Thursday, May 24, 2018

Serie A preview: Rome derby takes centre stage

SoccerNews in Serie A 9 Nov 2012


Bragging rights are up for grabs when Lazio host Roma in the big Serie A fixture of the weekend on Sunday.

Just two points separate the teams from Rome at the moment, with Lazio one spot higher than their traditional rivals in fifth place with 19 points.

A victory for Roma will catapult them above Lazio and it is interesting to note that these two teams have not played out a draw since 2007.

Roma hold a 7-4 advantage in head-to-head results since that 0-0 draw in April 2007, so it might be time for another stalemate.

Meanwhile, Juventus can get a jump on their title rivals when they travel to Abruzzo to play Pescara on Saturday.

Antonio Conte’s side have a one-point lead at the top of the Serie A table, with Inter Milan their closest challengers in second and Napoli a further four points back in third.

But Inter Milan and Napoli are not in action until Sunday, giving Juventus the chance to go further clear at the head of proceedings.

However their task to do so will not be easy, given Pescara have proven to be tough opposition since their return to the top flight.

So far they have conceded just 17 goals from their 11 league matches, with on-loan shot-stopper Mattia Perin proving to be a tough ‘keeper to pass.

Perin kept a clean sheet when Pescara won 2-0 at home against Parma last weekend and Juventus will need to be at their best to get anything past him.

However, Juventus, who saw their 49-game unbeaten league run ended by Inter, have one of the best attacking line-ups in the league as shown by their 23 goals from 11 matches.

Those goals have been shared around though, with Arturo Vidal their leading scorer with four.

Vidal was on target as Juventus won 4-0 during the week in the Champions League against Danish side Nordsjaelland and the Chilean is one player that Pescara will need to keep a close eye on.

Inter Milan also have a tough game this weekend, with their trip to Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia to tackle Atalanta likely to prove difficult.

Atalanta have conceded just seven times in their five home matches this season and the likes of Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano will need to have their goal scoring boots on.

Third-placed Napoli should have an easier time of it when they travel to Stadio Luigi Ferraris to play relegation-threatened Genoa.

Genoa have won just once at home this season and Napoli will be confident of taking the three points in what should be a low-scoring encounter.

The weekend’s action kicks off on Saturday when Cagliari host Catania, but most eyes that day will be on Juventus’ match with Pescara.

Palermo play host to Sampdoria in the early kick-off on Sunday in a match that promises to be tight between two relegation candidates, while there are a further four matches kicking off later in the day.

San Siro will be the venue for AC Milan’s match with high-flying Fiorentina, Chievo Verona host Udinese, Parma play Siena at home, while Torino entertain Bologna.


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