Serie A, Round 21 preview: Will Edy Reja's Lazio manage to make Juventus stumble?

Claudio Villa

Juventus host Lazio on Saturday evening before the struggling Milan sides look to get a few easy points against weak opposition. Serie A action wraps up Sunday evening with Genoa visiting Fiorentina.

There's no one truly massive, must-watch match going on in Italy this weekend, but if you can, tune in Saturday to watch Lazio visit Juventus (if you weren't completely turned off of Juve after their defeat to Roma in the Coppa, that is). The biancocelesti have certainly improved under Edy Reja, but stopping the Old Lady's twelve match winning run is going to take something special.

On Sunday, keep an eye on the struggling Milan sides, as both have the opportunity to turn things around this weekend. Things wrap up Sunday with Fiorentina playing host to Genoa in a match that could take them even on points with Napoli in third - if Napoli lose to the Flying Donkeys, that is.

Saturday, January 25

Napoli vs. Chievo Verona

6 p.m. local, 12 noon ET at Stadio San Paolo
Fighting back against Bologna only to see it all go up in smoke when Rolando Bianchi equalized in injury time must've felt like horrible deja vu for most Napoli supporters. Rafa Benítez must prove that he's no Walter Mazzarri by making sure Chievo, who beat the partenopei last March and gave them a scare in the reverse fixture, have absolutely no chance in Naples. A solid win is necessary should Napoli want to maintain their hope of catching Roma in second.

Juventus vs. Lazio

8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET at Juventus Stadium
After struggling through the first half of the season, Edy Reja finally looks to have put Lazio back on track. They're unbeaten in all competitions since the manager's return and boasted an impressive fight back against Udinese last week, with Hernanes scoring a late winner. But with Juventus having won their last 12 in a row, you have to think some of the shine is about to come off Reja.

Sunday, January 26

Hellas Verona vs. AS Roma

12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET at Stadio Bentegodi
It's a chance for Verona to get back on track at home, where they've been so solid this season. But their first outing at the Bentegodi in 2014 saw them falling to Napoli 3-0, and now Verona must welcome Roma. The hosts usually go all out at home, irregardless of the opposition, but after being burned by Napoli, will Andrea Mandorlini play it safe and try for a point against the giallorossi? Those of us who already had to suffer through Roma - Juventus in the Coppa this week certainly hope not.

Cagliari vs. AC Milan

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at Stadio Sant'Elia
Both sides would really find a win handy right about now. The hosts are winless in five and, despite being in 14th, the relegation zone is looking a bit too close for comfort. As for Milan, the win over Verona last week may have settled nerves temporarily, but it's going to take a lot more than a 1-0 home victory courtesy of a late game Mario Balotelli penalty to get the rossoneri back on track.

Inter Milan vs. Catania

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at Stadio San Siro
They may be hanging in at 5th place, but Inter are now the Milan side in crisis. They're without a win in January, they've been kicked out of the Coppa Italia, the side look out of ideas, and the club president was set to ship off one of their most intriguing players. Fredy Guarín ended up staying, but there's still a bad taste in most Interisti mouths. Should the side fall to Serie A's bottom club - who've yet to pick up even one point on the road -, it's bound to get ugly at Inter.

Livorno vs. Sassuolo

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at Stadio Armando Picchi
Relegation fight! When these two sides last met, Sassuolo were the ones to laugh at, while Livorno were impressing. Now the amaranto look destined to slip right back down to Serie B, but Sassuolo...well, they might have a chance. A distant one to be sure, but a chance none the less.

Parma vs. Udinese

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at Stadio Tardini
Parma swapped Nicola Sansone for Ezequiel Schelotto. Forza Udinese!

Sampdoria vs. Bologna

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at Stadio Luigi Ferraris
Sampdoria under Siniša Mihajlović are proving to be rather inconsistent, but at least they're entertaining. Who doesn't love a good fightback against Juventus, even if it doesn't result in points? Alas, this match will likely be must less lively, what with Bologna's whole "get-a-point-and-maybe-just-maybe-we'll-survive" philosophy.

Torino vs. Atalanta

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at Stadio Olimpico
Torino have been a pleasant surprise this season, moving away from conservative, defensive football and showing a decided willingness to attack. It also helps, of course, to have Alessio Cerci, as well as Ciro Immobile, who's now passed Cerci as Toro's top scorer. This match could see the granata pull even with Verona and/or Inter, as Atalanta's dismal road record (W1 D1 L8) practically ensures Torino will pick up all three points.

Fiorentina vs. Genoa

8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET at Stadio Artemio Franchi
If Napoli fall to Chievo, a win here puts Fiorentina even with them in third place. Considering the viola's impressive 5-2 victory in the reverse fixture, you wouldn't think that Vincenzo Montella would be worried. But this is a different Genoa side under Gian Piero Gasperini - there's no way five goals are getting through the rossoblu. That, and the minor detail that four of those goals were scored by Giuseppe Rossi and Mario Gómez, neither of whom is fit for Fiorentina. Can Alessandro Matri step up once more?

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