Juventus-Torino: the Bianconeri have no more achievements to pursue in Serie A, but they still showed up at San Siro last week and equalized in the second half after a poor start. They have yet to drop one at home. The Granata continue to be in the hunt not only for a Europa League berth: the fourth spot is four points away. They have defeated Milan and Genoa in their last two contests and have lost just once in the past 14. Cristiano Ronaldo scored last week and Miralem Pjanic has contributed with two assists recently. Federico Bernardeschi and Moise Kean are alternating next to the Portuguese ace, but neither is in supreme form, while Juan Cuadrado is starting to look sprier and Joao Cancelo is coming back on too. The guests have relied on Andrea Belotti all season long and he has delivered. Iago Falque was called up last week, but Alex Berenguer has showed well enough to stick to the XI until the teammate has recovered fully. Cristian Ansaldi is their second productive element, while the dangerousness of Daniele Baselli and Soualiho Meitè depends on how offensive their overall game plan is.
Udinese-Inter: after an initial sprint following the coaching change, the Zebrette have fallen back into a slump as they have lost in three of the last four matches, against tough opponents (Roma, Lazio and Udinese) on the road. They tied with Sassuolo in the other one. They have slid to the 17th spot, with a four-point lead on Empoli. The Nerazzurri are coming off two 1-1 ties with Roma and Juventus, where they had their moments in both occasions, but ultimately could not capitalize with the W. Their cushion over Atalanta has been cut to three points. The Bianconeri have not scored in three of the last four fixtures and their last goal has been an own goal, but they are dramatically better at home. They have usually ben led by Rodrigo De Paul, while Kevin Lasagna, Stefano Okaka and Ignacio Pussetto have not found the target in a while, but the Italian striker could benefit if they have room to counter. The Beneamata has not gotten much scoring from Mauro Icardi and Lautaro Martinez once they started to alternate, but their star midfielders, Ivan Perisic and Radja Nainggolan in particular, have stepped up.
Lazio-Atalanta: the most meaningful clash of the weekend. The Biancocelesti bested Sampdoria last Sunday, but they need a win here if they want to mount a comeback for the fourth place, as they are four points behind the Orobici and the loss with Chievo continues to haunt them. The Goddess has not been defeated in six rounds and grabbed the full spoils in the last two against Napoli and Udinese. The Eagles will have Luis Alberto back from suspension, but likely not Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, who is dealing with a sprained ankle, and will be without Senad Lulic, who has been an important piece. While Ciro Immobile is sputtering, but not for lack of trying, Felipe Caicedo has bagged four goals in the last three matches. Joaquin Correa is in a good moment too, but usually sets up teammate rather than scoring on his own. The guests have some injury issues too as Josip Ilicic skipped the last match because of a thigh and knee issue. Mario Pasalic found the target twice in a row, but he is not as gifted. If the Slovenian attacker was sidelined again, Alejandro Gomez and Duvan Zapata would shoulder an even bigger load and the Colombian tank has racked up bonus points in the last few weeks. An under-the-radar guy for each side: Romulo, provided he is healthy, and Robin Gosens.
Genoa-Roma: the Griffon got a precious little point last week in Ferrara, just the second they have been able to glean in the last six tilts. They are six points above Empoli. The Giallorossi are humming as they have won three of the last four games and rag dolled Cagliari, leapfrogging Milan in the standings. Gianluca Lapadula scored after an eternity last week and they are desperate for offensive solutions, as Antonio Sanabria is banged up, Christian Kouame has stopped producing and Goran Pandev has never had much consistency in his career. The Giallorossi continue to get a lot of goals from their defenders, Federico Fazio and Aleksandar Kolarov being the latest, and also Edin Dzeko, Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini are in fine periods. Justin Kluivert was too, but he got hurt in practice. Nicolò Zaniolo will be back from disqualification and will try to get out of his first mini-funk. His return and Bryan Cristante’s one should reduce the room for Javier Pastore, who looked great versus the Sardinians.
Milan-Bologna: after collecting four points against Lazio and Parma, the Rossoneri had a bad dud in the Torino game, losing their grip on the four position. They have been topped in four of the last seven fixtures. On the contrary, the Felsinei have won in six of the last eight, where they were sunk only by Atalanta. A great run that brought them to the 14th spot and more importantly to +8 over the relegation zone after a monumental win over Empoli last week. Gennaro Gattuso keeps probing for effective solutions up front and this time it could be Suso paying the price in favour of Lucas Paquetà featuring more offensively and Krzysztof Piatek and Patrick Cutrone playing together. Either way, they need to find way to better cater to the Polish gunslinger as their last few goals have been rather random. The Rossoblù have taken full advantage of a home-heavy schedule and have bagged nine in their last four games, with Erick Pulgar and Riccardo Orsolini leading the way and Roberto Soriano and Nicola Sansone also pitching in. Soriano will be suspended here, which could allow Blerin Dzemaili to play more offensively and hence be more menacing. Rodrigo Palacio has a big role but he is usually more of a facilitator.
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