A look at the upcoming games in Serie A this weekend as the title race tightens.
Inter will welcome back Wesley Sneijder to their starting line-up in Sunday’s big home game with Roma after making his comeback from a month out injured as a substitute in Thursday’s 3-0 win at Bari.
The Dutchman’s introduction helped changed the course of the game, allowing Leonardo to switch back to his preferred two-man attack rather than three, while Sneijder also netted the third in injury time.
Roma defender Philippe Mexes will also be absent after Serie A said in a statement he had been suspended for two games for insulting the officials after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Brescia.
Leaders AC Milan travel to Genoa on Sunday trying to protect or increase their five-point lead following Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with Lazio. Injuries continue to dog the Rossoneri but Mark van Bommel returns from suspension. Coach Massimiliano Allegri is spoilt for choice upfront and must choose whether to play Antonio Cassano or Alexandre Pato alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho.
Genoa’s Eduardo, the Portugal World Cup goalkeeper, must hope the closure of the transfer window takes some pressure off him after a series of howlers this season sparked speculation the club would quickly look for a new number one having only signed the 28-year-old from Braga in July. His capers, including storming out of goal and missing the ball completely, have become big hits on the Internet in Italy.
Juventus head to Cagliari on Saturday hoping their season is not on the verge of falling apart like last term having not won in four games in all competitions. The Turin side are down in eighth, unthinkable during their years dominating Serie A, and their main hope of a resurgence comes from new striker Alessandro Matri against his ex-side.
Sampdoria are enduring an even worse spell than Juve since letting top strikers Cassano and new Inter recruit Giampaolo Pazzini leave in January. In a rare bit of good news for the club, who visit in-form Udinese on Saturday, Italy midfielder and Samp captain Angelo Palombo has extended his contract until 2015.