Friday, 24 April 2009

Serie A - Week 33: Weekend Preview

Inter boss Jose Mourinho is counting the days until he captures the Scudetto in his first season as a coach in Serie A.

Mourinho's club go into this Sunday night's game at Napoli ten points clear of AC Milan and Juventus.

The Nerazzurri only managed to draw their previous two games, including last weekend's 1-1 stalemate against Juve, but the Portuguese coach said: "If Inter win the Scudetto it will be something very important for my career because having won the Premiership title in my first year in England, I would win the Scudetto in my first year in Italy.

"And in my opinion Inter will win the Scudetto. We haven't won it yet but we will. Juventus and Milan need to get back ten points on us.

"We still have six games left to play in which, according to me, we will clinch eight or nine points.

"Even if the other two were to manage 18 points in the last six games, something which is possible, Inter would still end with more points. I reiterate, we are not the champions yet, but we will be."

In-form AC Milan entertain Palermo at the San Siro on the back of three consecutive triumphs.

Their 5-1 win over Torino in the last round allowed the Rossoneri to leapfrog Juve into second in the table.

Juve will be desperate to bounce back from their painful midweek Coppa Italia elimination when they meet rock-bottom Reggina at the Stadio Oreste Granillo.

Claudio Ranieri's side lost 2-1, 4-2 on aggregate, against Lazio in Turin, much to their fans' disappointment with their team set to finish the season empty-handed.

Fourth-place Genoa will be boosted by the return of Diego Milito from injury when they travel to relegation strugglers Bologna.

A Genoa defeat would benefit Fiorentina, who are two points behind the fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot.

However, the Viola face a huge task on Saturday night as they host a Roma side also looking to finish in the top four.

A reinvigorated Chievo will attempt to take another step closer to survival when they host Udinese in Saturday's early game.

The Flying Donkeys are eight points clear of the drop zone after last weekend's 2-0 win at Siena.

Atalanta go into Sunday's game at Lazio knowing that coach Luigi Del Neri will not remain at the club next season.

Del Neri, who has guided the club to safety for a second successive year, turned down an offer to extend his contract which ends this summer.

Sampdoria, who beat Inter 3-1 on aggregate to reach the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday, will fancy their chances of taking a positive result against Cagliari with the Blucerchiati unbeaten at the Stadio Marassi since January 18.

Strugglers Torino will be under pressure to take a positive result against Siena knowing that anything but a win would see them drop into the relegation zone.

Catania will have to overcome the absence of the team's top-scorer Giuseppe Mascara this weekend when they make the journey to Lecce. Mascara serves a one-match ban.

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