Serie A, Round 34 Preview: Happy Easter. We play on Saturday. Be aware.

Gabriele Maltinti

Italy, still being the good Catholic country that it is, never puts its Serie A matches on Sunday. That means this weekend, all then matches play out on Saturday - so good luck choosing just which one you'd like to see.

(Except Juventus - Bologna. For some odd reason, those in charge thought everyone would just love to see that snoozefest).

Saturday, April 19

AC Milan vs. Livorno

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the San Siro, Milan
Milan, now with four straight wins, really could sneak into the last European spot. This is not good. The rebuild the rossoneri so desperately, desperately need might be delayed should they make it into Europa. For the good of humanity, Livorno must win this.

Note: the good of humanity also involves Bologna being relegated rather than Livorno.

Atalanta vs. Hellas Verona

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia, Bergamo
Both sides on 46 points, both safe, both highly unlikely to slip into sixth. Move along, there's better things to watch.

Catania vs. Sampdoria

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Stadio Angelo Massimino
Eight points from safety and with five games left to play, Catania could, theoretically, survive the season. But considering the elefanti haven't won a game in over two months - and have collected just one point in that time - Serie B looks likely. As for Sampdoria, well, it seems they require the presence of Siniša Mihajlović to actually get points. Since his sending off at the end of the draw with Fiorentina, they've lost their last two, and badly.

Chievo Verona vs. Sassuolo

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Bentegodi, Verona
Sassuolo are undefeated in their last two! That means they could, theoretically, stay up! And if they beat the Flying Donkeys, that means Chievo could, theoretically, go down! All kinds of excitement here!

Genoa vs. Cagliari

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Marassi, Genoa
In the last three weeks, these two sides have picked up one point. One. Between them. Five goals. And they're both staying in Serie A. Seriously...go watch Atalanta - Verona.

Lazio vs. Torino

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Oooh, this one could be fun. Both sides have 48 points, leaving them a win away from the final Europa League spot (provided Parma lose, of course). Last week, Lazio produced a fine comeback with ten men against Napoli, although they ultimately lost. Toro needed a Genoa goal to prompt them into action, coming back and grabbing two goals in injury time. Let's hope this one is guided by the need to win rather than the fear of not getting even a point.

Parma vs. Inter Milan

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Tardini, Parma
Parma beat Napoli only to fail to get all three points against lowly Bologna. A win here keeps them in Europa contention and takes them above Inter into fifth. But after the nerazzurri finally won a game last week thanks to, you know, having a man advantage, Walter Mazzarri is going to be determined to keep his job. Which likely means a yawn-inducing game in which the dullness is only broken by Antonio Cassano doing something astonishing.

Udinese vs. Napoli

3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET at the Stadio Friuli, Udine
Napoli may have a nine-point lead over Fiorentina for third place, but considering their ability to throw away matches or simply not show up, there's nothing that says the Champions League is a sure thing. Now they've got to travel to Udine without the injured Gonzalo Higuaín, which should make the hosts thrilled. The zebrette season is pretty much over, but three points in front of their fans is always a nice gesture.

Juventus vs. Bologna

6:30 p.m. local, 12:30 p.m. ET at Juventus Stadium, Turin
Again, thanks for giving the scudetto-apparents hosting one of the absolute worst teams in the league its own time slot. Nothing about this match is going to bring joy to the viewing public. If you need a Saturday nap, this is probably a good time for it...

Fiorentina vs. AS Roma

9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
...because it's highly likely you'll want to be awake for the marquee match. Roma still have a slim hope of the title, Fiorentina a faint dream of third place. They both enjoy scoring goals. Neither has the world's best defense (we're not exactly sure what happened to that glorious giallorossi backline, but it's no longer invincible). This match has got to give us the decent football we'll be craving all day.



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