On the surface, none of the matches in Week 7 of Serie A look particularly compelling. But then again, I'm sure no one thought that the only two goals scored in the 15:00 time slot last week would both come from Bologna, so perhaps we should keep an open mind about this.
There are a few questions, however, that I'd like answered -- or if not answered, at least illuminated.
Which bianconeri has the most stamina?
No, this isn't a question about which Juventus or Udinese player is best at, erm, bedroom activities -- although I wouldn't put it past me to address such pressing issues. Rather, it's a mere wondering of which black-and-white club will be the first to stumble. However, it's unlikely such a question will be answered this week. Both teams play at home: Juve to Genoa, Udinese against Novara. If one goes down, my money's on the Old Lady. She's wearied from mourning over Alessandro Del Piero and tired of accusations against her new stadium. Plus, Genoa aren't awful on the road. Novara, meanwhile, have yet to win away, although for a team so high up in the table, the zebrette aren't fantastic at home. Alright, this is too much math for me.
Can Cagliari continue their impressive start?
Speaking of teams with unimpressive home statistics, Cagliari makes my brain hurt. The rossoblu have scored just two goals at home, both against Novara. Yet they sit third in the league, a point behind the leaders. For Massimo Ficcadenti to truly prove himself as a great young coach, his players are going to have to start getting goals at home as well as away -- fairly self-evident, really, as you can't expect a high finish if half your matches end in draws. With opponents Napoli doing better away from the San Paolo, and enjoy regularly crushing the hopes of Cagliari, this might be the week a few teams leapfrog over the club toward the top.
Are Milan back on form, or was it just a lucky blip?
Is it the impressive stylings of Zlatan Ibrahimovic's hair that propelled the rossoneri to a 3-0 victory over Palermo, or have last year's title winners re-discovered their groove? Milan have been doing fine in the Champions League, remaining unbeaten, but their form in Serie A has been less than impressive. Despite a downright dull display against Juventus two weeks ago, something clicked back into place last week against Palermo. Perhaps it was simply a dislocated limb that needed popping back, but it's probably wiser to attribute the supposed revival to a healing of multiple players' bumps and niggles. Ibra is back. Kevin-Prince Boateng made an appearance against BATE midweek. But more than that, Antonio Cassano is reveling in his staring role, while both Antonio Nocerino and Alberto Aquilani are settling in under Max Allegri. Barring a disastrous upset at Lecce, Milan will be up toward the top in a few short weeks.
What's more fun than an Inter - Chievo matchup?
Being poked in the eye with a sharp stick. Getting kicked in the most sensitive of sensitive regions by a flying donkey. Browsing photos of Massimo Moratti. Waking up after ten beers, two whiskys, and a Long Island iced tea.
Who on earth decided Lazio - Bologna would be a great close to the week?
Ok, ok, Lazio are doing alright thus far, and will likely be riding high after their come-from-behind win against Roma in the derby last week. But they don't exactly make for thrilling viewing (or for closeups...eek). And despite Bologna's claim to fame last Sunday, it's worth remembering Novara's keeper, Samir Ujkani, was injured and left the match before any goals were scored. There will likely be no surprises here, and probably few titillating moments.
Serie A Schedule In Full
18:00 CET, 12 Noon ET
20:45 CET, 14:45 ET
12:30 CET, 6:30 ET
15:00 CET, 9:00 ET
20:45 CET, 14:45 ET