Serie A, Round 11 preview: Saturday should be a must-see in Italy

Claudio Villa

With Champions League in action again midweek, Serie A's participants all see action on Saturday, while the excitement of calcio fades a little come Sunday.

The weekend in Serie A starts off with plenty of excitement, before fizzling down and sputtering out as the week comes to a grinding halt on Monday evening. And to answer your inevitable question: no, this won't be the week Roma lose.

Saturday, November 2

I realize all these sides are involved in midweek Champions League action, but it's really cruel to put such potentially good matches all on Saturday.

Parma vs. Juventus (6 p.m. local, 1 p.m. ET)

Now that Parma have re-discovered their home form -- they've won their last three at the Tardini -- this match may not be as lopsided as you might think. Oh, don't get me wrong, Juventus are still going to win. But at least Marco Parolo might make things interesting.

AC Milan vs. Fiorentina (8:45 p.m. local, 3:45 p.m. ET)

This one should be exciting (hopes) (crosses fingers) (realizes the match has just been jinxed). Fiorentina will be full of righteous indignation after losing to Napoli midweek and missing out on a penalty call, and they'll want to get back on track with a win over the feeble Milan. But with Massimiliano Allegri once again dangling by a fingernail over a deep dark chasm, it's likely the rossoneri will pull something off, even if it's a dodgy penalty call.

Napoli vs. Catania (8:45 p.m. local, 3:45 p.m. ET)

Hey, remember the last time Napoli played a team in the relegation zone who'd just got comprehensively beaten the round before? That went well, didn't it? And with the midweek match against Marseille, it's likely Rafa Benítez will mix things up a bit. Injury apocalypse be damned, the elefanti could very well start saving themselves at the San Paolo on Saturday.

Sunday, November 3

all matches at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET unless otherwise stated

Livorno vs. Atalanta (12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET)

Livorno, who'd scored just once in their previous three outings, suddenly popped out three goals against Torino midweek, while Atalanta have lost just once in five matches. This could be a decent appetizer before the main courses arrive.

Hellas Verona vs. Cagliari

After five at the Bentegodi, Verona remain perfect, which probably explains why they're in fifth and even on points with Inter. With Cagliari suddenly tumbling south, unable to score and only able to beat Catania, Hellas will likely maintain that streak.

Lazio vs. Genoa

Despite coming back to take a point against Milan midweek, Vladimir Petkovic still stands on shaky ground. A solid win over a still-not-great Genoa side should help the Lazio coach keep his job -- particularly if it puts the biancocelesti on even points with Fiorentina.

Sampdoria vs. Sassuolo

Three wins between two teams makes this one to miss.

Udinese vs. Inter Milan

Udinese finally recorded their first points on the road, a win over Sassuolo. Now, what better way to demonstrate the zebrette are truly turning it around than with a home win over Inter? Well, given the recent nerazzurri form on the road, three points may not be all that impressive.

Torino vs. AS Roma (8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET)

Torino might not be in the most fantastic form recently -- they haven't won in the last six rounds -- but at least they're good entertainment value. The granata have finally learned how to score, but it seems to have come at the expense of their defense, who've now let in 18. Toro have also been on the wrong end of some rather dodgy decisions recently. But at least that means this match shouldn't be as dreadfully dull as Roma's victory over Chievo.

Monday, November 4

Bologna vs. Chievo Verona (8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET)

Alright, what genius decided to bookend the weekend with this match? We don't even get the option of tuning in to another game.

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