Juventus – Lazio [Coppa Italia’s final] [Preview]

Juventus are set to face Lazio in the final of the 2015 Coppa Italia at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday night.

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Lazio is not a stranger to competition having won the Coppa Italia recently, precisely in 2013.

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While Juventus haven’t won it since 1995, looking forward to win the 10th title, which will give the record as Coppa Italia’s holder.

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Juventus are still able to claim the treble this season, having already won Serie A in addition to being in the final of both the Coppa Italia and the Champions League, which appears to have surprised Serie A organisers, forcing last-minute changes to the domestic fixture list, causing a snowball effect.

Coppa Italia final has been anticipated by more than two weeks to Wednesday.

Lazio were due to play AS Roma on Sunday in a crucial match for both sides’ hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, asked for the game to be moved to Monday to give them more time to recover.

Lega Serie A agreed, despite opposition from Roma, but that upset Napoli, who are also in the race for the Champions League, and, according to Italian media, have asked for their match against Juventus on Saturday to be played at the same time as Lazio-Roma on Monday.

All this process of switching and moving games, undermines the credibility of the football system in front of public opinion, this has to be said.

Lazio, at the moment, occupy the third and final spot which qualifies for the Champions League, three points ahead of Napoli and one point off city-rivals Roma.

Even though Bianconeri have the obvious advantage when it comes to recent meetings, Lazio has the strenght to win the match by keeping the extraordinary form of recent Serie A games.

Allegri’s squad will have to play without the suspended Marchisio and “El Canterano” Morata – so far the best Juventus’ player – in addition to Asamoah and Caceres, out due their injuries.

Injuries of Cana, Biglia and Emerson will trouble Pioli’s mind.

Will certainly admire a great night of football, either sat comfortably at home in front of the TV or cheering inside the Olimpico inhaling the atmosphere of football itself.

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Virtus Entella 2-0 Latina (Analysis after match)

Too bad to be true, but this is the reality.
Once again, the match’s approach has not been adequate at all and during the 90 minutes the attitude did not change.
Probably after the glorious Bari’s game, focus and determination dropped drastically and we all seen the results.

Latina went to Chiavari thinking to gain only one point, and personally, I reckon this was a huge mistake.
Entella, having only one favourable outcome, showed more eager for the victory finding a well deserved 2-0.

Defence department fail to replicate the strong performance of last week, exception for Di Gennaro, once again the “Man of the match” by saving at least two clear chances.
Crimi and co. let the team down playing below the expectancies. Midfield cut off from every form of action and very precarious.
The only true opportunity to score, happened to Bidaoui whom vanished the superb assist from Jaadi by hitting the crossbar, for the rest less than nothing.

Coach Iuliano tried to mix up the cards from his deck during the second half with no beneficial results.
Moreover, Ammari decided to complicate his team mates’ life by tackling Volpe wildly, obtaining an early shower.
Overall, a very poor appearance from Nerazzurri’s side.

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Now, leaving this defeat behind, there’s one more game left. At home, against Modena, which is involved in relegation’s battle and therefore keen to fight tooth and nail.
The situation regarding relegation isn’t easy at all.
One point will be the easiest way to escape the nightmare of play out, but winning should be obligatory for so many reasons, for supporters above all.

I rely in Iuliano’s professionalism and charisma to bring the squad on the right track, passing the strength they need in order to achieve what everyone is waiting for : victory.

Latina is in charge of its own destiny.

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Federico Fernandes
fernandes.federico@yahoo.it

Virtus Entella – Latina preview

Archived the courageous performance of last Saturday at “D.Francioni” stadium against Bari, it is time to look forward and think of the away match in Chiavari, against Virtus Entella.

Latina is travelling towards Chiavari with few certainties; the great defensive solidity of Brosco and the state of grace of Raffaele Di Gennaro, young yet but with excellent skills between the posts.
In the other hand, coach Iuliano has to face, once again in this season since he got in charge of the main team, the tiredness of his squad and the lack of 4 key players because injured or disqualified.
Alhassan and Oduamadi will skip the away match due disqualification, Dellafiore ended his season earlier due issues with his shoulder, while captain Viviani seems to be ready but his return won’t be forced.

