Sign up for the free World Soccer Talk daily email newsletter for TV schedules, news and more »

THURS, 1PM ET
CAG
JUVE
THURS, 2PM ET
ATL
HOS
THURS, 3PM ET
NAP
PAR
THURS, 4PM ET
ELC
VAL
THURS, 4PM ET
MAL
COR
FRI, 2:45PM ET
VIGO
ALM

Preview Of The Serie A Return

 Preview Of The Serie A Return

With the international break over, we can now focus back to this interesting title race in the works called Serie A. While the Azzurri have had a relatively disappointing international break with their 0-0 draw against Northern Ireland, their match against Serbia cancelled, and the fact that they won’t be part of the 2012 olympics, the Serie A will hopefully lift any Italy fan’s spirit.

Right now there’s a surprise leader, with Lazio in first place with 13 points thanks to their impressive record of having just lost one match so far in the league. But Lazio’s good run can be stopped this weekend when they travel to Bari to face the Galletti. Bari are an extremely tough opponent which will be looking to grab a win at home, and end this stop/start beginning they’ve had to the Serie A season.

Behind Lazio we find Inter Milan, a perennial fighter which seems almost unstoppable in their ascent up the table. The nerazzurri are just two points behind Lazio, and they’re going to have to travel away to Cagliari this weekend, for a tough match.

It seems like Rafa Benitez will have to put out a bit of a weakened side due to so many injuries among his starting 11. Milito and Cambiasso are out for about 10-20 days, it’s doubtful whether Mariga can play, and it’ll be a push for Thiago Motta to play on the weekend, although the Brazilian/Italian will be fully fit for the midweek match against Tottenham in the Champions League.

So Benitez will probably have to start with Stankovic, and the rebellious Muntari, possibly giving Amantino Mancini a chance to start alongside Eto’o and Coutinho in the forward three. We’ll see how Inter do against Pierpaolo Bisoli’s side which has had four draws out of six matches this season.

AC Milan have a pretty simple match (or so it seems) against Chievo at the San Siro, and the rossoneri will really be looking for a big win to spur them into action. They’ve been slightly languid these past few weekends, and it was only thanks to a wondergoal by Pirlo which won their last game against Parma. There are so many stars in the offensive sector, but so much trouble scoring goals? And strangely enough, there’s been rumblings that maybe Kaka could make a wild return to AC Milan, although it’s beginning to seem less and less possible right now.

Chievo happen to be right behind AC Milan, just one point away from the rossoneri who are at 11 points. It’s been a great start to this season for Chievo under the new coach Stefano Pioli, and they’ll be looking to hold AC Milan to a draw, or maybe sneak a goal for an important away win.

Another team which has had a great start to the season is Brescia, who find themselves at 9 points, and they’ll play Udinese at home this weekend. It should be an easy game for Brescia, considering that Udinese are last in the table right now, with only four points! What an unexpected start for both of these teams which will play each other over the weekend.

Pazzini will be facing his former club Fiorentina this weekend, as Sampdoria host the Viola in an important match for both of them. Both sides have had a fairly bad start to the season, and they’re two points away from each other in the table, Sampdoria at seven, and Fiorentina at five. If they don’t begin to pick up some wins soon, it could be a dismal season for both sets of supporters who might  even see their clubs fight relegation. So it’ll be interesting if Pazzini can score against his former club to help Sampdoria gain some form before their midweek match in the Europa League, I guess we’ll just have to watch the match.

The most exciting game this weekend should be Roma – Genoa. A battle between two sides who haven’t really started well (Roma are second last in the table with five points…), but they’re both filled with plenty of talent. This season Roma have conceeded the most goals so far, 11 in six matches which is pretty impressive, so I certainly expect Genoa to score, but we’ll have to see if Roma can fight back at the Stadio Olimpico.

What are your thoughts on the upcoming matches? Do you expect Roma to win? Do you think that Lazio will stay top of the table? Share your thoughts below!