Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

Serie A is certainly hotting up and Gironata 35 is here!

AS Roma will be buoyed by Derby victory and safe passage through to the Coppa Italia final after a 2-1 aggregate win over Udinese. Not many of the first team regulars started the midweek match as the tinkerman; Claudio Ranieri worked his magic in anticipation of Sampdoria’s visit to the Olimpico on Sunday evening.

Unbeaten in 23 league matches, Roma will face the toughest of their remaining four games. Will Ranieri leave out Francesco Totti? With Claudio you never know, it may prove to be another masterstroke reminiscent of his substitutions during the derby.

The Blucerchiati are in great form after victories over Genoa and AC Milan respectively, which propelled them to fourth position in the league table. To add spice to the match, former Romanista, Antonio Cassano will be hoping to dent Roma’s Scudetto challenge while further enhancing his own team’s claim for a Champions League berth.

Challenging Samp for fourth spot are Palermo, the Sicilians have laid claim to the coveted position since late February, but had to relinquish control last weekend, so the visit of Milan will likely prove a stern test for the Rosanero. Milan though are in terrible form, and have only won once in the last five. Notably, Palermo have only lost once at home to Milan in six years.

Change is on the horizon for Milan, third place is all but secure and there are rumours of unhappiness with players and manager. Leonardo is apparently sick and tired of Owner, Silvio Berlusconi’s constant tactical jibes, plus Ronaldinho has been asked to take a pay cut; all is not well with the Rossoneri.

Couple this with a defensive crisis which could mean Massimo Oddo playing in central defence, there is little reason for the Diavolo to be optimistic.

Meanwhile, Inter play host to Atalanta on Saturday evening. The Nerazzurri will no doubt have half an eye on the Champions League second leg and could well be feeling the after effects of Tuesdays match considering the effort they had to put in against Barcelona. Atalanta on the other hand will be fighting for their lives as relegation looms large.

The shadow of Balotelli will be cast over Inter, as Super Mario had another tantrum on Tuesday resulting in exclusion from this match squad. His future uncertain, his talent undoubted, but harnessing this appears difficult. Jose Mourinho may look to rest a few of his players as well, which will certainly favour Atalanta, who themselves are playing wonderfully.

Defeats to Juventus and Roma were harsh, but the Orobici have remained defiant and are one of the form teams in Serie A, so expect a tough game for Inter, who may well drop more points as they continue to prioritise Europe.

Other fixtures:

Bologna - Parma
Fiorentina - Chievo
Genoa - Lazio
Juventus - Bari
Livorno - Catania
Napoli - Cagliari
Udinese - Siena

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