Friday, 3 October 2008

Serie A - Week 6: Weekend Preview

Inter coach Jose Mourinho is confident his side can end their winless week on Saturday night when they host a desperate Bologna at the San Siro.

The Nerazzurri conceded their first defeat of the campaign in last weekend's 1-0 derby setback against rivals AC Milan and they were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Werder Bremen in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Their performance in midweek was a big disappointment for the club's supporters, who are looking for a better showing in Europe's elite club competition this season, and a section of the Inter fans booed the team after the contest.

"The booing has not annoyed me," said Mourinho. "The fans are always right. The most important thing in a football club is the public and I have learned to respect them."

Mourinho is confident his side can return to winning ways immediately and believes there is no reason to panic, with Inter just two points behind Serie A leaders Lazio.

"If I look at the standings, I see that AC Milan, Juventus and Roma are all behind us in the table," he said. "I know things will improve, all we have to do is win against Bologna and then against Anorthosis Famagusta."

The Bologna match is a potential banana skin for Inter, however, as the newly-promoted club beat AC Milan at the San Siro in their opening game - although they have suffered four consecutive defeats since.

In the early Saturday game, red-hot Lazio entertain Lecce at Rome's Stadio Olimpico looking to make it three wins in a row.

A stalemate in that game could see second-place Napoli climb into the number one spot provided they win their game at Genoa on Sunday afternoon.

Napoli, who were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Benfica on Thursday, and Juventus are the only unbeaten sides in Italy's top flight, and Claudio Ranieri's side host in-form Palermo.

The Turin giants took a point against both Catania and Sampdoria in their last two Serie A matches and were held to a 2-2 draw by BATE Borisov in Tuesday's Champions League encounter.

Third-placed Udinese, unbeaten at home so far this season, are in buoyant mood as they welcome Torino to the Stadio Friuli having won their past two league games.

The Zebrette squeezed past Borussia Dortmund on penalties in the UEFA Cup on Thursday, but that came after a 2-0 home defeat on the night and so they will be looking to bounce back immediately.

Roma, who travel to Siena, have struggled this season but they won 3-1 at Bordeaux in the Champions League in midweek.

The Giallorossi are still without injured captain Francesco Totti.

Milan will be looking to build on their recent successes when they make the journey to Sardinia to meet bottom-side Cagliari on Sunday night.

The Rossoneri, who beat FC Zurich in the UEFA Cup, have bounced back from a slow start and won against Lazio, Reggina and Inter while struggling Cagliari have yet to take a point after five games.

Fiorentina visit promoted side Chievo in Verona, eager to end their poor form on the road.

The Viola, who were held to a goalless draw in Florence by Steaua Bucharest in their Champions League clash in midweek, have lost their two games on their travels in Serie A this season.

Winless Reggina meet Catania at the Stadio Oreste Granillo looking for their first victory of the campaign.

Walter Mazzarri's Sampdoria will be under pressure to take three points at Atalanta in order to avoid slipping into the relegation zone.

Samp, who eased their way past FBK Kaunas in the UEFA Cup, have only lost one game in Serie A but with no wins, it's of little consolation for the Blucerchiati side.

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