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Andrea Stramaccioni and a potentially title deciding weekend

March 30, 2012

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Andrea Stramaccioni and a potentially title deciding weekend

All those who follow the top flight in Italy will be taking notice of Andrea Stramaccioni’s first game in charge of Inter this weekend, following Claudio Ranieri’s sacking in the week. Becoming Inter’s third manager of the year, the former Under 20 coach faces a mammoth task of revitalising the squad, who face Genoa sitting 10 points adrift the third Champions League qualifying spot. Promoted from within the ranks, club administrator Ernesto Paolillo has said “Our club president has been very clear; Stramaccioni is not just a caretaker coach. We are hoping that he can start a new young cycle at this club.” With one win in their last 10, this can only come soon enough.

Elsewhere, league leaders follow up holding Barcelona to a 0-0 draw with a trip to Catania. Whilst their hopes of reaching the Champions League are very much alive, they will have to divert their attention back to the domestic affairs to try and retain their four point lead over unbeaten Juventus; who face a tough test as they host European hopefuls Napoli in Turin in the weekend’s Sunday night fixture. Three points are crucial for both sides, as Juventus wish to maintain pressure on the Milanese leaders, and Napoli hope to chase down third spot, which current is held by Lazio.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Inter: 1.61 | Draw: 4.2 | Genoa: 6.6

£30 FREE at Betfair: Barcelona: 1.14 | Draw: 11.5 | Ath Bilbao: 23

£30 FREE at Betfair: Juventus: 1.95 | Draw: 3.65 | Napoli: 4.5

Lazio travel to Parma on Saturday, but will travel without German forward and top scorer for the club Miroslav Klose. Roma, seven points off local rivals Lazio, welcome strugglers Novara to the Stadio Olimpico and hope to keep pushing for the vital top three finish whilst fifth place Udinese, who have won one of their last seven games but remain level with Napoli on points challenge Siena in Tuscany.

Meanwhile, Sicilians Palermo have yet to win on the road this season, but travel to Bologna. They have only mustered a mere five points on the road this season. Atalanta travel to Sardinia to face off against Cagliari, with a win effectively assuring the travellers top flight football next season. The Bergamaschi are currently on 37 points, with 40 points being the desirable number to assure survival.

Chievo’s Davide Moscardelli will miss Sunday’s clash at Fiorentina. He tore a tendon in his thigh during last week’s fixture at Siena and will now miss two months, meaning it is unlikely he will feature for the rest of this season. At the bottom end of the table, Lecce and Cesena both fight for a vital three points which would go some way to providing the monumental survival push that would be required by both sides. Cesena remain 14 points off safety with their relegation all but secured, but Lecce still have slim hopes of survival, with Parma just five points ahead of them in 18th.

£30 FREE at Betfair: Parma: 2.64 | Draw: 3.2 | Lazio: 3.15

£30 FREE at Betfair: Bologna: 2.56 | Draw: 2.62 | Palermo: 4.2

£30 FREE at Betfair: Fiorentina: 1.76 | Draw: 3.6 | Chievo: 6.2

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