Casa Calcio: Serie A matchweek 17 preview

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

Another Milan derby to look forward to this weekend, which also sees Juve host bottom of table Bari and Napoli look to climb out of the relegation zone.

Florentia San Gimignano vs Sassuolo : Saturday 11:30am GMT

Sassuolo come into this on the back of four consecutive wins, however, Florentia not only lost to Napoli last weekend but were then deducted a point by the FIGC during the week. The club have announced that they will be appealing that decision.

Sassuolo look to have guaranteed themselves a top-three spot, and while they are still five points behind Milan, they won’t have given up just yet of qualifying for the Champions League. Last weekend saw the return of both Kamila Dubcová and Haley Bugeja to the team. When the sides met earlier this season, they were both on the scoresheet in Sassuolo’s 3-0 win.

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Florentia did defeat this weekend’s opponents in San Gimignano last season, that 2-1 win came in the Coppa Italia, but the return leg was never played as the season was abandoned.

The home side are still struggling for goals, averaging just one per game. Sofia Cantore is their top scorer with five league goals. Sassuolo meanwhile have both Valeria Pirone and Dubcová on eight goals each.

Hellas Verona vs Fiorentina: Saturday 1:30pm GMT

When the sides met in Florence earlier this season, it was Verona who came away with all three points. Valery Vigilucci received a red card in that game and the resulting penalty gave Hellas the win.

Asia Bragonzi converted the spot-kick, and five of her six goals this season have come from penalties. The on-loan forward is Verona’s top scorer, in a team that have only managed 11 goals to date.

Fiorentina went into that home defeat back in October, having lost the previous two games. They come into this one on an even worse run, with three consecutive league defeats to add to the two Champions League losses to Manchester City. Antonio Cincotta is now able to call upon Martina Piemonte and Stephanie Breitner while Alice Tortelli also returns to the squad.

Verona ended a run of four consecutive league defeats by winning their last two games. This has given them some breathing space from the relegation zone. Giorgia Motta is still an injury worry for Hellas since going off in the win over Roma three weeks ago.

AS Roma vs San Marino : Saturday 1:30pm GMT

While Roma’s win over Inter last weekend in a seven-goal thriller saw them move further clear in fourth place, San Marino’s home defeat to Sassuolo saw them slip into real relegation danger.

That loss means they are now just one point ahead of Napoli, and they still have to travel to Naples to face their rivals. It’s Not an ideal time to face Roma then, and it’s hard to see them gain any valuable points here. However, it did take a late Serturini goal to give Roma a 3-2 win when the sides met in October.

Roma captain Elisa Bartoli is still an injury worry for the home side while Alison Rigaglia returns for the visitors. Paloma Lázaro is Roma’s top scorer this season with eight goals, followed by Annamaria Serturini on seven. San Marino have scored 11 goals this season with seven of them coming from Raffaella Barbieri.

Recent Roma signing, Marija Banušić, came off the bench last week and scored her first goal for the club in spectacular fashion.

Inter Milan vs AC Milan : Sunday 11:30am GMT

Sunday brings us the third Milan derby of the season, and there is still the semi-final second leg to play. When the sides met back in October, it was a routine 4-1 win for Milan, Natasha Dowie scoring twice that day. The most recent game, however, saw Inter win their first-ever derby game.

When the sides clashed in the Coppa Italia semi-final first leg, Inter recorded a 2-1 home win. All three goals in that game came in the first 15 minutes. Milan’s top scorer, Valentina Giacinti scored that day, and she is now looking to become the first-ever Milan player to reach 50 goals.

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Milan are now six points behind Juventus, and while the Scudetto race is not quite over, they also need to look over their shoulders at a Sassuolo side five points behind them. Last week they struggled to a 1-0 win at home to Empoli. They will be looking to the goal-scoring duo of Giacinti and Dowie, with 22 league goals between them this season to punish an Inter side who conceded four last weekend.

That defeat to Roma saw Gloria Marinelli score her seventh goal of the season. Inter are still without Eva Bartoňová but should see the return of Flavinia Simonetti.

Juventus vs Pink Bari: Sunday 1:30pm GMT

Juventus will be confident of continuing their maximum points march to another Scudetto when they host bottom club, Bari, on Sunday. When the sides met in October, Juve came away with a 4-0 win, and they face a side who have not gained a single point since the opening day of the season.

Relegation seems almost inevitable at this stage for a team with both the worst attack and defence in Serie A. The away side will be without the injured Rofiat Sule and Jennifer Cramer. Juventus meanwhile will hope to recover Maria Alves, while there are still doubts over Barbara Bonansea and Sara Gama.

Napoli vs Empoli : Sunday 1:30pm GMT

These two sides have only met once before, and that ended with a 1-0 win for Empoli back in October. Norma Cinotti was the goal scorer that day, one of three Empoli players with five goals this season. Benedetta Glionna and Cecilia Prugna are the other two, and manager Alessandro Spugna will also hope to have top scorer Elisa Polli back available.

Napoli manager Alessandro Pistolesi will be hoping he can get one over his former club on Sunday. His side had a massive 3-1 win over another Tuscan side, Florentia, last weekend. Those three points saw them move to within one point of San Marino in the safety zone, as Napoli look to avoid relegation back to Serie B after just one season in the top flight.

Eleonora Goldoni returned from injury last week and scored the all important third goal in that win.

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