Serie A Preview – Week 13

by Chris Mann

Mario Balotelli of FC Internazionale reacts with Philippe Mexes of AS Roma during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on November 08, 2009 in Milan, Italy.

Serie A Preview: Week 13

After an experimental Italy side managed a goalless draw in a friendly against The Netherlands during the international break, Serie A returns this weekend with a number of intriguing fixtures as the campaign begins to take shape.

League leaders Internazionale travel to Bologna in what should be a relatively straightforward game for Jose Mourinho’s side. Already five points clear after just twelve games, Inter will be looking to increase their lead over Juventus with a victory against the Rossoblu, a team that have struggled during the early stages of the season, picking up just twelve points thus far and perhaps over-relying on the good form of Brazilian striker Adailton. The possibility of a league debut for new signing and Ghana captain Stephen Appiah may cause Inter a few headaches, but anything beyond a Nerazzuri victory is almost unthinkable.

The most hotly anticipate game of the weekend, Juventus versus Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico di Torino should be an excellent game between two of Serie A’s finest footballing sides. Juve currently sit in second place having enthralled many observers with their beautiful football, the performances of Amauri and Diego drawing particularly lavish praise from the media. Udinese, despite having struggled to find any sort of consistency of late, have also been lauded for their style with captain Antonio Di Natale leading the league’s goal scoring charts with nine goals already this term. Juventus will be the bookmaker’s favourites for this encounter, but if Di Natale and friends can find their best form they might well spring an upset.

The other notable game of the weekend sees Leonardo’s Milan go up against a Cagliari side which has been going about building on last season’s impressive ninth placed finish. After a somewhat shaky start to the campaign the Rossoneri look to have found a modicum of consistency of late, a 2-1 win at Lazio in week twelve a positive result for a team on an upward curve. Despite recent progress Milan are still languishing in third place, seven points behind Inter and in desperate need of a prolonged string of good results to further close the gap at the top of the table. Cagliari, on the other hand, has been flourishing under the leadership of Masimiliano Allegri and currently sits in eighth place after majestic wins over the likes of Genoa, Lazio and Sampdoria. If forwards Nene and Alessandro Matri – who have struck up a potent partnership of late – can bring their best form to the San Siro on Sunday then the side from Sardinia might well be able to take something from the game.

Elsewhere, Fiorentina look to maintain their push for the Champions League places as they take on Parma at the Artemio Franchi, Roma will attempt to put an end to their recent struggles as they face Bari at the Stadio Olimpico and high-flying Sampdoria host Chievo as they strive to maintain their exceptional early-season form and keep pace with the league leaders.

Week 13: Full Fixture List

21/11/2009

Bologna v Inter
Fiorentina v Parma

22/11/2009

Juventus v Udinese
Livorno v Genoa
Milan v Cagliari
Napoli v Lazio
Palermo v Catania
Roma v Bari
Sampdoria v Chievo
Siena v Atalanta

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