Friday, 26 October 2007

Serie B Week 11: Weekend Preview

We’re a quarter of the way through the Cadetti season and the excuses are running out for the underachievers as the underdogs continue to dream.

Pisa boss Gian Piero Ventura seems to have supernatural powers. The Tuscan minnows began the season amongst the relegation favourites having squeezed through the Serie C play-offs, but astonishingly they lead the pack. The Nerazzurri travel to fellow newcomers Grosseto as strong favourites as they look to continue their baffling rise. Grosseto have enjoyed more modest success in their new surroundings, but they are in mid-table despite their inability to find the net.

Second-placed Brescia need to react quickly after a shock 3-0 hammering against Mantova. A glittering start to the campaign has been soured somewhat, but they will be happy to host mediocre Triestina. The Alarbadati were turned over by Frosinone last week and are far too dependent on Uruguayan striking prodigy Pablo Granoche. The Rondinelle are big fish in Serie B and should be eating sides like Triestina for breakfast.

After a sluggish start, pre-season favourites Bologna are steadily marching on. The miserly Felsinei have racked up three consecutive 1-0 wins and are unbeaten in seven. A trip to Frosinone is never simple and the Lazio-based minnows are flying high in sixth.

"It will be a very difficult game against a side in exceptional form," Bologna President Alfredo Cazzola said. "They have the kind of ground where the fans are almost on the pitch and really are an extra man." Francesco Lodi is the key man for the Canarini with eight goals from midfield, but he will be given a hard time by the Second Divison’s tightest back four.

Chievo visit Piacenza and Flying Donkeys’ tactician Beppe Iachini returns to his old stomping ground. Piacenza sacked hapless coach Gian Marco Remondina earlier in the week and his replacement is Mario Somma.

Somma made his name at Empoli and is respected for his attacking mentality. The affable Roman wrote a dissertation in football and has stressed that he would more readily field a team entirely composed of strikers than a side without a marksman. Piacenza is the perfect place for Somma to re-launch his career, but this is a stern first test.

Meanwhile, overachieving Albinoleffe welcome resurgent Mantova and Lecce take a trip to the seaside resort of Rimini.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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