Orr’s Wide World of Calcio: Round 7

Derby Day!

This man stole my Halloween costume!

It’s a tense week in Milan as the battle over which color stripe best matches black rages on in the fashion capital of the world.

Inter sit in a comfortable 3rd position while just edge out powerhouse Pescara for 11th on goal differential.

Yikes.

So you could say there’s more at stake for the Rossoneri in this one as another league loss, against their hated rival no less, would surely send the fan base back into despair even following a nice win in Russia midweek.

Allegri is still on the hot-seat, while Inter’s young manager Andrea Stramaccioni has done well to blend the old and the new in a formula that has been balanced and effective.

Milan have won the most of these contests overall, but Inter have the edge in Serie A play, 66 wins to 60. This will be the 179th time the two squads have met in the Italian top-flight since 1908.

If you are one of the 17 people who gets beIN Sport you can actually watch this match… but only the second half because El Clasico is on.

So grab yourself an illegal stream and enjoy Serie A like it fell off the back of a truck this weekend.

Notable Results from Round 6

Juventus got one over on their old nemesis Zeman, thrashing his Roma side 4-1 in Turin. Their draw midweek in the Champions League keeps their ridiculously long unbeaten streak (in non-Coppa Italia matches that is) intact.

WAG of the Week: Mrs. Pazzini, Silvia Slitti.

And that wasn’t the only blowout on the boot last weekend. Struggling Palermo boosted crazy Zamp’s spirits by crushing Chievo 4-1 in Sicily. The Flying Donkeys have failed to take off this season and sacked manager Domenico Di Carlo. Fabrizio Miccoli with a hat-trick for the Rosanero, capped by this absolutely audacious volley from close to his own half.

Bologna surprisingly crushed Catania 4-0 at home. Long-forgotten Alberto Gilardino shined for the hosts and now has 5 goals in 5 appearances.

And It’s good to be a calcio fan from Turin these days. Torino went into Bergamo and took down Atalanta 5-1. Former Manchester City striker Rolando Bianchi’s brace gives him 4 goals on the season.

Napoli dealt Sambdoria their first defeat of the season, 1-0 in Genoa. Cavani on target from the spot.

Promoted Pescara also notched their second win running, 2-1 away at bottom-of-the-table Cagliari.

What to Watch this Weekend

Besides the Derby della Madonnina, a couple of matches of the fixture list have caught my eye.

Fiorentina welcome Bologna in a match that pits La Viola’s vibrant, young attack (provided Luca Toni doesn’t sniff the field) versus the in-form pairing of Diamanti and Gilardino. The keepers will be active in this one.

At the same time on Sunday, Siena become the latest team to attempt to derail the Juve train. Former Siena and current Bianconeri boss Antonio Conte looks set to have his Calcioscommesse ban reduced, and should be back on the touchline by mid-December.

Napoli v. Udinese at the San Paolo is a juicy fixture for calcio fans as well.

Finally, Lazio head to the eastern coast to take on Pescara. While not a well-known or oft-played rivalry, these teams and their supporters have a strong hatred that stems back decades, even once clashing at a Primavera match. This image has been appearing in Pescara over the past week:

“The hunt is open”

Can you even imagine an American sports team getting away with this these days? Should be an explosive one.

Keep an Eye On…

Cassano v. Milan – The Rossoneri administration and fans stood by while Fantantonio’s heart was mending, only to have the mercurial striker rip theirs out in return. Many blame Allegri for his departure after he reportedly told Cassano their was no room for him in the Milan fold. If this is the case I fear it means Milan may have pulled another “Pirlo” and let a creative, Italian talent slip away with still plenty to give.

He already has 4 goals for his new club, and the lack of creativity in the Rossoneri attack has been glaring. Still there is ample evidence that Cassano just can’t stay happy in one place for long, and it could simply be the change of scenery (though actually he still plays in the same city and stadium) doing him good.

Whatever the case may be, he faces his previous squad for the first time  in one of the most heated derbies in world football. You never know which Antonio will show up.

The Promoted Sides – Sampdoria and Torino shockingly sit 5th and 6th in the table respectively and have just 2 defeats in 12 matches between them. Neither team has displayed a great deal of firepower, but Torino play’s solid defense and Sampdoria has been just organized enough to earn 3 close wins. And while Pescara looked an early whipping-boy the are now undefeated in 3 Serie A matches and despite losing much of the talent that got them promoted, they look likely to make some incumbent top-flight squads work to keep their places this season.

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