Serie A recommences this weekend after the winter break, so the players should be fresh for a much anticipated second half of the season. Some teams will be looking to continue on where they left off, whilst others will be hoping a new year brings new fortunes.
The undoubted game of the weekend is a huge one, leaders Juventus take on Roma, in a battle between the top two. Juve are five points clear going into the new year and are favourites to claim another title this time around. Their domestic form has been impeccable all season dropping just seven points all season and they boast a perfect home record too. The Old Lady are the top goalscorers at home with 23 from eight outings conceding just four in the process and a win in this game would be a giant leap towards the title.
Roma are not far behind them though and are yet to taste defeat all season. This record will undergo a serious examination this weekend though, but they can be encouraged by the fact they go into the game unbeaten. I Giallorossi have the meanest defence in the division conceding just seven goals so far, and if they could get a result in this one, they will be confident they can take the title this year. Juventus will be determined to win the domestic league after European failure and I think they will just edge out Roma in this one, to put one hand on the trophy at this early stage. With such a close call, if you’re putting money down, you might be safer betting on the winners of the World Cup instead.
In another big game between two of the country’s greats, Lazio host Inter. The home side are having a poor season and are languishing in tenth place well off the European spots. Their home form has kept them going this season otherwise Petković’s side would be in serious trouble. Inter are hopeful of claiming a champions league spot this season and are well placed going into the new year, just five points off third. Their away form is good with just one defeat on the road, and I think they will just about do enough to get a crucial win.
AC Milan will be hoping to start the new year in positive fashion as they slide towards the relegation zone. They face a Sampdoria side who are pulling away from the drop and defeat for i Rossoneri will see them well and truly in the mire. The away side are no mugs on their travels and have picked up plenty of points but you would think that at home and with the quality they have that Allegri’s side will pick up the win.
At the bottom time is running out for Catania but they are presented with a big opportunity this weekend as they host Bologna. Bologna sit just above the drop five points ahead of the basement side, so a win for Catania would breath a new lease of life into the side, and would put them right in touch with those above them. Catania have picked up all of their points at home this season while Bologna are poor on the road. Home win for me.
What a intriguing weekend it promises to be and after this weekend, issues at the top and bottom could be much clearer.