We've been here before, in Round 33. We all remember it -- Piermario Morosini collapsing. Panic in Pescara. The ambulance being blocked. Gates closed on stadiums all around Italy, a mark of respect for a life cut short.
And so Serie A tries again, with a midweek round of games wedged in before Champions League play starts. But no one who suffered through Chelsea - Barcelona last week should have the audacity to call the Italian league defensive. These matches will likely be more entertaining, and nearly every one will have an impact on the scudetto, on European play, on relegation.
Poor Cesena -- still struggling to hang on, they're stuck with hosting Juventus this week, so it will almost certainly be ciao to the Seahorses. Genoa will have an interesting time of it. Bologna managed to hold Milan to a point at the San Siro last week, so perhaps the grifone will prove their right to wear the shirt, and take some points off the mighty Milan.
It's the race for third place that's the hottest. Roma will be desperate for a win against Fiorentina after being demolished at the hands of the Old Lady on Sunday evening. They'll have to go it without Maarten Stekelenburg, but considering the impotency of the Viola attack, it may not matter. Rivals Lazio travel to Novara, who haven't quite given up, but eleven points from safety suggests that the biancocelesti should earn an easy three points. Which is needed, as Udinese are just three back from third, Napoli just four. The zebrette will have a tough time of it though, their performances slipping even further, and now facing an Inter that absolutely must finish within the European positions. In theory, Napoli have an easier round, although Lecce these days just refuse to lose, and with the salentini just a couple points from safety, third place might remain just out of reach.
You'd think the Tuesday matches would be slightly pointless, but if sixth place gets awarded a Europa League spot, well, Catania are still in the race. Plus, they're always a delight to watch. As for Atalanta - Chievo, well, it might be more thrilling to watch the build-up to the Champions League. Also pretty much pointless? Palermo - Parma and Siena - Bologna.