Al Volo: Serie A Week 36 Preview

by Adam Digby

After one of the most news-filled weeks of the season, the next round of fixtures are upon us already and with the relegation places all but settled, the focus is on the races for lo Scudetto, fourth place and the Europa League slots.

Table topping Inter, fresh from the greatest loss in the clubs history, visit Lazio on Sunday evening. Coming  just four days after their gruelling Champions League semi-final and three days ahead of the Italian Cup Final, Roma supporters will be hoping for another laspe in the league.

Lazio supporters have been begging their squad to lose all week to prevent the chance of their city cousins snatching the Scudetto away from Inter, which most would consider worse than seeing their own club relegated.

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Ronaldo Sees Poborsky’s Mullet

The fixture will bring a sense of dread to the Nerazzurri supporters as it invokes memories of the last time they blew a title, in 2002. That day they were two points clear, gained a two goal lead only for Lazio to come back in an amazing game, eventually winning 4-2 and handing the title to Juve.

For the first time since entering the title race, Roma have the advantage of playing first when they visit Parma on Saturday evening, giving them the chance to pile even more pressure on Inter.

There are again echoes of history as Parma were Roma’s opponents when the Giallorossi last end the season on top of Serie A, and the fact Claudio Ranieri has a full squad free of injuries and suspensions gives him a real chance to show what both he and his team are made of.

Third placed Milan also play on Saturday when they host Fiorentina at San Siro. It has been a difficult week for the Rossoneri, with owner Silvio Berlusconi appearing to confirm coach Leonardo will leave at the end of the season. These claims were denied by Vice-President Adriano Galliani but the Brazilian seemed indifferent when pressed for a response.

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“What’s The Weather Like Back Home?”

Fiorentina have only pride left to play for, but Milan outcast Alberto Gilardino will look to put one over on his former club. If he does, Sampdoria will have a chance to close the gap to third place when they take on already relegated Livorno.

Palermo need a win at Siena to keep pressure on ‘Doria, while a loss in this game would also relegate their opponents. The other relegation threatened clubs, Atalanta and Bologna face each other with the loser almost certain to join the two Tuscan clubs in Serie B next term.

Juventus will need a win away at Catania to keep alive their very distant dream of Champions League football, and to keep the gap over Napoli which ensures any European football at all in Turin.

It has been a busy week for the Bianconeri as they unveiled Andrea Agnelli as their new President, meaning the most famous family in Italian football is once again leading the Old Lady.

Hopefully he is his Uncle’s nephew…

The appointment is expected to be the first of many changes as Juve look to put the horror-show that has been their season behind them. A new coach and sporting director are needed, then the playing squad needs numerous improvements, in terms of both quality and depth.

Elsewhere Napoli visit Chievo, Bari host Genoa and Cagliari face Udinese. The season is still very much alive in Serie A, but this weekend could see many of the races grow much clearer.

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