Virtus Entella is coming from a delicate period and is looking desperately for a victory, in order to maintain alive the hope to avoid relegation.
They dramatically lost the last match against Livorno at the last minute, finding the 8th match in a raw without victory.
Coach Aglietti called for fan’s support, remarking that their presence will be essential to drag positively his team towards a good performance.

Latina gained 6 out of 6 points from the last 2 matches, lifting itself from a wobbly and dangerous position. Right now, they need 1 more point to be safe but knowing Iuliano’s mentality, the squad won’t give up nor will play the last 2 matches softly.

I see, personally, Entella’s match much more important than Bari, for few reason: Entella doesn’t have other choice but winning and Latina has to prove that last performances weren’t randomly successful.

I will expect Nerazzurri playing short-ball football, with plenty of entries and cuts from the inside midfielder, towards the opposite area.
Di Gennaro as goalie, Ristovski and Bruscagin as back wings, Brosco and Figliomeni as central defenders. Compact midfield formed by Valiani, Ammari e Crimi.
Bidaoui as left attacker wing, Litteri confirmed as “falso nueve” and Angelo ready to transform the 433 into 442 with high wings by shifting on the right side of midfield.

Let’s go to Chiavari to gain one more Serie B season.

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Federico Fernandes
fernandes.federico@yahoo.it

Real Madrid 1 Juventus 1 (agg. 2-3)

Last night Real Madrid and Juventus faced each other to gain the access to Champions League’s final, where Barcelona is waiting safely after having eliminated Bayern Munich 5-3 on aggregate.
Juventus won 2-1 the first leg in Turin after a nearly perfect match, where we didn’t admire the best Real Madrid.

Ancelotti can count on Benzema’s return in the middle of the attack focusing on 433 formation. Bale and C.Ronaldo wide in the trident, light but technical midfield with the insertion of James R. as inside forward and Sergio Ramos shifted into his natural role of central defender after the disastrous performance in Turin as midfielder.

In the other side, coach Allegri presents his team with 442 diamond, with the addition of Paul Pogba, fully recovered, alongside Marchisio and Pirlo as playmaker. Tevez and the Spaniard Morata in attack supported by the eclectic Vidal.

First half starts with the Blancos well in control of the ball and the field, ready to be dangerous since the beginning.

Benzema wasted the first chance of the match, after having created a room by the penalty spot, his strike isn’t accurate enough and the ball goes over the bar.

23rd minute, the referee calls for a foul inside the penalty box. It’s a penalty. Chiellini was too aggressive and impulsive while trying to steal the ball from James’s feet.
Without hesitation, Ronaldo took and scored the penalty centrally, while Buffon dives on his right.

It’s 1-0

The Meregues keep controlling the game trying to find the second goal without materialising couple of good chances from Ronaldo before and Benzema after.
Juventus attempted to play short pass football and occasionally long balls to break the Spanish defence.

End of first half, certainly not boring.

Real begins the second half better than the away side, which grows positively till they balance the score.

Pirlo on the ball for a free kick, after Sergio Ramos fouled Vidal on the right side of the field. Ball inside the box, Casillas climbs high to punch the ball out of it. Juve again put the ball in the box where Pogba pass it with a header to “El Canterano” Morata who found the goal with a precise and powerful left foot shot beating Iker Casillas.

There’s a festive atmosphere among Old Lady’s fans, but they’re aware the match is not finished.

Ancelotti substitutes Benzema with Chicarito to bring more speed into his football style.

Cr7 and co. pushed to find the second goal but conceded too many spaces counterattacks.

70th, great combination Vidal-Marchisio who found himself one to one against Casillas who shows great skills on saving the poor strike on his left.

3 minutes later, Bale has the 2-1 ball.
Ronaldo delivers a precise cross from left attack side, bypassing Buffon. Bale anticipates Evra with a header but the ball goes over the bar.

After a yellow card for Lichtsteiner a 2 substitutions for Juventus, it’s Pogba’s turn to waste a golden opportunity, hitting centrally from a favourable position.

Blancos attacked till the end with no results. Juventus kept the precious result with their remarkable defensive tactics, discipline and organisation.

Buffon and his team mates are aiming towards Berlin to face Barcelona for the CL final for the first time in history.

