A triple main-event in the upcoming Serie A round: Juventus take on Lazio on the road, Napoli host Roma and Inter and Milan square off in the Derby della Madonnina.
Lazio-Juventus: the Biancocelesti have won two games in a row, as they always do with the minnows, against Verona and Sassuolo. Ciro Immobile continues to punish opponents and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic is in stellar form recently. The last Serie A game of the Bianconeri was postponed, then they got the job done in Coppa Italia against the same opponent, Atalanta. With Gonzalo Higuain and Federico Bernardeschi sidelined and Paulo Dybala working his way back from injury, Douglas Costa has been the one to step up upfront and Mario Mandzukic will play a big role as well. The Old Lady has had a ton of success in Rome in recent years. Their defence is stifling, but they will go against the best scoring attack in the League.
Napoli-Roma: ten wins in a row for the Partenopei, which shattered Cagliari last Monday. They are playing brilliant football lately: Dries Mertens is scoring at will, Lorenzo Insigne is constantly threatening defences and also José Callejon is finding the back of the net in a consistent way. In other areas, Allan is in incredible shape and Mario Rui is silencing the critics. Roma were defeated by Milan in the last week’s big match, were Cengiz Under was held in check and Patrik Schick flopped in a rare opportunity to start. The Giallorossi appear to have enough to down weaker opponents, but they will need more from their centre-pieces Radja Nainggolan, Kevin Strootman, Diego Perotti, Stephan El Shaarawy and Aleksandar Kolarov to put up a fight against the high-flying Azzurri.
Atalanta-Sampdoria: the Orobici’s last bout against Juventus was postponed, but they have not lost in their last four outings, where they have won and drawn twice. Their journeys in the cups have terminated, so Gian Piero Gasperini can go resume fielding his best XI more regularly. Josip Ilicic and Bryan Cristante have been their best performer so far this season, with Alejandro Gomez displaying only glimpses of his best form. Andres Cornelius could be a cheap buy for this week. The Blucerchiati bounced back after a tough loss to Milan and easily defeated Udinese last Sunday. They have not suffered many Ls recently, but their schedule was home-heavy, while they do not have a good record on the road. Duvan Zapata scored a brilliant goal last week, while Fabio Quagliarella has already bagged 17 so far, but they could be down some key personnel due to injuries.
Udinese-Fiorentina: the Bianconeri have lost three in a row as nobody has been able to take the reins upfront with Kevin Lasagna hurt. Their only score in this recent stretch has been an own goal by an opponent. Massimo Oddo tried a couple of solutions, like advancing Jakub Jankto, but they did not pay off and it will be up to the centre-forwards Maxi Lopez and Stipe Perica to solve the issues, while Antonin Barak has not found the back of the net in over two months after a torrid December. The seesawing campaign of the Viola continued last week with a win over Chievo. They have few quality players in their roster, starting obviously with Federico Chiesa, but also Jordan Veretout and Gil Dias, however they have not managed to put it all together so far this season and the fact that Giovanni Simeone has not been the goal poacher they hoped he could become has hurt them. Marco Benassi and Cyril Thereau have progressively declined.
Milan-Inter: the Rossoneri will be looking for another statement win after downing Roma last week. They have never lost in all competition with Gennaro Gattuso at the helm. Their simple 4-3-3 is working and Patrick Cutrone is an excellent catalyst for their production. Hakan Calhanoglu and Giacomo Bonaventura have found the right chemistry in the left side of the pitch, while Suso is back in full force. In the back, Davide Calabria and Alessio Romagnoli are enjoying excellent moments of form. The Nerazzurri have won the last game against Benevento, but their offensive manoeuvre remains lackluster and, as a matter of fact, it was Milan Skriniar and Andrea Ranocchia who solved the game. They will have Mauro Icardi back and that should help, while Yann Karamoh, Eder and Rafinha at least bring to the table something different from the dreary Ivan Perisic and Antonio Candreva.
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