Friday, 7 December 2007

Serie B Week 17: Weekend Preview

Things couldn't be tighter at the top of Serie B as just two points separate the top five sides.

With Bologna starting to look formidable, is the bubble about to burst for surprise early frontrunners Albinoleffe and Pisa?

Giampiero Ventura’s Pisa have looked more vulnerable of late, but they will be confident of picking up all three points when they host unconvincing Avellino. When the two sides were promoted from Serie C last summer it would have been hard to predict which one would be sitting in second place in December.

Pisa’s inspired strike partnership of Azzurrini star Alessio Cerci and Argentine revelation Jose Castillo is lethal and stands in contrast to Avellino’s goal-shy front line. Winless away, there is almost nothing to suggest that the Irpini can stop precocious Pisa.

Albinoleffe have a slightly harder mission when they welcome Piacenza to the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia. The Papaveri have been indifferent this term and are a shadow of the side that would have been in the play-offs last year. However, there are signs of improvement under Mario Somma and they will look to build on a gutsy 1-0 win at Vicenza. There are just a few signs that Leffe are slipping – can the Emilia-Romagna outfit take advantage?

Bologna travel to Vicenza as the Cadetti’s form side. The Felsinei have moved level at the top and are showing why they were pre-season bookies’ favourites for the title. Daniele Arrigoni’s men could hardly be more miserly at the back and have conceded just seven times in 16 games. Bologna are expected to stamp their authority at the Renato Dall’Ara, but don’t expect a goal fest.

The other games to watch include Bari hosting Ascoli needing a win to ensure that Giuseppe Materazzi keeps his job, play-off sides Mantova and Lecce clashing and Chievo making a trip west to take on Spezia.

Source: C4 Football Italia

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