Serie A, Round 25 preview: There could be fireworks in Turin

Valerio Pennicino

Torino would love to put a dent in cross-town rivals Juventus' title hopes, in the most exciting fixture of Serie A's round 25.

It would take a collapse of mammoth proportions for Juventus to throw away their nine-point lead at the top of Serie A now, though the bianconeri may well start getting a little hot under the collar if they cede ground to Roma this weekend. That's partly because Antonio Conte's side are hosting city rivals Torino at the Juventus Stadium, in the latest edition of the Derby della Mole. They haven't lost to Toro in almost 20 years, and certainly don't want to start now.

The weekend's action starts in Bologna, as the relegation strugglers look to dent Roma's title hopes at the Renato Dall'Ara. That's unusually Serie A's only Saturday game, with both Milan sides in action on Sunday, before Champions League hopefuls Fiorentina and Napoli play their respective games on Monday.

Saturday

Bologna vs. Roma

Stadio Renato Dall'Ara; 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Roma should start the round with a routine three points away at the Renato Dall'Ara in Bologna. *Should*. It's certainly not a foregone conclusion, as the relegation-struggling hosts have made life difficult for some of Serie A's bigger sides this season, only narrowly going down to AC Milan last weekend on the back of a massive victory against Torino. A couple of points clear of the relegation trouble heading into the round, this one has upset potential.

Sunday

Livorno vs. Hellas Verona

Stadio Armando Picchi; 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET

These two sides couldn't be further from each other on the political spectrum, and are almost as far apart on the league table. The communists Livorno are only a point clear of the relegation zone heading into the round, while their right-wing counterpart Hellas are still in the running for a Europa League spot, only a season after winning promotion to Serie A. However, the amaranto have been in pretty good form of late, seeing off Cagliari 2-1 last weekend, while Hellas capitulated at home to Torino. Again, this one could throw up a surprise.

Udinese vs. Atalanta

Stadio Friuli; 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

By their own standards, Udinese have had a pretty terrible campaign. In any ordinary season, the zebrette would be expecting to run away with a win against Atalanta, though at present, they're level on points with them in the table. Francesco Guidolin's side have at least found some form over the last few weeks, picking up seven points from a possible nine. With Atalanta having endured a nightmare 4-0 home defeat to Parma last weekend, Udinese will look to capitalise on low morale.

Inter Milan vs. Cagliari

San Siro; 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Inter have ended their terrible run of form with a couple of consecutive victories in Serie A, impressively downing fellow European hopefuls Fiorentina last weekend. They really should pick up a win over struggling Cagliari on Saturday, with the Sardinian outfit alarmingly slipping into a relegation scrap. It might not be long before we see Diego Luis López replaced on the rossoblù bench.

Chievo Verona vs. Catania

Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi; 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

This one really is a relegation six-pointer. Both Catania and Chievo are tucked just inside the relegation zone heading into the round, with the Veronese hosts a point below their Sicilian visitors. A win for either of these sides could kickstart a run up the table, while a defeat may spell disaster. It's Catania who head in with the edge, with Rolando Maran's side unbeaten in their last four. Chievo, meanwhile, haven't won a game all year.

Sampdoria vs. AC Milan

Stadio Luigi Ferraris; 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

One of the revelations of the season has been Siniša Mihajlović at Sampdoria, with the Serbian coach having worked wonders since replacing Delio Rossi at the Luigi Ferraris. He's turned Samp from relegation strugglers to a tough mid-table side, more than capable of taking points of Clarence Seedorf's shaky Milan. However, they suffered a narrow defeat to Atlético Madrid in the Champions League in midweek, and the rossoneri may just be starting to improve under their new Dutch coach.

Juventus vs. Torino

Juventus Stadium; 6:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET

Juventus have looked characteristically invincible for most of the season, though draws to Lazio and Hellas Verona in their last four league games have given Roma a tiny chance of reeling them in. There's no one who'd prefer putting a further dent in their title hopes than their cross-town rivals Torino this weekend, with Giampiero Ventura's high-flying bulls currently enjoying an excellent season. They're right in the running for a Europa League spot, and could well upset the bianconeri.

Lazio vs. Sassuolo

Stadio Olimpico; 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Despite some impressive January signings, poor Sassuolo are currently enduring a horrible run of form. Coach Alberto Malesani has, as per usual, done nothing to improve his side's fortunes, and a sixth consecutive defeat away at the frustratingly-inconsistent Lazio would likely see him replaced by his predecessor Eusebio Di Francesco. The neroverdi are only three points adrift of safety, though are losing touch quickly.

Monday

Parma vs. Fiorentina

Stadio Ennio Tardini; 7 p.m. local, 1 p.m. ET

Parma are continuing to soar under Roberto Donadoni, with the crociati's emphatic victory over Atalanta last weekend extending their unbeaten run to 12 matches. The Emilians are within touching distance of a return to European competition for the first time in over a decade, though Champions League hopefuls Fiorentina will look to throw a spanner in the works by bouncing back from defeat to Inter with a win.

Napoli vs. Genoa

Stadio San Paolo; 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET

Napoli have opened up a six-point buffer over Fiorentina in the third and final Serie A Champions League spot, and should maintain said gap with a victory at home to Genoa on Monday. Having said that, Gian Piero Gasperini's grifone have been an unpredictable lot so far this season, and head in on the back of an exciting 3-3 draw against Udinese. You never quite know which Genoa is going to turn up, but if it's a good one, Rafael Benítez's side could find themselves dropping points.

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