Friday, 21 September 2007

Serie A Week 4: Weekend Preview

Roma renew their rivalry with fellow Serie A title hopefuls Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon looking to maintain their 100 per cent start to the season.

The clubs have endured strained relations for years and this will be the first meeting between the two teams since Juventus were demoted in the wake of the Calciopoli scandal. Juve have taken all three points on their last two visits to Roma, including a 4-1 victory in November 2005.

Luciano Spalletti's outfit are the only side in the Italian top flight to have won all three of their opening games - and they have done so without conceding a goal. A 2-0 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev in midweek has bolstered confidence, and Spalletti believes the result was of crucial importance. "This win is important for our next few games," he claimed.

Claudio Ranieri's men lie just three points behind the Giallorossi having suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Udinese last weekend.

Second-placed Inter will have an eye on events in Rome as they travel to bottom side Livorno, who have claimed just one point so far, looking to take top spot.

The Nerazzurri have bounced back from their disappointing opening-day draw against Udinese to win their last two league games, but will be under pressure to perform after they opened their Champions League campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Fenerbahce.

On Sunday night, Serie A will welcome back the Derby della Lanterna - one of the most fascinating rivalries in Italian football - after a 13-year absence as Genoa and Sampdoria go head-to-head with the supremacy of the port city at stake.

Samp have had a unspectacular start to their campaign with only four points from three and the shock 2-2 home draw against Danish minnows Aalborg in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, while their rivals Genoa are yet to pick up a win since their return to the top flight.

Third-placed Napoli have been the surprise package so far this term with two victories from three and they will fancy their chances of continuing their fine form at second-bottom Empoli.

The Tuscans will be desperate to record their first win of the season in front of a demanding home crowd, but will be confident after they picked up a historic win in their first ever UEFA Cup tie this week - 2-1 against FC Zurich.

Defending European champions AC Milan host struggling Parma on Saturday night hoping their 2-1 win over Benfica on Tuesday will kickstart their season.

The Rossoneri have been solid if unspectacular so far - unbeaten but with just one league victory to their name - but their hosts are yet to register their first win of the 2007/08 campaign.

Also on five points are Fiorentina and Atalanta, who will be ready to capitalise should Carlo Ancelotti's men slip up, when they come up against Catania and Lazio respectively - both of whom are yet to taste league victories this season.

In the weekend's other games, Sardinian's Cagliari and Sicilian's Palermo face each other in the Derby delle Isole, Siena travel to Torino and an unpredictable Udinese welcome Reggina in Saturday's early game.

No comments:

Post a Comment