Preview: Fiorentina hoping to take advantage of Roma’s dip in form
After winning ten straight matches in La Liga, Roma’s season was dealt with a twist with La Maggica drawing all of their four subsequent matches. Their antics have allowed Juventus to leapfrog them for the first place and if Roma lose out to their counterparts on Sunday they will be six points adrift of the top of the table.
Roma have uncharacteristically failed to pick up all three points against much weaker opponents, whom they were expected to do very well against. Despite not having managed a victory in the last four matches they have played, Roma are still undefeated this season a feat they share with German giants Bayern Munich.
Preview: Bianconeri aiming to end the week on a high
Antonio Conte is one happy coach. Unlike Rafael Benitez and Max Allegri, his squad has been getting good and consistent results on all fronts since back to back defeats in late October—to Fiorientina in the Serie A and Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League.
The Old Lady jumped a big hurdle in midweek by beating Copenhagen. They eventually finished the night above losers Galatasaray. In Europe, Juventus hold their destiny in their own hands. A draw on Matchday 6 could be enough to see them join Group B winners Real Madrid into the Round of 16.
Preview: Pressure still on for Allegri after five winless Serie A matches
The last time AC Milan won a Serie A match seems so long ago. A 1-0 victory over Udinese at the San Siro on October 19 was the last time the Rossoneri claimed three points in the domestic campaign.
With pressure mounting on Allegri and Galliani's departure, Milan are almost forced to emerge victorious on Sunday, when they take on last placed Catania.
Preview: Roma looking to return to winning ways
After starting the season in impeccable fashion which saw them winning all of their opening ten matches Roma have dropped points in consecutive games drawing against bottom table teams Sassuolo and Torino which has narrowed the gap between them and second placed Juventus. Roma will now be looking to make amends against a Cagliari side which has lost thrice in the last five matches.
Despite of their performances in the last two fixtures La Maggica are the only side unbeaten in Italy’s top tier league and will be hoping to maintain their record when they face the Rossoblu.
Roma fans are likely to take manager Rudi Garcia’s recent comments on his side’s title aspirations with a pinch of salt. The Frenchman has stated that his side is not as good as Juventus and that it would be an achievement for Roma to finish in the top five.
Preview: Old Lady looking to leapfrog Serie A leaders Roma
The Turin based club will be hoping to take advantage of Roma’s dip in form by taking the top spot in Serie A. A win for the Old Lady, coupled with a draw or loss for Roma will see Juventus finish the week on top.
The bianconeri put up an impressive showing in their last Serie A encounter when they thrashed Napoli 3-0 in a very dominant display, in doing so Juventus maintained their perfect home record and ensured that the gap between them and league leaders Roma was narrowed down.
Preview: Scudetto chase continues for Rafael Benitez
Napoli are looking at clinching their 11th victory in 12 home games in the Italian Serie A. Records favour the Blues who have won five of their last 6 meetings against the Crusaders.
A massive wall of 15 points separate third-placed Napoli from eleventh-placed Parma. These two teams are having a very different season.
Rafael Benitez will be hoping to correct the mistakes that condemned his men to a cruel 3-0 loss away to Juventus before the international break. With a crucial UEFA Champions League clash against Borussia Dortmund coming up next Tuesday, Rafa must protect the confidence that his squad has built since the beginning of the season.
Preview: German nightmares to be revived in Milan?
Germany will be without Mario Gomez going into this one. Bastian Schweinsteiger underwent ankle surgery recently and is set to be out as well. Miroslav Klose is a doubt after sustaining a shoulder injury for Lazio against Parma. Mesut Özil and Per Mertesacker are both trying to recover from illnesses to get themselves ready for this match. All permutations concerned, young Max Kruse might lead the line in this friendly for the Germans. Other alternatives would include starting Mario Götze or Thomas Müller as a falsche neun.
Preview: Juve and Napoli both in top form
Sunday’s fixture comes at a perfect time for both sides. Juventus have found back the confidence they need to challenge for silverware. They have picked maximum points from their last three league matches and are unbeaten in all competitions since their back-to-back defeats away to Fiorentina and Real Madrid.
The Scudetto champions enter the match with 28 points like second-placed Napoli. The latter have scores to settle in Turin but they will be hopeful of ending Sunday’s match with at least a point, looking at their great form under Rafael Benitez.
Preview: Roma-Sassuolo square off for the first time ever
Roma will be hoping to bounce back from their draw last time out against a team they have never faced before. Eusebio Di Francesco’s Sassuolo earned promotion to the top tier of Italian football by finishing top of the Serie B table last season, however their premier journey in the Serie A has been one to forget.
The Neroverdi side has conceded 27 goals in just 11 games and could be in for a battering from a Roma side which will be hoping to extend their lead at the top. Whereas their fragile defence is easily the worst in the league, the side has displayed some good attacking game which will give them some confidence ahead of the big match against Roma.
Preview: Parma looking to cause another upset at the expense of Juventus
Marco Parolo's strike at the death gave the Crusaders a 3-2 victory over AC Milan and Roberto Donadoni’s men would be hopeful of causing another upset when they face defending champions Juventus at home.
Despite their heroics against Milan last week, Parma are currently 11th in the league table and have won just two in their last five games. In their last outing against Genoa, Donadoni’s men fell to an Alberto Gilardino strike on the 57th minute, as Parma lost 1-0 to I Rossoblu.
Preview: Old Lady to take advantage of Fiorentina’s shaky start
The Viola have won just three of the seven matches they have played in the league so far and sit sixth in the Serie A table with 12 points. Vincenzo Montella’s men have also failed to win in their last three outings and to make matter worse for Fiorentina their record against their counterparts has been disappointing as of late.
