Inter’s history is filled with a special affiliation to controversial, charismatic managers, whose pioneer was without doubt Helenio Herrera. Every die-hard Nerazzurri fan would be forever grateful to that man, who would later become referred to as Il Mago (“The Wizard”) and who forged the legendary epoch of the Grande Inter during the 1960s.
Imagine being a supporter of a football club, and one day you find out that your club is about to become owned by one of the most criticized states in the world. What would you do? That is the moral dilemma that Newcastle United fans are currently facing as their club seems set to be purchased by controversial Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
Jürgen Klopp is currently the world’s best manager, at least according to FIFA. Yet, even the world’s best sometimes make bad statements. But Klopp, being a highly charismatic, widely-loved figure, managed to turn his initial anger towards questions on the coronavirus to a message of hope and advice to everyone around the world.
Under bizarre circumstances, Juventus and Inter played out a fan-less Derby d’Italia in Turin. With both opposing managers knowing what’s at stake, the match was very tactical. But it did have its moment of magic when Paulo Dybala scored the second goal for Juventus. Unfortunately, only the stadium lights and a few VIP’s were there to witness it live.
With the threat of the coronavirus spreading in Italy, five matches will be played without fans. The biggest of those is the Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter, which will be in an empty Allianz Stadium in Turin. Elsewhere, Lazio will hope to grab all three points against Brescia and wait on a slip up by Juventus, and Genoa face a tough encounter against Milan.
With big games looming in Europe, Italian teams must be prepared to take on the continent’s best in these upcoming weeks. Napoli beat Brescia and now prepare for the visit of Lionel Messi and Barcelona, while leaders Juventus travel to Ferrara to take on bottom-of-the-league SPAL, before facing Lyon in midweek in the Champions League.
Lazio pulled off yet another comeback win, this time against Inter, to claim second spot in the league standings, due mostly to top scorer Ciro Immobile and a superb performance by Sergei Milinkovic-Savic. Manager Simone Inzaghi, after four years in charge of Lazio, is beginning to show the world he is one of the best.
Leaders Inter travel to Rome to take on Lazio on Sunday night. Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo hopes to score in his 11th consecutive league game. Meanwhile up north, Sassuolo host Parma as both search for derby bragging rights, under the guidance of the two Roberto’s – Roberto De Zerbi of Sassuolo and Roberto D’Aversa of Parma.
Roma’s disappointing run in 2020 continued as they suffered their fifth defeat in seven games. Bologna, on the other hand, recorded their third straight league win, thanks to Riccardo Orsolini, and new signing Musa Barrow. The Serie A weekend will climax on Sunday night as Inter and Milan square off in the Derby di Milano.
Here’s our usual preview of this weekend’s match-ups, starting from Brescia traveling to Bologna in search of their first win there since 2005 and concluding with Sampdoria hosting Napoli on Monday night hoping to replicate last season’s 3-0 win. Inter will hope to make good use of their new signings as they pay a visit to Udinese with an eye to next week’s Derby with Milan.
The last Serie A matches of January will end on a high as Roma host Lazio in the capital’s big derby and Napoli welcome Juventus to the Italian South. Lazio come into the derby with an astonishing 11-game winning streak. Roma, on the other hand, suffered damaging setbacks with consecutive home defeats to Torino and Juventus.
After a midweek of Coppa Italia football, Serie A returns as the second half of the season officially gets underway! There is no team in Italian football that wouldn’t swap places with Lazio right now, as the Biancocelesti have recorded 10 straight league wins, and their talisman Ciro Immobile is the campionato top scorer with 20 goals.