It’s a bumper weekend of action in Serie A Week 27, as all of the top eight play each other.
The top two are both in action on Saturday night, facing tough fixtures against either side of the capital, before Atalanta face Sampdoria in a Europa League showdown.
Then there’s the small matter of the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday night. Here’s what to look out for in Week 27 of Serie A.
Juventus face their bogey team
Before this season, Lazio hadn’t beaten Juventus in Serie A since December 2003, and were winless in all competitions since a Coppa Italia triumph in 2013.
Last season’s Coppa Italia final represented the seventh win in a row for the Bianconeri, so it’s certainly a surprise that the Aquile have become something of a bogey team for Max Allegri’s side this season.
Having fought back from 2-0 down in the Supercoppa Italiana, Juve were beaten by Alessandro Murgia’s late goal
The Biancocelesti repeated the feat a little over two months later, taking a 2-1 win in Turin as Paulo Dybala missed a 97th-minute penalty.
Now the two sides meet in Rome, in a game the Old Lady can’t afford to lose, lest she slip seven points behind Napoli in the Scudetto race.
Roma visit the San Paolo
Saturday’s other big game sees the league leaders welcome a Roma side who have slipped out of the Champions League places.
While the club have affirmed their faith in Coach Eusebio Di Francesco, the pressure could start to mount on the Giallorossi boss if they’re beaten in Naples tomorrow night.
It’s a crucial game for the hosts too of course, as Napoli will take to the field after Juventus have completed their game in Rome.
A win for the Bianconeri will have them breathing down Partenopei necks, while a loss would give Maurizio Sarri’s side the chance to go seven points clear.
Neither team can afford to lose, but something’s got to give.
Europa League showdown
Both Atalanta and Sampdoria have serious designs on a Europa League place this season, and they face off in Bergamo on Sunday afternoon.
The Orobici have been eliminated from both the Coppa Italia and the Europa League after fine runs, and must now focus all of their attention on Serie A.
Gian Piero Gasperini’s side go into the weekend six points behind the Blucerchiati with a game in hand, though that is against Juventus in Turin.
A win for Samp would put them in a strong position for a top six finish, given one or both of the Milan clubs will drop points, while a defeat would leave Atalanta within striking distance.
Last chance for Benevento?
With 12 games left and just 10 points on the board, it looks pretty much certain that Benevento will be making a swift return to Serie B.
The Streghe are 11 points from safety, and have managed just three wins all season, and this weekend could represent their last chance to start swimming against the tide.
Verona vist the southern city on Sunday afternoon, in a match which represents 19th versus 20th.
A win for the Butei would lift them 12 points clear of Benevento, surely condemning them to relegation, but a home win would offer just the barest glimmer of hope.
The Derby della Madonnina
Sunday night brings arguably the biggest fixture in Italian football, as Inter and Milan face off in the Derby della Madonnina.
The Rossoneri are revived under Gennaro Gattuso, and now have an outside chance of finishing in the top four and securing Champions League football.
Their city rivals are going in the opposite direction, and would be just four points clear of Gattuso’s men if they lose at San Siro.
The Milan derby is always a big one, but this could be season defining for both teams - an Inter win changes the narrative immediately, a Milan win plunges their city rivals further into the mire.
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