Fiorentina have not just failed to defeat Juve in their last ten consecutive meetings but have also failed to score against Bianconeri in the past three clashes between the two sides. The Gigliati last managed to score a victory over the defending champions back in March 2008 and Fiorentina forward Giuseppe Rossi who has rejuvenated his career with six goals in all competitions this season is hoping to end his team’s woeful run against the Turin side.
Preview: Three points vital for the Danes as they face 2006 world champions
Morten Olsen’s side will fight tooth and nail as they hope to secure a place in the World Cup for the second consecutive time, however the Danes will have to be at their very best as they face a very strong Italy side.
Denmark are currently third in Group B trailing Bulgaria by just a single point and will be hoping to gain maximum points in their subsequent matches against Italy and Malta to finish the group in second place.
Preview: Both clubs are struggling, but the Rossoneri are worst off
Both AC Milan and Juventus are two of the most historic clubs in Italian Football, but at the moment, they do not look like it.
The visitors have it much worst than Juventus at the moment. Allegri's side is full of injuries, and they have been unable to sort out their defensive issues. From six Serie A matches, the Rossoneri have conceded 10 goals, which leaves them with an average of 1.7 goals against per match.
With only one cleansheet in the current Serie A campaign, Allegri is hopeful that his defensive issues can get sorted out sooner rather than later. Going up against a Juventus side that has 11 goals and only four conceded could cause more headaches for the visitors.
Preview: Roma looking to maintain winning streak at the expense of Inter
The arrival of Rudi Garcia has revived La Maggica who have won six out of six in the league so far maintaining a 100 percent win record. The departures of key players including Erik Lamela, Marquinhos and Pablo Osvaldo has not affected Garcia’s side who have invested the money wisely on new players.
Adem Ljajic and Gervinho who were signed from Fiorentina and Arsenal respectively have scored three goals apiece so far. Roma’s other high profile capture Kevin Strootman has also seamlessly adjusted into his new side and has notched up three assists in the league so far.
Preview: Victory is a must for both the Rossoneri and their opponents
It is going to be another 90 minutes without Mario Balotelli for the hosts. The absence of the suspended Italian striker is not doing Milan any favours but it cannot be blamed much either. Without SuperMario, the Rossoneri still managed to net three goals in their last game. Their main problem turned out to be in defence.
What Allegri and his men have learned from that dramatic 3-3 draw away to Bologna is what Milan fans are hoping to see this Saturday at home to Sampdoria. Both sides are not having a dream start to their Serie A campaign.
Preview: AC Milan's list of injuries could play a part in this match
Although battered with injuries, AC Milan managed to come out of their mid-week match against Celtic with the full three points. A goal from Sulley Muntari and an own goal from Celtic's Izaguirre got the Italians off to a positive start, but they will face a tougher test on Sunday against Napoli.
Allegri's side have had to battle for every point due to key absences, and on Sunday they will have to do the same.
With Matias Silvestre, Kaka, Pazzini, Bonera, De Sciglio, El Shaarawy and Montolivo missing, the Rossoneri will have to once again dig deep if they want to knock off the current Serie A leaders. Apart from all the bad news, Allegri will likely welcome back Abate, Niang and Saponara from injury.
Preview: More routine red cards as Roma aim to humble their rivals?
It is all well with the Giallorossi so far. They have picked up maximum points since the start of the league in August. Their three-out-of-three run started in Livorno thanks to goals from De Rossi and Florenzi.
On Matchday 2, Roma trampled over newcomers Hellas Verona, showing Matchday 1 victims Milan how it must be done to tackle the tricky Gialloblu. 3-0 was the score line as Miralem Pjanic and Adem Ljajic became the third and fourth different goalscorers respectively for Roma in the Serie A. The first strike in this victory was an own-goal by Cacciatore.
Preview: Inter and Juve both in top form – who wins?
The whole of Italy is beaming following the exploits of the Azzurri during the international break. The 2006 World Cup winners qualified for Brazil 2014 last Tuesday. This achievement preceded their evolvement in the latest FIFA World Ranking released on Thursday; the Italians are now fourth behind world leaders Spain, Lionel Messi’s Argentina and 2010 World Cup bronze medallists Germany.
On Saturday, however, all of these will be put aside as Internazionale and Juventus will lock horns. Fans of each side will engage in a heated atmosphere at the San Siro. This will be an exciting way to open Matchday 3 in the Italian Serie A.
Preview: Tough task ahead for Azzurri as they aim to secure their place at the top
Cesare Prandelli is aware of the importance of not labouring towards a World Cup qualification place ahead of a vital Group B encounter at home against Czech Republic who will also be eager to steal the show in a bid to overtake Bulgaria in the second spot in the group standings.
As things stand, Italy lead group B of the WCQ with 17 points from seven games, followed by Bulgaria in second place with 10 points who have the Czechs breathing down their necks, trailing them by a solitary point.
Preview: Allegri in search of first Serie A points
The most shocking news of the week was arguably Kevin-Prince Boateng’s transfer from Milan to Schalke 04. The Ghanaian midfielder scored twice on Wednesday against PSV to put the Rossoneri into the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League group stages.
However, news about the potential return of Real Madrid’s Kaka to the San Siro emerged and Boateng immediately left. While it is possible that Brazilian World Cup and Confederations Cup winner Kaka would soon wear the Milan jersey again, the team must currently deal with the sudden departure of Boateng.
For now, Sunday’s hosts are without a win in the Italian Serie A. They kicked off their campaign with a tricky fixture away to newly-promoted side Hellas Verona. The latter, powered by 2006 FIFA World Cup icon Luca Toni, stunned Milan with a 2-1 score line.