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.
Udinese host Fiorentina in Serie A this weekend, as 13th play 14th. Luca Gotti’s Udinese sit a place and two points behind Giuseppe Iachini’s Fiorentina. They’re winless in six in the league and are fast falling towards the relegation zone – only seven five points separate Udinese from 18th-place Genoa. The Viola, on the other hand, are in a resurgent form.
SPAL make the short trip across the north of Italy to Parma this Sunday, as they look to move off the bottom of the Serie A table. Coach Luigi Di Biagio has overseen three games in charge of SPAL and has lost them all 2-1 – the last being at home to 2nd-place Juventus. His hopes of claiming anything at Parma will mostly lie with Andrea Petagna.
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.
Italian football has had it’s a fair share of footballing families, including the Maldini, the Baresi, the Cannavaro, and the Inzaghi. All of the above-mentioned made a name for themselves, but only the latter made history by becoming the first two coaching brothers – Simone at Lazio and Filippo at Benevento – to sit atop both the Serie A and B concurrently.
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.
With a storming second half, Atalanta did it again, coming up with another tremendous performance which resulted in seven goals delivered to their unfortunate opponents. Gian Piero Gasperini’s Bergamaschi won 7-2 at the Via del Mare Stadium in Lecce, consolidating their fourth place in the Serie A table.