Udinese vs. Spezia Predictions & Betting Tips

These Udinese vs. Spezia predictions see the hosts on track for their best Serie A finish in a decade. With two games remaining, the Zebrette are 12th and come up against a Spezia side in dreadful form. 

Udinese vs. Spezia odds

1 – Udinese to win – 10/13

2 – Udinese to win 1-0 – 28/5

3 – Beto to score anytime – 21/20

4 – Over 2.5 goals scored – 8/11

5 – Both teams to score – 17/10

Udinese welcome Spezia to the Dacia Arena on Saturday looking to deal the Aquilotti their fifth consecutive defeat. Thiago Motta’s side have the worst form in the league over the last six matches and another loss here could see them at risk of relegation on the final day of the Serie A season. 

Gabriele Cioffi may only be caretaker manager since taking over from Luca Gotti in December, but has lead Udinese to a respectable seven wins since. Saturday’s penultimate game of the season offers the chance to further impress the owners into handing the manager a permanent contact. 

On paper the hosts are very much favourites, and we back the Zebrette to add to their win tally this weekend. If you’re looking to place a higher odds bet on the exact score then look no further than recent meetings between the teams, the last two of which have both ended 1-0 to Udinese. 

Neither of the goals scored in these two wins for the Friulani came from a forward. However, we forecast that the strikers may have more of an impact on Saturday. Gerard Deulofeu has been excellent this season, but our tip to score anytime is Beto, who is expected to return from a lengthy absence this weekend. The Brazilian has missed Udinese’s last six matches but could make a goalscoring return at the Dacia Arena. 

Should Udinese’s front two get back to their best, fans could be in for an entertaining fixture. There have been three goals or more scored in all of Spezia’s last four games, and in three of Udinese’s last four. As a result, a bet on over 2.5 goals scored could be a winner this weekend. 

Likewise, despite their relatively decent form, Udinese have managed to secure just one clean sheet from their last 14 league matches. Although they remain favourites, this defensive vulnerability suggests that a bet on both teams to score at the Dacia Arean may well pay off. 

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Udinese vs. Spezia last five matches

Udinese last five matches

Spezia last five matches

Udinese top goalscorers

Spezia top goalscorers

Udinese vs. Spezia line-ups

Udinese (3-5-2): Silvestri; Becao, Mari, Perez; Lucero, Makengo, Walace, Pereyra, Udogie; Deulofeu, Beto.

Spezia (4-2-3-1): Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Hristov, Nikolaou; Kiwior, Maggiore; Verde, Agudelo, Bastoni; Gyasi.

Udinese team news

Gabriele Cioffi could welcome back both Isaac Success and Beto for Saturday’s match in a significant boost to the front line. Nehuen Perez came off for Bram Nuytinck 60 minutes into last weekend’s draw at Sassuolo, with Udinese’s captain potentially struggling with injury here. 

Spezia team news

Spezia are without Jacopo Sala for the trip to Udine but could well see Ubrima Colley and Leo Sena return to the squad, while Ivan Provedel is expected to start in goal having served his suspension. Following Daniele Verde’s goal against Atalanta, Thiago Motta might look to push the winger further forward and return to a 4-2-3-1 formation. 

Probable Serie A line-ups: Torino-Napoli, Sassuolo-Udinese and Lazio-Samp

Check out the probable line-ups for today’s three Serie A games: Torino vs. Napoli, Sassuolo vs. Udinese and Lazio vs. Sampdoria.

We begin at 14.00 UK time at the Stadio Grande Torino, where Luciano Spalletti’s Napoli visit the Granata, who are unbeaten in six Serie A games. It’s the longest unbeaten streak after Milan‘s. Napoli have already secured a top-four finish and could stretch their lead over fourth-placed Juventus, who lost 2-1 against Genoa yesterday.

Sassuolo host Udinese at the Mapei Stadium at 17.00 UK time. Sassuolo haven’t won against the Friulani in the last seven games, while Udinese are the most prolific team in Serie A since the start of April with 18 goals scored. Udinese have won the last two Serie A games against Sassuolo and have never made it three in a row against the Neroverdi in history.

