Serie A Preview: Week 9

Serie A

Looking ahead to matchday 9 the standout fixture comes from the Stadio San Paoli where league leaders Napoli entertain Luciano Spalletti’s Inter. The only two remaining unbeaten sides in Serie A meet this Saturday at 7:45pm.

You could argue the Nerrazzuri (the black & blues) have an advantage going into this one given they are without any European commitments. Napoli travelled to Manchester City midweek and are likely to be without forward Lorenzo Insigne after he suffered a muscular injury. It remains to be seen exactly how long Insigne will be sidelined for but he’s likely to miss the first leg of italy’s play off versus Sweden.

Despite losing in Manchester the league leaders gave a good impression of themselves having recovered from a shaky start and their confidence shouldn’t have been affected. Inter come into this one having won the Derby Della Madonnina last weekend in dramatic style. Star striker Mauro Icardi’s hat trick sealed the points and he’ll hope they can kick on and sustain a real title challenge.

Last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a 3-0 victory for the hosts but Inter have come a long way since then and will be confident of avoiding defeat. A draw for Inter and Spalletti will be more than satisfied given they haven’t won at the San Paoli since October 1997.

A downbeat Milan side welcome Genoa to the San Siro in a must win fixture. The Rossoneri will have conducted their post mortem after their derby defeat last weekend but having been held in the Europa League by AEK Athens confidence could be an issue. Vincenzo Montella’s every move is currently under the microscope and it appears as though he’s on borrowed time.

Champions Juventus travel to struggling Udinese on Sunday and given the way the seasons gone so far you’d expect Max Allegri’s side to get back to winning ways. They too were involved in the Champions League but Udinese’s current crop are a shadow of the side that finished 3rd in 2012. Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, Mario Mandzukic and co are all available therefore its difficult to see how Delneri’s men stand a realistic chance in this one.

Third place Lazio take on Cagliari at the Stadio Olympico.  Simone Inzaghi’s side have impressed thus far and will be confident of taking maximum points if the form book is anything to go by. Lazio go into this one off the back of a convincing Europa League victory in Nice virtually sealing their qualification for the round of 32.

Roma face a potential banana skin as they travel north to Turin. Torino pose a serious threat and Eusebio Di Francesco’s men will be desperate not to suffer their second league defeat in a row. A tricky fixture at the best of times and it’ll be interesting to see how much the midweek draw at Chelsea took out of the Giallorossi.

Other Fixtures: Atalanta vs Bologna, Benevento vs Fiorentina, Chievo vs Verona, Sampdoria vs Crotone and Spal vs Sassuolo.