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Serie A, Round 27 preview: Fiorentina and Juventus, Napoli and Roma, oh my

Which match will be more exciting: Fiorentina's visit to Juventus, or Napoli hosting Roma? SB Nation 2014 MLS preview

Gabriele Maltinti

Will Fiorentina astonish by managing to do the double over Juventus? Will Napoli trip up Roma once more? And just how long will Parma go unbeaten, anyway?

Saturday, March 8

Udinese vs. AC Milan

6 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET at the Stadio Friuli
Milan played their best football of the season last week against Juventus, yet still lost. Under Max Allegri, they played dreadful football yet still managed to get an occasional result. Perhaps the belief and confidence that Clarence Seedorf is set on instilling isn't quite as helpful as a few new rossoneri players? It likely matters little - Udinese can't win, and three points this weekend puts Milan within sniffing range of European football.

Catania vs. Cagliari

8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET at the Stadio Angelo Massimino
Seven points clear of the drop after beating Udinese 3-0 last week, Cagliari look to be safe - mostly because there are many sides in Serie A worse than the isolani. Catania are one of those sides. It seemed the elefanti turned a corner when they beat Lazio 3-1, but since then it's been two 2-0 losses. Poor Catania.

Sunday, March 9

note: clocks change in the U.S. but not in Europe this weekend, so if you're confused as to the times, that's likely why

Juventus vs. Fiorentina

12:30 p.m. local, 7:30 a.m. ET at Juventus Stadium
Sunday marks the beginning of three meetings between Juve and Fiorentina, all taking place within twelve days. First the viola need to attempt to do the double over Juventus in the league, then beat them over two legs to reach the next round in Europa. The reverse fixture saw Serie A's biggest comeback this season, with the Old Lady going up 2-0 only to see Fiorentina score four goals in twelve minutes and grab all three points. But there's no Giuseppe Rossi to bail out the visitors this time, so don't count on anything but a Juventus win.

Bologna vs. Sassuolo

3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET at the Stadio Renato Della`Ara
Relegation battle! Bologna are hovering just a point above the drop zone and playing some remarkably dull football while doing it. To their credit, the rossoblu actually attacked at the Bentegodi last weekend, yet still couldn't manage a goal, stuttering out and only managing a goalless draw against Verona. That means Bologna haven't scored in three games, something Sassulo are all too familiar with. But, after Alberto Malesani lost all five matches during his tenure on the bench, Sassuolo have brought back Eusebio Di at least maybe they'll be entertaining again, even though it's likely too late for them to stay up.

Chievo Verona vs. Genoa

3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET at the Bentegodi
Chievo's impressive eleven points at home - the second-worst home record in Serie A - proves that the Bentegodi itself isn't a magical charm. It's been just one win in twelve games for Chievo, so Genoa should have no trouble collecting a result, pushing the Flying Donkeys even closer to the brink.

Inter Milan vs. Torino

3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET at the San Siro
Inter experienced an early revival at the start of the season - could it be they're also experiencing a late run? The nerazzurri are unbeaten in four, drawing Juventus and Roma and beating Fiorentina and...Sassuolo. Meanwhile Torino, who looked to be an outside shot for Europe League, have lost their last two. It's unlikely the granata will give their hosts an easy time of it, but the scale is tipping in Inter's favvor.

Lazio vs. Atalanta

3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET at the Stadio Olimpico
If you ignore the loss to bottom side Catania, Lazio have been quite good since the return of Edy Reja. Not brilliant, and definitely not exciting, but good enough to go to Florence last weekend and return with all three points. And with Atalanta's rather weak showing on the road, don't expect la dea to do the double over Lazio.

Parma vs. Hellas Verona

3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET at the Tardini
Would you look at Parma? 40 points already, in sixth place, one point behind Inter and with a game in hand. That's thanks to a 14-game unbeaten run dating back to November 2, when Parma lost to Juventus. With the way Verona's form has faded in the second half of the season, don't expect the streak to end - unless, of course, Luca Toni grabs a late winner in a closely fought clash.

Sampdoria vs. Livorno

3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET at the Marassi
Sampdoria are safe, insists Siniša Mihajlović, but that doesn't mean the hosts wouldn't like to grab all three points against struggling Livorno. After all, rivals Genoa are still sitting above them in the table. But with Livorno fighting for their lives, and their confidence boosted by a draw against Napoli last weekend, it might not be as simple as Samp are hoping.

Napoli vs. AS Roma

8:45 p.m. local 3:45 p.m. ET at the Stadio San Paolo
Napoli have looked rather toothless as of late, failing to close the gap on Roma (and widen it over Fiorentina) by taking advantage of poor performances. Instead they've given a number of their own, drawing with both Genoa and Livorno. It's ok, everyone says, because Napoli rise to the occasion against big clubs. Except that they lost to Juventus and lost to Roma, but hey - now that they've beaten the giallorossi in the Coppa, this one must be a foregone conclusion. Rafa Benítez is a man for just this sort of match, after all.