The last game of the day is in Rome and sees Lazio host Sampdoria at the Olimpico (19.45 UK time). Lazio haven’t lost two home Serie A games in a row since December 2020, while Samp haven’t beaten the Biancocelesti away since January 2005.

Probable Serie A line-ups

Torino vs. Napoli

Torino (3-4-2-1): Berisha; Izzo, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Ricci, Pobega, Vojvoda; Praet, Brekalo; Belotti.

Napoli (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Anguissa, Fabian Ruiz; Lozano, Mertens, Insigne; Osimhen.

Sassuolo vs. Udinese

Sassuolo (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Kykaiakopoulos; Lopez, Frattesi; Berardi, Raspadori, Traore; Scamacca.

Udinese (3-5-2): Silvestri; Becao, Marì, Perez; Molina, Pereyra, Walace, Makengo, Udogie; Deulofeu, Pussetto.

Lazio vs. Sampdoria

Lazio (4-3-3): Strakosha; Lazzari, Patric, Acerbi, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Luis Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Zaccagni.

Samp (4-1-4-1): Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Colley, Augello; Ekdal; Candreva, Rincon, Thorsby, Sabiri; Caputo.

Most thrilling Serie A title race was decided 20 years ago today

It was 20 years ago today that the Serie A season concluded with Inter, Juventus and Roma all in the running going into the final 90 minutes, but it was also the last Channel 4 coverage in Britain.

The date May 5, 2002 remains legendary for Italian football fans, as it saw Inter slide from the leadership to a third-place finish in a dramatic final day.

If the current Scudetto race looks tight, then think back to 2001-02, when going into the final 90 minutes there were Inter on 69 points, Juventus 68 and Roma 67.

Any of the three could still take the title, and Juve got their victory away to Udinese locked down within nine minutes with two goals, while Roma pushed Torino aside 1-0.

It was all decided at the Stadio Olimpico, where Inter had gone in front against a Lazio side with nothing left to play for and with the Biancocelesti supporters urging them to lose, therefore denying Roma even the slightest chance at the title.

Inter had taken the lead through Christian Vieri after 12 minutes, Karel Poborsky equalised and Luigi Di Biagio nodded in a corner for 2-1.

However, Vrarislav Gresko then had a nightmare that makes him still famous today among Inter fans, gifting Poborsky another goal before Diego Simeone’s header and a final goal for 4-2 scored by current Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi.

Lazio Inter 2002

Deulofeu: ‘How I’ve found consistency at Udinese, my favourite goal…’

Gerard Deulofeu is delighted to be the first No.10 to score at the Stadio Maradona and explains why he has found consistency at Udinese.

The Spain international has managed 12 goals in 31 Serie A appearances this term, setting a new personal record for goals in any of the top five European leagues where he’s played. Which one is his favourite?

“Although we lost, I think the one I scored at the Stadio Maradona [against Napoli]. I was the first No.10 to score in the stadium since it’s called this way. And it was a very nice goal,” he told AS.

“I haven’t always been consistent during my career, but I am in a moment in my life where everything I do has a meaning. My family, my attitude, the physical sacrifice and the team: everything works and has an impact.

“I was close to this level at Milan, but the organisation of my work was not the same as today. I understand the game as I had never done and I know what the team wants for me, that’s why I am more consistent.”

How important was Udinese coach Gabriele Cioffi?

“The coach has been motivating me. We enter the pitch like lions, he has a quality for this. He gives me a lot of freedom to attack, which is where I must deliver,” said Deulofeu.

“I move all around the final third, looking for gaps left by the opposing defence.

“There is a great organisation at Udinese, they take care of every detail. The club has incredible facilities and is one of the few Italian clubs with a new stadium.”

Sassuolo vs. Udinese Predictions & Betting Tips

Just three points separate these two teams in the Serie A table ahead of our Sassuolo vs. Udinese predictions for this game. The hosts will hope that a win can help them climb into the top half of the table, while the visitors have already secured their ambition of avoiding relegation.

