MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: 2018 MLS All-Star Game Preview and Prediction

2018 MLS All-Star Game: MLS All-Stars vs Juventus

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta – Wednesday, August 1st 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Main Event

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Preview

The best in MLS will take on Italy’s finest club side in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta on Wednesday. This will be the 23rd annual All-Star game and could break the attendance record with a full house expected at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The current All-Star attendance record is 70,728, set back in 2010 when fans packed into Houston‚Äôs Reliant Stadium to watch the MLS All-Stars take on Manchester United.

The MLS All-Stars are looking to win the game for the first time in three years after losing on penalties to Real Madrid this time last year. Prior to that, they fell 2-1 to Arsenal. The All-Stars last won the game in 2015, beating Spurs 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

This year’s All-Star team is stacked with attacking talent, even after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa have had to pull out. The likes of Atlanta’s own Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron and Ezequiel Barco will look to link up with fellow attackers Carlos Vela, Bradley Wright-Phillips and former Juventus star Sebastian Giovinco.

Head coach Tata Martino will set his side up to attack Juventus ‚Äď a team renowned for their defensive prowess The Bianconeri have added a monumental attacking threat of their own this summer in Cristiano Ronaldo but the 33-year-old will not be ready to make his debut on Wednesday.

Juve are busy preparing for the 2018/19 Serie A season as they will look to retain their league title for the eighth successive year. They are also the reigning Coppa Italia champions and only the second Serie A side to ever take on the All-Stars, following AS Roma in 2013 ‚Äď a game the All-Stars lost 3-1.

This will be the third of four Juventus preseason games in the United States. They have played two of their three International Champions Cup matches, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 before drawing 1-1 with Benfica, a game they won 4-2 on penalties. They will round off their ICC games when they face Real Madrid on Saturday but all focus is on the All-Star game ahead of that.

Ibrahimovic pulled out of the All-Star game on Sunday night after scoring his first hat-trick for LA Galaxy. That was as a result of playing¬†three matches in a week. David Villa also misses out with injury. Minnesota United’s Darwin Quintero and New York Red Bulls’ Tyler Adams are the replacements.

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Team News

MLS All-Stars

Position 2018 MLS All-Star Squad
Goalkeepers Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
Defenders Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Laurent Ciman (LAFC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Alexander Ring (New York City FC), Ilie Sanchez (Sporting Kansas City), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Yoshimar Yot√ļn (Orlando City SC), Wilfried Zahibo (New England Revolution)
Forwards Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Josef Martinez (Atlanta United), Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)Juventus

Juventus

Position 2018 Juventus Preseason Squad
Goalkeepers Wojciech Szczesny, Mattia Perin, Carlo Pinsoglio, Mattia Del Favero
Defenders Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Mehdi Benatia, Alex Sandro, Mattia Caldara, Andrea Barzagli, Joao Cancelo, Daniele Rugani, Pietro Beruatto, Roman Macek, Grigoris Kastanos
Midfielders Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Emre Can, Leandro Fernandes, Matheus Pereira da Silva, Alessandro Di Pardo, Nicolo Fagioli
Forwards Federico Bernardeschi, Luca Clemenza, Stefano Beltrame, Andrea Favilli

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Key Stats

MLS All-Stars’ last five:¬†L/L/W/L/D

Juventus’ preseason form:¬†W/D

Key stat:¬†Both sides have scored in each of the past six MLS All-Star games. There have been 29 goals scored in the past eight editions of the match ‚Äď an average of 3.6 per game.

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Prediction

MLS All-Stars 3-2 Juventus: This has all the makings of being a spectacle. The All-Stars have an abundance of attacking talent and will have to set up to attack the Italian giants. However, that could lead to an open game and Juventus have more than enough weapons themselves to unleash. Either way, this should be full of goals and we think the All-Stars have enough to edge it. Don’t be surprised to see former Juve man Giovinco score the decisive goal…

Advertisements

What does signing Paul Pogba actually mean for Manchester United?

