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

Julian De Martinis On April - 22 - 2011

Six Reasons This Weekend Is All About The Number Twelve

Three Goalscorers

Though perhaps technically cheating since the first three are all goalscorers associated with the number twelve, this point (these points?) still stand. Giampaolo Pazzini, affectionately known as “Il Pazzo” due to a combination of his last name plus his often crazy antics, looks to feature for Inter this weekend in a massive clash. The Nerazzurri battle for third against Lazio, who are a mere four points below them- a number which, should be noted, is a divisor of twelve. A win for either side would thrust the other into a battle for the Champions League, most likely to be fought against Alex Sanchez’s Udinese. The fantastic attacking player, out for the past two weeks due to injury, is set to return for the Bianconeri’s clash against a resurgent Parma. He too is on twelve goals for the season and will look to add to his tally against a side that has conceded seven in their last five (which, oddly enough, adds up to twelve).

Udinese are red-hot, just having defeated Napoli without Sanchez or Toto Di Natale; the two’s return should boost confidence even further (Two being the second digit in the number twelve). Sanchez’s reputation has rocketed this season due to a series of sublime displays, and it is hardly a surprise that he has notched as many goals as a Serie A legend, Francesco Totti. Il Capitano’s Roma face Chievo in the early game, at the Olympico, which may send Romanisti into nightmares given I Lupi’s recent home form. Roma are likely playing for prestige at this point, attempting to keep Juventus from advancing past them in the table. Jeremy Menez’s recent bust-up with Vincenzo Montella keeps the drama running along smoothly at the club, and it will be interesting to see what role the Frenchman plays, if any, on Saturday. With a Champion’s League push all but over now for Roma, at seven points behind fourth, it is likely Pazzini and Sanchez who will need to be on top form this weekend.

Milan’s form

The league leaders have picked up ten points out of their last fifteen, but a win on Saturday would give them twelve points out of fifteen. Playing in one of the later ties away to Brescia, Massimiliano Allegri’s side will rely on Antonio Cassano and Robinho to lead the line in the absence of suspended Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Yes, again). Twelve is also double the current six point gap that the league leaders have at the top over Napoli, a margin that could easily widen to nine. Walter Mazzarri’s side face a tricky test away to a resurgent Palermo. The Rosanero are once again looking like the side they were last season under Delio Rossi, picking up a respectable tie away to Milan in the Coppa Italia and defeating Roma at home by a goal last weekend (A match which Palermo were at their most clinical and brutal despite not having the wolf’s share of possession). The title race is all but over, and should Milan succeed and Napoli fail at picking up points, the proverbial Scudetto crown might as well be handed out come Saturday night.

Bologna and the relegation race

Bologna and the number twelve go together like Charlie Sheen and lying about being sober. Bologna are twelfth in the league; have picked up zero out of their last twelve points; and captain Marco Di Vaio leads the league in breaking the deadlock in matches, having notched twelve first goals for his side. Their match against Cesena may seem relatively meaningless on paper, and it may turn out to be so for all but the clubs’ tifosi, but a loss for Massimo Ficcadenti’s side would reopen the relegation race. Cesena sit perilously at seventeenth, a mere two points from the drop. Luckily for them, the two worst sides in the league sit below: Sampdoria and Bari (Brescia is there as well). Unfortunately for Cesena, the two play each other, ensuring that at least one will pick up points.  A loss again Bologna will mean that their escape from the relegation zone will have been short lived.

Very few sides in Serie A have a number 12

Admittedly, this is not directly related to the weekend, but still relevant nevertheless. Genoa, Bari, Cesena, Fiorentina, Juventus, Lecce, Milan, Parma and Roma do not have a number 12 on their roster, proving that not everything in Serie A is about that number. Much of the matchday, however, is.

Julian De Martinis

Calcio, Azzurri, and Roma tifosi. Blogger, correspondent, podcast host (@LaMagicast). Lover of books, movies, wordplay, family, and a good cappuccino.

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