The Serie A title race has been blown wide open by Inter’s Derby della Madonnina defeat, allowing Milan and Napoli to close the gap to just one point, even if Simone Inzaghi’s side still have a game in hand.
There could be another big turning point this weekend, as the Nerazzurri visit the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, with the Rossoneri silently hoping for a stalemate to leapfrog them both.
All eyes on Napoli vs. Inter
All eyes will be on Naples come Saturday evening and everything points towards a home victory. Luciano Spalletti had all week to prepare for this match, unlike an Inter side who beat Roma in the Coppa Italia quarter-final on Tuesday night. Kalidou Koulibaly returns from the triumphant Africa Cup of Nations tournament with Senegal, just as Alessandro Bastoni is ruled out of the Inter defence by a combination of injury and suspension.
Victor Osimhen is finally back to his old form almost four months after the horrific clash of heads with Inter’s Milan Skriniar that left him with multiple facial fractures, whereas Lautaro Martinez could even lose his starting spot to Alexis Sanchez.
Milan facing tough Samp challenge
Milan are primed to take advantage and fresh from morale-boosting victories over Inter and Lazio. Theo Hernandez is suspended and Sampdoria rediscovered their confidence by flattening Sassuolo with Stefano Sensi scoring on his debut, so it won’t be a total pushover.
Sebastian Giovinco was signed as a free agent, but ought to be on the bench. With limited squad rotation options, the Rossoneri might find this game a little more taxing than some have assumed.
Juventus set for Atalanta revenge
If there’s a fixture with everything pointing towards an away victory, it’s the showdown for fourth place between Atalanta and Juventus. La Dea are having probably their toughest time under Gian Piero Gasperini, made worse by another Duvan Zapata relapse and a ban for goalkeeper Juan Musso.
Their confidence was sapped even more by a shock 3-2 Coppa Italia quarter-final exit to 10-man Fiorentina on Thursday evening, confirming an extraordinarily poor home record in all competition this season. They beat Juve in Turin back in November, but that was a very different Atalanta to the one we see limping into the Gewiss Stadium on Sunday night.
It is also a whole other Juventus, revitalised by Dusan Vlahovic and Denis Zakaria. The momentum has shifted completely the other way and it’s hard to see anything other than a Juve victory here.
Big chance for Roma, goals in Liguria
Elsewhere, Sassuolo will sorely miss suspended Gianluca Scamacca and Giacomo Raspadori, giving Roma an opportunity to put their recent poor form behind them. It’s true that Nicolò Zaniolo sits out a ban as well, but it’s nowhere near as big of a loss for Jose Mourinho. The tip for the Monday night game is Overs all the way, as Vincenzo Italiano visits his old club Spezia at the helm of unpredictable but rarely dull Fiorentina.
Serie A Week 25 fixtures
Saturday February 11
Lazio vs. Bologna
Torino vs. Venezia
Sunday February 12
Empoli vs. Cagliari
Genoa vs. Salernitana
Verona vs. Udinese
Monday February 13
Spezia vs. Fiorentina