Sassuolo vs. Udinese odds

1 – Sassuolo to win – 15/11

2 – Sassuolo to score over 1.5 goals – 17/20

3 – Domenico Berardi to score anytime – 13/5

4 – Both teams to score – 6/13

5 – 1-1 draw – 7/1

Sassuolo welcome Udinese to the Mapei stadium on Saturday looking for their first win over the Zebrette in eight games. With both teams mid table with three matches to go, neither has much to play for but the hosts will be hoping to end a miserable run of form. 

The home side have lost their last three matches, with their most recent being a 6-1 thrashing by Napoli. That said, the recent fixture list has been tricky for Sassuolo who had been previously enjoying a productive spell. The Neroverdi tend to perform well at home and will be keen for a response to last weekend and therefore are our tip to win on Saturday. 

Alessio Dionisi is likely to see his squad decimated by sales over the summer, with the likes of Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori in the shop window. Indeed Sassuolo’s front line has been highly impressive this season, scoring the seventh-most goals in Serie A. 

With 35 games played Sassuolo have notched 60 goals, meaning a bet on them to score over 1.5 against Udinese is backed by their form. Domenico Berardi, meanwhile, is our tip to score anytime for the hosts. 

Unfortunately for the Neroverdi, their attacking form is let down by their defensive composure, which explains why they sit four places lower than their goalscoring would suggest. Sassuolo have let in one more than they have scored this season, while their Saturday opponents have a zero goal difference. 

With Isaac Success adding to Udinese’s injury list, fans will have been pleased that his replacement Isnacio Pussetto scored within 45 minutes for Gabreile Cioffi. With both sides averaging over a goal scored and a goal conceded per game, a bet on both teams to score this weekend should pay off. 

Given that both teams come into the match separated by just three points in the table and with little to play for, it would come as no surprise to see honours shared equally at the Mapei. For punters looking for high odds, a bet on the match to finish 1-1 would be our tip. 

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Sassuolo vs. Udinese last five matches

Sassuolo last five matches

Udinese last five matches

Sassuolo top goalscorers

Udinese top goalscorers

Sassuolo vs. Udinese line-ups

Sassuolo (4-2-3-1): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Rogerio; Lopez, Frattesi; Berardi, Raspadori, Traore; Scamacca.

Udinese (3-5-2): Silvestri; Becao, Mari, Zeegelaar; Lucero, Arslan, Walace, Pereyra, Udogie; Deulofeu, Pussetto.

Sassuolo team news

Alessio Dionisi has the majority of his first-team squad available, although Jeremy Toljan and Abdou Harroui are sidelined through injury and Giorgos Kyriakopoulos is suspended. The coach may look to make changes after his team’s heavy defeat to Napoli last weekend, with Filip Djuricic losing out in favour of Hamed Traore. 

Udinese team news

The Zebrette’s two centre-forwards, Isaac Success and Beto, are both sidelined through injury for Saturday’s game, meaning a start for Ignacio Pussetto. Jean-Victor Makengo is able to return following suspension and will hope to step back into central midfield, with Tolgay Arslan potentially dropping to the bench. 

Football Italia diary: Advantage Milan, Roma still standing in Europe, Salernitana rally

Milan moved into pole position in the Scudetto race as Inter and Napoli faltered in a month blighted by terrible goalkeeping mistakes, Stephen Kasiewicz writes.

Elsewhere, Inter and Juventus booked their places in the Coppa Italia final, while relegation-threatened Salernitana staged a late revival and Roma advanced in Europe in an April dominated by Milan takeover talks.

Advantage Milan after goalkeeping howlers

Milan finished April two points clear of city rivals Inter at the top of the Serie A table in a month notable for two astounding goalkeeping errors.

Napoli all but fell out of the title race when goalkeeper Alex Meret made a catastrophic blunder as the Partenopei threw away a two-goal lead to concede three times in the last 10 minutes at Empoli.

