It’s a big weekend in Serie A, with four of the likely Champions League contenders facing off and a Europa League battle too.
The table is beginning to take shape after nine matches, with a clear idea of who is likely to be struggling against relegation and more than a hint about the Scudetto contenders.
Here’s what to look out for in Week 10 of Serie A.
Europa League clash in Turin
Torino and Fiorentina were expected to challenge for the Europa League this season, and as things stand the Viola occupy the final qualification place.
Walter Mazzarri’s side are just a point behind them though, and they welcome the Tuscans to Turin on Saturday night.
Fiorentina have been terrible away from home, with just one point from four games, while the Granata’s home form is patchy.
Two wins and two losses have held Toro back, but a victory this weekend would not only help them but also damage a Europa League rival.
Frosinone doomed already?
Nine games into the season, Frosinone already find themselves in a hole.
After picking up just two points up to now, only Chievo’s sorry state has prevented the Canarani from being marooned at the bottom.
On Sunday afternoon they visit fellow promoted side Spal, and already this match has the feeling of a must-win.
The Spallini are likely to be a rival in the battle against the drop, but Leonardo Semplici’s side already have a 10 point advantage.
There are other teams down there too, of course, but a 13 point gulf would surely be insurmountable.
Chievo still looking to break even
It’s fair to say Giampiero Ventura’s Chievo debut didn’t go well, with the Flying Donkeys thrashed 5-1 at home by Atalanta.
After the three point deduction imposed at the start of the season, the Veronese side are yet to break even and the former Italy CT has a huge mountain to climb.
With 24 goals conceded so far the first priority is to stop the defence leaking, and facing a Cagliari team who have managed only seven goals in nine games could be the perfect opportunity to do just that.
Chievo have only scored seven themselves, and the Isolani have conceded just 10, but a 0-0 draw would at least allow Ventura’s men to reach zero points…
The Derby del Sole
For the past six seasons Napoli and Roma have been battling to be ‘best of the rest’ as Juventus maintained a vicelike grip on the Scudetto.
On Sunday night they meet at the Stadio San Paolo, and both teams desperately need the three points.
For the Giallorossi the Scudetto is surely already gone, with an 11 point gap to the Old Lady, but a win here would significantly ease the pressure on Coach Eusebio Di Francesco.
The hosts, meanwhile, are very much in the title fight but can’t afford to drop points against Roma.
Juventus face Empoli on Saturday evening, a side they haven’t lost to in close to 20 years, so anything but a win would likely see the Bianconeri stretch their lead.
Inter return to the Olimpico
Last season ended with Inter securing Champions League football in the dying moments of the season, beating Lazio to move above them and finally return to Europe’s premier club competition.
On Monday night the sides renew acquaintances, with both still harbouring faint Scudetto hopes.
The Nerazzurri trail Juventus by six points, while Simone Inzaghi’s side are seven back, and both are fighting to stop the title fight coming down to Naples vs Turin.
With four points between Lazio and fourth-place Sampdoria these teams look like Champions League contenders, Monday may tell us if they can aspire to more.
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