Napoli vs Spal
After a disappointing result in the Europa League Maurizio Sarri’s attention turns back to the race for the Serie A crown. Despite suffering defeat at the San Paolo courtesy of German side RB Leipzig I doubt the Partenopei will have lost any sleep over the result. The team selection and attitude during the game was further evidence of the clubs obsession with wrapping up their first Scudetto since 1990 and complete disregard for a European competition seen by many as second rate.
In many ways, Napoli’s imminent exit from the Europa League could be helpful in their quest for the title considering they don’t possess anywhere near the strength in depth rivals Juventus have at their disposal. This weekend’s opponents Spal currently sit in 18th place and have only registered three wins this season; if I were a betting man I certainly wouldn’t be backing them to register a fourth this weekend with the hosts being the overwhelming favorites.
Napoli are at full strength and Sarri will be hoping they can race to an early lead giving him the opportunity to rest some key players going into a crucial part of the season. In just a couple of weeks time the Partenopei take on Roma whilst Juventus will travel to Lazio so neither side will want to drop any points going into week 27.
Torino vs Juventus
The Derby della Mole takes place early Sunday between Turin’s two most prominent football clubs. Juventus will be bitterly disappointed they surrendered a two goal lead to Spurs midweek and now face an uphill task to qualify for the quarter finals. However, there is no time to dwell on the result and they must ensure they stay in touch with the league leaders.
A trip to the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino is never an easy one, especially for their bitter rivals Juventus who face a Toro side full of confidence having beaten Udinese 2-0 just last weekend. Walter Mazzari is an experienced coach and despite having underachieved so far this season in many people’s eyes, to write him and his team off would be foolish.
How much will that midweek UEFA Champions League tie have affected Juventus? That remains to be seen but what I will say is this, an away fixture at Torino is far from ideal given their current injury list and I wouldn’t be surprised if Juventus were to drop points here.
Genoa vs Inter
Inter have been in poor form of late and Luciano Spalletti’s side only ended their terrible run of draws as recently as last weekend with a victory over Bologna. Genoa on the other hand are starting to click and will be relishing the chance to inflict further misery on the Nerazzurri at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
The Rossoblu have conceded just four goals in their last ten games and look a far more organized unit since Davide Ballardini took the reins back in November. Inter have struggled to score in recent weeks, with the exception of Mauro Icardi the team overall have failed to find the net with the regularity required to sustain a title challenge. Despite the fact their season has fizzled out disappointingly we should not forget they remain unbeaten this year and have only lost twice all season, hardly disastrous.
With strugglers Benevento up next for Inter this is a great opportunity to get a result and build some momentum ahead of the Milan Derby in a couple of week’s time. Prediction: 1-1.
Atalanta vs Fiorentina, Benevento vs Crotone, Bologna vs Sassuolo, Chievo vs Cagliari, Lazio vs Verona, Milan vs Sampdoria, Udinese vs Roma