Serie A | Empoli 3-2 Napoli: Complete Partenopei collapse

Inter’s reserve shot-stopper Ionuț Radu also made the headlines for the wrong reasons, gifting Bologna forward Nicola Sansone the winning goal in a 2-1 defeat at the Renato Dall’Ara.

The game was rearranged from January when Bologna failed to fulfil the fixture due to several players contracting Covid. Inter had protested against the rescheduled match and despite Ivan Perišić curling in a superb opener, Marko Arnautović levelled before Sansone gleefully pounced on Radu’s unfortunate mistake.

Serie A | Bologna 2-1 Inter: Radu howler is a Scudetto gift for Milan

The Rossoneri benefited as Inter and Napoli faltered but were underwhelming in goalless draws against Bologna and Torino at the start of the month.

Stefano Pioli’s men showed their title credentials in defeating Genoa at San Siro thanks to a brilliant early goal from Rafael Leão and a late effort from Junior Messias.

Italy international midfielder Sandro Tonali claimed a vital late winner at Lazio as Milan edged ahead in the race for the Scudetto. Ciro Immobile struck early on at Stadio Olimpico but the Rossoneri surged back, Olivier Giroud equalized after the break before Tonali dramatically struck two minutes into added on time.

Inter stumbled at the most inopportune moment against Bologna in an otherwise impressive month. Hakan Çalhanoğlu held his nerve to score a retaken penalty in a controversial victory at Juventus in Turin and the reigning champions went on to record wins against Verona, Spezia and Roma before slipping up at Bologna.

Napoli ended April in third position just two points behind Inter but having played one game more than the Nerazzurri and Rossoneri.

It was a chaotic month for Luciano Spalletti’s side as calamitous 3-2 defeats at home to Fiorentina and away at Empoli ended any realistic Scudetto ambitions.

Napoli registered an excellent 3-1 away win at Atalanta to start April but announced the squad would be banished to a permanent training camp after capitulating at Empoli. The Partenopei rebounded to thrash Sassuolo 6-1 at Stadio Diego Maradona but losses at crucial times left them trailing the top two.

In a month when Juventus and 10 other clubs were cleared of any wrongdoing with regards to inflated player transfers and values, the Bianconeri were placed fourth in the standings.

Plusvalenze trial, all clubs and directors cleared

The Old Lady recovered from losing the Derby d’Italia to defeat Cagliari and Sassuolo, finishing April in the final Champions League qualification position.

Coppa Italia Derby d’Italia

Inter and Juventus progressed to the final of the Coppa Italia to set up a fourth Derby d’Italia of the season. The historic rivals advanced to ensure an enticing final after meeting twice in Serie A and the Italian Supercup this term.

Inter stunned old foes Milan with a superb three-goal second leg victory at San Siro. Lautaro Martinez fired in a spectacular volley to break the stalemate early on and although Milan rallied the Argentinean struck again before half-time.

Second half substitute Robin Gosens scored his first goal for the Nerazzurri to round off an impressive display after Milan midfielder Ismaël Bennacer had a goal ruled out for offside.

Coppa Italia | Inter 3-0 Milan: Lautaro seals Derby and books Final ticket

Juventus overcame Fiorentina at the Allianz Stadium, former Viola winger Federico Bernardeschi capitalizing on an error from goalkeeper Bartłomiej Drągowski to volley home in the first half. Brazilian defender Danilo sealed a three-goal aggregate win with a late second in added time.

The Old Lady will face the Nerazzurri for just the third time in the history of the competition at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on May 11.

Salernitana rally for Serie A survival

Davide Nicola guided Salernitana to three consecutive victories in a late season resurgence which boosted the Granata’s hopes of avoiding relegation.

Marooned at the bottom of the standings for the majority of the campaign, the Salerno club recorded stunning away wins at Sampdoria and Udinese before defeating Fiorentina at home in a memorable April.

Serie A | Salernitana 2-1 Fiorentina: Miracle of the Arechi gets closer

It doubled their victory tally to six in what had otherwise been a dismal return to the top flight.

