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Serie A, Round 15: Roma move within one point of Juventus

Sampdoria squeezed a point out of the Old Lady, so Roma's win over 10-man Genoa brings them within a point.

Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Why yes, you could devote time this weekend to watching fourth-placed Sampdoria take on first-placed Juventus. But let's face it, we all know how that will end: with a single goal from the bianconeri or in a drab scoreless draw. Instead you can watch in wonder as Paulo Dyabla scores yet another fantastic goal, or place bets on which Roma player is first to keel over with exhaustion, or try to figure out just why, exactly, both Napoli and Milan are unable to find any sort of consistency this season.

Palermo vs. Sassuolo

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At the start of the season, both teams were among the favorites for relegation, yet both are overachieving so far, finding themselves safely tucked in in the middle of the Serie A table. And perhaps dreaming of doing a Torino and getting into Europa League next season. Sassuolo perhaps aren't as adventurous as they were last year, thanks to the fact that Eusebio Di Francesco has grown as a manager and found a way to make his team more balanced. True, it took them a couple of games to remember how to score goals, but now they are on an eight-game undefeated run. Last week, they were seconds away from beating Roma at the Olimpico. Meanwhile, Palermo haven't lost in six. Like the neroverdi, the Sicilians also took their time this season, waiting almost two months before their first win, but now they don't know how to lose. If that's not enough to convince you, at least watch for Paulo Dybala. The Argentinian wonderkid has scored in each of the Palermo's last five matches and, more often than not, the goals are spectacular.

Genoa vs. Roma

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This isn't great news for Roma. Last week, they were barely able to nick a point from Sassuolo, then they were kicked out of the Champions League by Manchester City, despite only needing a draw. Now they have to travel to Genoa, who haven't lost in their last nine Serie A matches. The rossoblu still aren't knocking in the goals as much as Gian Piero Gasperini might like, but they're able to muster a pretty decent defense, and considering how worn out Roma looked midweek, the visitors may be in trouble. Perhaps their best hope lies in Juventus dropping points to Sampdoria.

Milan vs. Napoli

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The Serie A weekend actually ends on Monday, but this match is certainly the must-watch of the round. Not because either team is having a particularly strong season -- Napoli are fifth, Milan seventh, and both are more than 10 points out of the title race -- but because one has a strange compulsion to watch, to wonder if this is the week that one of these talented sides manages to pull itself together. Of course, it'll likely end up being a draw, but there's good value in betting there will be at least four goals scored.

Serie A, Round 15 Schedule

Saturday, December 13

Palermo 2-1 Sassuolo -- Why Sassuolo must be celebrated
Lazio 3-0 Atalanta

Sunday, December 14

Juventus 1-1 Sampdoria -- Observations from the match
Genoa 0-1 AS Roma
Parma 0-0 Cagliari
Udinese 1-2 Hellas Verona
Cesena 1-4 Fiorentina
AC Milan 2-0 Napoli

Monday, December 15

Empoli 0-0 Torino
Chievo Verona vs. Inter Milan -- 9 p.m. CET, 3 p.m. ET