Friday, 17 April 2009

Serie A - Week 32: Weekend Preview

Juventus President Giovanni Cobolli Gigli has urged his team to be ready for the most important game of the season in Italy, when his Scudetto hopefuls host three-time defending champions Inter on Saturday night.

With seven games left to play in Serie A and Inter 10 points clear of Juve, the encounter in Turin is likely to decide the destination of the title.

"Juventus have the duty to beat Inter," said Cobolli Gigli. "It's a question of honour. Ten points is a big difference but we cannot give up."

Claudio Ranieri's Juve lost 3-2 at Genoa in the last round and will be under pressure to come out on top knowing a defeat would not only signal an end to their title ambitions but could also see them fall to third in the standings.

The Bianconeri are two points clear of in-form AC Milan, who entertain relegation-threatened Torino looking to pass Juve in the standings on Sunday night.

"We believe it is possible to overtake Juve and climb to second," said AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti. "Juve will have to be careful because they have to play against Inter and for us this is a big motivation in order to leapfrog them in the standings."

Red-hot Genoa go into Saturday's earlier encounter against Lazio on the back of four consecutive wins.

Gian Piero Gasperini's side hold the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot and cannot afford to slow down with Fiorentina also making claims for fourth position.

The Viola, who are two points behind Genoa, make the journey to the Stadio Friuli to meet Udinese.

Roma will be desperate to make amends for their 4-2 loss at Lazio in the previous round with a convincing win over strugglers Lecce in the Eternal City. The Giallorossi are sixth in the standings and find themselves eight points behind Genoa.

Napoli travel to Cagliari looking for their first win under coach Roberto Donadoni. Since taking over the club, Donadoni has managed to collect four points from four games.

A reinvigorated Sampdoria expect to reduce their nine-point gap over sixth-place Roma when they travel to Sicily to meet Catania.

Cagliari will have to overcome the absence of suspended players Michele Canini, Daniele Conti, Diego Lopez and Alessandro Agostini when they meet Napoli in Sardinia.

A win against Chievo will be a giant step for Siena towards retaining their Serie A status. The Tuscan minnows have 37 points in the bank as the season enters its most crucial period.

Newly-appointed Bologna coach Giuseppe Papadopulo will look to put things right when his team travel to La Favorita to meet Palermo.

The Rossoblu dismissed Sinisa Mihajlovic after the team dropped into the relegation zone following four consecutive defeats and just one win in their last 10 games.

Reggina are desperate to end the rot when they travel to Bergamo to meet Atalanta. The Amaranto have not won since November 23 and find themselves at the foot of the table, seven points from safety.

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