Nicola, who steered Crotone to survival in the 2016-2017 season, sometimes used unorthodox methods of motivation. The 49-year-old coach threw his shoe to the ground in frustration and appeared ready to use it to reprimand his players during Salernitana’s tense 2-1 win against the Viola at Stadio Arechi.

Video: Salernitana coach Nicola threatens players with shoe

Salernitana were just three points behind Cagliari in 18th place as the race to beat the drop intensified. Venezia, who sacked coach Paolo Zanetti, sank to last place in the classifica after four successive defeats against Spezia, Udinese, Fiorentina and Atalanta.

Genoa were second bottom on 25 points, claiming only one victory at home against Cagliari in the month of April. The Gialloblù lost the Derby della Lanterna in heartbreaking fashion as club captain Domenico Criscito had a late penalty saved by Sampdoria goalkeeper Emil Audero.

The 35-year-old left-back was in tears after missing the spot kick as Samp all but secured their Serie A status thanks to Adbelhamid Sabiri’s first half strike.

Venezia sank to last place in the classifica after four successive defeats against Spezia, Udinese, Fiorentina and Atalanta.

Roma the last club standing in Europe

Roma were one match away from a first European final in 31 years after making it to the last four of the Europa Conference League.

José Mourinho’s side exacted retribution on Norwegians Bodø/Glimt – who had recorded a humiliating 6-1 triumph in the group stages of the competition last October – by claiming an emphatic four goal win at Stadio Olimpico to seal a semi-final place.

Conference League | Roma 4-0 Bodo/Glimt (5-2 agg): Zaniolo hat-trick books semi-final

Nicolò Zaniolo netted a memorable hat-trick with Tammy Abraham opening the scoring as a capacity crowd roared Roma to a 5-2 aggregate victory.

Italy’s sole remaining European representative registered a creditable 1-1 draw away at English Premier League club Leicester City in the first leg of the semi-final; Lorenzo Pellegrini fired home in the first half before Gianluca Mancini’s second half own goal.

While Roma looked ahead to the second leg of the semi-final on May 5 there were no other Italian clubs involved in the latter stages of European competition.

Atalanta were eliminated from the Europa League in the quarter-finals, falling to Germans Red Bull Leipzig 3-1 on aggregate. Luis Muriel was on target as the Bergamo club earned a 1-1 draw in the first-leg in Germany. Yet Christopher Nkunku netted a double in the return game for Leipzig at the Gewiss Stadium to end Atalanta’s involvement in Europe.

Europa League | Atalanta 0-2 RB Leipzig (1-3 agg): End of the road for La Dea

Milan takeover

Milan were on the verge of a lucrative €1bn takeover in a move which could transform the fortunes of the Rossoneri.

Bahrain-based sovereign investment fund Investcorp looked set to agree a staggering €1.1bn deal to buy the club from the US led Elliott Management group. Investcorp, who also have links to the owners of Manchester City, were close to becoming the first Middle-Eastern club owners in Serie A.

As well as wiping out an estimated €100mn debt, the wealthy new owners were reported to have ambitious plans to take Milan back to the top echelon of European football.

How Investcorp takeover shakes up Milan-Inter dynamic

In what represented a version of fantasy football for Rossoneri fans frustrated with a lack of investment over the last decade, Investcorp had already looked at plans for a new stadium – with or without city rivals Inter – and set aside a purported transfer budget of €300mn for new players.

A host of high profile names, including Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez and Red Bull Leipzig striker Christopher Nkunku, had already been connected with moves to the seven-time European champions.

Serie A table on May 2 2022

Serie A clubs pay tribute to Grande Torino

Serie A clubs have paid tribute to the ‘Grande Torino‘ on the 73rd anniversary of the Superga air disaster.

It’s a day of grief and remembrance in Turin today as Torino players and fans prepare to pay tribute to the ‘Grande Torino’, one of the best Italian teams ever.

All the players lost their lives on May 4, 1949, when their plane crashed into the wall at the back of the Basilica of Superga. The team had won five consecutive Serie A titles and was returning from a friendly game played in Portugal against Benfica.

