FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 16: Stevan Jovetic (R) of ACF Fiorentina celebrates with his team-mate David Pizarro after scoring the opening goal during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Calcio Catania at Stadio Artemio Franchi on September 16, 2012 in Florence, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Week 4 of Serie A kicks off with Parma hosting Fiorentina, and continues on until Siena visit Inter Milan on Sunday evening. Will there be any surprises?
We'd barely had time to breathe since Milan and Juve both earned draws in the Champions League. Then came Thursday, when Udinese and Lazio also drew, and Napoli earned an impressive 4-0 win in Europa League. Now we've got a full slate of weekend matches, a rest on Monday, and back into it on Tuesday with a midweek round. Moral of the story? You can never have too much Italian football in your life.
Here's your weekend schedule:
Saturday, September 22
18:00 CET / 12 noon ET
Finally, a decent match-up for an early game. Parma have had a tough start to the season, facing Juventus and Napoli, but managed a convincing home win over Chievo. Fiorentina have yet to lose, are looking fantastic under Vincenzo Montella and have Stevan Jovetić.
20:45 CET / 14:45 ET
Chievo have been a bit of a bogey team for Juve recently, with the side only able to eke out draws to the flying donkeys. It's likely safe to say they'll dominate this one, unless they're exhausted from their Champions League match against Chelsea.
Sunday, September 23
12:30 CET / 6:30 ET
Normally matches between two recently promoted sides would be cause for a yawn. But Sampdoria would be joint-first if it weren't for a one point deduction before the start of the season, and the granata ain't doing so badly, either.
15:00 CET / 9:00 ET
Oh how the mighty...stumble. Let us not forget that Milan didn't do so hot at the start of last season, either, while Udinese need time to adjust to what is essentially an entirely new squad. This could be a turning point.
With Gian Piero Gasperini safely installed at the helm, could this be the week Palermo's ship finally stops sinking? Don't count on it.
Pescara finally found the goal last week -- twice! -- but still have no points on the board. Bologna made a name for themselves by coming back from a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2 over Roma in extra time. Can either side do it again?
I sorta forgot Cagliari existed. Possibly because they have just two points and have done nothing impressive save for drawing Palermo. So, nothing at all. Meanwhile, after last week, Roma supporters are hoping to forget their club exists.
This has to be the pick of the 3pm bunch. A loss to Fiorentina doesn't temper the fact that Catania have still looked fun, even with Montella gone. And Napoli are pretty much always fun. That being said, it will likely be a dull 0-0 affair because the fates love to laugh at me.
If Milan doesn't do it first, the San Siro winless streak must be broken against Siena. Then again, Siena came back from 2-0 down to draw Udinese last week. Then again, it's Udinese. Then again, it's Inter.
20:45 CET / 14:45 ET
Despite sharing the lead with Napoli and Juventus, Lazio are likely the hottest side in Italy right now. Having won all three of their matches, conceding just one goal in the process, the biancocelesti have yet to even sense danger. Genoa, on the other hand, started the season with a 2-0 win and then celebrated by conceding six goals in their next two matches. Don't expect an upset at the Olimpico.