The summer-long transfer saga regarding Paul Pogba was finally and perhaps unsurprisingly put to rest today as the Frenchman completed his ¬£89 million return to Manchester United. But what does his arrival actually mean for the club?¬†Lewis Addley explores…

In a summer market of crazy transfer fees, Paul Pogba has become the world’s most expensive player at ¬£89 million, how long that fee will remain the highest remains to be seen. Pundits and fans alike have cast their opinion on¬†just about every talking point regarding the 23-year-old Frenchman, from topics such as how Pogba is or isn’t worth the money to whether Manchester United actually need him.

So let’s have a look at what Pogba’s sensational return to United actually means for the club in terms of how Jose Mourinho will be able to get the best out of the highly-rated Frenchman and the impact his arrival could have on their current midfielders.

Where exactly can we expect Pogba to play?

Pogba netted eight goals last season for Juventus in Serie A from a central midfield role and in the modern game he plays a somewhat old-fashioned style. Pogba doesn’t tend to be deployed as an attacking midfielder, despite the fact that he can be a sensational finisher from inside and outside the box. He dictates the play, evident from the fact that his passing statistics are far more impressive than his shooting statistics. Pogba managed an average of 83% passing accuracy compared to 37% shot accuracy in Serie A last season.

Embed from Getty Images

Jose Mourinho is widely expected to play his preferred 4-2-3-1 formation on the opening weekend of the Premier League season. We can expect the new signings to feature from the off, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic set to lead the line. Behind him, Anthony Martial should start on the left, captain Wayne Rooney in behind in his preferred number ten role with Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the right to form a frightening trio of attacking support. With those front four slots occupied, it is clear Pogba is likely to be used in an anchoring role, deep through the centre of the park, most likely alongside Morgan Schneiderlin.

Will midfielders be leaving now Pogba has joined?

As everyone was still waiting for Pogba to be announced, Mourinho made it very clear that he was looking to bring in one more ‘high-quality player’ and have his business done before the opening weekend of the season. With that in mind it doesn’t look like the United boss is looking to offload any other players than those who have already been reported.

Juan Mata’s torrid relationship with Mourinho came into question once again after he was substituted just 27 minutes after coming on in Sunday’s Community Shield final win over Leicester City. Despite Mourinho giving what some may accept as an appropriate reason for Mata being replaced, it has only increased speculation on the Spaniard’s future at the club.

Embed from Getty Images

The future of Bastian Schweinsteiger remains up in the air. It has been made apparent that the German is surplus to requirements and he looks set to be on his way out from the club just one season after joining.

It looks likely that Mourinho has Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini in his plans, but just how much playing time the three midfielders will amass is unclear.

The remaining midfielders in question will not be expected to challenge for a holding role at the club as they are either wingers or upcoming youth talent. One worth mentioning is Daley Blind, the dutchman can play in the holding role but he has predominantly featured at the back for United.

Embed from Getty Images

There is no doubt the arrival of Pogba will be a boost for the United camp and some of his teammates have already taken to social media to show their excitement of his return. It is clear he has already made a huge impact in terms of talking points but now it is time for him to step up and deliver, to show any doubters that £89 million is a worthwhile fee for his services.

Is Pogba worth £89 million and are United right to have resigned the Frenchman?

The Dugout: Why Antonio Conte can restore Chelsea’s reputation

The 2016/17 Premier League season is fast approaching and a number of clubs will start the campaign with new managers. Fans will be expecting more from their team and here, ‘The Dugout‚Äė will explain why Antonio Conte can restore Chelsea’s reputation…

Chelsea fans will be itching for the new season to start after a dismal 2015/16 campaign which saw them finish in their lowest Premier League position since 1996. Antonio Conte’s debut¬†season looks set to be a tough task, he took on the role with the knowledge he needed to reignite a side full of under-performing world-class players.

For the first time since 2003 Chelsea will not be playing in the Champions League, although a tough one for the fans to take, there should be no excuses for a lack of focus domestically. Chelsea should be able to compete to their full potential in the new campaign and under a manager with a fierce reputation it is going to be a interesting one to watch.

