Parma v Fiorentina (2-0)
Parma ended their winless run of three matches by securing a 1-0 win against Napoli with a late goal, thus seeing the Crociati reach the group of teams with 16 points in mid-table. Bologna sit just one point above the relegation zone, which they won from Inter in the last round. They meet Juventus and Fiorentina in the coming weeks, it is mandatory for them to score points here.
The five points dividing the two teams is the difference between comfortably floating in mid-table and struggling to get out of the relegation zone. Parma will play with less pressure and will want to push their rivals further in their own half, while Bologna may be left with few ideas should captain Diamanti not recover from flu in time.
Genoa v Torino (2-2)
Genoa are unbeaten in their last four matches, in which they have picked up 10 points, only dropping points against AC Milan in the 1-1 draw at the San Siro. Toro have just overcome a 8-game winless streak by defeating Catania on home soil and thus putting more distance between them and the relegation zone.
This game will probably see some quick, offensive football by both teams, who will look to secure maximum points by controlling the two flanks. Alessio Cerci helped himself to an assist in the victory against Catania but didn’t take part to the scoring spree, so he will look to bet here, but Genoa have kept three clean sheets in their last four games.
Catania v Milan (1-2)
Catania recently suffered their seventh defeat in seven away games this season, while at home they are averaging 1.5 points per game, a record that sees them struggling at the foot of the table.
Milan received a boost in morale and enthusiasm by overcoming Celtic in at the San Siro, but the Champions League job is not quite over and they have to focus on a very tricky trip to Sicily. Both teams have ensured a terrible start to the season and are decimated by injuries in key roles. Massimiliano Allegri will look to make his attack drag the team to victory, while Catania will likely sit and wait for a counter attack.
Chievo v Livorno (0-0)
By unexpectedly winning the derby against Hellas Verona, Chievo managed to remain close to Catania on 9 points and now they can see a way out of the relegation zone as they host an affordable opponent in the form of Livorno. Livorno stood for an hour before being outplayed by Juventus last time out. After succumbing to defeat against the Bianconeri and Internazionale, the Amaranto must avoid scoring falling to defeat against a direct rival.
Expect the match to start slowly and with both sides wary of pressing. Corini’s attacking playing style did not change Chievo’s attitude to keep the score low. The hosts need the points more, so Livorno will likely wait for them to make the first move.
Atalanta v Roma (0-2)
Atalanta have been particularly inconsistent, thanks in part to their away performances – one victory and six defeats – but they have managed to pick up the points necessary to remain in the top half. After achieving 10 consecutive victories, Roma have slowed and have draw three matches in a row, conceding one goal in each of the first two and then failing to score the last one.
Despite the difficult run of form that started following Totti’s injury, Roma are still one of the strongest sides in the league and can trouble Atalanta. Missing so many players in defence could be a liability that Roma’s attack will look to exploit with their technique and speed.
Cagliari v Sassuolo (2-0)
Cagliari attained their third point in seven away matches following the goalless draw on Monday night against Roma. The defensive performance was an improvement compared to the 20 goals conceded in the previous 12 games. Sassuolo have picked up seven points from their last three matches, two of which were played away, therefore giving them hope of staving off relegation.
The visitors have finally found a working solution for their attacking style of play, as they are relying on scoring rather than defending; 28 goals conceded means Sassuolo’s is the the worst defence in the league. Such offensive style turned out to be effective in away games, when opposing sides attack more and there is more space available. But Cagliari are a solid unit that should be able to close ranks and not lose balance while attacking.
Inter v Sampdoria (3-1)
Some might suggest that Inter lost the chance to climb to third place when Napoli lost to Parma last time out, but they currently have the second longest unbeaten streak – 6 to Roma’s 13 – and they are ready to push for a higher position. The managerial change handed Sampdoria some benefits in terms of playing style as they managed to keep Lazio 1-0 down with ten men until injury time, but now they need big points to rise from the relegation zone to a more comfortable position.
The most intriguing battles in the match will likely be on the two flanks, where Inter may miss Nagatomo. Sampdoria will probably not be satisfied with playing on the counter, as Mihajlovic stated that he will never play to avoid losing, but always for all three points.
Juventus v Udinese (2-0)
Juventus are first in the league and gained ground on all of the other teams teams in the top 9 last time out. They also won 3-1 against Copenhagen in the Champions League in midweek, which means the Bianconeri need only a point from the final match to qualify. Udinese kept up their inconsistent form by beating Fiorentina after two consecutive losses. Should they start picking up points away as well, they may become a contestant for a Europa League place.
The team with the best record at home (6 wins from 6) meets one of the worst sides on the road (6 losses from 7), and given Juventus’ form the visitors will have to be at their best if they are to get anything from this game. Juve will push hard from the start as they are in familiar surroundings, to try and have the game sewn up at as early a stage as possible, after their exploits in the Champions League in midweek.