BLOG ITALIA
Saturday February 16 2019
Duvan Zapata takes on Piatek

As Milan and Atalanta face off tonight, Jay Cassano examines the different characteristics of their strikers and Capocannoniere candidates. 

The weekend's most intriguing match is between two teams with attacks spearheaded by some of the unlikeliest candidates for Capocannoniere: Duvan Zapata and Krzysztof Piatek.

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Friday February 15 2019
Another Icardi soap opera

Football Italia’s Chief Football Correspondent Richard Hall looks at the ongoing drama unfolding at Inter and asks how they can come to a resolution.

‘Behind every great man there is a great woman’ may well be a quote that Wanda Nara lives by, but few in Milan would agree right now. Mauro Icardi and his agent have been living out a soap opera of late and Inter have played a major role. Maybe she will be proved right, perhaps in two seasons time and as her husband lifts the Champions League with Real Madrid, she will give the Nerazzurri a well-manicured finger. Perhaps this situation will, once again, see an uneasy ceasefire called, but whatever the outcome, all parties look unprofessional.

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Friday February 15 2019
Europa reasons for optimism

Albeit with differing first leg results, Massimo Nuzzo maintains Napoli, Inter and Lazio all have reason to be optimistic in the Europa League.

For each of the Italian sides involved in the Europa League, the competition has a different meaning. For Lazio, it seems less of a priority seeing as they still find themselves in the Coppa Italia semi-finals and in the midst of a battle to secure a top-four finish, yet Simone Inzaghi has stated that his side aims to go as far as they can in the tournament.

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Thursday February 14 2019
Europa League means everything

Out of the Champions League, Coppa Italia and Scudetto race, Anthony Barbagallo believes the Europa League will define Inter and Napoli’s seasons.

While those Europa League Thursday nights in have always lived in the shadow of the Champions League, this second tier of European competition remains a respectable and prestigious tournament. The prize may not have big ears, but numerous decorated clubs have claimed it in the past.

With Inter and Napoli joining Lazio in the Round of 32 this evening, both Italian clubs will be taking the initiative to reach the final in Baku. Anything less than a deep run will look like a complete failure for two Italian football giants.

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Wednesday February 13 2019
Zan's the Man for Roma

Roma’s victory over Porto confirmed Nicolò Zaniolo’s status as a new star, but still left Giancarlo Rinaldi frustrated with the result.

If you wanted to sum up a season in one game, this wasn’t a bad effort. There was plenty to admire - most notably two magical goals from wonderkid Nicolò Zaniolo - but ultimately a feeling of frustration. Despite the victory, the celebrations were a little subdued in the Stadio Olimpico. It was a good result but, deep down, everybody knew it should have been better.

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Tuesday February 12 2019
When Rome burned as Porto danced

As Roma host Porto tonight, Football Italia’s Chief Football Correspondent Richard Hall looks back at the last encounter that locals would rather forget.

August 23 2016, this was an ignominious day for those who follow the Giallorossi. Humiliating, dishonourable and miserably wretched, just a few words used in the sports papers the next day.

Roma were favourites to qualify for the Champions League group stages after a 1-1 draw in Portugal. Now in front of 45,000 Romanisti, they imploded. Daniele De Rossi and Emerson Palmieri were shown red cards either side of half time, making them the third team to lose in the play-off round in as many years, six in seven seasons.

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Monday February 11 2019
Red hot race for top four

The race for a top four finish could not be hotter, as several clubs jockey for position to secure a Champions League berth, writes Matthew Santangelo.

Last season, the fourth Champions League spot was not decided until the final minute when Lazio and Inter squared off in a truly thrilling finale. In the end, it was heartbreak for Simone Inzaghi and his Biancocelesti, as they had a dream ticket ripped from their fingertips by Matias Vecino. But, by the looks of the current table, it appears we are in for yet another drama-filled race for fourth involving several clubs.

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Monday February 11 2019
Roma depend entirely on Porto

Roma are gambling their whole season on beating Porto in the Champions League Round of 16, writes Andrea Tallarita, but the prize is well worth it.

Roma host Porto in the Champions League Round of 16, and everyone in the Capital must be feeling fairly apprehensive. As always, this has been a season of slumps and surges for the Giallorossi, but the troughs have outnumbered the peaks by some margin, and the team's record so far deters the would-be forecaster.

Faced with the heavy-hitters of the Italian league, the Lupi have gritted their teeth, withstood every hook and uppercut, and laboured their adversaries to honourable draws (1-1 against both Napoli and Milan, 2-2 with Inter).

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Sunday February 10 2019
Napoli travel sickness

The lack of goals in recent away games is starting to become a concern for the Neapolitans at the wrong end of the season, writes Anthony Barbagallo.

Last season’s 3-0 thumping in Florence was the turning point for Maurizio Sarri and the Partenopei’s Scudetto ambitions in Serie A. Once again, Napoli dropped vital points against the Viola at the Artemio Franchi on Saturday evening – this time with a slightly new line-up and different Coach at the helm.

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Saturday February 9 2019
Roma need more for Porto

Roma are finally beginning to rediscover their confidence, writes Massimo Nuzzo, but will it be enough against Porto?

This season has been a turbulent one for Roma. If you told Romanisti prior to the start of the league campaign that they would be 22 points from the top (which could go back to 25 depending on this weekend’s results) and on the losing side of a 7-1 Coppa Italia result, they would have called you crazy. Unfortunately for the Giallorossi faithful, though, these statements are true.

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