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

David Schiavone On January - 8 - 2011

Serie A Matchday 19: Preview

The games are coming thick and fast in 2011 after the midweek round we have a full card of games on Sunday to look forward to. Milan extended their lead at the top to five points so the chasing pack will have to pull their socks up if they are to have any hope of catching Max Allegri’s side.

Bari – Bologna

With a new year comes new hope as Bari ended their 12 game streak without a win against bitter rivals Lecce. It was January loan signing Stefano Okaka who made the impact as he got the decisive goal. It remains to be seen if they can repeat the feat but they will have a chance against a Bologna side that are not traveling well at the moment.

Catania – Inter

Leonardo made an instant impact as Nerazzurri boss as his new team brushed aside Napoli on Thursday. But he will face much sterner test at the Stadio Massimino where Catania are formidable. The home team came close to recording their first away win against Roma, though one positive was Maxi Lopez looks to be returning to his best form. So Inter better be prepared for the Argentinean hitman.

Cesena – Genoa

The New Year started very well for Cesena with a key win over fellow strugglers Brescia, moving them out of the bottom three. Where the Seahorses have benefitted from the winter break, Genoa haven’t. A team that struggled with goals never managed a shot on target until the 57th minute against Lazio and have now lost Luca Toni to Juventus… though that may prove a blessing in disguise.

Chievo – Palermo

Many superlatives have been thrown at Palermo this season, entertainers, artists, the best team to watch in Serie A… and the 3-0 win over Sampdoria only added to their reputation. At times they have lost all concentration and have rode their luck but they come up against perennial giant killers Cheivo at the Bentegodi on Sunday, not an easy fixture at all. The Flying Donkeys though are on a five match winless run and will be looking to change that against the team they beat at home 1-0 last season.

Fiorentina – Brescia

Are Fiorentina Serie A’s crisis club? After an eventful week in which Adrian Mutu walked out of the club and they only managed a tame draw with Bologna, it seems Sinisa Mihajlovic has a lot of work on his hands. If things don’t pick up soon it could be a relegation battle La Viola face. Something Brescia are already in as defeat to Cesena put them in the relegation places and with only four goals scored away from home this season they have it all to do at the Stadio Franchi.

Lazio – Lecce

Despite a poor draw against Genoa the Aquile find themselves in second place, though they would probably credit their defensive organization as they restricted Genoa to only 2 shots on target, but they will be hoping for more from their frontline if they are to realize the Scudetto dream. Against Lecce they face a team that has lost six of the last seven and have only managed one point away from home all season. Three points for Lazio then?

Milan – Udinese

The Rossoneri welcome back Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the side as they welcome Udinese to the San Siro. With a team that boasts a plethora of attacking talents it will be interesting to see how the supporting cast line up with Zlatan. Cassano grabbed an assist on his debut, while both he and Pato need games to get back to fitness. As Milanello deals with an injury crisis this could be a match overflowing with goals as Udinese aren’t renowned for their defensive prowess.

Parma – Cagliari

Sebastian Giovinco returned to haunt parent club Juventus with a brace during the midweek round, though he has struggled to find that same form on a consistent basis. But with a little help from the Bianconeri they got their first win in three games. Cagliari though have won only once away from the Sant’Elia and Parma have only lost once at home.

Sampdoria – Roma

Claudio Ranieri’s side had to rely on a Mirko Vucinic brace at the death to see off Catania and were a shoddy excuse for a football team in the first half. They turned it around, but the manager will not likely tolerate another woeful half like that again. Vucinic will move into the first eleven in place of Francesco Totti. Samp do have their own issues to deal with up front having not registered a goal in over a month. So new signing Federico Macheda will likely get a chance at the Ferraris.

Napoli – Juventus

Both sides lost in week 18 so a win is vital for their respective title challenges. Check out what Adam Digby thinks about another Juventus away trip HERE.

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