The Granata were proclaimed winners of the 1948-49 season two days later and Torino fielded their youth team for the remaining games of the campaign. The crash is commemorated annually, but this year it has a special meaning as it is the first time that fans are allowed to gather outside the Cathedral since the COVID pandemic.

Torino will have a training session open to fans today and players and staff will go to the Basilica of Superga in the afternoon (4 pm local time), where the captain Andrea Belotti will read the names of all the people who lost their lives 73 years ago.

Several Serie A clubs took to social media to pay tribute to the Grande Torino today. Here’s how they remembered the legendary Granata squad.

Gerard Deulofeu: “Lo mejor de mi carrera todavía está por llegar”

Gerard Deulofeu ha vuelto para quedarse. Con 12 goles y cuatro asistencias en los 32 partidos con el Udinese, el español está viviendo la mejor temporada de su carrera. Según los datos de Olocip, de hecho, es el mejor jugador del Calcio, con un valor de 14.63, por delante de Perisic (12.57) y Berardi (12.54) En su charla con AS, reconoce que llegar a este punto le ha costado tiempo y paciencia. Su gran sonrisa desvela que mereció la pena.

– ¿Cómo le trata Italia?

– Muy bien. Aquí estoy muy feliz.

– ¿Qué representa haber logrado su récord goleador en primeras divisiones?

– Me dice que debo valorar y no dejar pasar lo que estoy haciendo. He sufrido mucho en mi carrera para llegar a este punto. Lo mejor es tomarle sentido a dónde estoy y a lo que me está pasando, disfrutando de cada momento que me está dando el fútbol, tras dos años muy duros.

– ¿Hay un gol de estos 12 que lleva en el corazón?

– Aunque perdimos, el que marqué en el Maradona. Fui el primer 10 en meter un gol en ese estadio desde que se llama así. Y además fue muy bueno.

– Es la mejor temporada de su carrera, ¿no?

– Sí, y sé por qué lo es. Antes he sido muy irregular, ahora estoy en un momento de mi vida en el que todo lo que hago, tiene un sentido. Cuando me pasan las cosas, ya las he trabajado antes, las veo venir. Familia, predisposición mental, sacrificio físico, equipo: todo funciona e influye.

Estoy en un momento de mi vida en el que todo lo que hago tiene un sentido


– En su paso por el Milan también había mostrado un gran nivel.

– Sí, creo que el rendimiento fue parecido, pero el entendimiento y la organización de mi trabajo no estaba al nivel de ahora. Hoy entiendo el juego como nunca y sé lo que me pide el resto del equipo. Por eso tengo regularidad.

– El trabajo con míster Cioffi le ayudó…

– El entrenador me ayudó mucho en el aspecto motivacional: nos hace salir al campo como leones, tiene un don para eso. A mí me da un par de indicaciones para la fase defensiva, pero me concede enorme libertad al ataque, que es donde tengo que demostrar. Me muevo por todas las zonas buscando los desequilibrios del equipo contrario.

– Di Natale, De Paul, usted: los 10 en el Udinese rinden muy bien.

– Ayuda muchísimo su perfecta organización en todos los detalles, sus instalaciones son increíbles y es uno de los pocos clubes que tiene estadio nuevo en Italia. Ha lanzado a decenas de campeones en los últimos años.

– Según los datos de Olocip, es actualmente el mejor jugador de la Serie A. ¿Se esperaba llegar a un nivel tan alto tras las lesiones?

– Sí, confío mucho en mí y siempre espero ser un jugador especial. Es un dato muy bonito, ya que se refiere a la creación de juego y la aportación de valor al equipo. Me gusta, yo soy un loco de las estadísticas (ríe).

– ¿Cómo gestionó su grave lesión en la rodilla?

– Mentalidad, entorno, organización. Hay que regresar poco a poco. El año pasado fue de transición, me tuvieron que volver a operar y a partir de allí todo mejoró. Aprendí mucho con eso.

– Hablemos de la Serie A. El domingo estuvieron cerca de parar al Inter.

