Friday, 11 April 2008

Serie A Week 33: Weekend Preview

Roma will be looking to put their UEFA Champions League elimination to Manchester United behind them and close the gap on Inter when they take on Udinese on Sunday.

The Giallorossi bowed out of Europe's elite club competition having failed to turn around a 2-0 deficit when conceding a 1-0 defeat in Wednesday's quarter-final second leg at Old Trafford.

"Now we have to focus on the Scudetto," said Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who missed a penalty during the defeat.

"I have made a promise saying that we will try until the end to remain in the Scudetto race. Regardless of what happened against Manchester, we will continue to honour that aim.

"We are behind Inter and there are few games left, it is going to be difficult but it's not impossible."

Roma will be boosted by the return of captain Franccesco Totti, who has recovered from a thigh injury which forced him to miss his team's past three encounters.

Luciano Spalletti's side will be desperate to get a favour from fourth-place Fiorentina, who travel to the San Siro to meet Inter on Sunday evening.

Inter hold a four-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings with six games left to play.

The Nerazzurri, who will be without injured striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, will fancy their chances against the Viola who have lost their previous three league games on the road.

But Cesare Prandelli's side will be confident of picking up points against the leaders after progressing to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup with a 2-0 win at PSV Eindhoven on Thursday.

An Inter victory would be a blessing for city neighbours AC Milan as they attempt to cut a four-point gap behind Fiorentina, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

The Rossoneri make the journey to Turin to meet third-placed Juventus on Saturday night with young striker Alexandre Pato out for the encounter through injury.

In-form Sampdoria, who are level on 52 points with Milan, take on bottom-side Reggina at the Stadio Oreste Granillo looking to clinch their eighth consecutive positive result.

Their impressive recent form has seen the Blucerchiati climb to sixth in the standings, one point clear of European hopefuls Udinese.

Palermo will be in buoyant mood when they entertain Catania in the Sicilian derby in Saturday's early game having ended a six-game winless run in last weekend's 3-2 triumph against Juventus.

Lazio host Siena determined to keep up their good form at the Stadio Olimpico. The Biancoceleste have not lost since January 13.

Genoa take on Torino looking to bounce back from last weekend's 3-2 defeat at Roma.

Luigi Del Neri's Atalanta will be without team's top scorer Cristiano Doni when they travel to the San Paolo to meet Napoli. Doni, who has struck 11 goals this campaign for the Bergamaschi, will serve his first of a two-match ban on Sunday afternoon.

Struggling Livorno will be under pressure when they play host to Cagliari knowing that anything but a win could see them drop to the relegation zone.

Empoli take on Parma looking to recover their form at home having only managed to clinch one point in their past four encounters at the Stadio Carlo Castellani.

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