Serie A 2013, Week 37 preview and fixtures: Tears expected in Italy

Tullio M. Puglia

With Champions League qualifications and relegations expected to be sealed in Serie A this weekend, tears of joy and sorrow are undoubtedly on the menu.

After some midweek fun Serie A is back to normal this weekend, in what is the penultimate round of the season. On Sunday we could see the final relegated teams decided, so make sure the tissues are at the ready. Especially for Fabrizio Miccoli.

At the other end of the table Napoli have wrapped up second place, though AC Milan and Fiorentina continue to tussle over third, with the battle for the Europa League reaching an intensity considerably higher than can be expected when the competition actually begins. There's even an Emilian derby thrown in for good measure. Here's a rundown of week 37's clashes.

Saturday, May 11

Juventus vs. Cagliari (6 p.m. local 12 p.m. ET)

With Juve having already wrapped up the title and Cagliari cruising towards mid-table, there's next to nothing at stake here. The bianconeri have won five on the trot while Cagliari are winless in four, meaning the hosts will surely cap their title celebrations with a victory in their last match at the Juventus Stadium this season.

Catania vs. Pescara (8:45 p.m. local 2:45 p.m. ET)

Unfortunately there's equally little at stake in Saturday's second game, though it didn't look like that'd be the case a few weeks ago. Catania were Serie A's revelations and were pushing for a position in Europe -- and then the bad form hit. They've fallen to ninth place and have won only one in seven, though should make that two in eight against the already-relegated Pescara this weekend.

Sunday, May 12

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

Chievo Verona vs. Torino (12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET)

This is the game you're all clamouring not to watch. Chievo are guaranteed another safe mid-table finish, while Torino -- who are winless in seven -- have a five-point buffer above the relegation zone going into the final two rounds. They'd guarantee safety with a win.

Fiorentina vs. Palermo (12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET)

It's now or never for Palermo. If they lose away at Champions League-chasers Fiorentina, they are relegated to Serie B. Even if they manage a point or three, Genoa only need to match the rosanero's result to survive and send them down. Fiorentina are currently four points adrift of Milan and the top three with two games left, and really ought to win here.

Genoa vs. Inter Milan (12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET)

With a four-point buffer outside the bottom three, Genoa are looking comparatively comfortable. Davide Ballardini's strangely inconsistent team are now five games unbeaten, and will consider themselves in with a chance of sealing their survival against Inter. Andrea Stramaccioni's side have 13 injuries to worry about at the moment, and have lost six of their last seven games. Good news though: they will actually have a fit striker that isn't Tommaso Rocchi this weekend, with Antonio Cassano back from injury. Though knowing the nerazzurri's luck, he'll probably go down in the warmup.

Lazio vs. Sampdoria

Lazio have won their last two games to relight their European flame. Two points adrift of the Europa League places, they'll be expecting a win against an out-of-sorts Samp here. The Delio Rossi effect has well and truly worn off, and the blucerchiati are winless in nine. Let's just hope he doesn't resort to attacking his own players again...

Napoli vs. Siena

Four consecutive wins have seen Napoli wrap up second place. They can afford to take things easy against Siena this weekend, but their opponents sure can't. Survival is pretty much an impossible task for the robur, who will be mathematically relegated if they fail to win at the Stadio San Paolo. Even if they do, they'll still slip into Serie B if Genoa pick up anything at home to Inter.

Udinese vs. Atalanta

It's taken a while for Udinese to wake up, but they unquestionably have now. The zebrette are on fire, and have won six games straight, moving up into a Europa League place in the process. They'll hope to maintain their momentum against mid-table Atalanta this weekend.

Parma vs. Bologna (6 p.m. local 12 p.m. ET)

Mid-table sides Parma and Bologna are separated by six points in the table and an hour in the car. That makes this game the Derby dell'Emilia; in which Parma will look to complete the double over the rossoblu this season. Bologna coach Stefano Pioli was born in -- and remains a supporter of -- Parma, though will have to at least pretend to hate the crociati upon his return to the Ennio Tardini this weekend. His side haven't won in their last eight games.

AC Milan vs. AS Roma (8:45 p.m. local 2:45 p.m. ET)

If Milan can win their fourth straight game at home to Roma to end the weekend, they will guarantee themselves a position in the Champions League next season. But, with Roma only a couple of points off the Europa League, they still have Europe to fight for. Both of these sides have impressed over the second half of the season, making this match an unpredictable affair.

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