Susy Campanale’s Serie A column: Milan’s weakness and new Napoli upset

Milan vs. Empoli, Serie A

Milan’s victory away to Napoli sent them clear at the top, pending Inter’s game in hand, and forced the Partenopei to start looking over their shoulders at rampaging Juventus. The fights for Europe and to avoid relegation are getting tighter as we head into the final 10 games of the season.

Empoli can trip Milan up

If there’s one thing we’ve learned this season, it’s that Milan step up for the big games and have dropped far too many points against the minnows. Empoli are perfect examples of a side that can cause problems at San Siro, as they’ve already won away to Juventus and Napoli. It’s true they are without a victory in 10 rounds, so a win might be a big ask, but don’t expect them to roll over for the Rossoneri.

Hellas will hurt Napoli

Every time Napoli seem close to glory, they crumble under the pressure. Even Luciano Spalletti is starting to realise now that his speeches about becoming immortal or forgotten are doing more harm than good. Confidence is rock bottom again for a trip to extremely impressive Hellas Verona and a long-running rivalry between the sets of fans will only add to the anxiety. If the Partenopei emerge with a point, they should be happy.

Juve crawl along

Max Allegri has truly formed Juventus back into his own image with a series of painfully dull 1-0 wins that put them right back in contention not only for third place, but potentially the Scudetto. Dusan Vlahovic can only do so much when his team is set out to score once and then defend for dear life. Expect the same away to disappointing Sampdoria.

Relegation dogfights get tasty

The fight to avoid the drop is a very long way from decided, especially as Salernitana have two games in hand that could still shake everything up. There is a big head-to-head this weekend, as Spezia and Cagliari are divided by only one point going into the Stadio Alberto Picco. The Sardinians have definitely improved in recent weeks and bring Leonardo Pavoletti back from suspension, while Spezia are increasingly desperate after four consecutive defeats. All those were by a one-goal margin, including against Fiorentina, Roma and Juventus, so it should be another tight and dramatic game here.

Elsewhere, Genoa visit Atalanta who will be tired after Thursday’s 3-2 Europa League win over Bayer Leverkusen. The Grifone have drawn all six games under coach Alexander Blessin and making it seven on the bounce in Bergamo wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

Venezia visit Lazio and a Maurizio Sarri side with a week to prepare is one to be feared. This could get ugly with a lot of goals, even with Adam Marusic and Mattia Aramu suspended. Salernitana vs. Sassuolo is another game that ought to provide Overs and entertainment, not necessarily all of it going the way of the Neroverdi.

Serie A Week 29 Fixtures

Saturday March 12

Salernitana vs. Sassuolo

Spezia vs. Cagliari

Sampdoria vs. Juventus

Milan vs. Empoli

Sunday March 13

Fiorentina vs. Bologna

Verona vs. Napoli

Atalanta vs. Genoa

Udinese vs. Roma

Torino vs. Inter

Monday March 14

Lazio vs. Venezia

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