Friday, 16 January 2009

Serie A - Week 19: Weekend Preview

Jose Mourinho will be delighted if his Inter side reach the halfway point of the Serie A season with a four-point lead over Juventus.

The three-time defending champions have not had it all their own way this season but will still be guaranteed a commanding advantage if they win at Atalanta on Sunday afternoon.

Inter will be looking to get back to winning ways after only managing a 1-1 draw against Cagliari in their last league fixture.

"We are one game away from the halfway mark of the campaign and we are ahead by four points," said Mourinho.

"Should we finish the first half of the campaign like this, it will be very good for us."

In-form Juve travel to the Italian capital to meet Lazio riding a six-game domestic winning streak on Sunday night.

Third-placed AC Milan, meanwhile, have been making headlines with the short-term loan signing of David Beckham and the revelation this week that Manchester City are attempting to prise Ricardo Kaka away from the San Siro.

The Rossoneri are nine points behind Inter heading into Saturday night's encounter against Fiorentina.

Goal-shy Siena will be thinking they have a great chance to hit the back of the net when they entertain Reggina, who have the worst defence in the division, in Saturday's early game.

Siena have struck just 13 goals while Reggina having given away 36 in 18 games.

Napoli will be desperate to end the rot on their travels when they visit rock-bottom Chievo. The Partenopei travel to Verona having failed to collect a point in their last four games on the road.

Genoa will be hoping Napoli's poor form away from home continues as they attempt to leapfrog them in the standings.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side travel to Lecce just one point behind fourth-placed Napoli, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

In-form Roma welcome back Mirko Vucinic and Philippe Mexes from suspension for their game at Torino.

Sampdoria fans will be hoping the arrival of forward Giampaolo Pazzini will inspire their team to return to winning ways when they play host to Palermo.

Pazzini joined the Blucerchiati on a permanent transfer from Fiorentina this week.

Samp have struggled in front of goal, having scored just once in their last three games.

Anything but a win at Cagliari for Udinese could prove costly for under-fire coach Pasquale Marino.

The Friuli outfit have not won since October 29 and their poor form has seen them drop to 12th in the standings, nine points behind the European qualifying positions.

Bologna make the journey to Sicily to face Catania looking to extend their gap over the bottom three.

The Rossoblu, still unbeaten under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, hold the last safety position but are just one point clear of 18th-placed Torino.

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