“He will become like Messi,” screamed the headline of Corriere dello Sport on Monday morning. No pressure then, Paulo Dybala.
While Gonzalo Higuaín scored two goals for the fifth time in seven Serie A games this weekend to keep Napoli top of the table, his Argentinian compatriot Dybala was inspiring Juventus to a tenth straight win, keeping them just two points behind, with a pair of his own in the 4-0 win at Udinese.
It was not just Corriere dello Sport that was singing his praises. “San Paulo” – Saint Paulo – was headline of Turin-based Tuttosport, while Gazzetta dello Sport draw comparisons with other famous Bianconeri attackers from Argentina like Omar Sivori and Carlos Tévez.
Italy forward Stephan El Shaarawy has joined Roma on loan from AC Milan until the end of the season. The UEFA Champions League contenders have the option to make the deal permanent in the summer for a fee of €13m.
The 23-year-old known as the ‘Little Pharaoh’ failed to score in 15 Ligue 1 outings for Monaco in the first half of the campaign and returns to Italy eager to rediscover his form ahead of UEFA EURO 2016.
Inter and Juventus meet in Turin on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final.
Juventus Team News
Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri says Sami Khedira and Simone Zaza will be rested so that they will be ready for their Serie A clash against Chievo, but Paul Pogba is fit and could feature.
Allegri says he wants his side to have ‘a carefree attitude’ to avoid feeling the pressure ahead of Wednesday’s Derby d’Italia, and admits he may have to rotate his starting line-up.
“I will evaluate any changes, I’ve also got Marchisio risking suspension,” he said.
Today the Lega Serie A showed that it still lives in the stone age when it gave Napoli Coach Maurizio Sarri a slapon the wrist with its two match suspension for two future Coppa Italia matches and fined him €20,000 for making homophobic remarks at Inter Milan manager Roberto Mancini earlier this week.
The Lega Serie A disciplinary panel imposed the two-game ban for
“having, in the 47th minute of the second half, aimed at the coach of the opposition team deeply derogatory remarks, an infraction which was picked up by the fourth official.”
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Napoli Manager Suspended For Two Games For Homophobic Insults
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The investigation into Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri’s comments towards Inter boss Roberto Mancini has began after a night of controversy in the Coppa Italia.
During a touchline confrontation late in the game, Mancini alleges that Sarri launched homophobic abuse at him.
After the match FIGC prosecutors began an investigation into Sarri’s comments, taking witness accounts from the Biscione coach and the fourth official as well as a television technician working nearby. Referee Paolo Valeri was not attending to the technical area when the comments were made, so will not be interviewed.
Fireworks in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday night where Inter Milan boss Roberto Mancini accused Napoli manager Maurizio Sarri of racist and homophobic slurs following the quarter-final clash between the two sides in Naples.
Mancini was sent to the stands in the closing stages of Inter’s 2-0 victory, which saw them book their place in the semi-finals.
It was Adem Ljajic’s late goal which sparked the fracas on the touchline, which led to Mancini being sent off.
In his post match comments Mancini accused Sarri of making inappropriate remarks, alleging that the Napoli manager used Italian homophobic slurs “frocio” and “finocchio” towards him.
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Coppa Italia: Mancini Accuses Sarri Of Racist And Homophobic Slurs
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Ciro Immobile has so far shown that he can only score consistently in Italy, so it is no surprise to see that he has returned to his former club Torino on loan until the end of the season after Sevilla agreed to terminate his season-long deal with the Spanish club early.
The forward has had a miserable time of things since originally leaving the Turin-based club for Borussia Dortmund at the end of a hugely successful 2013/14 in Serie A.
After scoring just three Bundesliga goals in his debut campaign for Borussia Dortmund, Immobile was quite clearly unhappy with life in Germany. famously failing to integrate himself with the rest of what was then Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
We are only two matches into the Serie A season post the winter break and Napoli and Juventus appear to have started 2016 with form and momentum while the opposite could be said about Inter Milan and Fiorentina. AS Roma, meanwhile, have gambled on a change of coach to pull their campaign out of a mid-season slump.
It’s been an intriguing Serie A title race so far that has seen Inter, Roma, Fiorentina and Napoli all atop the table at some point this season.
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Serie A Preview: Can Juve And Napoli Continue Momentum?
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Inter’s lack of goals has been an issue since pre-season and while it is easy to point the finger at the strikers, the problem lies a little further back – and that is with the midfield. Mancini has prioritized defense over creativity in the midfield and it has worked as Inter has the Serie A‘s best defence with just 12 goals conceded.
In the middle of the Inter midfield has been Felipe Melo or Gary Medel and they have done a great job destroying attacks and protecting the back four. But creativity is not their strength which is why the Nerazzurri has a midfield which has created the least amount of chances amongst the title contenders with 69.
According to the Spanish newspaper AS, New Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has asked President Florentino Perez to make Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba his first Galactico signing.
Pogba has been strongly linked with a move to Barcelona for over a year now, whose representatives Ariedo Braida and Albert Soler held discussions last July with Juventus counterparts Giuseppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici.
But Barca were unable to agree on a price for French midfielder and with his transfer fee expected of over €100 million that might be too rich for the current European Champions.