Tuesday, 5 January 2010

[Preview] Serie A - Week 18

Genoa will be hoping to spoil David Beckham's return to AC Milan when the Serie A season resumes following its winter break on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old England midfielder, who has joined the Rossoneri for a second loan spell from the Los Angeles Galaxy, is set to be included in Leonardo's starting line-up for the big evening clash with the Grifoni and is keen to make an immediate impact.

"I am happy to return to play with AC Milan," said Beckham. "I am looking forward to help the team do well.

"I think we have a chance to win the title this season. There are other great teams like Inter and Juventus fighting for the Scudetto but I believe we have enough quality and strength to win the league title."

Milan head into their first league game of the year in second place, eight points behind leaders Inter but with a game in hand.

Inter could hand a debut to Goran Pandev, who signed on a free from Lazio this week, when the table-topping Nerazzurri travel to Verona to meet Chievo in a match that will kick off at lunchtime as the fixtures fall on the Italian holiday of La Befana - which, on 6 January, marks the end of Christmas in Italy.

The rest of the Week 18 fixtures all kick off in the afternoon with third-placed Juventus wanting the new year to bring about a change in fortunes when they go up against surprise-package Parma at the Stadio Ennio Tardini.

The Bianconeri and their under-fire coach Ciro Ferrara went into the Christmas break having lost three of their last four games in Serie A and exiting the UEFA Champions League.

Roma will look to extend their seven-match unbeaten run when they make the journey to Sardinia to face Cagliari. The Giallorossi hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

A defeat for Roma could see in-form Napoli leapfrog the Eternal City club and take fourth spot, provided the Partenopei triumph at struggling Atalanta. The Azzurri trail Roma by one point heading into Wednesday's games.

Sampdoria will be hoping the new year brings a return of their early-season positive run when they host Palermo at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Samp have been on a terrible recent run but will be confident at home, having only given away three points this campaign in Genoa.

Fiorentina meet rock-bottom Siena in Wednesday's Tuscan duel looking to climb from 10th position in a congested Serie A table.

Cesare Prandelli's men will have to show a vast improvement on the road, having won just two games on their travels this season.

Gianni De Biasi will be in charge of his first game at Udinese as the Bianconeri travel to Bari desperate to stop the rot after losing four of their last five games, a run of results which led to the dismissal of coach Pasquale Marino before the winter break.

Lazio will be looking to begin 2010 on the right foot when they welcome Livorno to the Stadio Olimpico.

The Biancoceleste have won just three games of 17 this term and lie only three points clear of the drop zone.

Relegation-threatened Catania will be aiming to post their second home win of the season when they take on Bologna at the Stadio Angelo Massimino.

The Sicilian outfit head into the fixture four points behind Bologna, who hold the last position of safety.

1 comment:

  1. How do you think Beckham will fit into the Millan Line up?

    Also if Beckham comes straight into the team, is this not a major snub to Genaro Gattuso who has been waiting on the sidelines for the last few months for his chance? Is this the end of his time with Millan?