Serie A Returns After Tragic On-Field Episode
Welcome back to Italian soccer this weekend! Seven days ago, week 33 matches were postponed due to the tragic on-field death of 25 year old Livorno midfielder, Piermario Morosini. Week 33 fixtures will feature in midweek on Tuesday April 24 and Wednesday April 25.
AC Milan will host Bologna at the San Siro in Milan. The Rossoneri will be keen on continuing to apply pressure on their Scudetto counterparts as a win will leapfrog Milan 2 points clear before league leaders Juventus’ afternoon match. However, the Rossoblu have a history of providing the Italian giants with difficult matches. In Bologna’s last 2 travels to Milan, they only lost by a one-goal margin and last won 2-1 back in 2008. The week off will have certainly benefited the Rossoneri with regaining focus and energy seeing that they have looked sluggish recently, barely scraping a win in their last encounter with Chievo Verona. This time around, the Rossoneri’s motivation may prove to be too much to handle for Bologna.
SS Lazio is currently leading the race for a third place finish with 54 points which will propel the Aquile directly into the 2012-2013 Champions League season. They will take on high-flying and relegation battlers Lecce at the Stadio Olimpico. The Puglia-based club are on a mission collecting nine out of a possible 15 points which means they remain unbeaten in their last five fixtures. Lecce currently sit three spots from the bottom with 34 points, just three points shy of salvation.
Following closely behind Lazio are the black and white stripes from Udine. Udinese have a tough battle ahead of them as they travel to Verona take on Chievo at the Bentegodi Stadium. The Friuli-based club are in fourth with 51 points and thus, are still in contention for Champions League berth. Francesco Guidolin’s men have not played well in recent times though and will aim to get back on their feet with a victory. In the past seven matches, Udinese has earned only one win.
The match of the day will feature unbeaten Juventus hosting AS Roma at the Juventus Stadium. So many are the implications of this fixture as each club are fighting for different objectives at this point. A lack of motivation will not be the excuse for the defeated as each player will be driven to provide their best performance of the season. The Bianconeri currently lead the table with 68 points, just one above second-place Milan. Juventus will be fully concentrated on earning the three points here which will guarantee the Turin-based side first spot with 5 games remaining most of which will be played against teams sitting on the lower end of the standings. It will be great to see old club captains Alex Del Piero take on Francesco Totti for a final time since the Bianconero hero will most likely be leaving the club after 19 seasons.
AS Roma are currently pushing for that final Champions League spot and sit in fifth position with 50 points, just 4 short. Although Luis Enrique’s men have provided the big clubs with tough competition, inconsistency has plagued the Lupi’s season. Which AS Roma will side show up for duty in Turin?
Other fixtures: Catania v Atalanta; Cesena v Palermo; Fiorentina v Inter; Genoa v Siena; Napoli v Novara; Parma v Cagliari.
…and that’s the last word.