Serie A – Week 23 Preview

by Kevin Coleman

After a somewhat tedious round of action last weekend, week 23 should prove more exciting with the chasing pack trying to keep pace with Internazionale at the top of the table in a number of intriguing fixtures.

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The stand-out game of the weekend sees an in-form Roma side travel to Florence on Saturday night where they will take on Fiorentina, a team which is looking to get its campaign back on track after some disappointing results of late. Claudio Ranieri will be without both Luca Toni and Nicolas Burdisso for the trip to Tuscany, but that should not affect the Giallorossi’s supreme confidence, such is the team’s imperious form not having lost in the league since the end of October. Conversely, Fiorentina may well approach this game with trepidation, having lost to strugglers Palermo and Bologna in recent times and seen their solid early-season form evaporate into mediocrity. A win for the Viola would get their season heading back in the right direction, whilst a win for Roma would see the gap between themselves and Inter cut – albeit temporarily – to five points.

League leaders Internazionale host 8th placed Cagliari at the San Siro on Sunday afternoon as the Nerazzurri’s apparent march to the title continues apace. Despite Inter’s dominance this season, Cagliari may be catching the reigning champions at a good time. Although the Milan side are in excellent form, Jose Mourinho will be missing a number of players come Sunday, with Sneijder, Lucio, Eto’o, Stankovic and Chivu all out with various bans and injuries. If recently crowned manager of the year Massimiliano Allegri can get his tactics right and Alessandro Matri finds his best form, then Cagliari might well be in with a chance of taking something from this tie. This will be an interesting one.

Leonardo’s Milan, still harbouring faint hopes of claiming the Scudetto, travel to struggling Bologna on Sunday desperate for a result to maintain a title challenge which has slightly faded over the last fortnight. The Rossoneri will be at full strength for the trip to Bologna and should be confident of victory against a side which is just four points off the relegation zone and battling hard against demotion to Serie B. A win for Milan would sustain their title challenge, but a defeat would all but write off the team’s chances of overcoming their fierce rivals and claiming the title.

Week 23 Fixtures in Full:

Saturday

Palermo v Parma

Livorno v Juventus (Live on ESPN)

Sunday

Atalanta v Bari

Bologna v Milan (Live on ESPN)

Genoa v Chievo

Internazionale v Cagliari

Lazio v Catania