BLOG ITALIA
Friday December 15 2017
Europa League on Lazio's level

Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio have found their level and would be foolish to not go all out for the Europa League, writes Jack Stevens

“Who knows, maybe we were lucky?” were the words of Steaua Bucharest owner George Becali after he discovered his side had drawn Lazio in the first knockout round of the Europa League. A statement shrouded in ambiguity was however contrasted by the Biancocelesti, who were unequivocally overjoyed by a draw which provided them a real platform for progress.

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Thursday December 14 2017
Llorente 'won't celebrate' against Juve

Tottenham Hotspur striker Fernando Llorente will not celebrate if he scores against his old club. “Juventus have a 65 per cent chance of qualifying.”

The Bianconeri picked the Premier League outfit in the draw for the Champions League Round of 16.

“I think it’ll be a splendid tie with two great teams, but Juve are the favourites because they are accustomed to this situation and have experience at this level,” agent and brother Jesus Llorente told TuttoJuve.com.

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Thursday December 14 2017
ADL: ‘Napoli like Vrsaljko but…’

President Aurelio De Laurentiis admits Napoli want Sime Vrsaljko, but ‘Atletico Madrid told me they can’t give him to me until June’.

The Partenopei have been heavily linked with the Croatian international, as they need cover at full-back after Faouzi Ghoul’s cruciate ligament injury.

It has been reported in recent days that Vrsaljko is keen to return to Italy, and De Laurentiis was asked by Il Mattino if there’s interest from their side.

“Yes, but it’s complicated,” the film producer replied.

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Wednesday December 13 2017
Monchi: Moreno going nowhere

Monchi assures “there’s no chance” of Hector Moreno leaving Roma in January and hopes Sevilla join the Giallorossi in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Moreno had been linked with a move to Real Betis after failing to establish himself in Roma’s first team, while Sevilla face Manchester United in the Champions League last 16.

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Wednesday December 13 2017
‘CL the goal for Juventus’

Andrea Agnelli says the Champions League must be the target for Juventus, and aims a jab at Leonardo Bonucci.

The Bianconeri have won the Scudetto for the past six years in a row, but have been beaten in the Champions League final in two of the last three years.

“Legendary pages have been written, but now the horizons must widen,” Agnelli said at the club’s Christmas party.

“Christmas is a moment of reflection, but it won’t be this year because - for the first time in Italy - attentions will be turned to the pitch.

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Wednesday December 13 2017
Napoli opportunity with RB Leipzig

The Partenopei must use their full squad for what should be an immensely-entertaining tie against RB Leipzig, writes Vilizar Yakimov.

After failing to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage, Napoli will continue their continental journey in the Europa League, where they’ll face last year’s Bundesliga runners-up RB Leipzig.

Similarly to the Partenopei, the Germans were eliminated from their Champions League group in the last round and left with the bitter feeling that they could’ve done more. Another common link between the two sides is that in the last two years they’ve been challenging the dominance of two powerhouses in their respective leagues.

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Tuesday December 12 2017
Totti: ‘Juventus for the CL’

Roma legend Francesco Totti hopes they can win the Scudetto - and that Juventus lift the Champions League.

The former Giallorossi captain attended tonight’s Gazzetta Awards to receive a special lifetime achievement award, and he spoke to the newspaper as he arrived.

“With Shakhtar [Donetsk] it’ll be a 50-50 Champions League Last 16 tie,” Er Pupone predicted.

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Tuesday December 12 2017
Roma revenge for Shakhtar

Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League Round of 16 is an opportunity for Roma and even Napoli to take revenge, writes Giancarlo Rinaldi.

Revenge, they say, is a dish best served cold. However, it would still be at least lukewarm if Roma could strike back swiftly for Italian football in February and knock out the side that eliminated Napoli from the Champions League. That outcome alone, of course, should be warning enough for Eusebio Di Francesco’s team of the scale of the task it faces.

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Monday December 11 2017
Llorente: 'I wanted Juve draw'

Fernando Llorente admits he “wanted” Tottenham Hotspur to pick his old club Juventus in the Champions League draw. “I have a lot of friends there.”

The teams will meet in the Round of 16, with the first leg in Turin on February 13 and the return at Wembley on March 7.

“I’m very excited about this draw. I played there for two years and won five titles. I wanted this team,” Llorente told the Spurs website.

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Monday December 11 2017
Pochettino: 'Family from Turin!'

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino is overjoyed at drawing Juventus in the Champions League. “My family came from Turin – unbelievable!”

The teams will meet in the Round of 16, with the first leg in Turin on February 13 and the return at Wembley on March 7.

“It's fantastic because my family came from Italy, from Turin — unbelievable!” said Argentine Pochettino.

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