Chelsea may have only won the Premier League just two seasons ago and still have many players from that squad for the new season, but this is a completely difference experience for them, fighting back to the top is an extremely difficult task as Manchester United have found in recent seasons. The appointment of Conte looks to be very astute and given how his Italy side performed at the European Championships, a squad regarded to be one of their weakest for many years, we can expect elements of the unexpected this season.

Embed from Getty Images

So why will Antonio Conte restore Chelsea’s reputation?

Passion: 

It is no secret how passionate Conte is as a coach. His emphatic celebrations and reactions on the touchline at Euro 2016 spoke volumes for how much winning means to him. He is a manager with a winning mentality and a reputation to be feared. If someone is not pulling their weight and giving everything for the team, they will know about it.

The Italian is renowned for being respected by his players and his philosophy is simple. “I always give education and respect but I demand the same, for all the people that work with me. I give them this and I demand this.”

The former Juventus coach added: “This was taught to me by my family, to give education and respect to all people. If I don‚Äôt have this, you are asking for trouble, for a problem.

“I love to be with my players, to speak with them, to help them to understand my philosophy, my methods and my thoughts. I love this. Hopefully when the players understand this we have a fantastic relationship.”

Conte’s vision is clear for all to see, work hard and show respect and in return there will be no issues.

Embed from Getty Images

Winning mentality: 

Conte is a winner, it is as simple as that. In his playing days at Juventus he won Serie A five times and then as a manager he famously guided them to three consecutive titles between 2011-2014.

The 46 year old also has an impressive European track record, winning the Champions League, UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup all as a player with Juventus. He has already spoken of his disappointment not to be managing Chelsea in Europe’s top competition this season and expects his side to return to the highest level.

Defensive Focus: 

Chelsea’s defence of their Premier League crown last season was nothing short of embarrassing. They conceded 53 goals in their 38 games and this is something Conte will no doubt be looking to improve upon.

Conte’s preferred formation of 3-5-2 served him well during Euro 2016, but he is by no means scared to use differing tactics. Chelsea have been using a 4-2-3-1 formation for a number of seasons now and players have got used to this style.

The Italian means business, he has already strengthened the squad with the signing of N’Golo Kante and rumours are continually flying around that he is looking to sign another central defender.

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea have had a managerial carousel in the Roman Abramovic era, and whether or not the fans like that, it has bought continued silverware. Conte will be aware he will need to get things right quickly or he could just be another one struck off the list.

After losing his opening friendly as manager Conte found a lot of positives and it is very early days for both the players and the man himself. He has the character and confidence in his ability to get Chelsea back to competing at the highest level but this is by no means an easy task.

Will Conte restore Chelsea’s reputation? Has he got his work cut out with this job?

Would this ¬£50m striker answer Manchester United’s goalscoring problems?

Manchester United‘s goalscoring problems have been well documented by pundits and fans alike throughout this season.¬†The summer transfer window is fast approaching and there have already been plenty of players linked to United.

According to Tuttosport.com, Alvaro Morata is a striker Manchester United are looking into. Any sale of the 23-year-old Spaniard would not come through Juventus directly. Tuttosport highlight United would be prepared to offer a figure around £50 million for the forward.

Morata has a buy-back clause of £24 million from his former club Real Madrid, who could well be tempted into resigning their former man to sell on to potential suitors for profit.

If United are interested in signing Morata as the reports state, Madrid would potentially stand to make a whopping £26 million if they were to exercise their right to buy him back from Juventus.

Embed from Getty Images

But is he the right man to lead Manchester United’s frontline? Lets have a look at his statistics.

Morata vs United forward

Morata 2015/16 league stats compared to Martial, Rooney and Rashford

As we can see, Morata made the most appearances in his domestic league compared to the three United strikers in question above. However, the only area he outperformed any of them was in assists.

Anthony Martial scored the most of the strikers compared with 11 goals coming in three less appearances than the Juve man. Marcus Rashford had the highest shot accuracy, though this is unsurprising given his substantially lower amount of games played. Wayne Rooney had the highest pass accuracy and created more chances than the other three strikers listed.

Manchester United’s Martial had the highest direct involvement with goals for his side, combining with his assists to tally at 15. Morata and Rooney came in joint second, with 14 each and Rashford had the lowest output with seven.

