Serie A 2011, Week 12 Preview And Schedule: Take Note--Weekend Starts On Friday

I'll be honest: I'm not entirely sure why Udinese and Roma are playing on Friday. But hey, it means three days of Serie A rather than just two, and that's certainly something to be thankful for (perhaps they arranged it this way so that Americans who hide inside on Black Friday will have something to do?). It sure seems Sunday will be a let-down after Friday and Saturday. The two matches with the most potential would typically be Milan and Palermo, but both face opponents who go on the road with no ambition other than to achieve a goalless, soulless draw.

Friday, though, should be fun. The giallorossi are coming off a 2-1 win over Lecce, while Udinese finally fell last weekend, 2-0 to Parma. The Stadio Friuli continues to be a fortress, however, and despite Francesco Guidolin trying his best to keep expectations down, it seems unlikely that Roma will be unable to escape the northeast with anything more than a point.

Saturday brings a bit of a dilemma: watch Napoli to see how they'll fare in the league (and who they'll play after two tough outings in the past week) or watch Lazio host Juventus. Most people will be wise enough to pick the latter, although the truly smart choice would have been scheduling one early, one late. Instead we are left to flip a coin between Lecce - Catania and Novara - Parma. Both matches certainly have potential: Lecce have yet to win away this season, Catania have yet to take all three points on the road. I'm envisioning balls striking an invisible force field and simply bouncing away from goal, ensuring the status quo remains in place. As for Novara - Parma, well, um...ok choose the former match.

With Juventus coming off its sexiest win in quite some time, 3-0 over Palermo, and Lazio riding high in second place, the match at the Stadio Olympico is the must-watch of the weekend. Will the Old Lady finally stumble?

Friday

Udinese v Roma (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

Saturday

Lecce v Catania (18:00 CET, 12:00 ET)

Novara v Parma (18:00 CET, 12:00 ET)

Atalanta v Napoli (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

Lazio v Juventus (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

Sunday

all 15:00 CET/9:00 ET unless otherwise noted

Cagliari v Bologna

Cesena v Genoa

Palermo v Fiorentina

Siena v Inter Milan

AC Milan v Chievo (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

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