Serie A preview – Week 30 – Games nicely poised for a traditional six-goal thriller!

The title race is being run at a snail’s pace at the moment with Inter struggling in their last three games against Genoa, Catania and Palermo, amassing just 2 points in the process. Their bitter city-rivals Milan however seem to be lenient in their attitude towards chasing them down, also dropping needless points at home to Napoli in week 29. Inter will look to get back to winning ways by defeating Livorno, who have slipped to the foot of the table, while Milan travel to Parma, who are out to consolidate a mid-table standing. Third placed Roma will seek to take advantage of their Milanese title rivals’ stumbling by winning away at mid-table Bologna. The Romans are currently on a terrific run of 19 games unbeaten.

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The scramble for European places is also intensifying, especially after Sampdoria’s 1-0 victory over Juventus on Sunday evening. Juve go away to Napoli in Thursday’s only fixture, who themselves have Europa League aspirations. Sampdoria are aiming to build on their victory at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, and will fancy themselves against mid-table Bari, who have little remaining to play for. Palermo, who are also vying for the remaining Champions League position, and are level on points with the Blucerchiati, will be looking to reinforce their standing with victory against Sampdoria’s city-rivals Genoa. The Genoese side may also be casting a curious eye on forth position although a Europa League place might just be a more realistic target for the Rossoblu. Fiorentina, who would like to build on their two recent wins, would also like to think that they can have a say in the European run-in and travel to Catania. The Rossazzurri want to secure a few more points to make sure of their status in Italy’s top flight.

Sixteenth place Udinese welcome Chievo to the Stadio Friuli and will hope to achieve enough points to banish any remaining threat of dropping to Serie B. If their awful form of only three wins in fifteen games continues however, they may find themselves dragged into an unwanted relegation battle, especially given some good form and winnable fixtures for those who lie below them. Chievo on the other hand will be looking to finish as strong as possible without threatening for European places or being relegated.

The battle for relegation is also intensifying with all bottom three sides changing positions after last weekends results. Livorno have the toughest task as they travel to table-toppers Inter, especially with José Mourinho expecting a positive reaction from his side after picking up only one victory in their last seven outings. Fellow strugglers Atalanta, who picked up three valuable points against Livorno at the weekend, will fancy their chances at home to Cagliari, who are without a win in the last four and are comfortably in a safe, mid-table position. The foot of the table will make interesting reading after Round 30 especially with the visit of Siena to the capital to take on Lazio.

Game of the midweek

Siena will seek to extend their amazing recent run of form against Lazio, having won three and drawn three of their last six Serie A encounters. The Biancocelesti, who themselves sit one place above the relegation zone, have a great chance to extend their four-point cushion over the drop zone with a victory.

Blast from the past

One of the iconic games in Serie A history took place at the San Siro between Milan and Parma. In March 1993, Parma ended the Rossoneri’s record-breaking 58-game unbeaten run. Faustino Asprilla dispatched a stunning 25-yard free-kick to win the game 1-0. The result however did not deter Milan from claiming the scudetto.

On this matchday

10 years ago – 1999/00

Round 30 tends to see the Italian Catenaccio stereotype being dispelled. In 2000 Fiorentina and Lazio completed a thrilling 3-3 draw with goals from Gabrielle Batistuta (2), Enrico Chiesa, Pavel Nedved, Allan Boksic and Siniša Mihajlovic.

Five years ago – 2004/05

Two 3-3 draws spoiled Serie A supporters in 2005. Juventus’ visit to Fiorentina and Roma’s to Udinese ended in six-goal thrillers. Three games saw four goals scored and only one ended 0-0.

One year ago – 2008/09

Last season also saw a 3-3 between Juventus and Chievo. It was a remarkable result considering The Old Lady would finish 36 points above their rivals. Sergio Pellissier was Chievo’s hero with a memorable hat-trick.

Week 30 fixtures

Wednesday March 24

Atalanta vs. Cagliari – 19.45

Bari vs. Sampdoria – 19.45

Bologna vs. Roma – 19.45

Catania vs. Fiorentina – 19.45

Genoa vs. Palermo – 19.45

Inter vs. Livorno – 19.45

Lazio vs. Siena – 19.45

Parma vs. Milan – 19.45

Udinese vs. Chievo – 19.45

Thursday March 25

Napoli vs. Juventus – 19.45 – Live on ESPN

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