It’s undoubtedly been a tumultuous few days across the romaverse. From the derby debacle to the coppa capitulation, Roma has made Pazza Inter look like a children’s show of late. However, as absurdly crazy as things have been, the fact of the matter is Roma remains firmly dug into the race for a Champions League place.
Consequently, it’s going to be a long and winding road over the last 20 match weeks of what has already been a season full of twists and turns in Serie A. With matches against every team in the league remaining, Roma does control its own destiny at this point. However, with so many teams in play for a top-four spot, what goes on around the rest of the league will also determine the Giallorossi’s final position. Therefore, it may be more important this season than ever to keep an eye on what’s going on across the peninsula on a weekly basis.
In order to make that easier, we’ll be keeping you up to date on the results across the league. And in order to do that, we’ll be putting together brief league-wide match previews, as well as summaries after each match day.
In each preview—like the one you’re about to read—we’ll offer a brief summary of each match of the round as well as highlighting the best non-Roma match of the weekend—which we'll save for last. We'll follow all of that up with a recap focusing on how those results impact Roma's spot on the table.
So, as we buckle up for what promises to be a fast and furious 20 match days, I hope that this new series helps you navigate a Serie A season unlike any in recent memory.
Perusing the Peninsula: Matchday 19 Previews
Benevento (11th place) vs Torino (18th place): 2:45 EST
It's been a rough 18 matches for the Granata who sacked Marco Giampaolo this week. Yet, new manager Davide Nicola takes over a team that might be rounding into form as Torino has lost only once in its last five league matches (1-3-1) and nearly upended Milan in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals. However, his first match in charge won’t be an easy one as he faces off against one of Serie A’s overachieving teams: Benevento. The Stregoni are coming off back-to-back 4-1 hammerings at the hands of Atalanta and Crotone, respectively. With leaky defenses on both sides, Friday Night Football could see a deluge of goals.
Udinese (15th place) vs Inter (2nd place): Noon EST
Inter will be riding high into this match after taking care of business in the Derby D’Italia last weekend. The 2-0 victory over Juventus has many questioning if this is the end of the Bianconeri’s reign. However, it also begs us to ask if Inter is finally ready to live up to preseason expectations and be the team to replace the Juve at the top.
The next hurdle in the Nerazzurri’s way won’t be an easy one against Udinese. The Zebrette are coming off a midweek draw against Atalanta and upended Lazio earlier in the season. They also lost close matches to Napoli and Milan, so it won’t be a walkover for Inter. This sets up as a classic letdown match, so Antonio Conte will have to have his side ready.
Fiorentina (14th place) vs Crotone (20th place): 2:45 EST
On the surface, this looks like a walkover for Fiorentina. However, we all know the Viola have underachieved for some time now. Crotone may sit last but is coming off a resounding 4-1 victory over Benevento. If the Calabrese side can ride that momentum and jump on Fiorentina, this one could be an interesting fixture. A result in Tuscany could go a long way in helping Crotone dig its way out of last place and potentially drag Fiorentina into the relegation mix.
Juventus (5th place) vs Bologna (12th place): 6:30 EST
All eyes will be on the Bianconeri in this one. After Sunday’s loss to Inter, the heat will be turned up in Turin, especially if Juve can’t bounce back with three points against Bologna. The Rossoblu are your classic middle of the pack team that has been up and down throughout the season. When all things are clicking, Bologna are capable of an upset on their day but can be susceptible to goals, which we saw when Roma put five past them. This will be a match that Roma will keep an eye on, as the Bianconeri are just a point off the Giallorossi with a match in hand.
Hellas Verona (9th place) vs Napoli (3rd place): 9:00 EST
Napoli enters the weekend level on points with Roma with a match in hand, so this is one to keep an eye on. The Partenopei hammered Fiorentina last weekend 6-0, but likely won’t find things so easy against Hellas. Ivan Juric has built one of the most compelling stories in the league over the last two seasons and the Mastiffs are hard to breakdown. Led by goalkeeper Mattia Silvestre, Verona can frustrate even the best attacks. Let’s see if they can do it again against Lorenzo Insigne and Co.
Genoa (16th place) vs Cagliari (17th place): 9:00 EST
Cagliari has been in absolute free fall of late. I Sardi have lost five straight league matches and have been dragged into the thick of the relegation battle. Eusebio Di Francesco will have to figure things out quickly or he may not see out the season. Meanwhile, Genoa, who have been in the relegation zone all season, has clawed its way to 16th place with eight points in its last five matches. Davide Ballardini will look to continue on the improved form since his hiring six matches ago. A win for either side could go a long way later in the season in avoiding the drop.
Lazio (7th place) vs Sassuolo (8th place): Noon EST
The Biancoceleste will certainly be flying high after their derby triumph, but the Neroverdi will present a tough challenge. These teams are neck and neck in the table and both are realistically in the mix for the European places. The teams have similar goal scoring and defensive numbers (Lazio 30 GF, 25 GA, Sassuolo 31 GF, 27GA), so this could be a tight one. If you need some lunchtime entertainment on the east coast, this one should be worth tuning into.
Parma (19th place) vs Sampdoria (10th place): 2:45 EST
Normally reserved for the weekend’s big match, the Sunday prime time match is a bit underwhelming this time around. Parma recently brought back Gigi D’Aversa in an attempt to right Fabio Liverani’s sinking ship. Parma is desperate for a win, but Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria won’t be accommodating. The Blucerchiati have been up and down of late beating Inter and Udinese, but falling to Spezia. This one could be unpredictable.
The Best Non-Roma Match of the Week
Milan (1st place) vs Atalanta (6th place): Saturday, Noon EST
As appealing as the Lazio and Napoli matches are, if you only have time to tune into one match besides Roma’s this weekend, then this is the one. Milan continues to defy the odds at the top of the table, while Atalanta continues to push for the top four despite Papu Gomez’s imminent exit.
Milan enters in fine form—winning four of its last five—looking to maintain its lead at the top. Meanwhile, Atalanta has faltered of late with back-to-back draws against bottom-half sides Genoa and Udinese.
Those unexpected draws have kept Roma in the top 4 despite the loss to Lazio. Atalanta will need to refind the goalscoring touch it had to open 2021 or La Dea could be facing the possibility of dropping points for the third straight match. That would be welcome news in the Romaverse.
Which non-Roma are you most excited to watch?
This poll is closed
Napoli v Hellas
Lazio vs Sassuolo
Milan v Atalanta