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: Juventus hoping to extend lead at the top
The Old Lady has taken advantage of Roma’s dip in form to extend their lead at the top to three points. Rudi Garcia’s men have drawn all of their last four matches, in contrast to Juventus who have recorded victories in all of their last four.
In their last outing against Udinese, the Turin club notched all three points courtesy of a goal in injury time from Spanish hit-man Fernando Llorente who has seemed to find his feet in Italy. The 28 year old found it difficult to break into the first team initially but goals in his last three Serie A outings have made him an integral member of the first team.
Shrugging off the controversy off the pitch, following the topsy-turvy esque nature of Adriano Galliani’s resignation, Milan players picked up a desperately needed 3-1 win at Catania on Sunday.
It was great to see the Rossoneri replicate their performance from the Champions League win over Celtic to Serie A and it seems that Massimiliano Allegri has finally turned the corner following a poor start to the new campaign.
Once again, Milan were left chasing the game but like the Milan sides of yesteryears, they rallied towards a very important win that could define their season.
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.
At this point last season, Antonio Conte’s men were feeling pretty confident, having gotten over the draws that plagued them in their first three matches to wallop Danish outfit Nordsjælland at home after being held to a 1-1 stalemate two weeks prior. The Bianconeri then went on to of course, defeat reigning Champions Chelsea 3-0, effectively knocking the Blues out and making them the first team to win the Champions League one year and fail to get out of the group stages the next.
After finishing top of their group with 12 points, and more important, undefeated, they were given probably the easiest team in the round of 16, Scottish side Celtic which they had no problem defeating 5-0 and were the only side to get through without conceding a goal. Of course, their run came to a screeching halt at the hands of Bayern Munich, who outclassed the Bianconeri 2-0 in each fixture, leading Conte to make his famous skyscraper statement concerning his side.
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: 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: A potential last chance for Massimiliano Allegri
Things have not been going all that great for AC Milan, and it does not seems as if they are going to get better anytime soon. From 11 Serie A matches, the Rossoneri have taken only 12 points from a potential 33, leaving them 11th in the league table.
With only one win in their last five Serie A matches, Allegri's side could really use the full three points against Chievo.
Injuries have not made things much easier for the Italian manager, but their biggest problem has been keeping the ball out of their own goal. They have conceded 19 goals in 11 matches, with 13 of those goals coming away from the San Siro.
Zero. That is the number of games that AC Milan have won on the road all season—both in domestic and continental competition. Sure, they’ve, oftentimes been fortunate to escape with a draw—their Champions League tie with Ajax and Serie A clash with Torino come to mind, but the Rossoneri have yet to secure all three points away from the San Siro.
And as if their 11th place standing wasn't bad enough, one should note that they’re currently on 12 points, which is just three above nine. That's the exact number of points that 18th-placed and relegation candidates Sassuolo have earned so far this season.
Preview: Record breaking Roma poised to continue their perfect start
Marco Borriello’s winner against Chievo in their last outing resulted in Rudi Garcia’s men entering the record books after being the first club in Italy’s top flight football to have won all of their opening ten games. Their French tactician has lauded his players and has labelled them as magicians for their fine display this season.
"People are saying there are magicians that help us win? I have all the magicians right here, from the goalkeeper to the captain," the Frenchman said at a press conference.
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: Hosts are desperate to get back to winning ways
Allegri's squad has had to deal with a number of injuries early on in the 2013/14 campaign, but either way, they have been extremely poor. Currently 10th in the Serie A standings, Milan runs the risk of possibly falling further down the ladder if they fail to win on Saturday.
They will enter the match having drawn their last fixture against Lazio. That 1-1 draw followed up a disappointing 3-2 defeat at Parma at the weekend.
With the pressure starting to build on Allegri, the Milan manager is starting to show some signs of concern.
Preview: Roma to make it 10 out of 10 with a win over Chievo
Rudi Garcia’s men are poised to continue their hot streak in the league when they face Chievo, a side which is currently rock bottom in the league table. La Maggica extended their win streak to nine matches when they defeated Udinese 1-0 despite being a man down after defender Maicon was shown his marching orders at the hour mark. However Michael Bradley’s late strike guaranteed Roma of maximum points from the game.
Despite of a terrific run which has seen Roma defy all odds, manager Rudi Garcia has decided to keep his feet on the ground and has claimed that only a trophy at the end of the season will call for celebrations.
Preview: Juve to continue their good form against Catania
The Turin based club is unbeaten against Catania in the last seven fixtures having last lost to the Sicilians back in December 2009. Juventus got the better of their counterparts on both occasions last season winning both the matches with a score line of 1-0.
Antonio Conte’s men have picked themselves up after a disappointing 4-2 defeat at the hands of Fiorentina which saw them concede thrice in five minutes. In their last Serie A outing, the Old Lady scored a comfortable 2-0 victory over Genoa courtesy of first half goals from Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez. Fernando Llorente is gradually starting to become a regular member of Conte’s setup and the Italian manager has lauded his Spanish forward claiming that the former Athletico Bilbao man needed time to adjust to a new environment.
Preview: Both sides seeking revival after disappointing start
Both Milan and Lazio have had difficult starts to the new season and will be hoping that a win on Wednesday can kick start their campaign. Hosts AC Milan after losing against Parma courtesy of a last ditch goal by Marco Parolo, have slipped down to tenth place in the league table.
Following the match coach Massimo Allegri singled out troubled striker Mario Balotelli for criticism, claiming that the Italian international failed to follow the instructions given out by the head coach.
Preview: Bianconeri looking to bounce back from back to back defeats
Conte’s men have suffered defeats in their last two matches and will be rearing to make a statement when they host 16th placed Genoa at the Juventus stadium. The Old Lady surrendered a 2-1 lead against Fiorentina last time out when Giuseppe Rossi inspired a comeback for Viola to win the match for his side. In their subsequent match, Juve were unfortunate to be defeated at the hands of Real Madrid after defender Giorgio Chiellini received a controversial red card.
Despite their slip up against Fiorentina, Juventus are still third in the table with a chance to finish this week in second place if Napoli fail to gather maximum points in their match against Torino. Furthermore the Turin based club has had a good run on its home turf winning all the three matches played against Lazio, Verona and AC Milan.