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The top 2 title contenders of Serie A, Juventus and As.Roma will lock horns in what will be the most anticipated match of this month in the Italian league.
As.Roma started off their campaign firing from all cylinders and maintaining an undefeated record that stood for quite some time but a number of consecutive draws allowed Juventus to snatch the top spot in the standings.
Juventus are now at the top of the Italian league Serie A having only suffered from 1 loss so far in this season and considering the fact that they were eliminated from the Champions League, this will give them more time to focus on the Scudetto more than anything else.
Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman did not play during As.Roma’s match against Catania and are now expected to make their return in midfield hoping to give their side the much needed possession.
Possible starting lineups
Barzagli Bonucci Chiellini Lichtsteiner
Vidal Pogba Marchisio
Asamoah Tevez Llorente
Maicon Benatia Castan Dodo
De Rossi Strootman Pjanic Gervinho
Andrea Pirlo is doubtful on whether or not he will be available and make it in time as he is suffering from a knee injury while Marco Borriello will probably also be missing out from this match with an injury as well.
As.Roma started off the season in magnificent form as they secured 10 consecutive victories which was a new record for Serie A and despite having dropped a number of important points, they are still on fine form.
The biggest absence for Juventus will be without any doubt Andrea Pirlo as he is the playmaker of the team with his highly regarded passing skills that make it one of the best midfielders in the world despite his age. Antonio Conte has managed to cope well with the absence of the Italian playmaker as he has had to play without him on a few occasions.
As.Roma are fortunate to have almost all of their players available to play and they know that a victory from Juventus will probably end their dreams on snatching the Scudetto so expect them to go in full force.
Juventus 2 As.Roma 2
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Sergio Markarian is not the manager of the Peru national football team anymore. He resigned a couple of days back. The 69 years old Uruguayan had said earlier that he would not continue at his post if Peru fails in making it to the World Cup finals and he did exactly that.
The performance of Peru in the World Cup qualifying games was way below par. They were one of the 9 teams that were taking part in the CONMEBOL qualifying tournament and they finished at no. 7 in the points table. They played a total of 16 matches out of which they managed to win just 4. They were defeated 9 times, while, the remaining 3 games were draws.
The 4 teams from CONMEBOL that made it to the finals were Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Ecuador.
Markarian’s tenure as the manager of the Peru national football team had started 3 years back in 2010. He had taken over from Jose Del Solar. There were big expectations with him and it was believed that he had the ability to guide Peru to the World Cup finals. But, he couldn’t do what was expected from him. Peru’s World Cup qualifying campaign was disastrous again and he decided to quit.
Talking to the reporters after resigning from his post, Markarian said, “Peru couldn’t qualify for the World Cup finals and the management is responsible for it. I am horribly disappointed.”
“I always maintained that if I couldn’t guide the team to Brazil, I would quit and I have done exactly that.”
“The Federation wanted me to continue, but, I am a man of my words. So, I reject their offer.”
Meanwhile, Markarian’s resignation has been confirmed by the Peruvian Football Federation as well.
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Peruvian striker Claudio Pizarro is expected to become one of the important players at the club following the departure of Mario Gomez to Fiorentina recently. Gomez was sold to Fiorentina in the anticipation that Bayern Munich will be able to sign Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund. It is believed that the Champions League holders have agreed personal terms with the Polish international, but they have been unable to sign him because of the persistence from Dortmund that they would not allow him to join Bayern Munich.
This leaves new manager Guardiola with just two options up front and one of them is Pizarro. The former Chelsea striker has a great campaign last time around by playing as one of the three strikers in the squad. He has revealed that Guardiola has changed a lot since his arrival just over a month ago. Despite winning three major titles last season, Guardiola has substantially altered the formation and the way the club trains. Pizarro has said that it is difficult to get used to this new style of way immediately, but he reckons that once they clearly understand what the manager wants, they will be unstoppable.
Bayern already have one of the best squads in the world and the recently brought in Gotze as well.
“I can’t say [how long it'll take], we need to be patient. It takes time to understand what he wants, but we’re on the right track. We still need some time, but we’ll do it. It’s different, I’ve been in football a long time and I’ve never had a coach who makes so many changes. Once we get it I think we’ll be a great team. For the strikers it’s a bit easier – we just need to put defenders under pressure up front, that’s what he wants,” said Pizarro.