Friday, 12 December 2008

Serie A - Week 16: Weekend Preview

AC Milan playmaker Ricardo Kaka expects a battle from start to finish when his team travel to Turin for the pick of this weekend's Serie A fixtures against Juventus.

Both Juve and Milan go into Sunday night's match knowing the result at the Stadio Olimpico could have major repercussions in the race for the Scudetto.

Milan lie third in the standings, level on 30 points with second-placed Juve after 15 games.

And Brazil star Kaka, battling against a late injury, is anticipating a testing trip.

"Sunday's game will be a very difficult encounter for us," said the 26-year-old, whose goal against Catania proved enough to earn the Rossoneri three points last weekend.

"Both teams will give everything to win this game."

A draw in Turin would only benefit champions Inter, with Jose Mourinho's side looking to extend their advantage over both Milan and Juve when they take on basement boys Chievo at the San Siro earlier in the day.

Inter are six points clear at the top of the standings, having only been beaten once in the league this term, but the Nerazzurri will be looking to bounce back from Tuesday's 2-1 defeat at Werder Bremen which saw them finish second in their UEFA Champions League group.

Fourth-placed Napoli will be confident of claiming a win when they welcome Lecce to Naples on Saturday night.

The Partenopei remain unbeaten at home having won six of their seven encounters at the Stadio San Paolo.

Fiorentina will be eager to pick up where they left off in their 4-1 triumph at Torino when they meet Catania.

Genoa ended a three-game winless run with a 1-0 triumph over Sampdoria in last Sunday's city derby and the Rossoblu will be looking to continue in the same vein when they take on Atalanta.

Palermo will have to overcome the absence of their top scorer Fabrizio Miccoli when they tackle Siena at La Favorita.

Miccoli was handed a two-match ban for insulting the referee after their 1-0 defeat to Cagliari last weekend.

Red-hot Roma host Cagliari inspired by their 2-0 triumph over Bordeaux in midweek that saw them finish as winners of Group A in the Champions League.

Luciano Spalletti's men have won six games in a row in all competitions.

Spalletti's former club Udinese will be desperate to stop the rot when they face Lazio at the Stadio Friuli looking to avoid their sixth straight league defeat.

Torino hope for a new beginning under coach Walter Novellino when they travel to Bologna in Saturday's early game.

The Granata sacked boss Gianni De Biasi and re-appointed Novellino after Sunday's debacle against Fiorentina.

A defeat this weekend would see Toro drop to the relegation zone as they are just one point clear of 19th-placed Bologna.

Struggling Sampdoria face Reggina looking for their first win on the road this campaign.

The Blucerchiati, who are just four points clear of the drop zone, have only managed to collect one point on their travels this season.

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