This week we look at UEFA Euro 1968, a year of firsts, a year of chance and a very different competition to the tournament we know today. Italy were the host nation and went on to win their only European championship to date in a pretty unconventional manner – making their way past the USSR by means of a coin toss and beating Yugoslavia in a Final that was played twice.
Juventus defender Daniele Rugani tested positive for the COVID-19, the disease generated by the much-famed coronavirus. Rugani is the first player from a Serie A club to be infected. Juventus and Inter issued stataments announcing that their players and staff will likely need to undergo quarantine, casting further doubts on the prosecution of their football season.
Italy was placed under a total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. With about three to four Serie A game-weeks now set to be outstanding after the suspension, what are the possible implications this may bring to the current season? According to multiple Italian media sources, there are now four possible scenarios after the ban.
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced that Italy will be in a total lockdown until at least April 3 to contain the coronavirus outbreak – extending to the whole country the extreme measures originally announced yesterday for 14 provinces only. The restriction also applies to any sports activity, including the Serie A and lower divisions.
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.
You know it is going to be a great game when it is dubbed a “Derby” even if the two sides don’t come from the same city. There are always huge expectations in a Juventus-Inter game, even with closed doors. Home side Juventus will likely benefit from the return of three important players, whereas Inter cannot afford to lose if they want to keep their Scudetto hopes alive.
As it stands, Lazio sit two points clear of Juventus in second place and a respectable eight off Inter in third place. Though the two big guns have games in hand, it’s no longer a far claim to ask if the Biancocelesti can win the Serie A. Indeed, the recent changes in the match program due to the coronavirus threat may end up favoring Lazio in the Scudetto race. Here is why.
A decision, finally. That’s what every football fan was waiting for, and what the Lega Serie A took to somehow get out of the stalemate caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Italy. Serie A games will be played behind closed doors until April 3. All the league games canceled last weekend, including Juventus-Inter, will be played between next Sunday and Monday.
Milan are getting closer than ever to sacking their chief football officer Zvonimir Boban, a true Milanista whether he’s on the field or in the corporate offices. The Elliot Management, who took it upon themselves to steady the eternally sinking ship that is Milan, is set to press the restart button once again and offer fans what we should now call another false dawn.
The Lega Serie A – the governing body of the Italian football top-flight – has decided to postpone all the five games previously scheduled to be played behind closed doors this weekend due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in Northern Italy. The decision applies also to the much-awaited Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter.
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.
Having struggled for form throughout the first-half of the season, Milan have since turned their fortunes around having lost just one game in all competitions since New Year. The Rossoneri look a much more solid outfit under Stefano Pioli and will be looking at this game against Genoa as a banker in their push for a top-six spot.