AC Milan v Bologna 2-0
- Milan dropped points at Napoli last weekend, despite taking the lead and outplaying the hosts for much of the second half. Defeat saw them miss out the chance to close the gap on the top-6.
- Bologna surprisingly won their first match without Alessandro Diamanti, beating Torino 2-1. Hoping to win two consecutive away matches could be a bridge too far for a team that won just 9 points in 11 games on the road, so they will probably look to secure a draw.
- Both teams are experiencing managerial difficulties as the two managers look to alter their playing style. Unless one of the two coaches can improve his team’s organisation quickly, the difference in this clash will be Milan’s superior quality.
Fiorentina v Inter 2-2
- Fiorentina are unbeaten in their last six matches at home, winning five and drawing one. They also secured a place in the Coppa Italia final in midweek after overcoming Udinese 2-0 in the semi-final second leg.
- Inter have lost each of their last four games away from home and will want to return to winning ways after a 6-game winless drought in all competitions on the road. The Nerazzurri have won only two league matches in the last three months.
- The hosts are in better form, though a potential downside will be a number of fatigued first-teamers from midweek. Fiorentina will play a possession based game, while Inter are most likely to sit deep and hit the Viola on the counter-attack. Little suggests that Inter can correct their poor away form here, but the Viola will have to put the game to bed early on to avoid a potential slip up.
Catania v Lazio 1-2
- Catania picked up two points in their last two away matches, but wasted a golden opportunity to secure the win against Livorno at the beginning of the month.
- While their form has slowed at home following successive league draws, Lazio are impressing on the road where they have picked up seven points in their last three away games.
- Despite Lazio’s form, the trip to the Massimino won’t be easy and the need for points means Catania will fight until the end. Neither side is expected to settle for a draw, but a stalemate must not to be ruled out.
Cagliari v Livorno 1-1
- Cagliari have obtained most of their points at home (19 out of 24), and hosting one of the candidates for relegation puts them in the position of looking for the full three points here.
- Livorno have not won a single one of their last 10 matches away from the Armando Picchi, with 8 consecutive defeats sandwiched by 2 draws.
- The home defeat against Genoa wiped away the little confidence Livorno had gained after picking up 4 points against Sassuolo and Catania. Cagliari are only three places above them in the table, but they also have a 7-point margin that means they can still play without as much pressure on them. Both teams will try to win here: the hosts because it is expected of them and the visitors because a draw is not enough against a bottom-half rival.
Sassuolo v Napoli 1-3
- The price of Sassuolo’s astonishing victory against AC Milan has been four consecutive defeats since then. The Neroverdi have changed their coach but not gained a single point from that moment on.
- Napoli returned to winning ways with victory over AC Milan, and they also won the Coppa Italia semi final against Roma with an impressive 3-0 second leg win this week.
- Rafa Benitez will have to work without some important players from his favoured starting XI, so Napoli could take some time to reach top gear. Sassuolo should take advantage from that and strike early, otherwise Napoli’s attacking force could be too much for them to handle.
Juventus v Chievo 3-0
- Juventus have dropped some points on the road lately, but their home record still reads 11 victories from 11 matches, while their advantage over Roma (who have one match in hand) is still 9 points.
- Chievo have won none of their last 8 matches, and after some momentum just after Eugenio Corini took over, they are now struggling to stay out of the relegation zone.
- The Bianconeri should have no difficulty in controlling the pace of the game, and Antonio Conte will probably push his side to take an early lead in order to avoid suffering the same result as that which they recorded in Verona.
Atalanta v Parma 2-1
- Atalanta have been quite predictable with their results of late: three consecutive victories at home and three consecutive defeats on the road.
- By going 11 matches unbeaten, Parma are currently on the third best streak Serie A has seen this season (after Juventus and Roma), and they will be hoping to keep it going.
- Since Inter are playing Fiorentina and Verona only play on Monday, a victory here could put Parma in a European qualification position. Roberto Donadoni will make sure his players do not lose focus, and he knows that an away point would still be good in the long run.
Genoa v Udinese 1-1
- Gian Piero Gasperini had his undefeated streak at home ended after 7 matches (5 victories and 2 draws) in the derby last time out, but the psychological blow will have been cured by the victory in Livorno.
- Udinese were eliminated from the Coppa Italia just when their form in the league was improving. Two consecutive victories with clean sheets must not be wasted here.
- Genoa will probably try to make a quick start to the game, as Udinese have struggled early on previously. The away side now only have to focus on survival and a point here would be more than welcome to get away from the bottom of the table.
Roma v Sampdoria 3-1
- Roma failed to gain points on Juventus by drawing in the derby and then they were eliminated from the Coppa Italia by Napoli in midweek. The team have having a very good season, but silverware may have to wait.
- Sampdoria won the derby and then went on to beat Cagliari at home. Sinisa Mihajlovic’s past as a Lazio player and his ambition will make him go for the victory even if a point here would be a decent achievement.
- Considering both teams’ styles, the match is expected to be entertaining and quick paced. An afternoon setting would probably have given even better conditions for a spectacular match, but both coaches will probably try to strike first in order to control the game.