BERNARDESCHI, CHIESA, KALINIC: FIORENTINA’S LINE-UP IN THEIR LAST EUROPEAN MATCH

Federico Chiesa, Nikola Kalinic and Federico Bernardeschi all started for Fiorentina in La Viola’s last European game more than five years ago. The Tuscans play their first European match since 2016-17 tonight. It’s a Conference League playoff clash against Dutch side Twente at the Stadio Artemio Franchi. The last time Fiorentina played in Europe was in 2016-17, when they reached the Europa League Round of 32. Borussia Monchengladbach eliminated the Tuscans following a 4-2 win in Florence. Fiorentina had beaten the Germans 1-0 a week earlier.

That final game at the Stadio Artemio Franchi saw many big players on the pitch. Fiorentina line-up with a 3-5-2 formation with Ciprian Tatarusanu in goal, Carlos Sanchez, Gonzalo Rodriguez and Davide Astori in defence, Federico Chiesa, Milan Badelj, Matias Vecino and Maximiliano Oliveira in midfield. Borja Valero and Federico Bernardeschi behind Nikola Kalinic. Paulo Sousa was in charge of the Tuscans who scored early in the first half with Kalinic and Borja Valero. Continue reading

   JUVE FORWARDS CHUESA AND VLAHOVIC GET NEW SHIRT NUMBERS THIS SEASON

Italian Serie A giants Juventus have changed the shirt number of Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa ahead of the new season. Changes would be made at the club personnel-wise, after the likes of Paulo Dybala and Giorgio Chiellini left. Federico Bernardeschi has also moved on, and that means there would be a lot of attractive shirt numbers available to pick from. When Chiesa joined the club, he was given the number 22 shirt because most of the other shirt numbers at the club were being occupied by top players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Dybala.


However, the club has announced, with a tweet, that the Euro 2020 winner will now wear the number 7 on his shirt. Some fans had expected Angel di Maria to take that number if he moved to the Allianz Stadium. Dusan Vlahovic chose the number 7 shirt when he moved from Fiorentina, but in a different tweet, the Bianconeri announced that he would now wear the number 9, which was vacated by Alvaro Morata. Continue reading

ITALY U21s, OTHERS QUALIFY FOR TOURNAMENT

Italy u21s and eleven other teams have qualified for the 2023 UEFA u-21 European Championship in Georgiaand Romania thus leaving four places up for grabs via the playoffs. Eight teams are in the race for the remaining four slots.


Hosts Romania and Georgia qualified automatically for the tournament and they would be joined at the tournamentby the group winners from the qualifiers including the Italy u21s. The Italy u21ssecured their place at the tournament in Georgia and Romania by winning Group F of the qualifiers ahead of the Republic of Ireland and Sweden. The likes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Luxembourg and Montenegro were also in the group. Italy won the group with 24 points from ten games, while the Irish team finished second with 19 points from ten games. Sweden recorded 18 points from ten games to finish in third, while Bosnia and Herzegovina finished fourth with 11 points from ten games.Just like Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro finished with 11 points from ten games but with an inferior goal difference to end the group in fifth. Luxembourg were last on the final group standings with a solitary point from ten games. Continue reading

ITALY EDGING CLOSER TO EURO 2023

Italy u21s are closing in on a place at the next UEFA European u-21 Championship, also known as Euro 2023, in Georgia and Romania after the 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in their last qualifier in Group F. Genoa midfielder NicoloRovella was the hero for the Italy u21s after he scored the only goal of the match to give his team three crucial points in the race to qualify for the Euro 2023 tournament in Romania and Georgia. Rovella is presently on loan at Genoa from fellow Italian Serie A outfit Juventus.


The slender win over the Bosnians, Italy u21s are now three points clear of Sweden at the top of Group F. Italy and Sweden came into the last round of games in the group with the same points though the Italians had played a game less than the Swedes. While Italy secured the three points at stake with the home win over Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sweden were beaten 2-0 at home by the Republic of Ireland. The defeat to Sweden was a significant one as it gave Italy a three-point lead over them in addition to a one-game advantage. Continue reading

ITALY U21S TAKE GROUP F SUMMIT

The Italy u21s have taken top spot in Group F after a record of four points from two qualifying games during the March international break ahead of the 2023 European u-21 Championship in Romania and Georgia. The Italian u21s started the March international break in second place in Group F and behind leaders Sweden, but four points from two matches ensured that they ended last month’s international break at the top of the group.