Embed from Getty Images

It is worth mentioning that these comparisons are only an indication of the output all four of the strikers in question, though it is difficult to make an exact comparison given the differing number of appearances.

With the stats presented in mind it would be hard to make a case for United to spend anywhere near £50 million on the Juventus forward and there would more than likely be a number of other candidates whose comparable statistics would provide a better option for the club this summer.

Morata’s strike rate is one goal in every 4.85 games, which in comparison to Rooney ‚Äď who has had his fair share of critics this season despite an injury-stricken campaign ‚Äď is worse, as the United captain has averaged a goal in every 3.5 games.

Embed from Getty Images

Martial and Rashford have had far less criticism than Rooney and their statistics better both Rooney and Morata’s. Martial is averaging a goal every 2.8 games, while Rashford’s output is one in every 2.2 outings.

It is clear from the United strikers in question that the squad needs an out-and-out goalscorer in this window. This would take some of the pressure off of the young shoulders of Martial and Rashford but would also give them another quality teammate to learn from.

Given these statistics Morata doesn’t look the right option for United, but as we all know, stats don’t tell the full story in football.

Would Manchester United be wrong to make a move for Morata? Who should they be going after in the summer transfer window?

Chelsea step up hunt for new manager ‚Äď talks set for Thursday

Chelsea are understood to be meeting their potential new manager, Antonio Conte, on Thursday for the second time as they don’t want to miss out on another target.

The Guardian reports the Italian national team coach and Chelsea have a reached a key phase in a deal that could see him paid a staggering £6.3 million a year before tax.

The Italian boss has a proven track record ‚Äď winning Serie A three times on the bounce with Juventus before taking up the role of the national team head coach in 2014.

Embed from Getty Images

Conte could be the ideal candidate for Roman Abramovic as his Italy side qualified for this summer’s European Champions without losing a game.

Chelsea are expected to have a clear out of their underperforming stars this summer and Conte could potentially persuade some of his former players to make the move to the capital and join him in what could be his new challenge.

Would the appointment of Antonio Conte be a good move for Chelsea?

STATS: Was Jose Mourinho wrong to let these seven players leave Chelsea?

Chelsea‘s form has been a huge topic of conversation after each game so far this season for one reason or another, mostly down to below-par performances.

Key players are failing to provide quality in the same way they did last season, with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard and Diego Costa the subjects of heavy criticism.

Jose Mourinho has let some big names leave the club since his return in 2013, some of whom are enjoying great form in their domestic seasons with other clubs.

Embed from Getty Images

With Chelsea under such pressure at current, it’s difficult not to ask whether¬†some of those names should have been let go, so we took a look at some of those players’ statistics this season.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 16.00.34

¬†Former Chelsea players’ domestic league stats for the 2015/16 season (via Squawka)

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 16.06.29

Petr Cech’s domestic league stats for 2015/16 as a goalkeeper (via Squawka)

Petr Cech comes out on top in terms of win percentage with an impressive 66.6% in the Premier League with Arsenal, which is 41.6% better than Chelsea’s overall win percentage of 25% in the top flight.

Romelu Lukaku, now at Everton, has bagged seven league goals so far this season. Chelsea’s highest individual goalscorer only has two (Diego Costa, Ramires and Willian).

The highest number of assists from those who have departed have come from Lukaku and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne on four. Cesc Fabregas, arguably Chelsea’s most creative player, has just one league assist after 12 games.

And perhaps most staggering is the fact that the highest number of losses suffered domestically out of the¬†seven players is only three, four less than Chelsea’s worrying total of seven so far.

Embed from Getty Images

While we are not suggesting Mourinho’s transfer policy is wrong, it is clear that his squad is lacking in creativity and goals this season. What we must not forget is that out of these seven players only Petr Cech and Andre Schurrle (departed January 2015) were in the Chelsea squad who won the Premier League last season.

But Chelsea fans would be forgiven for¬†looking at the names in the table above and wishing they could bring them back to Stamford Bridge to try and turn the Blues’ campaign around.

