Serie A Matchday 30: Verona next up for leaders Napoli
Verona are scrapping for survival but their cause is unlikely to benefit from a trip to Serie A leaders Napoli.
Elsewhere, reigning champions AC Milan face a tough test at eighth-placed Bologna, while Jose Mourinho's Roma host mid-table Udinese.
Second-placed Lazio have it somewhat easier, on paper at least, as they pay struggling Spezia a visit this evening.
Inter Milan, meanwhile, are looking to arrest their dramatic domestic decline at the San Siro against Monza.
Game of the weekend: Napoli vs Verona (Saturday, 5pm)
Napoli will be keen to bounce back from Wednesday's 1-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg defeat to Milan by beating lowly Verona.
The Partenopei are on course for their best-ever points total in a Serie A campaign, having never amassed more than their current tally of 74 after 29 games.
On paper, hosting Verona should not prove too tough a test, given the Gialloblu have not won any of their last 15 league matches on the road (six draws, nine defeats).
But Kevin Lasagna enjoys facing Napoli, having scored four times against them in Serie A — with the most recent such strike coming in the reverse fixture between the two teams.
Bologna vs AC Milan (Saturday, 2pm)
Milan's Champions League triumph against Napoli was their second victory over the Serie A leaders in less than two weeks and could prove a springboard for their top-four bid.
Bologna's record against the Rossoneri is notably poor. They have failed to win any of their last 14 meetings, losing 12 of those contests.
In contrast, Milan have not lost in 16 away league encounters with the Rossoblu (12 wins, four draws).
The hosts will need to watch out for marksman Rafael Leao. He is one of just five players born after 1999 to have accrued more than 20 goals and 10 assists in Europe's top five leagues across the last two seasons.
Spezia vs Lazio (Friday, 7.45pm)
Spezia's struggle to secure safety faces another obstacle in the form of Lazio, who have won all five of the Serie A meetings between these teams — scoring six times in just two away clashes.
The Biancocelesti are playing brilliantly and are unbeaten in seven top-flight games, winning six of those contests and keeping clean sheets in each of their last four on the road.
Ciro Immobile is currently on course to record his lowest Serie A goal tally in a single season since joining Lazio, managing just nine strikes so far.
However, he boasts a tremendous record against Spezia, netting five times in five encounters with them — and the 33-year-old will hope to use this fixture as a much-needed boost for the remainder of the campaign.
Roma vs Udinese (Sunday, 7.45pm)
Roma sit third in the table and will be keen to consolidate their top-four spot, amid stiff competition from both Milan-based clubs.
No other side in Italy's top flight has registered more victories without conceding in 2023 than Mourinho's men (eight) — but they have failed to win any of their last nine in the competition in which they have conceded at least once (four draws, five defeats).
Udinese could represent perfect opponents for the Giallorossi — they have failed to score in four of their previous seven away outings.
Furthermore, the Friulians have won just two of their last 11 games on the road (four draws, five defeats), so a trip to the capital may prove a daunting one for Andrea Sottil's team.
Le Zebrette will look to take inspiration from Feyenoord, who beat Roma 1-0 in their Europa League quarter-final first-leg encounter on Thursday evening.
Inter Milan vs Monza (Saturday, 7.45pm)
Inter Milan are winless in their last four league games and must arrest that slide soon to remain in contention for a top-four finish, with Monza up next.
The Nerazzurri may feel confident of doing so, given they are unbeaten in their previous 28 encounters with promoted opponents in the competition (24 wins, four draws). They will also have been buoyed by a 2-0 Champions League quarter-final first-leg victory at Benfica in midweek.
Monza are not in particularly strong form, having failed to score in three of their last seven games, while conceding in all of those fixtures.
Biancorossi striker Andrea Petagna's record against Inter does not provide much encouragement — he has not played more Serie A matches without scoring or registering an assist against any other side (10 games).
The weekend's other games
Cremonese vs Empoli (Friday, 5.30pm)
Lecce vs Sampdoria (Sunday, 11.30am)
Torino vs Salernitana (Sunday, 2pm)
Sassuolo vs Juventus (Sunday, 5pm)
Fiorentina vs Atalanta (Monday, 7.45pm)
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