In the first of their two games last month, Italy u21s played out a 1-1 draw at the home of Montenegro u21s. The Italians had to come from behind to secure a point. Marko Rakonjac gave Montenegro the lead on 37 minutes before Samuele Ricci scored the equaliser two minutes later to ensure that the two teams went into the break with a goal apiece. The absence of a goal in the second half meant that the two teams took a point each from the game. The point gained from the match was not enough to send the Italy u21s above their Swedish counterparts at the top of Group F. Continue reading

ITALY U21S FACING TWO CRUCIAL GAMES

Italy u21s are facing two crucial games between now and the rest of this month in the quest to usurp Sweden u21s at the top of the Group F table with the knowledge that winning the group will guarantee a place at the UEFA European u-21 Championship in Georgia and Romania next year.


The Italy u21s will face Montenegro away from home in the first of those two games before taking on Bosnia and Herzegovina at home in the second game. The Montenegro game will take place on Friday, March 25, while the Bosnia game is scheduled for next week Tuesday. Continue reading

EURO 2023: ITALY FACE SWEDEN THREAT

The Italy u21s might need to see off the threat of Sweden u21s if they want to seal a place at the 2023 edition of the UEFA u-21 European Championship in Romania and Georgia automatically without having to go through the playoffs.

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There are nine groups in the qualifiers for the Euro 2023 tournament and the group winners will advance to the tournament automatically alongside the team with the best result from the second-placed teams meaning that ten teams will advance to Romania/Georgia 2023. They would be joined by the two host nations and four teams from the playoffs. The remaining eight second-placed teams would go into playoffs with four teams emerging after an home-and-away format.
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BARELLA RECEIVES LOW SCORE AGAINST NI

Inter Milan Nicolo Barella was heavily criticised in the Italian media for his performance against Northern Ireland (NI) in their final World Cup 2022 qualifier in Group C as far as the European region is concerned.

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Barella was given a low score of 5/10 by Italian publication La Gazzetta dello Sport for his display against the Northern Ireland team when the European champions took on their hosts at Windsor Park in Belfast on Monday night.
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ITALY U21s DENIED TOP SPOT

 

Italy u21s were denied top spot in Group F of the 2023 UEFAu-21 European Championship thanks to a late equaliseragainst Sweden.


The Italian u-21 team were on their way to securing top spot in Group F after the opening goal from Pisa striker Lorenzo Lucca. Lucca gave Italy u21s the lead at home three minutes from the half-time break and they preserved the advantage until the end of the second half when the visitors struck the equaliser through Tim Prica who plays his club football for Aalborg in the Danish Superliga. Prica levelled proceedings for Sweden in the second minute of added time in the second half as the Italians had to settle for a 1-1 draw at the end of the game played at the StadioBrianteo in Monza last week Tuesday.
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JUVENTUS INSIST THAT THEY WON’T SELL STAR PLAYER CHIESA

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While there are a lot of clubs trying to convince Italian Serie A giants Juventus to part ways with one of their star and most talented players Chiesa, the Old Lady have confirmed that they will not be listening to any offers for their attacker. Chiesa has grown into the Juventus team and has established himself as one of the most important players in the Juventus squad and he has shown in recent times, with his largely impressive performances, that he can become even better. The winger, signed from Fiorentina, was brought to the Juventus squad but would not be guaranteed a starting role as Paulo Dybala and Cristiano the two preferred widemen before the latter left the club this summer.


Ronaldo’s departure to England has now paved the way for Chiesa to be handed a more advanced role in the squad and he is now starting more games than he did last season. The former Italy U-21s player has grown to fame in recent months and will be remembered for his blistering performance in the final of the 2020 UEFA Euros final against England where he tormented the Three Lions defenders. Continue reading