Paolo Bandini on Muck Rack

Paolo Bandini Verified

Sports Reporter — Guardian
As seen in:  Guardian

Freelance writer/broadcaster specialising in Serie A, Premier League + NFL. Contribute to the Guardian, ESPN, BT Sport, The Score and NFL UK, among others

Juventus’s bestia nera returns to haunt them as Sampdoria seal a draw — In Turin, the locals spoke fretfully of a bestia nera coming to pay Juventus a visit. Those words translate in English to black beast, although bête noire might sound more familiar. The expression has its origins in medieval times, when the devil would often be represented in works of art as an animal with black fur and burning eyes.

Serie A Betting: In-form Genoa To Pile The Misery On Roma — The first five months of Massimiliano Allegri's tenure at Juventus been a success. He achieved his biggest goal for the first half of this season by steering the Bianconeri into the knockout phase of the Champions League on Tuesday.

Football: Knowledge - has a flamethrower ever been used to thaw out a frozen pitch? — "There's a story doing the rounds at my local that Blackpool once resorted to using a flamethrower to thaw out their frozen pitch," writes Bill Winkles. "Would I be right to think it's total guff?" Well Bill, it's not quite true, but it is closer to reality than you might imagine.

Serie A Betting: Dybala To Fire Palermo To Victory Over Sassuolo — Everyone is talking about Palermo's Paulo Dybala. Who can blame them? The Argentinian striker has scored five times in his last five games for the Sicilians, and last week teed himself up against Torino with an outrageous rainbow flick. "It was a nice goal," he said afterwards, "but I have to admit that I got a bit lucky."

Is Kevin Strootman Set for Manchester United Now That Roma Are out of Europe? — No sooner had the final whistle gone at the Stadio Olimpico than the rumours began to circulate about the future of Kevin Strootman. Roma were out of the Champions League, and hence it was presumed that the Italian club's prized assets must be up for sale.

NFL Talkboard and Pick Six week 15: Enter Johnny Manziel — They say winning isn't everything. Try telling that to Blue. A video of the Indianapolis Colts' mascot, tackling, shoving and generally being a jerk to children during the Vikings' annual Mascot Challenge has been doing the rounds this week. In his defence, he's not the first to get carried away in such a contest.

In defence of Mark Sanchez, and how the Carolina Panthers roared back — Michael Bennett could not resist sticking the boot into the Eagles. "Tell the Philadelphia police to put an APB out," said the Seahawks defensive end in the wake of his team's 24-14 win at the Linc. "[Mark] Sanchez is trying to impersonate a good quarterback."

5 Key Champions League Final Round Matchups — Who will reach the Champions League knockout stage? Which clubs need a win to qualify for the next round? Today Paolo Bandini shares his thoughts on 5 key matches heading into this last round of the Champions League group stage.

Genoa’s 100th win under Gian Piero Gasperini can be step to greater heights — The front page of Monday's Gazzetta dello Sport carries news of "A City in Crisis". They have used that last word rather loosely. The pink paper's reference was to the fact that both Milan and Inter had lost a day earlier, slipping to seventh and 12th in the Serie A table, respectively.

Ashley Cole Is Struggling to Find His Place at Title-Chasing Roma — Ashley Cole did a pretty good job of laughing along with his would-be tormentors this summer. Pictured standing awkwardly apart from his new Roma team-mates in an official squad photo, he quickly became the subject of an internet meme, in which fans mocked up images of the defender lurking in a variety of improbable settings.
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Dec 15, 2014

Sampdoria maintain their status as Juve's bestia nera in this week's @guardian_sport Serie A wrap:

Dec 15, 2014

RT @guardian_sport: Juve’s bestia nera returns to haunt them as Sampdoria seal draw. Serie A blog from @Paolo_Bandini

Dec 14, 2014

Betting tips for all today's Serie A games, starting with Juve v Samp, in my @unibet blog:

Dec 13, 2014

Betting tips for today's Serie A games right here on my @unibet blog:

Dec 12, 2014

RT @amylawrence71: The lovely @iainmacintosh has a new venture @thesetpieces so check it out to support one of football writing's good guys.

Dec 12, 2014

RT @br_uk: Kevin Strootman may join Man United, but it’s unlikely to happen in Jan, says @Paolo_Bandini

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