San Siro (Giuseppe Meazza)

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AC Milan v Lazio

Sunday, 31 August 2014, 17:00

Serie A

Serie A weekend preview

Roma coach Rudi Garcia believes Juventus are still the team to beat this season, even though his team lead the Serie A standings after 12 rounds of fixtures.

Last Updated: 22/11/13 at 09:24 Post Comment

Rudi Garcia: Praise for champions Juventus

Rudi Garcia: Praise for champions Juventus

The Eternal City giants go into Monday's match against Cagliari as the only unbeaten side in Italy's top flight and hold a one-point advantage over Juve.

The Giallorossi will be under pressure to take three points against Cagliari, knowing that any other result could see Juventus leapfrog them into top spot.

"Juve have been built to win the scudetto," Garcia said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "We are not at that level just yet.

"Our aim this season is to qualify for European competition, perhaps the Champions League.

"It's normal that our fans dream big but I believe we need to be realistic.

"If we finish in the top five that would be a very good result for us."

Juve are the defending champions and are riding a four-match winning streak heading into their match at Livorno on Sunday.

The Turin giants will be nowhere near full strength, however, with four defenders unavailable through injuries and suspensions.

The international break allowed Napoli to put behind them their 3-0 loss at Juventus in the last round and Rafa Benitez's men expect to bounce back when they welcome Parma to town.

Napoli are in third place and hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Inter Milan are hot on Napoli's heels and visit Bologna having avoided defeat in their last five games.

The Nerazzurri lie just one place and three points adrift of Napoli.

Fiorentina will be hoping red-hot Giuseppe Rossi can keep up his goalscoring form when they square off against Udinese at the Friuli stadium.

The Italy international, who is Serie A's top scorer with 11 goals, got on the scoresheet in Monday's 2-2 international friendly draw against Nigeria.

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri will need no reminder that a home defeat against Genoa on Saturday could see him lose his job.

The Rossoneri lie in mid-table having endured their worst start to Serie A in 31 years.

Milan will also have one eye on their trip to Scotland next week to face Celtic, with Allegri's side yet to seal qualification to the knockout round of the Champions League.

Strugglers Sampdoria begin life under new coach Sinisa Mihajlovic after dismissing Delio Rossi following a 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina, their third straight loss.

The Genoa outfit are 18th and host Lazio on Sunday.

Bottom-side Chievo also made a coaching change during the international break with Eugenio Corini replacing sacked Giuseppe Sannino.

Corini, who led Chievo to a 12th-placed finish last term before stepping down in the summer, faces a huge challenge from the start.

Chievo take on Hellas Verona in Saturday's derby desperate to end their neighbours' perfect home record.

Atalanta are in ninth place and travel to Sassuolo hoping to claim only their

second victory on the road.

Torino, meanwhile, are winless since September 22 and face Catania in Turin.

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resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

lee
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

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deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

EssexGooner
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

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ithout doing any research I would have to say that Richard Wright is the singular most successful ex Ipswich Town player I know. Yes, thats what the kaleidoscopic whirlwind of highs and lows feels like supporting the Tractor Boys. In other exciting news I saw two, count them, TWO squirrels today. What a start to August.

hump3.
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

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