– El error fue encajar dos goles al principio. La reacción fue buena, pero meterle dos tantos a la mejor defensa de Italia es muy difícil.

<figure id="sumario_3|foto" onclick="javascript:ampliaFoto(this, '/futbol/imagenes/2022/05/03/internacional/1651607013_182424_1651608663_sumario_grande.jpg', '976', '650', 'Gerard Deulofeu encara a Bonaventura, de la Fiorentina. / Gabriele Maltinti&nbsp;(Getty Images)’);return false;” class=”item-multimedia” readability=”-21.80412371134″>

Gerard Deulofeu encara a Bonaventura, de la Fiorentina.
Gabriele Maltinti (Getty Images)

– ¿Cómo ve la lucha por el scudetto?

– Espero y deseo que gane el Milan, por supuesto. Soy su tifoso. Tienen una pequeña ventaja, pero no pueden fallar más porque creo que el Inter ganará en las tres jornadas que quedan.

– ¿Es cierto que el Calcio ya no es tan defensivo como antes?

– El catenaccio aún queda en una situación: cuando un equipo tiene resultado a favor. Ahí hasta el mismo Inter hace dos bloques terribles en defensa, y los espacios son muy cortos. Quitando eso, el campeonato ha cambiado totalmente. Hay más idas y venidas, más espacio, y eso me vino bien.

– No hay la intensidad de la Premier.

– La Premier tiene más, la gente le pide eso, pero te digo una cosa: tácticamente es mucho más desorganizada. Hay unos desequilibrios enormes, las defensas son mucho menos organizadas que aquí.

Italia no irá al Mundial y sus clubes siguen sumando malos resultados internacionales. ¿Cómo se lo explica?

– Bueno, lo del Mundial fue una desgracia, pero hace nada Italia se coronó campeona de Europa, eso no se puede infravalorar. Es un fútbol en crecimiento: en cuatro, cinco años regresará a un nivel más alto. Juve, Inter y Milan darán un paso adelante en Europa, y cuidado con Nápoles, Roma, Atalanta, Fiorentina… Desde dentro, me dan buenas sensaciones.

– ¿Sigue todavía LaLiga?

– Por supuesto. El Madrid este año fue muy superior, pero fue porque el Barça está en transición. Los aficionados azulgrana deben tener paciencia, porque para ellos se viene un futuro increíble. Tienen jóvenes con un nivel… Los veo con 18, 20 años y me parece una locura.

– Pedri y Gavi le han impresionado.

– Son unos fenómenos. Yo he estado ahí con esa edad y sé lo difícil que es todo ese foco, ese equilibrio que yo en su momento no tuve. Hay que darle continuidad y paciencia al trabajo de Xavi.

– ¿Les daría algún consejo?

– Lo único que puedo decirles es que sigan así. Yo, en ese momento, no tenía el foco, la mentalidad y el entorno adecuado para afrontar ese periodo que me vino siendo tan joven. Ellos sí, y se nota. Paciencia, sacrificio y a seguir disfrutando y aprendiendo. Con Xavi, Busquets, Piqué, Jordi Alba, se puede aprender mucho.

Pedri y Gavi son increíbles, sé lo difícil que es estar ahí y tienen el equilibrio que yo no tuve


– ¿Cómo ha visto a su amigo De Paul en el Atleti?

– Es un fenómeno, un jugador increíble. Allí juega en una posición diferente, un pelín más retrasada. Está en un proceso de adaptación, creo que todavía no han visto al verdadero De Paul. Pero lo van a ver.

– Luis Enrique le conoce bien, ¿piensa en la Selección?

– Es la máxima ilusión y el máximo orgullo para un jugador, pero sé que es difícil. Debo estar centrado en hacerlo bien con el Udinese: si tiene que venir, vendrá.

– Se ha vinculado su nombre a varios grandes del Calcio…

– De momento solo son rumores. Reconozco que me gustaría dar un salto, pero todo tiene su proceso y yo en el Udinese estoy muy feliz. Lo que tengo claro es que tengo 28 años y lo mejor de mi carrera está por venir.

