Casa Calcio: Scudetto Showdown in matchweek 15 preview

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

It’s finally here, the clash of the Titans. Scudetto-chasing Juventus and Milan face off in Turin on Sunday. Elsewhere, Fiorentina travel to Sassuolo after their midweek trip to Manchester.

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Hellas Verona vs AS Roma – Saturday 11:30am GMT

The last time Hellas recorded a league win over Roma was back in 2018. Since then, Roma have won all four meetings.

When the sides met earlier this season, Roma recorded a 2-0 win at home. In Verona last season, the visitors came away with a 4-0 win. They’ve certainly been in the mood for goals more recently too.

Roma put ten past Florentia over two legs in the Coppa Italia and also enjoyed a 4-0 win at Bari. Their latest game was a 2-0 win over Empoli last weekend, which moved them up to fourth place in the table.

Hellas on the other hand, have now lost four games in a row, scoring only once during those defeats. That single goal came from the penalty spot. They have found goals hard to come by all season, scoring only eight times in their 14 league games to date. Asia Bragonzi has scored six of those goals.

Roma’s Paloma Lázaro has actually scored as much as the whole Verona team with her eight goals in Serie A. Annamaria Serturini is just behind her with seven.

Florentia San Gimignano vs San Marino – Saturday 1:30pm GMT

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Saturday’s only other game sees Florentia play at home again, after winning the Tuscan derby last Sunday.

While the home side were enjoying a 2-0 win over neighbours Fiorentina, San Marino went down 3-1 at home to leaders Juventus. Their fourth consecutive league defeat.

When the sides met back in October, it was San Marino who came out on top. In what was one of only two league wins this season, it was Yesica Menin who grabbed the only goal of the game.

That was Florentia’s third defeat in their opening four games. Since then though, they have picked up six more wins which sees them just one point behind Fiorentina and still very much in the race for a top-four spot.

San Marino meanwhile are still looking over their shoulders at the relegation zone. With just a four-point gap over Napoli, and still needing to travel south to face them, they would like to get some more points on the board.

San Gimignano, despite rising high in the league, have only managed to score 15 goals. Sofia Cantore, who scored in last week’s derby win, is responsible for five of those. Cecilia Re netted her first goal in that win over Fiorentina.

Raffaella Barbieri has grabbed seven of San Marino’s 11 league goals this season. At the back, however, they have the worst defensive record in the league. Fifteen of those goals conceded did come in their first two games of the season, and since then they have managed to steady the ship somewhat.

They are still without defenders Alessia Venturini and Melissa Nozzi.

Inter vs Napoli – Sunday 11:30am GMT

When the sides met in Naples earlier this season, they played out a 1-1 draw. That game was then controversially awarded to Inter as a 3-0 win after Napoli failed to appoint any medical staff for that match.

With Napoli four points away from the safety zone, they’ll be hoping that lost point won’t come back to haunt them.

They won their first game of the season in January, but have lost their two fixtures since then. Inter finally managed to get back to winning ways last weekend having lost their previous four Serie A games. An Ilaria Mauro goal gave them victory over Sassuolo last Saturday.

Napoli, despite only winning once all season, haven’t been an easy team to beat, even for the top sides. They lost out 2-1 to both Juventus and Milan and lost 3-2 away to Roma.

The away side’s top-scorer, Eva Popadinova, missed last week’s game with a shoulder injury. That injury, which the Bulgarian picked up against Fiorentina is expected to keep her out of this game.

Inter are still without their Brazilian defender Kathellen Sousa and Eva Bartoňová. The Czech midfielder recently tested positive for Covid while on International duty.

Juventus vs AC Milan – Sunday 11:30am GMT

The much-awaited clash between the top two sides takes place in Turin on Sunday. This is Milan’s chance to draw level on points with an unbeaten Juventus side.

When the teams met in Milan back in October, a Cristiana Girelli penalty was the only difference between the sides. That game was the first-ever women’s match to take place at the San Siro stadium.

Since then, the challengers have done everything right, winning all ten league games.

Juventus know that a win here would probably mean having one hand on the league title. They haven’t always had it their own way in this fixture, however. The sides played out a 2-2 draw last season, and the return fixture never took place.

