Serie B, Coppa Italia and Il Mondiale

Last updated : 23 May 2002 By Agent Orange

Napoli look like they will spend another season in Serie B after away draws with Palermo and Cosenza. The problem is scoring goals, gli azzurri just can't put the ball in the net. They have relied heavily on defenders and midfielders for goals and it hasn't been good enough. De Canio's team have flirted with the promotion places all season but it looks as if the chance has been missed. Modena and Como have already assured themselves of Serie A football, both teams securing consecutive promotions.

35' Giornata
Modena 35 68
Como 35 68
Empoli 35 64
Reggina 35 64
Napoli 35 58

Empoli, Reggina and Napoli will fight for the remaining positions, with the Neapolitans looking like complete outsiders. Things could have been different if Empoli had been punished for their team doctor rigging after-match dope tests. This weekend the teams have the following fixtures:

Napoli - Pistoiese
Reggina - Vicenza
Empoli - Genoa

Parma won the Italian Cup thanks to a goal by the Brazilian Junior three minutes into the second leg against Juve at the Tardini. The gialloblu win on the away goals rule, Nakata's late strike in the 2-1 defeat in the Delle Alpi proving decisive. La Vecchia Signora started with a weakened team but even the introduction of Del Piero and Trezeguet couldn't secure the goal they needed. Parma lost to Fiorentina a year ago and is some reward for a disastrous Serie A campaign.

Il Mondiale
Italy, who play the Czech Republic on Saturday, have announced the squad numbers. They are as follows:

1 Buffon 12 Abbiati 22 Toldo

2 Panucci 3 Maldini 5 Cannavaro 13 Nesta 15 Iuliano 23 Materazzi

4 Coco 6 Zanetti 8 Gattuso 10 Totti 11 Doni 14 Di Biagio 16 Di Livio 17 Tommasi 19 Zambrotta

7 Del Piero 9 Inzaghi 18 Delvecchio 20 Montella 21 Vieri

Roma's Francesco Totti has been given the shirt of the "fantasista". Let's hope he inspires Italy. Spare a thought for his Roma colleague Tommasi. 17 is an unlucky number in Italy and he has been given that shirt (I would have thought he might just be happy to be going - Ed). Think back to the 1990 World Cup, Schillaci scored in the 17th minute in the semi-final against Argentina, it was Italy's 17th game in the San Paolo and Donadoni, wearing 17, missed the crucial penalty in the shoot-out. Incidentally, Caniggia scored for Argentina that evening. On a more positive note, Montella has Paolo Rossi's number!!

Forza Italia,
Agent Orange