Preview: The Bianconeri resume their Scudetto challenge against the Zebrette
On Thursday, Juventus moved one step closer to the Europa League final in Turin by defeating Lyon 2-1 on the night, 3-1 on aggregate. Yet, while the score-line may look like a straightforward win for the side that has yet to lose a game at home, Bianconeri midfielder Claudio Marchisio admitted that his side were fortunate to have secured their position in the semi-finals.
"It wasn't easy. We started off well tonight, but then Lyon equalized and fortunately I was able to score a goal...but it was really lucky," the 28-year-old remarked to Mediaset following the game. Nonetheless, the team is still on course to lift two trophies in May, but will be keen on staying far ahead of second-placed Roma with a win later this evening.
Preview: Roma set to welcome Francesco Totti back to the squad
The talismanic captain is set to feature during Monday’s encounter after missing out for over a month due to an injury he suffered in the Rome derby against Lazio back on the 9th of February.
The Italian’s timely return will be a major boost to Roma and Rudi Garcia has claimed that his captain’s return will allow the team to be more dangerous in the attacking third.
Preview: Both teams looking to respond after defeats
Both sides finished in the top five last season but have been struggling to replicate their form this time around. Milan are positioned 10th in the league table and have lost thrice in their last five outings in all competitions. A Champions League defeat at the hands of Atletico Madrid was followed by a 2-0 win over Sampdoria. But Milan failed to build upon their victory as Juventus subjected them to a 2-0 loss in the subsequent match.
Preview: Seedorf looking for second successive win
The Dutch manager begun his managerial career on a winning note and will now be hoping to carry the winning instincts to the second match. In his first match in charge of AC Milan, a club where he spent 10 glorious years as a player, the Rossoneri notched up all three points courtesy of a late penalty by Mario Balotelli.
And even though a 1-0 win would not give the impression of a dominant performance by Seedorf’s side, the Dutchman declared that he was more than satisfied with the effort his players had put.
Preview: Bianconeri aiming to end the week on a high
Antonio Conte is one happy coach. Unlike Rafael Benitez and Max Allegri, his squad has been getting good and consistent results on all fronts since back to back defeats in late October—to Fiorientina in the Serie A and Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
The Old Lady jumped a big hurdle in midweek by beating Copenhagen. They eventually finished the night above losers Galatasaray. In Europe, Juventus hold their destiny in their own hands. A draw on Matchday 6 could be enough to see them join Group B winners Real Madrid into the Round of 16.
Preview: Mario Balotelli is the latest headache for the Rossoneri
While Balotelli may be a constant headache for the Milan management, due to his on and off the pitch antics, he handed the Italian outfit another setback.
Super Mario's injury will definitely be a big loss, given how many times he has come to the rescue for Allegri's side. Who will now step up and score goals for Milan in his absence? Could the pressure fall on the shoulders of one Alessandro Matri?
The former Juve forward will need to guide his new club past Udinese, who is eighth in the Serie A table, four spots and two points ahead of Milan.
AC Milan's impressive run of results could mean that if they rack up another three points against Udinese on Sunday, it could possibly allow them to climb above Inter Milan and essentially move into the European qualification zone.
Having won six out of their last seven league games at the San Siro, the Rossoneri will surely rate their chances of overcoming a Udinese…
Come Saturday we will see the clash of Bianconeri's with Udinese traveling to Turin to face Juventus at home.
Antonio Conte will be missing as many as six players for the home game against Udinese. Claudio Marchisio is a week away from returning to action whilst Asamoah is on international duty. Andre Pirlo is doubtful to play this game. Simone Pepe, Giorgio Chiellini and Nicklas Bendtner are still on the treatment table.
Inter are nine points behind league leaders Juventus and now find themselves four points adrift of second place Lazio after a controversial home win against Cagliari. They travel to face Udinese in the league and Inter needs a good start to the second half of the league if they wish to play in the Champions League next season.
Liverpool face an extremely stiff Europa League challenge, as they must overcome the Italians to progress to the next round of the competition.
Brendan Rodgers' side currently find themselves in second place of Group A with 7 points, three points behind group leaders Anzhi Makhachkala with 10. However, if the Reds fail to win in Udine and Young Boys manage…
The match ended 3-1 in favour of AS Roma at the Stadio Olympico, and since then Roma changed managers and their style of play whilst Udinese are still playing under a 3-5-1 formation. After back-to-back wins in the league, AS Roma are looking for a third win when they face Udinese at home.
The visiting side will travel without the experienced duo Giovanni Pasquale and Giampiero Pinzi; both are ruled out of the fixture due to injury. They recently extended their contracts till 2016 after it was set to expire in 2012. Udinese will go into the match with seven players unavailable for selection.
The Rossoneri come into their final game of the season knowing that they came so close to the title, but ended up losing it to what proved to be worthy winners. Having suffered a devastating defeat to arch-rivals Inter Milan last weekend, Massimiliano Allegri's side will…
Once again AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri has a selection nightmare, as not only will he be unable to count with the injured quartet of Alexandre Pato, Alessandro Nesta, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Alberto Aquilani, but also without the suspended pair of Mark van Bommel and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker received his marching orders…
August 16 and August 17 will present a host of European games. It’s the UEFA Champions League play-off first leg day.
English side Arsenal will affront Italy’s ambitious Udinese at the Emirates on Tuesday whereas Portuguese giants Benfica will play away to Holland’s FC Twente.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich’s clash against Switzerland’s FC Zurich will be the highlight of Wednesday’s action. Thanks to Rogers Sportsnet and Setanta Sports, football fans will be able to watch exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League playoffs.
It all begins tonight and ends in May 2012, when the winner of the competition will be crowned. August 16 and August 17’s schedule info: