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Saturday, 20 December 2014, 19:45

Italian Serie A

Serie A weekend preview

Napoli coach Rafa Benitez knows his side face the daunting task of trying to tame Serie A leaders Roma at the Stadio Olimpico on Friday.

Last Updated: 18/10/13 at 08:09 Post Comment

Rafa Benitez: Tough test against Roma on Friday night

Rafa Benitez: Tough test against Roma on Friday night

Seven consecutive victories to start the season have the Giallorossi club as the only side in Serie A not to have dropped a point.

Rudi Garcia's Roma have shown no signs of weakness, scoring 20 goals while giving away just one.

Given their current form, this run looks unlikely to be broken and Benitez is aware Napoli will have to be at their best if they are to take anything from the match.

"Roma is a strong team and a dangerous one," Benitez said to Gazzetta dello Sport.

"They have found the right balance.

"For us this is going to be a difficult game.

"But we don't fear anyone and we know that if we do the things in the right

way, we can beat any rival."

Napoli are also unbeaten in Italy and are second in the standings, two points behind Roma.

Antonio Conte's Juventus will try to end Fiorentina's unbeaten run at the Artemio Franchi stadium.

The Italian champions head into the contest on the back of a 3-2 triumph over AC Milan that saw them pull level on 19 points with Napoli.

Inter Milan fans will be hoping their players will not be distracted by the sale of the club when they pay a visit to Torino on Sunday.

Nerazzurri president Massimo Moratti sold a 70 per cent stake of the club to Indonesian billionaire Erick Thohir on Tuesday.

Hellas Verona will fancy their chances when they square off against Parma at the Marc' Antonio Bentegodi stadium.

The promoted outfit have won all of their games in Verona and are fifth in the standings, one place and one point adrift of Inter.

AC Milan will be bolstered by the return of Italian striker Mario Balotelli for Saturday's game against Udinese.

Balotelli missed the last three league games through suspension and is set to lead the Rossoneri's attack.

Milan have won just two games this season and lie 12th in the standings.

Lazio face Atalanta in Bergamo eager to clinch their first win on the road this season.

The Biancoceleste have mustered just one point of a possible nine away from home.

Genoa look to end a four-match winless run when they host Chievo in Liguria.

Cagliari host Catania at the Sant' Elia stadium on Saturday in a battle of the Italian islands.

The Sardinian outfit lies 14th in the standings, two points above Sicilian side Catania.

Sassuolo and Bologna will battle it out at the Braglia stadium with both teams searching for their first win of the campaign.

Sampdoria coach Delio Rossi will be under pressure to take a result at Livorno with his team winless after seven games.

The Blucerchiati are in the relegation zone after taking just three points so far.

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Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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