Juventus preparing moves for Arsenal and Chelsea playmakers – report

Juventus are looking to raid the Premier League for some of its best playmaking talents with Chelsea, Arsenal and Spurs stars all reportedly being targeted by the Italian giants.

Italian media outlet Calciomercato claims Juventus sporting director Fabio Guild has been in London in recent days as he is looking to sign Chelsea star Oscar, with Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil also a major target.

Oscar has long been linked with a move to the Serie A giants and Juventus believe they could land the Brazilian in January if they agree to pay in excess of ‚ā¨30 million.

Embed from Getty Images

Chelsea’s horrendous start to the season could mean that several changes are made in January and Oscar could be one of those allowed to leave after only starting five Premier League games so far this campaign.

Ozil is an alternative to Oscar but would likely be a more expensive investment, especially after his fine start to the season with Arsenal.

The German playmaker has more assists than any other player in Europe’s top five leagues so far this term and has now recorded at least one assist in each of his last six Premier League games.

Arsenal are looking to tie him down to a new four-year contract and so a move away from the Emirates looks unlikely as this stage.

Embed from Getty Images

While¬†Juve are also keeping tabs on Tottenham’s Danish superstar Christian Eriksen. The 23-year-old has also previously been linked to Juventus but Spurs reiterated that he is not for sale back in August.

Juventus have started the 2015/16 Serie A season in poor form by their high standards. They sit seventh after 12 games after winning just one of their first six league games and will look to strengthen in January.

Should Juventus be looking to sign Oscar, Mesut Ozil or Christian Eriksen? Which playmaker is the best?

Feature: Chelsea dominating transfer headlines but are they panic buying?

Chelsea‘s below-par start to the new Premier League season has resulted in transfer news and rumours flying around about a number of players.

The Blues have today signed FC Barcelona’s Pedro Rodriguez after Jose Mourinho swooped in and stole an almost done-deal from rivals Manchester United.

The 28-year-old winger made it clear he wanted to leave the Catalan giants this summer after a lack of playing time and although terms had initially been agreed between United and Barca, it is Chelsea who have landed the experienced Spanish winger.

With Eden Hazard, Willian and Juan Cuadrado all having featured already this campaign, you have to ask whether there is room for Pedro and whether one of these three will be on their way out of the club in the next two weeks.

Foot Mercato have reported that Willian has been offered to either Paris Saint Germain or Bayern Munich, which would be a surprise given he appears to be one of the first names on the team-sheet for Mourinho.

Embed from Getty Images

The John Stones saga also continues. Chelsea have reportedly had a third bid of £30 million rejected for the 21-year-old Everton defender, with a fee of nearer £40 million rumoured to be required.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will make a final offer to tempt the Englishman away from the Toffees but Mourinho wants the player and he will do what he can to get his own way with a short time left to go in the transfer window.

With John Terry’s position in the side uncertain ahead of the weekend clash with West Brom this will be a story with more to come. Whether or not Chelsea need the youngster is another question, with Terry, Gary Cahill, Kurt Zouma and Branislav Ivanovic all options for Mourinho at centre-back.

Ivanovic could find himself out of the squad for this weekend’s upcoming game, with new signing Baba Rahman tipped to start at left-back, pushing Cesar Azpilicueta back to his more natural right-back slot.

The odds have been slashed for Paul Pogba to join Chelsea before the window closes. This could be a clever manoeuvre from the bookies, given Chelsea’s late movements in the window leading people to believe they are willing to pay big money for players that will help them defend their Premier League title.

Juventus are reportedly holding out for at least £70 million for their highly sought after talent and having already lost many star players this summer, a move away for Pogba looks unlikely.

With a whole host of attacking midfield options at Chelsea already, Pogba would no doubt have to dislodge another player from a starting position. With Oscar occupying the number ten role he could more than likely be the player axed if Pogba was to join, with Juve linked with the Brazilian throughout the window.

Talk of Cuadrado going to Juventus is also ongoing but the rumours are that he would be going on loan to the Old Lady and would not be included as part of a potential Pogba deal.

