Serie A – Week 24 Preview

by Chris Mann

The dust has settled after last weekend’s events and, in the aftermath of another unpredictable round of games, it is now clear that the Scudetto is Inter’s to lose. Jose Mourinho’s side are nine points clear of their nearest challengers Roma and are very much odds-on to secure a fifth league title in succession. Only self-implosion can stop the Nerazzurri now.

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira Gaucho Ronaldinho of AC Milan is challenged by Mauricio Isla  of Udinese Calcio during the Serie A match between AC Milan and Udinese Calcio at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on February 12, 2010 in Milan, Italy.

Napoli, the league leaders’ forthcoming opponents, will be hoping to disrupt Inter’s apparent stroll to the title as they host the reigning champions at the Stadio San Paolo on Sunday evening. After a highly contentious defeat to Udinese last weekend, Napoli will be keen to return to form by getting a result against La Beneamata. Ezequiel Lavezzi’s return after a month absent with injury will be a significant boost for the Partenopei, his technical proficiency being substantial enough to worry the Inter defence. Roma and Milan fans will certainly be desperate for Walter Mazzarri’s team to conquer the Nerazzurri and start chipping away at the gap at the top of the league.

At Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening, Claudio Ranieri’s Roma take on Palermo as the Giallorossi continue to cling to their slim hopes of claiming the league title. Having been in a rich vein of form since October, Roma should be confident of overcoming an occasionally impressive but still frustratingly inconsistent Palermo side. Luca Toni is Ranieri’s only injury concern, whilst Palermo will be missing two key players in the form of Antonio Nocerino and Levan Mchedlidze. The equation for Roma is now simple, they must keep winning is they are to have any chance of claiming the Scudetto.

Juventus will be hoping to bring an end to their terrible slump as they host Genoa in Turin on Sunday afternoon. A massive nineteen points behind Inter, the Bianconeri have taken just two points from their last five games and may well struggle to get into Europe next season. This match against Genoa, a team level on points and just one place behind the Old Lady, represents a must-win game for Alberto Zaccheroni’s side. Il Grifone will be without Emiliano Moretti and Rodrigo Palacio for the trip to the Stadio Olimpico, two big losses for Gian Piero Gasperini, whilst Juve will miss the suspended Felipe Melo. This is possibly the most significant game of the weekend, expect a fierce encounter.

*Milan’s game with Udinese took place on Friday, finishing before this article was completed. The game ended 3-2 to the Rossoneri, Milan’s goals coming from Huntelaar (2) and Pato, whilst Udinese pushed the home side close with Floro Flores and Di Natale on target.

Week 24 Fixtures in Full:

Friday

Milan 3-2 Udinese

Saturday

Roma v Palermo

Sampdoria v Fiorentina (Live on ESPN)

Sunday

Cagliari v Bari

Catania v Atalanta

Chievo v Siena

Juventus v Genoa (Live on ESPN)

Livorno v Bologna

Parma v Lazio

Napoli v Internazionale (Live on ESPN)

Leave a Reply





XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>