Friday, 5 December 2008

Serie A - Week 15: Weekend Preview

Inter lead the Serie A standings with a six-point cushion over Scudetto contenders AC Milan and Juventus but Nerazzurri coach Jose Mourinho warned that the season still has a long way to go.

Mourinho has not been swept up by the praise handed to his team by their opponents.

Inter clinched their fifth consecutive victory in last weekend's 2-1 triumph over Napoli and have lost just once in their 14 encounters this campaign.

"We have already forgotten the game against Napoli," said Mourinho. "On Saturday we face another important game and we haven't even arrived to the halfway line of the tournament."

Mourinho has reason to be wary of fifth-placed Lazio, who have only lost once at the Stadio Olimpico this campaign and that was in last month's derby defeat to Roma.

The Biancoceleste are invigorated by their midweek success, which saw them eliminate Milan from the Coppa Italia after a 2-1 win at the San Siro.

A Lazio triumph would be a blessing for joint-second Juve and Milan, who face easier tests on Sunday afternoon.

Juve travel to Lecce looking to warm up for next weekend's home encounter against Milan while the Rossoneri entertain Catania desperate to find their form.

Wednesday's defeat against Lazio and their 3-1 slip at Palermo last Sunday was evidence that all is not well at the Rossoneri camp.

Red-hot Roma look to make it four wins in a row when they make the journey to Verona to meet bottom side Chievo in Saturday's early game.

Sampdoria seek home comfort when they entertain Genoa in Sunday night's Derby della Lanterna. They have only managed to collect one point out of a possible 18 on the road this campaign while they remain unbeaten at the Stadio Marassi.

Fourth-placed Napoli will rely on in-form striker Ezequiel Lavezzi to come up with the goods when they take on Siena in Naples. Lavezzi has struck two goals in his side's last two games.

Sicily's Palermo look to pick up where they left off in last weekend's 3-1 triumph over Milan when they make the journey to Sardinia to face Cagliari in the Derby delle Isole.

Atalanta host Udinese in buoyant mood after their narrow victory against Lazio allowed them to climb to 10th in the standings. The Friuli outfit will have to overcome the absence of top scorer Antonio di Natale, who serves a one-match ban.

Reggina meet promoted side Bologna hoping to move above the relegation zone, with the Amaranto just one point behind Torino, who hold the last safety spot.

Torino will be desperate to end their winless run on the road when they travel to Tuscany to meet Fiorentina. A defeat on Sunday could bring to an end Gianni De Biasi's reign in charge of the Turin outfit.

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