The title race is hotter than ever with just one point separating the top two and Inter with a game in hand four points behind. Milan are leaking momentum and desperately need a boost with Torino, while Napoli and Inter have some tough tests as well against Fiorentina and Verona respectively. The relegation and European races intersect and at this stage of the season they can be very unpredictable.
Belotti can break Milan
It’s crunch time for Stefano Pioli’s men, as their lead at the top has been whittled down to just one point. There’s no secret about the cause of this problem, they can’t seem to convert their many chances, and confidence is slipping away. A trip to Torino is therefore the worst thing they could ask for at this moment, a side tough to break down with the on-form Serie A defender in Gleison Bremer and striker Andrea Belotti eager to prove himself against the club he may well end up joining. Tommaso Pobega is on loan from the Rossoneri and enjoying his new trequartista role, which is also where Milan are struggling badly with Brahim Diaz.
Napoli find feet with Fiorentina
The Scudetto race is wide open and Luciano Spalletti can smell blood as Milan continue to slow down at the top. Napoli have won three on the bounce, even without Victor Osimhen, who should be available despite a small muscular issue in training on his return from suspension. Fiorentina, however, are tricky to break down and are unbeaten in four, including a draw with Inter. A concern since Dusan Vlahovic left is that they’ve scored one goal per game in the last six outings, but balanced that with defensive solidity.
Inter lose Lautaro
Lautaro Martinez is suspended, so either Alexis Sanchez or Joaquin Correa should partner Edin Dzeko against Hellas Verona. The good news for Inter is that the Argentine has been in such poor form lately, it shouldn’t be too much of a hindrance. Fresh from their surprise win away to Juventus, the Nerazzurri are right back in the title race, but Verona have Giovanni Simeone capable of either a hat-trick or disappearing from the game completely. Much will depend on whether Antonin Barak has recovered from gastroenteritis, as he is a key player for them.
All about Berardi
Domenico Berardi was sorely missed in the 2-1 defeat to Lazio, showing just how crucial he is to the alchemy of Sassuolo’s tactics. The captain should be back in the starting XI, although midfielder Davide Frattesi is suspended. Atalanta were held to a 1-1 draw by RB Leipzig in the Europa League quarter-final on Thursday evening and there’s the definite risk of fatigue, as well as the distraction inevitable after losing hope of a top four finish with their defeat to Napoli. La Dea have their mind elsewhere, resources are stretched and Sassuolo are primed to take advantage.