Es el mejor jugador del Calcio para Olocip

Gerard Deulofeu está por fin mostrando todo lo que su talento prometía. E Italia le sienta claramente bien. En 2017, vivió seis meses en el Milan, en el que brilló con cuatro goles y muy buenas actuaciones. Después regresó al Barça, club en el que ha crecido, y pasó por el Watford, con el que marcó 17 tantos en 70 partidos. En Inglaterra, en 2020, sufrió la rotura del ligamento cruzado, una grave lesión que le dejó lejos del verde entre marzo y octubre, y que tuvo secuelas también en el curso siguiente, su primero en el Udinese.

La 2020-21 fue una temporada de transición, que le sirvió para recuperar ritmo y regresar al máximo de su potencial. Este año ha sido sin duda el mejor de su carrera. Con el Udinese ha sumado 12 goles y nunca había anotado tantos en una primera división (con el Watford, en 2019, llegó a 10), aunque su aportación al equipo va más allá de eso. Lo demuestran sus cuatro asistencias y también los datos de Olocip. Según la Inteligencia Artificial, es el mejor jugador del Calcio, con un valor de 14.63, por delante de Perisic (12.57) y Berardi (12.54).

El delantero es sin duda líder técnico del conjunto de Cioffi (es el mejor por tiros, goles, pases al hueco, pases exitosos, penaltis recibidos, finalización de pie, construcción de juego…), del que lleva el dorsal diez, y le quedan tres partidos para seguir perfeccionando sus estadísticas.

Luego, ya tocará hablar de mercado. Su nombre suena para varios clubes (Nápoles, Milán), algo inevitable ante este rendimiento y su edad. Con 28 años, su carrera todavía puede regalar muchas sorpresas.

Milan keeping a close eye on Deulofeu

Milan have reportedly reignited their interest in Gerard Deulofeu following his explosive season with Udinese.

The 28-year-old Spanish winger is really hitting his stride in Italy this season, scoring 12 goals and providing four assists in 31 league outings. The former Everton and Watford man is starting to live up to the hype and with his contract expiring in 2024, he could make the jump to a bigger club in the summer.

As reported by TuttoUdinese.it, Paolo Maldini and Frederic Massara have been keeping a close eye on Deulofeu this season and may look to make a move for him in the summer. Udinese are keen to pick up Tommaso Pobega, who is currently on loan with Torino, and so a deal could be ironed out on this basis.

The Rossoneri are preparing to further strengthen their squad this summer, something which will become significantly more exciting should Investcorp’s takeover be confirmed later this month.

Marino calls for further VAR clarification after Inter’s penalty

Pierpaolo Marino wants the usage of VAR to be clearer following the penalty awarded to Inter in their 2-1 win over Udinese.

The Nerazzurri doubled their lead late in the first half after they were awarded a penalty following a fairly close call after a challenge on Edin Dzeko. Whilst Lautaro Martinez did miss the initial spot kick, he netted the rebound. Referee Daniele Chiffi initially didn’t point to the spot following the challenge, but changed his mind after looking at the VAR monitor.

Speaking to Italia Uno, Udinese general manager Marino discussed the need for greater clarity regarding the usage of VAR.

“It was an open game until the last minute. Inter had a great determination but also a great fear, especially when Udinese reopened the match which was then decided by a penalty kick in the first half that referee Chiffi had not initially awarded.

“Was there one? Yes, but we should talk a lot about the fact that VAR intervenes when and how. We are told in meetings that it should only intervene on penalties that the referee hasn’t seen, not on ‘penalties’.”

He then spoke further about the decision to award Inter a penalty, something which could have an effect on the title race with Milan this season.

“This is a penalty that Udinese fans don’t see, then in other venues it is recognised. But I don’t want to appeal to that and create excuses, let’s give credit to Inter for playing a determined match. In the end they won and they deserve the credit, but Udinese played a very good match.”

The topic of poor officiating and inadequate usage of VAR has become increasingly heated this season, with many clubs complaining about a number of strange decisions.