Saturday, 25 August 2007

Serie A starts today!

Woot, as my brother would say. Or in the linguistically muddled words of my mother, final-fucking-mente. I shall do a quick Calciomercato round up later. First to business. This weekend's games are as follows:

Lazio Torino
(anticipo, 18h)
Juventus Livorno (anticipo, 20.30h)
Fiorentina Empoli

Genoa Milan

Inter Udinese

Napoli Cagliari

Parma Catania

Reggina Atalanta

Siena Sampdoria

Palermo Roma (posticipo)

Our game tomorrow night on the telly should be good, Palermo are looking a decent side under Colantuono, who is at least for now in the good books of the terminally deranged president Zamparini (who, incidentally, is backing Roma for the scudetto this year... which fills me with horror). Fuori com' un balcone, as they say. Anyway the Rosanero have hung onto the Aussie Mark Bresciano, for now at least, and their Brazilian forward Amauri is looking to be in top form despite a lingering injury niggle. We're without Perrotta (banned after his red card in the supercoppa) and Juan (still mildly crocked) while I think neither Pizarro nor Mancini are quite right yet either, they might be on the bench. So Aquilani alongside De Rossi in midfield, with Taddei,Vucinic & Giuly behind Totti.

Of the other games, the three newly promoted sides are all at home. While Juve's return to the top is of course worthy of mention, it's Genoa-Milan which has really been making the headlines. This is because the last time this fixture was played, in 1995, young Genoese Vincenzo Spagnolo, known as Spagna, was fatally stabbed by Milanisti outside his home stadium. (Course, they already had previous in this respect, since it was Milan ultras who killed Romanista Antonio De' Falchi at the San Siro in 1989. Not that there's any bitterness at our end. Oh no.) Anyway the prefect of Genoa and the local police, understandably, have pushed for a total ban on away fans. Twelve years may have passed but the fixture has not yet been repeated, and internet messageboards and the walls of the city have been covered with calls for revenge in the last week or so. At least that's the theory... how often textual posturing translates into actual knife-wielding is perhaps another matter. How do we balance the real and the perceived threat? If home fans can get away fans banned by threatening violence, at what point does the system become unsustainable? and is someone out there capable of distinguishing between genuine threat and media-stoked hysteria? Needless to say I hope the match goes ahead without any problems and that those Milanisti who have never done any wrong can cope with a weekend of watching Quelli che il calcio instead (now *there's* a prospect which could drive a man to violence...)

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