Friday, 14 November 2008

Serie A - Week 12: Weekend Preview

Lazio may be 14 points clear of Roma in the Serie A standings, but club President Claudio Lotito expects a difficult game when the two sides meet on Sunday night in the Derby della Capitale.

The Biancoceleste go into the sell-out encounter at the Stadio Olimpico on the back of three consecutive wins and determined to pile further misery on their neighbours.

Roma have collected one point from their last five league games and are just one point clear of the drop zone.

But Lotito insists the form book goes out of the window during Rome derbies.

"I am not convinced we are favourites," said Lotito, whose Lazio side are fourth in the standings. "The derby is a tournament within a tournament. A game that doesn't take into account the standings or the previous results of the two teams.

"All that matters is the approach to the game and the focus of the teams on the pitch."

Roma have won just two games and lost six of nine encounters this campaign in Serie A leaving coach Luciano Spalletti skating on thin ice.

Their 3-1 triumph against Chelsea in last week's UEFA Champions League game failed to spark the Giallorossi's campaign to life as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Bologna on Saturday.

But it did prove Roma are unpredictable, according to Lotito. "I don't believe Roma are in a crisis," said Lotito. "Roma have suffered many unfavourable episodes this campaign and we expect a tough game."

Prior to the Rome derby, attention will be on the clash between Inter and Palermo at La Favorita in Saturday night's only game.

The Nerazzurri, who are level on points with Juventus and one point clear of AC Milan and Napoli at the top of the standings, are hoping to see striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic end his goalscoring drought.

The Sweden international has failed to find the net in the last four league games.

Juventus have already played and won their Week 12 match. They beat Genoa 4-1 on Thursday in a game that was brought forward as the Stadio Olimpico was booked for the rugby international between Italy and Argentina.

AC Milan entertain strugglers Chievo on Sunday afternoon hoping to bounce back from last weekend's 1-1 draw at Lecce which saw them drop to third in the standings, level on 23 points with Napoli.

Lecce's last-minute equaliser proved a hammer blow for Carlo Ancelotti's team as the outcome allowed Inter to return to the top of the standings.

Napoli will be looking to pick up where they left off in last weekend's 2-0 triumph over Sampdoria when they make the journey to Bergamo to meet Atalanta.

Basement boys Reggina will be desperate to end their winless run on the road when they travel north to take on an Udinese side looking to bounce back from last week's late 1-0 defeat at Inter.

Fiorentina will have to overcome the absence of injured striker Adrian Mutu when they take on Cagliari at the Stadio Sant'Elia.

Torino travel to Catania in buoyant mood after their narrow victory against Palermo allowed them to climb four points clear of the drop zone.

Sampdoria will aim to preserve their impressive home form when they entertain Lecce, with the Blucerchiati collecting just one point of a possible 15 on the road this campaign while they remain unbeaten at the Stadio Marassi.

Promoted side Bologna meet Siena in Tuscany hoping to climb out of the bottom three with the Rossoblu just one point behind Roma.

No comments:

Post a Comment