It’s All or Nothing at All: Italian Serie A Matchday 36 Preview

Serie A

To borrow the title from one of Frank Sinatra’s famous songs: “It’s All or Nothing at All” for Roma this weekend when they face off against Juventus. Only one point separates Juventus from their sixth straight Scudetto.

The weekend begins on Saturday with Atalanta hosting Milan at 2:45 pm EST (7:45 pm GMT) at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia. With the win, the hosts can move closer to their unexpected goal of qualifying for next year’s Europa League. The visitors, Milan, are in a dogfight for the last remaining spot for European qualification and are desperate to pick up the maximum points. Atalanta are expected to start with Alejandro “Papu” Gomez and ex-Milan player Andrea Petagna upfront. Milan are supposed to recover Alessio Romagnoli and Riccardo Montolivo from injury and place them right into the starting lineup. This will be a massive boost to the squad suffering from an injury crisis.

Prediction: Even with the return of Romagnoli and Montolivo to the starting lineup, Atalanta at home will be too much for Milan to handle: Atalanta 2-1 Milan.

TV coverage: BeIN Sports Espanol, RAI Italia

The marquee game on Sunday morning is Torino hosting Napoli at 9:00 am EST (2:00 pm GMT) at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. The hosts are looking to steal some more points from another team in the top three after their strong performance against Juventus. Napoli will need to maintain full concentration to secure the victory to sneak into second place if Roma fails to pick up maximum points against Juventus. Torino will most likely start with the trio of Andrea Belotti, Iago Falque and Adem Ljajic up front. Napoli will use their traditional trio of Lorenzo Insigne, Dries Mertens, Jose Callejon up front.

Prediction: Napoli seem to be unstoppable of late. Look for this trend to continue even though Torino are tougher than Cagliari: Torino 0-2 Napoli.

TV coverage: BeIN Sports, RAI Italia

The weekend concludes with perhaps the most consequential game of the season: Roma hosting Juventus. The game starts on Sunday at 2:45 pm EST (7:45 pm GMT) at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The only way Roma can continue to hold on to their Scudetto dream is with a win. Anything less will be useless, as Juventus need one more point to clinch their sixth straight title. I am expecting Roma to start with Mohamed Salah and Diego Perotti on the wings with a potential rare start for Francesco Totti, as Edin Dzeko is out with an injury. Also, Kevin Strootman is still suspended following his dive against Lazio two weeks ago. Juventus should start with their attacking quartet of Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain up front. Sami Khedira will be given a rest after pulling his hamstring midweek against Monaco. He will be replaced by Claudio Marchisio.

Prediction: The absence of Edin Dzeko will be largely felt as Roma’s dreams of winning the Scudetto will be put to rest: Roma 1-2 Juventus.

TV coverage: BeIN Sports, RAI Italia