Casa Calcio: Serie A weekend preview

Casa Calcio (Serie A Italy) brought to you by Trevor Stynes.

After the Coppa Italia took centre stage last week, all teams are back in action this weekend. Here’s your preview for Matchday 13 of Serie A.

Pink Bari vs AS Roma – Saturday 11:30am GMT

The last time the sides met, back in August, it took a penalty converted by Andressa Alves to break the deadlock. Roma recorded a 2-0 win that day.

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Bari now find themselves on the bottom of the table after a defeat to Napoli two weeks ago. With a desperate need to get points on the board, in-form Roma are not the ideal opposition.

In their most recent league game, Roma defeated third-placed Sassuolo. They also had a 4-0 win at Florentia last week in the Coppa Italia.

Pink will be without the suspended Chelsea Weston. In the transfer market, they recently brought in German midfielder Jennifer Cramer. Norwegian midfielder Marthe Enlid has also just been announced, arriving from Avaldsnes.

Having signed just a couple of weeks ago, Maria Zecca will welcome her former Roma team-mates to Bari.

Meanwhile, Roma have signed Swedish forward Marija Banusic until the end of the season, and she goes straight into the match day squad.

To date, Roma are undefeated in four total Serie A matches against Pink Bari. With three wins and a draw, they have also claimed full points when the two sides have met in Bari.

Empoli vs Juventus – Saturday 11:30 GMT

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It’s time for part two of the clash between Empoli and Juventus. This league game comes in the middle of their two-legged Coppa Italia quarter-final.

Looking at their two meetings so far this season, we should expect a close game but one with plenty of goals. On matchday two, Juventus scraped a 4-3 win thanks to an injury-time penalty put away by Cristiana Girelli.

Last week’s cup game managed to provide even more excitement. Empoli twice held a two goal lead only for Juventus to make a stunning comeback. From 4-2 down, Juve scored three without reply to escape from Tuscany with a 5-4 win.

The league leaders will be very wary of giving away any set-pieces close to their goal. Benedetta Glionna, on loan from Juventus, scored a hat-trick of free-kicks last week.

Laura Giuliani should return to guard the Juve goal after sitting out last week’s clash. Likewise Girelli, Serie A top-scorer, will be back to lead the attack from the start.

READ: Football legend Carolina Morace returns to Lazio

Juventus, with maximum points in the league, will be well aware that this is a real potential banana skin. They still have AC Milan breathing down their necks and know that any slip-up could be punished.

Empoli’s 4-1 win at San Marino in their last league outing has allowed them to close the gap on third placed Sassuolo to five points. They will be without the suspended Lucia Di Guglielmo for this one.

Juventus meanwhile won’t be able to count on the services of Sofie Junge Pedersen. She suffered a sinus fracture in last week’s cup win. In better news, their manager Rita Guarino has renewed her contract until 2022.

The sides have met seven times in total between the league and the cup, with Juventus coming out on top in all seven.

Hellas Verona vs Florentia San GimignanoSaturday 13:30 GMT

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Sofia Cantore grabbed the only goal of the game the last time these two sides met. Florentia won that day and also kept a clean sheet, and we can expect Verona to struggle to score yet again.

The home side have the second worst attack in the league and they are coming up against the third best defence. While Florentia lost narrowly to Milan in their last league game, Verona went down 5-0 at Juventus.

The two sides also met in Verona at the group stage of the Coppa Italia. Florentia again came out on top thanks to a first-half goal from Melania Martinovic.

Six points divide the clubs in the table, and Verona are still too close to the relegation zone for comfort.

In their five Serie A meetings so far, Florentia have won three with Verona only claiming a single victory.

Fiorentina vs Napoli – Sunday 11:30 GMT

Daniela Sabatino bagged a hat-trick when the teams met back in August. Although newly promoted Napoli took the lead that day, they ended up on the wrong end of a 5-2 scoreline.

Fiorentina’s top scorer spoke during the week of how the team didn’t show up in last week’s Coppa loss at Inter. She also knows that this time around they will have a battle on their hand against a Napoli side fighting for their Serie A survival.

They had a massive boost last time out, recording their first league win of the season. That victory over fellow strugglers Bari allowed them to finally move off the bottom of the table.

Napoli will be looking to their forward Evdokiya Popadinova to get on the scoresheet again. The Bulgarian has scored in their last three games. Though, they will be without Isotta Nocchi after her sending off in the win over Bari.

Having lost Jacynta Galabadaarachchi to Celtic, Napoli have now signed Icelandic midfielder Lára Kristín Pedersen.

Fiorentina are still struggling with injuries and Covid in their squad. Martina Piemonte is still unavailable due to the virus, but they will be hoping to have Stephanie Breitner back. Cláudia Neto is another player who should make a return from injury soon.

AC Milan vs San Marino – Sunday 11:30 GMT

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Both Natasha Dowie and Christy Grimshaw scored a brace the last time the AC Milan and San Marino met. It was a 5-0 thriller for Milan.

While Milan are involved in the title race with Juventus, San Marino are looking for survival in their first ever season in Serie A.

The visitor’s most recent outings have resulted in a 4-1 home loss to Empoli and a 3-1 defeat at Fiorentina. If they are to get something from this game they will be hoping that Raffaella Barbieri can keep up her scoring run. In the last three games, the striker has knocked in five goals.

San Marino will need to do without their manager Alain Conte, who is currently serving a suspension. From a transfer standpoint, they just brought in forward Serena Landa from Roma.

An earlier signing back in January was Nika Babnik. You can read our recent interview with the Slovenian international to see how she’s settling back in to life in Serie A:

Sassuolo vs Inter Milan – Sunday 13:30 GMT

Valeria Pirone scored twice the last time these two sides met. That resulted in a 4-1 win for Sassuolo. In the only other tie between the two clubs, Sassuolo recorded a 1-0 home win.

While Sassuolo are still in third place, they were beaten in their last league game. That 2-0 loss at Roma means they’ve slipped to eight points behind Milan.

Inter also suffered defeat in their most recent Serie A fixture when they went down 3-2 at home to Fiorentina. Last week, they did get revenge for that loss in the Coppa Italia, with a 2-0 win over the Tuscany club.

The away side have actually lost their last three league games, and will be hoping that their top-scorer Gloria Marinelli can add to her tally of six for the season.

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Sassuolo will have got some confidence back after their late equalizer against Milan in the Coppa last week. Belgian defender Davina Philtjens was the hero that day.

In the league, it’s been the Czech midfielder Kamila Dubcová who has grabbed the goals for Sassuolo. She has eight in the Serie A campaign so far, followed closely by Valeria Pirone with seven.

Sassuolo have just announced the signing on loan of Vanessa Panzeri from Juventus. Still positive with Covid, the defender won’t be available just yet for her new team.