Friday, 24 October 2008

Serie A - Week 8: Weekend Preview

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri will be hoping his players can again do him proud when they take on Torino in Saturday night's Turin derby.

The Bianconeri beat Real Madrid 2-1 on Tuesday in the Champions League to take command of their group.

The victory also brought to an end Juve's five-game winless run in all competitions and eased the pressure on Ranieri.

"I am happy with the solidarity in the dressing room more than the win," Ranieri said. "I knew that the team and the club were behind me, the only pressure we have is that of our own expectations.

"I have to give credit to the spirit and the character shown by my players. Against Madrid, we gave a great performance and we must continue on this path."

The Bianconeri will be hoping to bounce back from two consecutive league defeats and reduce their seven-point deficit with Serie A leaders Inter with a win against city rivals Toro.

Inter, meanwhile, will be looking to pick up where they left off in last weekend's 4-0 triumph at Roma when they host Genoa on Sunday.

The Nerazzurri struggled in front of goal against Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta in Wednesday's Champions League game, with a goal from Adriano making the difference.

AC Milan, who trail three points behind Inter, go into Sunday's game at Atalanta in buoyant mood after the club confirmed they are in negotiations with Los Angeles Galaxy with a view to signing former England captain David Beckham on loan in January.

Carlo Ancelotti's side will be hoping to build on following their opening night win in the UEFA Cup at Heerenveen on Thursday.

In-form trio Udinese; who secured an impressive 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the UEFA Cup; Catania and Napoli will be looking to keep pace with Inter this weekend.

All three teams are level on 14 points, two behind Inter, after seven games played.

Udinese host struggling Roma, who are a surprising 14th in the standings and seeking their first league win on the road this season. Luciano Spalletti's side were narrowly beaten by Chelsea in Wednesday's Champions League game.

Catania have won all of their games at home but travel to Siena in the earlySaturday game looking to collect their first away victory.

Napoli face the biggest challenge when they make the journey to the Italian capital to face a Lazio side that remain unbeaten at the Stadio Olimpico.

Fiorentina are keen to leave behind their Champions League form and focus on maintaining their positive run in Serie A when they take on Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera on Sunday night.

The Viola have won three games in a row in Italy's top flight but remain winless in Europe after Tuesday's 3-0 slip at Bayern Munich, despite a good performance in Germany.

A defeat on Sunday against promoted Bologna could bring to an end Walter Mazzarri's reign in charge of winless Sampdoria.

The Blucerchiati, who did win their opening UEFA Cup group game against Partizan Belgrade on Thursday, go into Sunday's encounter in the relegation zone, having collected just four points in seven games.

Chievo will have an added motivation to win at Cagliari as a defeat will see them drop into the bottom three.

Bottom-side Reggina hope to end their winless run this season when they take on promoted side Lecce at the Stadio Granillo.

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