In the 17th round of the Italian SuperLega, an intriguing match between Monza and Trentino will take place at the "Opikvad Arena". Massimo Eccheli's team currently sits in 7th position in the championship, whilst the northern Italian club leads the competition, albeit closely contested by Perugia for the top spot in the league.
For Massimo Eccheli's side, this is a season which could have seen two major successes. Regrettably, they succumbed to Perugia in the Italian Cup A1 final, despite brilliantly outrunning Trentino in the semi-finals.
The remaining prospects lie in the championship and the Challenge Cup, where they have the upper hand against Galatasaray ahead of the away match. As for the championship, it's fairly straight forward: finish the remainder of the regular season without significant blunders in order to make the playoffs, where they could potentially earn a ticket to the CEV Cup and possibly cast a line towards the Champions League.
Monza boasts a strong line-up this season, capable of winning a European trophy and accomplishing the minimum target in the SuperLega - to reach the playoffs. Striker Steven Maar, often recognised as the MVP of multiple matches, such as the game against Galatasaray, stands out consistently in the championship. Artur Schwartz also closely follows his position, consistently delivering valuable points for his team. Notably, Monza's defence is highly regarded across Italian sports radio.
The odds on Monza's victory under the leadership of Massimo Eccheli may have probably been underestimated before the match against Trentino. Nevertheless, Monza remains quite competent and could potentially surprise the SuperLega leader once again.
Securing a regular season championship is prestigious, but for Trentino, the focus lies on preparing for the Champions League playoffs. As they wait for a quarter final opponent in the European cups, amplified attention can be aimed towards SuperLega where complications are absent but the challenge to secure the throne until the championship playoffs is present.
In the Italian Cup, Trentino could have potentially defeated Monza, but their opponents played too conservatively - every player in Massimo Eccheli's team was prepared to give no quarter and at the very least showcase their abilities against the semi-final's and overall competition's favourite.
In terms of line-up, Trentino outshines many European teams, thus Favio Soli's athletes are considered favourites in every tournament they participate in. Among the key forwards of this team, Alessandro Michelotto stands out as one of the strongest strikers in the world. Furthermore, Camille Rychlicki is in good form, at times even surpassing Micheletto in individual performance.
Trentino is a strong team, which occasionally allows themselves to fumble. The clash with Monza won't be easy, but if Soli's team aims to maintain 1st place in the league table, they need to win this match.
In the first round of SuperLega, Trentino managed to produce quality performance against Monza on home turf. However, in the Italian Cup, the championship leaders fell short against the Lombard side, despite the latter not holding a substantial advantage.
Trentino is expected to redeem themselves from the previous failures in the Italian Cup. Therefore, I'll wager on Trentino win. Even if Soli's team ends up being overtaken, it could happen in one set.