates his year in charge of the Nerazzurri.

The young coach was appointed boss after Claudio Ranieri was dismissed following a 2-0 defeat to Saturday’s visitors last March, and while a similar scoreline would not spell the end of Stramaccioni’s tenure, it certainly would not ease the recent pressure.

The hosts haven’t been in a great form of late but will be buoyed by the 4-1 victory over Tottenham in the Europa League second leg clash.

Inter are forced to make two changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Bologna after Juan Jesus picked up a suspension and Dejan Stankovic has continued injury problems.

Influential goalkeeper Samir Handanovic should return to the starting XI, while Antonio Cassano could partner Rodrigo Palacio upfront. Fredy Guarin is still expected start despite missing his intended flight back from South America.

Meanwhile, Juventus will be hoping to at least maintain their nine-point gap at the top as time runs out for the rest of the chasing pack. Prevented from going 50 games unbeaten in November, the Old Lady will be determined to ensure their fierce rivals will not be celebrating this weekend.

A notable absentee for the visitors is Giorgio Chiellini, who may be rested as a precaution before Tuesday’s big Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.

Mirko Vucinic may also drop out of the starting XI and be replaced by top goalscorer Fabio Quagliarella, while there are no suspensions for coach Antonio Conte to contend with.

  • Inter pulled off a shock result in the previous meeting between the two teams in November, winning 3-1 despite going behind to an Arturo Vidal strike inside the first minute, ending Juve’s long unbeaten run of 49 games.
  • Andrea Stramaccioni’s record for his first year in charge of Inter reads: played 54, won 29, drawn 10 and lost 15, giving him a 54% win rate.
  • The previous clash between the two teams at San Siro was back in October 2011 with Juventus running out 2-1 winners.
  • Juventus have only won one in their last five trips to San Siro. Goals from Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio were enough to give them the three points that day.
  • The Bianconeri could go 12 points clear at the top if they win on Saturday and Napoli lose to Torino.
  • Fabio Quagliarella, who is in contention to start on Saturday, has never scored against the Nerazzurri and in 13 appearances against them has won just once.