Saturday, 1 September 2007

Serie A Week 2: Weekend Preview

Inter travel to Empoli on Saturday looking to find some form following their winless start to the Serie A season.

The Italian champions could only manage a 1-1 draw against Udinese in their opener last weekend, while three days later they slumped to a 5-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Gamper Trophy.

"Of course, it's not pleasant to lose 5-0," said Inter coach Roberto Mancini. "Considering I left 12 players at home to rest for Saturday's clash against Empoli, the result is not surprising."

The Nerazzurri, who will have to do without suspended goalkeeper Julio Cesar, will be under pressure to win in Tuscany considering that Scudetto contenders Juventus, AC Milan and Roma are showing no signs of weakness.

Claudio Ranieri's Juve travel to Cagliari on Sunday looking to pick up where they left off in last weekend's 5-1 triumph over Livorno, while in-form Roma welcome back midfielder Simone Perrotta from suspension when they host Siena at the Stadio Olimpico.

City neighbours Lazio travel to Genoa to meet Sampdoria on Sunday evening, inspired by this week's triumph at Dinamo Bucharest which saw them progress to the Champions League group stages for the first time since the 2003/04 campaign.

Fiorentina will have no excuses should they fail to beat AC Milan on Monday. The Viola will have plenty of time to prepare for the top showdown against the Rossoneri, who beat Sevilla 3-1 in Friday's UEFA Super Cup final in Monaco.

Catania head into Sunday afternoon's home game against Genoa having to overcome the absence of temperamental coach Silvio Baldini, but the Sicilians will return to their Stadio Angelo Massimino home for the first time since last February's crowd violence which led to the death of police officer Filippo Raciti.

Baldini was hit with a one-month touchline ban after lashing out at Parma counterpart Domenico Di Carlo during last weekend's 2-2 draw between the sides. Genoa were hammered 3-0 by Milan in their opener and will be looking to put three points on the board ahead of the international break.

In other games, Napoli meet Udinese at the Stadio Friuli looking to come back from last weeks disappointing home defeat to Cagliari, while Livorno face a difficult challenge when they host Palermo.

Torino entertain Reggina in Turin and Atalanta play host to Parma.

Source: Sporting Life

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