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Federico Fernandes
fernandes.federico@yahoo.it

CalcioCraze; Fools in Love

Abdul

forza italian football
There are matters of the heart that words fail to describe. The strings that send the cardiac organ into playing tunes and notes no instrument can pirate are found in very few things that have no bound; like the lady whose blink leaves you breathless, or the care and patience of a mother. But above all, and beyond magic and hobbits, there is the beautiful world of Calcio. Whether it be the tactical discipline enshrined in the syntax of Catenacchio, or the contempt with which some Italians view English football, there is always a scene or two in this wonderfully wrought masterpiece of sport entertainment that no other culture could match. Calcio, after all, is the single yarn that weaves into the very fabric that is the Italian culture. It is difficult to admire one without acknowledging the other. And like the exploits of the Roman nation, the Shakespeare-esque love…

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West Ham 2-2 Everton (9-8 pens)

So last week my friend and I went to watch the FA Cup round replay between West Ham and Everton. It was a fantastically exciting game till the end, something you do not see very often on football pitch.
Many, like me, will agree; how many times we been waiting for a thrilling finale on sudden death penalties? Keeper vs keeper? Apart the amazing finale, this match had everything that a football’s fan would love to see.

Temperature was pretty low, but the magnificent frame of both supporters, singing and supporting their own team, made the evening much warmer.
Both teams started the first half studying each other tactics, with West Ham having more ball possession and more intensity.
Enner Valencia earlier and Andy Carroll later spurned a great chance to take the lead for the local team, when Joel Robles made a great save on Colombian striker and the post denied a goal for Carroll.
On 20 minutes, McGeady’s effort was blocked by a Hammers defender inside the penalty box.
Downing right-footed effort went close to the post but wide enough to keep Robles’s safe.
Time for a hot cup of tea when first half ends goalless.

The best has yet to come. Second half more emotional and more intense, when Enner Valencia opens, after 6 mins, the scoring with a well-placed finish into the bottom corner, after a terrific through ball from Andy Carroll.

When Everton went down to 10 men the match looked easy for the locals. McGeady was the one dismissed after bringing down Noble earning the second yellow.
Martinez tried to lift up his team bringing in Mirallas, which pays off the substitution with a superb free-kick from a tight angle beating hopeless Adrian.

Without spectacular opportunities regular time ends like the first leg. It’s 1-1, time for extra time.

West Ham tries to change gear and take the lead but it’s Lukaku’s close-range shoot, after a brilliant Mirallas’s assist, to send the 3000 Everton’s fans on the moon.
Match seems finished but from an attacking free kick for West Ham, Tomkins’ header is converted by substitute Cole and it’s 2-2. In the other side, 2 mins from final whistle,after a speedy counter attack, Lukaku devours an easy chance, sending a low shot too wide. Upton Park was breathless.
Last opportunity for Hammers when Cole copied his Belgian colleague, wasting his effort.
After that, the entire stadium patiently waited for penalties.

Great penalties from both teams, with a great save of Adrian on Naismith and Downing missing for Hammers. Then Everton’s keeper was forced to take the 10th penalty because Martinez’s men were a man down. Powerful shot was taken smashing the ball against the cross bar.
Then was Adrian’s turn, the charismatic keeper took place on the spot, throwing his gloves away, meaning to end the sudden death penalties. The Spaniard smashed the decisive penalty past his opposite number Robles, sending West Ham through to the FA Cup fourth round.
The rest is history. Great celebration by a corner flag where his team-mates and the Bobby Moore stand finally caught up with him.

After 2 games and more than 200 minutes, a sending-off and 20 penalties, Allardyce’s men will face Bristol City, second place in League One.

What a night that was.
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Federico Fernandes
fernandes.federico@yahoo.it

The Legend in the Picture

Abdul

Totti twitter

Some players you just adore for their professionalism, others for their grit and commitment. Still, there are those you try to dislike simply because they are too good to be playing against your favourite team. You pray for all the ill-luck to slow their progress yet, like a bad diarrhoea, they continue to plague your pants with shit after shit of unstoppable distress.

The documents say he made his debut at the age of 16 against Brescia, but 22 years on, his desire for the game remains whole and aflame. Already among the greatest one-club footballers of our time, the Big Baby has once more etched his name in the folklore of Roman Football. He is now the man of the Capital Derby with 11 strikes, after capping a memorable comeback against their sea-blue cousins with a selfie-capturing display under the Curva.

Aptly named the Emperor of Rome, this embodiment of…

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