Embed from Getty Images

It is going to be a very interesting and busy end to the transfer window for Chelsea if we are to believe the rumours and Mourinho’s side could be the ones to watch very closely as they look to make up for their worst start to a season since 1998 with some late transfer excitement.

Andrea Pirlo update: NYCFC deal close but unlikely to join until 2016

Andrea Pirlo‘s proposed move to Major League Soccer is still very much alive and a deal to join New York City FC looks to be close after the Italian legend spent¬†time at Yankee Stadium this weekend.

However, the Juventus star is unlikely to be pulling on an NYCFC shirt anytime soon as any deal will likely keep Pirlo in Europe until January 2016, when he will then join up with the MLS Expansion Franchise for preseason training, according to La Gazzetta Dello Sport.

The 36-year-old was in the United States this weekend and spent time at Yankee Stadium watching the New York Yankees play. He was joined by NYCFC chief executive Ferran Soriano, who also represents Premier League side Manchester City, as talks clearly took place regarding a possible transfer.

Reports now suggest his signing will be confirmed within the next week, though it doesn’t look likely he will be joining to help NYCFC during the 2015 campaign.

Frank Lampard is just weeks away from joining his new teammates, while Spanish right-back Iraola will also be strengthening Jason Kreis’s team as we enter July.

Pirlo is believed to want to remain in Europe until the end of the calendar year to ensure he stays part of the Italian national setup ahead of next summer’s European Championships in France.

Embed from Getty Images

He should therefore stay with Juventus for the first half of their 2015/16 Serie A campaign before completing the move stateside.

Though you¬†can’t rule out a short-term loan switch¬†to Manchester City, as another Frank Lampard situation could be on the cards if chief executive Soriano works his magic again for City Football Group.

Meanwhile, fellow Italian Sebastian Giovinco has been speaking about Andrea Pirlo’s possible move to MLS, and revealed he has been in contact with his former Juve teammate.

“I spoke to Andrea and told him what I think: that this is an experience worth having. Of course, then only he can decide his future,” the Toronto star¬†told Sky Sport Italia.

Embed from Getty Images

“I had two and a half wonderful years at Juventus, I won what I needed to win¬†and did what was asked of me. I am happy to be here in Toronto and have no regrets.”

So it looks as if we will be seeing Pirlo play in MLS, though not until the 2016 season, as NYCFC fans look set to have to wait for the arrival of their third Designated Player.

Should Andrea Pirlo move to NYCFC immediately? Or would waiting until 2016 make more sense?

NYCFC’s third DP on the way as Italian legend ACCEPTS offer ‚Äď report

New York City FC‘s search for a third and final Designated Player looks to be over as Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo has accepted an offer, according to Spanish news outlet AS.

The report claims that NYCFC turned to Pirlo soon after learning Barcelona’s Xavi wanted to play in Qatar rather than in the United States, and a deal now looks to have been agreed.

“Andrea Pirlo will play his last game for Juventus on Saturday,” the report claims.

It goes on to suggest that although it was speculated he would only leave if he wins the Champions League in Berlin, he has now made it pretty clear he is going by accepting a proposal made by New York City, with Ferran Soriano playing a key role.

Embed from Getty Images

Soriano is the CEO of NYCFC as well as Manchester City and Melbourne City FC, and he clearly feels Pirlo is the man to take the MLS Expansion Franchise up another level.

Head coach Jason Kreis has struggled to get his team winning matches so far, with just the one victory through their first 13 games, as they sit bottom of the Supporters’ Shield standings on eight points.

Frank Lampard will join up with his new team in July and could be followed in by Pirlo, and the two veterans could enjoy quite the partnership in the middle of the park.

Embed from Getty Images

David Villa is already with the team and he will be relishing the prospect of receiving service from Lampard and Pirlo ‚Äď two of the game’s greatest playmakers to have played.

Liverpool were also linked with a move for Pirlo as a possible replacement for LA Galaxy-bound Steven Gerrard but the lure of New York City looks to have been enough for Pirlo.

We now await official confirmation from the club, but it looks as if NYCFC have added a second World Cup winner to their roster in Italian legend Andrea Pirlo.

Will Andrea Pirlo be a good signing for New York City FC? Is he what they need?