Serie A Femminile Matchday 10 Preview: Juventus seek to define title race as Milan mounts pressure on Sassuolo
The first Milan derby clash of the season is taking place at the Centro Sportivo Vismara in Milan on Sunday
Reigning Serie A champions Juventus travel to Sassuolo for a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.
The Bianconere will be hoping to stretch their lead to 30 points on top of the log by beating second-placed Sassuolo in a match which could define the title race forever.
Joe Montemurro’s side have a morale boost coming from a 2-0 win over Wolfsburg in the UEFA Women’s Champions League and an 8-1 win over Roma CF in the Coppa Italia group stages just before the international break.
On the other hand, 24-point Sassuolo, coming from a 2-0 Coppa Italia win over Castelvecchio just before the international break, are relishing the chance to go level on points with Juventus with a win at home.
Juventus, who have a 100% winning streak, will turn to the services of in-form forwards, Cristiana Girelli, who scored a hattrick in Italy’s 5-0 win over Romania in the Women’s World Cup qualifiers on Tuesday and Barbara Bonansea who also scored in both World Cup qualifying matches during the international break.
Meanwhile, Sassuolo will be hoping that Juventus on-loan forward Sofia Cantore, who is Serie A current second top-scorer with six goals in nine matches, will work her magic against her team.
Elsewhere, third-placed AC Milan host fifth-placed Inter at the Centro Sportivo Vismara on Sunday in the first Milan derby of the season.
The hosts are coming from a 2-0 Coppa Italia win over Lady Granata Cittadella just before the international break, while the visitors are coming from a 6-0 demolition of Sesto in the same tournament.
A win at home for Maurizio Ganz’s side will take them to second place on the log behind Juventus should Sassuolo lose to the defending champions on Saturday, while a win for Inter can take them to fourth place should AS Roma lose on Sunday.
Milan will turn to the services of current Serie A top scorer Valentina Giacinti, who tops the current goal charts with seven goals in nine matches.
The hosts go into the derby clash carrying the momentum of four wins and one draw in their last five matches, while the visitors have registered three wins and two defeats in their last five matches.
Fourth-placed Roma travel to sixth-placed Sampdoria on Sunday.
The Rome side are coming from a comfortable 5-0 win over Tavagnacco in the Coppa Italia a fortnight ago.
Roma can go on level points with AC Milan on third place if they win away to Antonia Cincotta’s side while the latter will remain on sixth place even if they win.
The visitors have amassed 19 points from six wins and one draw in nine matches, while the hosts have registered 13 points from four wins and one draw from the same number of outings.
Fiorentina host Pomigliano at the Stadio Gino Bozzi in a mid-table clash on Saturday.
Patrizia Panico’s side, on eighth place on the log, have struggled this season registering only nine points from three wins in nine matches.
On the other hand, 10-point Pomigliano, on seventh place, will also be looking for their fourth win of the season against Fiorentina.
Relegation bound Napoli entertain Empoli at the Caduti di Brema Stadium on Sunday.
10thplaced Napoli have registered two wins and one draw in nine encounters and have seven points, while the Tuscany side have registered eight points from two wins and two draws in nine clashes.
If Napoli win, they will come out of relegation zone for the first time this season, with the possibility of dethroning Fiorentina from eighth place.
Hellas Verona travel to Lazio for a bottom-of-the-log clash on Saturday.
Coming from a 5-0 humiliating league defeat to Juventus away in Turin, Lazio will likely be going back to the drawing board.
Verona are in an identical situation, coming from a 5-0 league defeat to Inter Milan away.
Lazio are yet to register a point in the Serie A this season having recorded nine straight defeats, while Verona have one point from one draw in nine contests.
Fixtures: (Saturday) Lazio vs. Hellas Verona (12:30); Fiorentina vs. Pomigliano (14:30); Sassuolo vs. Juventus (14:30)
(Sunday) Sampdoria vs. AS Roma (12:30); Napoli vs. Empoli (14:30); AC Milan vs. Inter Milan (14:30)
All times Central European Time (CET)
(Photo by Claudio Villa - Inter/Inter via Getty Images)