After a bombastic finish of the January window, Serie A is back with a mouthwatering Round 24. Roma will open it by hosting the new-look Genoa, aiming for the third win in a row, a feat that has eluded them in recent months. The key Derby between Inter and Milan is the second game on the schedule, as the Rossoneri need a win to stay close in the standings. The Saturday slate will be capped off by Fiorentina hosting Lazio, with both teams eager to move past a rough week.
Atalanta will square off versus Cagliari in Sunday’s lunch match, looking to return to winning ways after two draws, and they will be helped by a few players coming back from the COVID-19 protocol. Later on, Bologna will seek to bounce back after three straight defeats and six in the past seven matches, versus Empoli, which have not been successful since mid-December, although they collected a few draws. Speaking of struggling teams, Sampdoria will attempt to snap out of a four-match losing streak against Sassuolo in Marco Giampaolo’s second game at the helm and with a few new pieces on the roster. Napoli will try to exploit the Derby and gun for the fourth straight victory against the sliding Venezia, which last took home the three points in late November.
Torino will showcase his additions in Udine, seeking to keep the good things going as they have dropped just one of their last eight fixtures. The Zebrette are coming off two losses to big teams and a draw with Genoa. Juventus will battle with Verona in the Sunday night tilt, hunting for the tenth positive result in a row and redemption from one of their worst slip-ups of the seasons in the first date between the two teams. The Scaligeri came out on top in three of their last four outings, though. Salernitana and their army of newcomers will have an immediate chance to make noise in the relegation struggle as they will face Spezia at home Monday night. The Aquilotti somehow triumphed in three straight fixtures before the break, leapfrogging a few sides down low.
The COVID-19 outbreaks within a few sides subsided over the last couple of weeks, and Cagliari are the only ones with multiple cases. There will be a few returns from injury too, for instance, Lazio’s Pedro and Milan’s Fikayo Tomori. Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ante Rebic are out with relatively new issues. Napoli are holding their breath on Hirving Lozano, who got hurt with Mexico. Most of the AFCON participants are back, but the Senegalese players and Martin Hongla.
Roma (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Cristante, Sergio Oliveira, Mkhitaryan, Maitland-Niles; Zaniolo, Abraham.
Ruled Out: Spinazzola (Achilles’ tendon tear), Pellegrini (thigh soreness).
Genoa (4-2-3-1): Sirigu; Hefti, Bani, Vanheusden, Vasquez; Sturaro, Badelj; Ekuban, Portanova, Yeboah; Destro.
Ruled Out: Criscito (calf strain), Rovella (thigh injury), Hernani, Ghiglione (return from COVID-19), Czyborra.
Inter (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez.
Ruled Out: Gosens, Correa (thigh strains), Caicedo (muscle fatigue).
Milan (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Bennacer, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Kessie, Leao; Giroud.
Ruled Out: Ibrahimovic (Achilles’ soreness), Rebic (ankle sprain), Ballo-Touré (groin strain), Kjaer (ACL tear).
Fiorentina (4-3-3): Terracciano; Venuti, Milenkovic, Nastasic, Biraghi; Bonaventura, Torreira, Duncan; Callejon, Cabral, Sottil.
Potential changes: Castrovilli/Duncan, Cabral/Piatek, Gonzalez/Sottil.
Probable: Gonzalez (calf soreness).
Lazio (4-3-3): Strakosha; Lazzari, Luiz Felipe, Patric, Marusic; Milinkovic-Savic, Leiva, Luis Alberto; Pedro, Immobile, Zaccagni.
Ruled Out: Acerbi (thigh strain), Akpa Akpro (pneumonia).
Atalanta (4-2-3-1): Musso; Zappacosta, Djimsiti, Palomino, Pezzella; Koopmeiners, Freuler; Malinovskyi, Pessina, Pasalic; Muriel.
Ruled Out: Ilicic (mental health issues), Miranchuk (thigh strain).
Cagliari (3-5-1–1): Cragno; Lovato, Ceppitelli, Goldaniga; Bellanova, Deiola, Grassi, Marin, Lykogiannis; Dalbert; Pereiro.
