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Vidal a shadow of former self

 By Mina Rzouki

Flaws and threats on both sides as Juventus prepare for Napoli showdown

Juventus face a showdown with Napoli in the Supercoppa with the Serie A champions seeking to add another trophy to their bulging list of honours.

The press sniggered. Khalid Mubarak Al Kuwari, the vice president of the organising committee for the Italian Supercoppa in Doha, Qatar, described the match as a "global event." Hardly. With the spectacle overly anticipated, it's important Napoli and Juventus play a worthy game of football to justify the hype.

Maximum attention has been paid by the hosts to ensure this particular final will be played in an appealing environment, an attempt to prove to onlookers that Qatar are capable organisers...

Liverpool eyes Fabian Delph to replace Steven Gerrard, no Godin for United

ESPN FC's Steve Nicol reacts to the link between Liverpool and Aston Villa midfielder Fabian Delph.

Some people think the festive season is about counting down December's days until Christmas morning, but we all know the real fun begins on Jan. 1 -- keep connected with all the build-up with Transfer Talk...

Delph to step into Gerrard's shoes?

How do you replace a player like Steven Gerrard? If you're Brendan Rodgers, you sign Fabian Delph, according to the Daily Mirror, at least. The paper reports that the Anfield coach has targeted the Aston Villa midfielder as the man to take over Gerrard's...

 By Mina Rzouki

Cagliari do themselves no favours as Juve strike early for win

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti analyses the title race in Italy between Juventus and Roma.

Zdenek Zeman's sides usually provide the opponent with a challenge, but his Cagliari team, despite some bright moments, allowed the strength of Juventus to consume it, with the Bianconeri winning 3-1 away.

One thing that has been evident about Juventus in recent weeks is the determination they have shown at the start of each game. Despite playing every three days and perhaps exhausted from the packed schedule and little rotation, each game has seen the Old Lady attempt to finish off the opponent...

 By Mina Rzouki

Juventus must be at their best in order to beat wounded, dangerous Dortmund

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti discusses Juventus' Round of 16 matchup against Dortmund and explains why Juventus may have the upper hand.

Alas, the trending hashtag #PrayForMonaco on Twitter hasn't yielded the desired result. Juventus will be facing Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League round of 16. They may not be the worst opponent to face but things could have certainly turned out better for the Italian Champions.

However, a difficult challenge may be a blessing in disguise for the Old Lady. There is nothing that helps build momentum than achieving victory against impressive opponents and Borussia Dortmund certainly are...

Champions League round-of-16 draw pits familiar foes against one another

The ESPN FC panel discuss which teams can be considered Champions League favourites and whether Mourinho would rather win the Premier League or the Champions League.

It is a remarkable that, for a competition that now hasn't seen a repeat winner for 25 years, we still see so much repetition in the Champions League knockout rounds.

This year's last-16 draw features three ties that took place last season alone, as well as a restaging of the 1997 final. There also are similar features: Real Madrid got an easy draw, Bayern Munich should waltz through and it's difficult to escape the feeling that we're going to see the ongoing trend of all the teams who were first...

 By Mina Rzouki

Arturo Vidal is a shadow of his former self, and that's a concern for Juventus

Arturo Vidal was well below par as Juventus were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Sampdoria.

Juventus' 1-1 draw at home to Sampdoria on Sunday felt like a defeat for the hosts. It's clear Juve were the superior team, but their failure to make the most of their chances, especially in the first half, will trouble them as they attempt to keep Roma at bay in the table.

Aside from the immediate disappointment of dropped the points, the main issue to come from the match is the form of Arturo Vidal.

The Chilean is quite simply a shadow of his former self. While Juventus have been in terrific form...