Serie A 2011, Week 16 Preview And Schedule: A Crushing Air Of Inevitability

Juventus won't lose. Nor will Milan, nor Inter, nor Lazio. The Serie A table is starting to cement itself.

What's the point? What's the point, I ask, of previewing the midweek action in Serie A? Don't we already know what will occur? We might as well just lie back, sipping eggnog and stuffing our faces with Christmas cookies, not expending one ounce of energy wondering about the outcome of Week 17.

Juventus Will Not Lose

Yes, the Old Lady are playing Udinese, who are trying their damnedest to keep their hold near the top of the table, although a draw with Lazio at the weekend saw them fall to third. But Juve seem more or less unstoppable at the moment, and let's face it, the zebrette just don't have the same attacking threat as last season. Hit the visitors on the left, hope for a penalty, and close down ranks at the back, and Udinese could pull this off. Yet the weight of inevitability hangs over this match.

Palermo Won't Find Salvation In Their Coach

Talk about inevitable: Maurizio Zamparini sacked Devis Mangia after the weekend derby defeat to Catania, apparently making Mangia the third coach sacked after losing a derby. But when working under Zamp, it's really just a matter of time, anyway. Palermo will remain adrift in midtable until their patron figures out that perhaps it's not the coach that's the real cause of concern.

Fiorentina Will Struggle

I'm an Aston Villa supporter. I know what frustration feels like. And I can't imagine there is a single Viola fan who hasn't at least contemplated putting his or her fist through a wall this season. Sure, Fior managed a win, but that was against eight-man Roma. Then they fell to Inter. On Sunday, they had a lead over Atalanta, only to surrender, and somehow scrape a draw through a late game goal by Stevan Jovetic. Now it's on to Siena, where it's likely that Delio Rossi will prove what Palermo already know: he's not a magical healer.

Napoli Will Lose The Plot

You'd think that a squad who managed to beat Manchester City and move on to the knockout stage of the Champions League wouldn't find such struggles in Serie A. Or, you would if you haven't been paying a lick of attention to Napoli this season. The partenopei would do well to remember that they won't make it back into the tournament without finishing in the top three, so perhaps it's time to focus a bit. Alas, they will be doing it without this season's best player, Ezequiel Lavezzi, who is out for four weeks with a thigh injury. Look for another fall against Genoa.

 

Tuesday, December 20

Siena v Fiorentina (18:00 CET, 12 noon ET)

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


Wednesday, December 21

Udinese v Juventus (18:00 CET, 12 noon ET)

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

Bologna v AS Roma (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

Inter Milan v Lecce (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

Lazio v Chievo Verona (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

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

Novara v Palermo (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

Parma v Catania (20:45 CET, 14:45 ET)

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