Ruled Out: Altare, Zappa (COVID-19), Keita (AFCON), Strootman (knee surgery), Rog (ACL tear), Walukiewicz (femoroacetabular impingement), Ceter (knee injury), Nandez (knee bruise).
Suspensions: Joao Pedro.
Bologna (3-4-2-1): Skorupski; Soumaoro, Medel, Theate; De Silvestri, Schouten, Svanberg, Vignato; Soriano, Orsolini; Arnautovic.
Ruled Out: Dominguez (shoulder surgery), Kingsley (fibula fracture), Mbaye (AFCON).
Empoli (4-3-2-1): Vicario; Stojanovic, Romagnoli, Viti, Parisi; Zurkowski, Asllani, Bandinelli; Bajrami, Henderson; Pinamonti.
Ruled Out: Luperto (thigh strain), Haas, Marchizza (ACL tears).
Sampdoria (4-3-1-2) Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Rincon, Thorsby; Sensi; Gabbiadini, Caputo.
Ruled Out: Damsgaard (knee infection), Yoshida (thigh strain), Quagliarella (calf injury).
Sassuolo (4-3-3): Consigli; Muldur, Chiriches, Ferrari, Kyriakopoulos; Frattesi, Maxime Lopez, Hamed Traorè; Berardi, Scamacca, Raspadori.
Ruled Out: Obiang (pneumonia), Romagna (patellar tendon tear), Schiappacasse (legal problems).
Venezia (4-3-3): Lezzerini; Ebuehi, Caldara, Ceccaroni, Haps; Cuisance, Ampadu, Crnigoj; Henry, Okereke, Nani.
Ruled Out: Vacca (thigh strain), Ullmann, Kiyine.
Napoli (4-2-3-1): Ospina; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Juan Jesus, Mario Rui; Fabian Ruiz, Lobotka; Politano, Zielinski, Insigne; Osimhen.
Ruled Out: Lozano (shoulder sprain), Koulibaly, Anguissa (AFCON), Ounas (return from COVID-19), Tuanzebe (back pain).
Udinese (3-5-2): Silvestri; Becao, Mari, Zeegelaar; Soppy, Arslan, Walace, Makengo, Udogie; Success, Beto.
Ruled Out: Larsen (contractual dispute), Pereyra (collarbone surgery).
Torino (3-4-2-1): Milinkovic-Savic; Zima, Buongiorno, Rodriguez; Singo, Mandragora, Lukic, Vojvoda; Praet, Brekalo; Sanabria.
Ruled Out: Belotti (thigh strain), Fares, Edera (ACL tears).
Juventus (4-3-3): Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Zakaria, Arthur, Rabiot; Dybala, Vlahovic, Morata.
Ruled Out: Bernardeschi (muscle fatigue), Chiesa (ACL tear), Alex Sandro (COVID-19), Bonucci (muscle fatigue).
Verona (3-4-2-1): Montipò; Casale, Gunter, Ceccherini; Depaoli, Tameze, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Ilic; Lasagna.
Potential changes: Ceccherini/Retsos, Tameze/Ilic, Kalinic/Lasagna.
Ruled Out: Dawidowicz (ACL tear), Frabotta (Achilles tendon partial tear), Hongla (AFCON), Caprari (ankle sprain), Faraoni (thigh pull).
Salernitana (4-3-2-1): Sepe; Mazzocchi, Gyomber, Fazio, Ranieri; L.Coulibaly, Radovanovic, Kastanos; Ribery, Verdi; Mousset.
Potential changes: Gyomber/Dragusin, Kastanos/Bohinen, Verdi/Djuric.
Questionable: Ruggeri, M.Coulibaly (thigh strains), Di Tacchio.
Ruled Out: Strandberg (sports hernia surgery).
Spezia (4-3-3): Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Reca; Maggiore, Kiwior, Sala; Gyasi, Manaj, Verde.
Potential changes: Erlic/Hristov, Kovalenko/Sala, Manaj/Nzola.
Probable: Erlic (knee soreness).
Ruled Out: Bastoni (thigh strain), Sena (failed physical), Sher (hip injury), Kovalenko, Colley.