Serie A, Week 27 preview and fixtures: This round's intrigue doesn't end on Friday

Valerio Pennicino

Week 27 in Serie A may start with the most mouthwatering game of the round, but don't go away -- there's more than enough to keep you entertained right through to Sunday evening.

Napoli's match with Juventus gets us underway, as first meet second on Friday. It's not only that game which will have important ramifications on the table, though. It's an entertaining weekend in Serie A, with lots of matches featuring sides who are around each other in the league. Without further ado, here's a run-down of round 27:

Saturday, March 1

8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Napoli v Juventus

The round starts with a bang in Naples, as Napoli look to topple Juventus and give us a title race to enjoy. Recent meetings between these sides have been fiery affairs -- especially the farce at the Super Cup when Napoli refused to engage in the trophy presentation -- so things could get heated at the San Paolo again. Should Napoli win, then the title race will be tightened to a mere three points. Should Juve win, we may as well give them the Scudetto already.

Saturday, March 2

8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

AC Milan v Lazio

It's another good'un on Saturday night, as, following on from first versus second is third versus fourth, a fixture between two sides who are fighting it out for the third and final Champions League place. The mighty Barça-conquering Milan have been on good form of late, while Lazio haven't looked too convincing, despite winning their last couple. Add home advantage into the equation, and Allegri's side will be looking for a win.

Sunday, March 3

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET unless otherwise noted

Torino v Palermo (12:30 p.m. local, 6 a.m. ET)

With Palermo having brought Gian Piero Gasperini back after 20 days away, he'll return to the bottom club with a tough game away at Torino. Giampiero Ventura's Toro haven't lost in their last four at home, and look rather comfy in mid-table. With the rosanero six points adrift at the bottom, Gasperini will look to get back to a winning start. I wouldn't put money on it though -- they've not won a league game since November. Serie B beckons.

Siena v Atalanta

Having looked relegation certainties a few weeks ago, Siena have toppled both Lazio and Inter recently. They're still five points adrift, though they have a decent chance at home to the ever-inconsistent Atalanta, who've disappointed this season and are currently only six points above the drop zone themselves.

Bologna v Cagliari

Bologna picked up a crucial -- and unlikely -- victory away at Fiorentina on Tuesday, with a late goal from the impressively-named Lazaros Christodoulopoulos giving them some breathing space above the relegation zone. Cagliari too are looking pretty safe after an early season scare -- they've lost only once this year.

Catania v Inter Milan

It's pretty amusing that the elefanti will jump above Inter if they take victory here. Rolando Maran's side were a touch lucky to beat Parma last week, as were Inter in scraping a draw against their rivals Milan. Separated by just a couple of points in the table, whoever gets the luck here will be in a good position for the European spots.

Sampdoria v Parma

These teams have a 'twinning' arrangement between their supporters groups, so it's going to be all peace and love at the Luigi Ferraris between this mid-table pair. Apart from on the dugout, where Delio Rossi will be causing trouble, obviously.

Pescara v Udinese

Poor Pescara can't seem to get a result from anywhere at the moment, with the formation change ahead of their game against Lazio on Monday evening resulting in a 3-0 defeat. They look relegation certainties, and nothing but a win over an inconsistent Udinese would suggest otherwise.

Fiorentina v Chievo Verona

Fiorentina are really inconsistent at the moment, with their recent form guide being a loss followed by a win followed by a loss. Beaten by Bologna in the last round, that means they're due a win here, with Chievo their victims. Excellent.

AS Roma v Genoa (8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET)

This round ends at the Olimpico on Sunday evening, where Roma caretaker coach Aurelio Andreazzoli will continue his job advertisement with a meeting against a resurgent Genoa. They're only a place outside the relegation zone, though, unbeaten in five, will prove stern opponents for the inconsistent giallorossi.

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