In the season before, Milan’s first-ever campaign, Juventus won 2-0 in the home game. Juventus also won the Scudetto that season but when they travelled to Milan they suffered a 3-0 defeat.

Valentina Giacinti was on the scoresheet that day, and the Milan striker has been in fine form this season too. The Italian international has 12 league goals so far, which is four less than Juventus forward, Cristiana Girelli.

The strikers on both sides will be up against the two best defences in Serie A. Both sides have conceded just seven goals each in their 14 league games to date.

They are the two top-scoring teams this season with Milan having found the net 35 times whereas Juventus have 43 goals. Apart from Giacinti, Natasha Dowie has also been in the goals for Milan, scoring nine Serie A goals in her first season in Italian football.

For the leaders, Lina Hurtig and Arianna Caruso have both netted five times in the league.

Milan recently signed Japanese international Yui Hasegawa, and she scored twice on her league debut in last week’s 6-1 win at Bari. Christy Grimshaw was also one of their star performers in that game, providing two assists.

Miriam Longo is still out with a shoulder injury for Milan who are also still without the services of Deborah Salvatori Rinaldi.

Sara Gama who Juventus’ last match after picking up an injury while on international duty is now back in the squad.

Empoli vs Pink Bari – Sunday 1:30pm GMT

When the sides met in Bari earlier this season, Empoli came away with a 3-0 win. Bari haven’t been able to pick up a single point since their win over Napoli on the opening day of the season.

Last week, Empoli lost 2-0 at Roma while Bari went down 6-1 at home to Milan. Bari desperately points on the board soon to avoid relegation. The only teams to win at Empoli this season, however, has been Juventus and Milan.

The away side have only scored seven league goals this season, and four of those have come from Emelie Helmvall. Empoli, on the other hand, are the third-highest scorers in Serie A, alongside Sassuolo, averaging two goals per game.

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Elisa Polli is the Tuscan side’s top-scorer with seven to her name. The home team can also count on goals from Benedetta Glionna and Cecilia Prugna both with five each, while Norma Cinotti has scored four.

The away side are still without the suspended Chelsea Weston while Eleaonora Binazzi is injured on the Empoli side.

For those outside of Italy wanting to the game, you will need to subscribe to the Juventus website. A monthly pass will cost you less than £4 a month, a yearly subscription works out even cheaper

Sassuolo vs Fiorentina – Sunday 1:30pm GMT

Fiorentina will be looking to bounce back from their defeat in midweek to Manchester City. They will welcome the English club to Florence next Thursday for the return leg, but for now, attention turns back to the domestic league.

The Viola also lost their most recent Serie A game, away to CF Florentia last weekend. That defeat, which came after three consecutive wins, saw Roma move above them into fourth place in the table.

Third place Sassuolo meanwhile, recorded a narrow 1-0 win away to Napoli last time out. Erika Santoro scored her first goal of the season in that one, and the home side will be hoping for the return of Haley Bugeja and Kamila Dubcová. Both those players were unavailable for the trip to Napoli.

Fiorentina lost Sara Baldi because of an ankle injury during their Champions League game. Alice Tortelli missed that game, adding to the Viola’s injury problems this season.

That match in Manchester did finally see the return of both Martina Piemonte and Stephanie Breitner to the squad. The pair have been absent since the start of the year because of Covid.

When the sides met in Florence earlier this season, the away side earned their first-ever Serie A victory over Fiorentina. Dubcová netted twice that day, with Bugeja scoring the other in a 3-1 win.

That win put an end to Fiorentina’s great start to the season, having won the opening three games. They then went on to lose their next two matches, which effectively put them out of the title race this season.

Their inconsistent form also means they will miss out on Champions League football next season. Fiorentina have won their last three away games at Sassuolo, but it’s a much-improved side that they face this season.

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Daniela Sabatino is Fiorentina’s top scorer this season, with eleven league goals to her name. For Sassuolo, alongside Dubcová on eight goals is Valeria Pirone.

This came can be streamed live, and for free, at the official Fiorentina website.

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