Friday, 28 September 2007

Serie A Week 6: Weekend Preview

The Italian capital plays host to the first Scudetto face-off of the Serie A season on Saturday as defending champions Inter travel to Roma.

The teams sit joint top of the standings on 11 points after Inter's 3-0 win over Sampdoria coincided with the Romans dropping two points at Fiorentina on Wednesday night.

The 2-2 draw in Florence was the second time the Giallorossi had failed to secure maximum points in a week following last Sunday's draw with Juventus as the early pace-setters relinquished their 100% record.

Luciano Spalletti's men have also shipped four goals in those two matches and the coach admits that is something the team must improve on.

"I think we could have sealed up the win, we just made a couple of little defensive mistakes," he said after the Fiorentina clash. "In any case, we should have scored with all the many chances that we had. Now, we have to intensify our focus on the defensive area of the team."

His opposite number Roberto Mancini is more focused on his own defensive corps, which could include the return of Cristian Chivu to the capital following one of the summer's most protracted transfer sagas.

"It will be very hard in Rome and to get a result we'll have to concede nothing," he said. "It would have been better to have more time to prepare for it. We will have our injured players back soon so if we can stay at the top it will be very interesting because the team is improving match after match."

Third placed Juventus hit ominous form in midweek with a 4-0 thumping of Reggina and will go into the Turin derby on Sunday night with Torino full of confidence.

Claudio Ranieri made a host of changes as his team face three games in a week but was delighted with his side as they still managed to ease to a win.

"The team stayed humble, tight, they played with a lot of heart," he said. "Having to play three matches in seven days, I wanted to rest a few players and Juventus were still great even changing players around."

The city will be buzzing with excitement as the two sides meet in the Derby della Mole for the first time since 2003 and Toro, as the home side, will want to secure their first win of the season.

Napoli and Palermo sit third along with Juve on 10 points and come into their matches off the back of good wins.

Napoli host Genoa in the battle of the Serie A new boys having not conceded in their last five games. However, the home side will have to do without their fans at the Stadio San Paolo after they displayed an offensive banner during the midweek 1-0 win over Livorno.

The visitors won their first game back in the top flight 3-2 against Udinese thanks to a hat-trick from Marco Borriello and will be confident of getting a result in Naples.

Palermo travel to Empoli on the back of a shock stoppage time 2-1 win over AC Milan at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.

The European champions host Catania sitting in midtable and without a win since the opening day as they attempt to claw their way into the upper echelons of the table.

In the weekends other matches joint fourth placed Fiorentina travel to Livorno in the Tuscan derby on Saturday night while Atalanta, who also sit on nine points, travel to Sampdoria.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Udinese host Parma, Lazio travel to Reggina and Cagliari are at home against Siena.

No comments:

Post a Comment