The January transfer market window is officially closed and the Serie A has seen its usual loan deals going through. It’s been a pretty interesting month for the Italian clubs so let’s take a deeper look into the business every side has undergone in this massive recap post of the Calciomercato session. We will also be rating each club’s campaign.
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 Serie A weekend just behind us brought some unexpected development of things, especially as all the teams from the top failed to make a significant impact. It looks like things are heating up in Italy. Here are the Top 5 topics for discussion we inherited from the last round, from Napoli taking down the champions to Inter failing to win for the third time in a row.
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.
It doesn’t happen very often that Roma and Lazio can face each other with a title at stake. Lazio, however, can pride themselves on having beaten their bitter enemies in a Coppa Italia Final, thanks to a lone goal by Senad Lulic in the 71st minute. From that day, the expression “Lulic71” has become a sweet, obsessive mantra in the mind of any Biancoceleste fan.
The title race in the Serie A is still going strong, but Juventus caught some separation after Lecce stunned the Nerazzurri holding them onto a draw, with Lazio threatening just behind and Napoli’s downfall continuing despite Gennaro Gattuso’s appointment. SPAL were the surprise of the day as they came from behind to shock Atalanta.
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.
Oh, those good old days when one could see Roberto Baggio and Diego Maradona facing each other in the Serie A. When the two used to meet, the game could never be an ordinary one: It was September 17, 1989, indeed, when a young Baggio took the luxury of scoring a sensational goal which clearly resembled Maradona’s Gol del Siglo at the World Cup 1986.
Juventus are the Serie A Winter Champions as they beat Roma 2-1 in the Stadio Olimpico showdown on Sunday thanks to a double lead taken early in the game with a brutal one-two. The match was, however, stained by young starlet Nicoló Zaniolo’s injury, as the Azzurri sensation left the pitch in the 34th minute with a torn right-knee cruciate ligament. His season is likely over.
Italy’s capital and its Stadio Olimpico will play host to two top-class matches this week in Serie A, with Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio receiving a Napoli side whose new coach Gennaro Gattuso is still struggling to make click, and Roma welcoming Juventus on Sunday in what promises to be an extremely fulfilling matchup and this round’s biggest fixture.
On February 4, 2004, Roma and Juventus squared off at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, while sharing the second spot in the table, to decide who between them would be Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan’s main challenger for the rest of the season. Roma won 4-0, but the game is mostly remembered for Francesco Totti’s display of typical Italian hand gestures communication skills.
In today’s edition of our Stickers Swapping column, we take a look at some of the top club’s market situation and how they should be acting in this transfer window. Juventus and Milan were the first to move, securing the services of Dejan Kulusevski and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but Serie A might be set to welcome back some big names like Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal…