Tag Archives: 2014
Juventus vs Barcelona
The tale of two trebles. What a final this has the potential to be. Both sides are going for the treble, which is a somewhat unique situation. Naturally, Barcelona are clear favourites, but Juventus will relish the challenge of overcoming the ‘underdog’ tag to surprise the footballing world. I personally feel that it would be dangerous to underestimate the Italians, who stifled the attacking threat of Ronaldo & Bale in two professional performances that saw them through to the final. Juventus have an experienced team of winners who will be confident in their ability. On the other hand, the attacking trio of Suarez, Neymar and Messi have already made history in terms of amounts of goals scored and have been a joy to behold this season.
The movement and intelligence available to Luis Enrique’s side will pose a different threat to Juventus and Allegri will need to achieve what Pep Guardiola failed to do, being to come up with a solution to deal with Lionel Messi. Buffon labelled his talent as inhuman and his goal in the Copa Del Rey final showcased why he deserves all the praise he receives. However, as is often the case with Barcelona, there is a sense of vulnerability to their back four due to their expansive style of play. Therefore, Juventus must aim to exploit any opportunity to counter and also focus on delivering quality set pieces to give their opponents something to think about. Whilst I have a gut feeling that Juventus can pull off a surprise victory in Berlin, I cannot see past the fantastic footballing ability of the Catalan giants.
For that reason, I am going for a narrow win for Barcelona which will see them claim their second treble in recent years.
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Juventus vs Napoli
What a week it’s been for Juventus, not only did they qualify for the Champions League final but a second string side also beat Inter at the San Siro. Benitez’s men squeezed past relegated Casena in a slim 3-2 home win as his squad continue to struggle. Allegri might chose to rest some men after the Coppa Italia final however I reckon they still have enough to down this struggling Napoli team.
Genoa vs Inter
Genoa’s superb season continued as they came back from a goal down to win 1-4 in Atalanta and are very close to securing Europa League football. Once again a series of defensive blunders saw Inter lose out to eternal rivals Juventus and now need a miracle to qualify for Europa League next season. This will be a close game and considering both these’s side form I reckon a a home win is on the cards.
Empoli vs Sampdoria
Empoli survived the drop this term thanks to a number of good performances and will hope to improve further next season. Sampdoria are on a fine run of form and even though they were beaten by a better Lazio side on Saturday evening remain in the hunt for Europa League football. Considering what is at stake for the visitors, I reckon Mihajlovic’s side can win this.
Cesena vs Cagliari
Both these sides have been relegated from the Serie A following a disappointing season and are playing for nothing but pride on Sunday afternoon. I predict a pretty dull encounter between these two, dispirited sides.
Chievo vs Atalanta
Chievo were downed on their travels to Torino while Atalanta were unable to hold off an attacking Genoa side. The home side can thank a improvement in 2015 for their survival while Atalanta are looking like a shadow of their former-selves, a side who until recent seasons were giving even the big guns a run for their money. I predict the home side have enough to win this.
Lazio vs Roma
What is already a hotly contested fixture between these local rivals, has an added incentive this year, as both teams from Rome go head to head for the last two remaining Champions League spots. Lazio have probably been the surprise package of the season climbing steadily up the table in 2015. Roma on the contrary have been shocking since the Christmas break, and despite a superb start, quickly fell behind runaway winners Juventus. Considering the home side’s better recent form, I am backing Lazio to win this.
Palermo vs Fiorentina
Despite being outplayed in Sardinia Palermo showed enough character to wear off the home sides threats to win 0-1. Fiorentina bounced back from their humiliating Europa League semi-final elimination in a 3-0 home win over lowly Parma. I predict a score draw is on the cards.
Parma vs Verona
Even though Parma pulled up their socks and registered a number of positive results over the past few months, their off field troubles proved too much for Donadoni’s men. Verona have done enough to secure a mid-table position this season, however I am positive that Mandorlini will aim to bolster his ranks in the summer break. With Parma all but down and out Verona are favorites to win this.
Udinese vs Sassuolo
Despite taking an early lead Udinese were unable to hold off a determined Roma side at the Olimpico and will have to settle for a bottom half of the table finish, in what has been a dire season for Stramacioni’s squad. Sassuolo are just a couple of points above le Zebrette in the standings and will be pleased with their season considering last term they were so avoided relegation with just a few weeks to spare. I predict a close game between these sides who could both do with three points.
Milan vs Torino
Milan were downed by a superb Berardi hat-trick in the early Sunday afternoon fixture. Inzaghi’s men ended the game with nine men in what has been a season to forget for the Rossoneri. Torino comfortably downed Chievo on their home soil, however have not done enough to qualify for Europa League this season. This will be a close encounter between a struggling Milan side and a tough Torino side at the San Siro.
Inter vs Juventus
Inter can consider themselves lucky after playing against a nine man Lazio side for over 45 minutes and struggled to create chances. The Nerazzurri squandered a number of chances, including a penalty, before finally finding a late winner through Brazilian Hernanes. A second string Juventus side were held in Turin by a Cagliari side, who despite the point require a miracle to stay in the Serie A. Allegri’s men have a tough Champions League tie in Madrid and I predict an exciting score draw is on the cards.
Sampdoria vs Lazio
Sampdoria put on superb display to down a poor Udinese side on Sunday afternoon as Mihajlovic’s men look to secure Europa League football next season. Despite putting up a great fight Lazio were unable to hold off Inter and missed a golden oppurtunity to leapfrog city rivals Roma to second place. This will be a close game and considering both these’s side form I reckon an away win is on the cards.
Sassuolo vs Milan
The Sassuolo faithful will be delighted with their teams fighting spirit after they came back from two goals down to win 2-3 over Cesena. Milan will be equally pleased with Saturday nights home win over second placed Roma in what was their first win in their last six Serie A fixtures. Sassuolo are not an easy side to beat on their home soil and I reckon they have enough to hold the Rossoneri.
Atalanta vs Genoa
Atalanta are just one point away from safety with three games to go following their impressive away win over Palermo in Sicily while Genoa have maintained their hunt for a 7th place finish with an impressive 5-1 home win over Torino on Monday night. Fresh from their impressive win I predict an away win.
Cagliari vs Palermo
Cagliari fought hard to earn a late draw at the Juventus stadium, however it proved not to be enough for the Sardinians who now need a miracle to avoid the drop. It has been a positive return back to the Serie A for Palermo whose superb home form has helped them maintain a mid-table position throughout the entire season. I predict the home side have enough to win this, to at least give their fans something to cheer about before they are inevitably relegated.
Verona vs Empoli
Verona fought hard in an exciting 2-2 draw with local rivals Chievo, with all four goals coming in the first forty minutes of play. Veteran striker scored another important goal for his side and now sits just one goal off top spot in the top scorers standings, behind Argentine Tevez. Despite a brave performance, Empoli were unable to keep a dominant Fiorentina side at bay, with Ilicic scoring a brace. This will be a close encounter but I predict the home side can win this.
Torino vs Chievo
What can only be described as a superb season for Torino turned slightly sour on Monday night as they were humiliated in Genoa in a 5-1 drubbing to all but lose out of Europa League football next season. Chievo were held on their home soil in the local derby with Verona to remain in a comfortable mid-table spot. I predict Torino will bounce back in style this weekend.
Roma vs Udinese
Roma’s poor run of form continued on Saturday evening as they were soundly beaten at the San Siro by a more determined Milan side. Despite a number of positive performances Udinese were embarrassed in front of their home crowd in a 1-4 defeat. Garcia’s side really have faded away in 2015 and desperately need to win in order to secure a Champions League spot for next season.
Fiorentina vs Parma
Despite a congested fixture list Fiorentina have done well to remain in the hunt for Europa League football next season, even though they will most likely be knocked out in the semi-finals this Thursday night. La Viola won on their travels to Empoli last weekend, while Parma fought hard to frustrate Napoli, even if it is a little too late for the Tardini outfit. I predict a home win for Montella’s side.
Napoli vs Cesena
Napoli will be kicking themselves for once again slipping up to lowly Parma on Sunday afternoon to remain three points behind third place Lazio in their hunt for Champions League football next season. After only winning four games during the entire season to date, Cesena have now been mathematically relegated to the lower division after losing to Sassuolo. I predict a comfortable home win for Benitez’s side on Monday night.