A full set of Serie A fixtures took place midweek and there were wins for the top 3 as Juventus, Lazio and Roma all won and scored 10 goals between them. Lazio were big winners against Parma which condemned their opponents to relegation to Serie B. Juventus are just 1 victory away from sealing another Serie A title and they face a tricky away fixture to out of form Sampdoria.
Sampdoria v Juventus
Manuel Allegri will have lost half his finger nails in their 3-2 victory over Fiorentina midweek after coming from behind to win 3-2 and were thankful for a missed penalty with the score 2-1 in Juventus favour. A Carlos Tevez brace took his Serie A tally to 20 for the season and the 31-year olds performances this season look set to be rewarded with a Serie A title under his belt.
Sampdoria are winless in 5 matches and haven’t picked a particularly good time to strike poor form. They’ve gained just 3 points from their last 5 matches and are now anxiously looking over their shoulder with Genoa, Fiorentina, Torino and Inter Milan all within a victory of Sampdoria.
The 4-2 defeat to Napoli last weekend was dealt another blow when forward Eder suffered a knee ligament damage that will rule him out for the rest of the season. He has 9 goals this season and his presence was sorely missed against Verona after they had 20 efforts on goal with only 5 hitting the target.
Afriyie Acquah was sent off in their 1-1 draw with Verona midweek and will be suspended for the Juventus clash. Kwadwo Asamoah, Martin Caceres and Paul Pogba are out through injury but Leonardo Bonucci returns from suspension for the away side.
Roma v Genoa
The early kick off on Saturday takes place at the Stadio Olimpico as Rudi Garcia’s men welcome 6th placed Genoa. Genoa will be on high on confidence after their midweek win at AC Milan and will now head to Rome looking to build on their impressive result.
Roma will be desperate to keep the pressure on Lazio who are 1 point ahead of them in 2nd place but do trail them by 11 goals on goal difference which could prove significant at the end of the season. Roma have won 5 of the last 6 meetings between these 2 sides and Genoa have had a men sent off in 3 of these encounters and will need to keep their discipline if they stand any chance of upsetting the odds.
Gervinho made his 2nd appearance since coming back from injury for Roma in their 3-0 win at Sassuolo and his presence was pivotal as he caused all sorts of problems. Seydou Doumbia scored his first goal for Roma since signing from CSKA Moscow and will keep his place against Genoa alongside fellow Ivorian Gervinho and Colombian forward, Victor Ibarbo. Seydou Keita, Adem Ljajic and Jose Holebas are all likely to miss the tie.
Genoa were handed a cruel blow against Cesena last Sunday when Diego Perotti suffered a thigh injury that rules him out against Roma. Maxime Lestienne could be preferred to Zakarya Bergdich as the man to replace Perotti.
Napoli v AC Milan
Serie A’s high profile match of the weekend is between Napoli and AC Milan on Sunday evening. Napoli have started to show some good form which has largely been down to the performances of Lorenzo Insigne who has impressed in April.
High scoring wins over Sampdoria, Fiorentina, and Cagliari were also boosted by a 5-3 aggregate win over Wolfsburg in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Napoli will desperately be looking to close the gap on Roma and Lazio to secure a Champions League qualification position.
Rafa Benitez has an overwhelming selection of players performing to a high standard and was even able to bench the likes of Marek Hamsik and Gokhan Inler against Sampdoria last weekend. Gonzalo Higuain scored a brace in that victory that took his Serie A total to 15 and will be desperate to catch his fellow countryman, Carlos Tevez for the top goal scorer award.
Jonathan de Guzman is Napoli’s only absence. Jeremy Menez picked up 2 yellow cards against Genoa midweek and Milan’s main goal scoring threat will now be missing. Mattia Destro is likely to step in to fill the Frenchman’s position. Gabriel Paletta, Luca Antonelli, Alex, Michael Essien, Riccardo Montolivo and Stephan El Shaarawy are on the injury table for boss Filippo Inzaghi.