Friday, 16 October 2009

[Preview] Serie A - Week 8

Alberto Gilardino will be full of confidence when he runs out for Fiorentina this weekend after firing Italy to victory over Cyprus with a late hat-trick.

The former Parma hitman, playing in front of his old fans, struck three times in the last 13 minutes as Italy won 3-2 in their last FIFA World Cup qualifier on Wednesday night - and now he will be looking to spark Fiorentina when they go up against Juventus in Serie A on Saturday.

"I'll start this game full of enthusiasm," said Gilardino, who also scored a last-gasp equaliser against the Republic of Ireland on Saturday to clinch the Azzurri's qualification for next summer's finals in South Africa.

"For Fiorentina, this game will be important to confirm our progress and to take a step forward. It's going to be a good test for us," he predicted.

Cesare Prandelli's side are level on 14 points with Juventus after seven matches.

Third-placed Juve go into the encounter in Turin desperate to return to the winning ways after collecting just two points in their last three games.

Jose Mourinho's Inter will then be put to the test when they meet a Genoa side who are unbeaten at the Stadio Marassi this season.

Both teams go into this weekend's match not at full strength.

Anything but a win for Inter could see Sampdoria go solo at the top of the table.

Samp are joint leaders, level on 16 points with the Nerazzurri, and travel to the Stadio Olimpico to face Lazio on Sunday.

AC Milan coach Leonardo will be under pressure to get a result against Roma in Sunday's big evening encounter.

The Rossoneri are 11th after a poor start to the campaign, having scored just two goals in the last six games.

Fortunately for Leonardo and Co, Roma have the worst defensive record in Serie A - with 13 goals conceded.

Sunday's game against Bologna at the San Paolo will mark Walter Mazzarri's first match in charge of Napoli.

Mazzarri replaced sacked coach Roberto Donadoni two weeks ago, with the club sitting in 15th.

Palermo travel to Leghorn to meet Livorno, looking for their first win on the road since March.

Sixth-placed Chievo will fancy their chances against Bari, having clinched seven of a possible nine points in Verona this season.

Winless Catania will be bolstered by the return of Ciro Capuano, Alessandro Potenza and Gennaro Delvecchio from suspension for their match against Cagliari.

Siena will have an added motivation to beat Parma, knowing a defeat could see them drop to the relegation zone. The Tuscan outfit are one point clear of the bottom three.

Atalanta travel to the Stadio Friuli to meet Udinese, desperate to claim their first win of the campaign.

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