Italy, one of the worst-hit countries by the coronavirus pandemic, is slowly returning to normalcy as Serie A resumed to the fold after a three-month hiatus.
Last week, Torino and Parma played out a 1-1 draw in the first game of the Italian top-flight since the COVID-19-enforced break. On Sunday, Hellas Verona defeated Cagliari Calcio by a 2-1 margin, and later, Atalanta and Inter Milan registered routine wins over Sassuolo and Sampdoria respectively.
With that said, now that all teams have played 26 matches each, the next set of fixtures will be contested in midweek as AC Milan travel to the Via del Mare to face Lecce on Monday night in the first match of gameweek 27.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at all the action that awaits us in the next few days in Serie A.
Lecce vs AC Milan (Prediction: 1-1)
The home side suffered two heavy defeats in their last couple of games before Serie A was put to halt. As a consequence, Lecce currently sit in 18th place on the table. However, the home match against an inconsistent AC Milan side would give them a glimmer a hope.
Surely, the break would have allowed the Rossoneri boss Stefano Pioli to reflect on how he can overturn Milan’s recent slump. They are currently ninth on the league standings.
Fiorentina vs Brescia Calcio (Prediction: 2-0)
Both sides have had a season to forget until now. When Fiorentina welcome Brescia to the Stadio Artemio Franchi, they will have a chance to rise from the 13th spot.
Brescia, meanwhile, have collected only 16 points from 26 Serie A matches, and are the last on the league table. They are most likely to become the first team to be relegated this season.
Bologna vs Juventus (Prediction: 1-2)
After losing the Coppa Italia final on penalties against Napoli, league leaders Juventus will travel to Renato Dall’Ara to play 10th-placed Bologna, with a point to prove.
Lazio are hot on the heels of Maurizio Sarri’s men, who will have to produce a good result to build some momentum, heading into the final stretch of fixtures. Meanwhile, the home side have little more than pride to play for between now and the end of the season.
SPAL vs Cagliari Calcio (Prediction: 1-1)
Apart from Brescia, SPAL are the only other team, who seem destined for relegation, having collected a paltry 18 points from their 26 matches so far. Gameweek 27 will see SPAL play hosts to 13th-placed Cagliari on Tuesday night.
The visitors, who haven’t won a game in Serie A since the beginning of December, will seek to put an end to that unwanted streak at the Stadio Comunale.
Hellas Verona vs Napoli (Prediction: 1-2)
One of the most anticipated games of this week will see seventh-placed Hellas Verona, who have been the surprise package of Serie A this season, host sixth-placed Napoli on Tuesday night.
The visitors were on a six-game winning streak in the league prior to the break and having beaten Juventus lately, they will be high on confidence for this match.
Verona, on the other hand, were inconsistent beforehand, and it remains to be seen if they’ve put these three months to good use or not.
Torino vs Udinese (Prediction: 1-1)
Torino and Udinese are embroiled in a dogged fight to avoid relegation and in that regard, the match between these two sides in gameweek 27 could be a crucial one.
Both teams are tied on 28 points each, although Udinese, the visitors in Wednesday night’s fixture, have a better goal difference and are just one spot above Torino in 14th place.
The team who come out on top in this one, will surely have the upper hand heading into the remaining matches. It’s all to fight for at the Olimpico di Torino.
Genoa vs Parma (Prediction: 1-2)
17th-placed Genoa are level on points with Lecce, who occupy the last relegation berth, and it goes without saying that the home side desperately need points to remain in Serie A.
On Tuesday night, they will welcome Parma, who are eighth on the table at the moment. Both teams were inconsistent before the break and it remains to be seen how they will fare after such a three-month hiatus.
Inter Milan vs Sassuolo (Prediction: 2-1)
After a brilliant start to the season under Antonio Conte, Inter Milan have now fallen behind in the Serie A title race. Their goal now is to ensure a spot in next season’s Champions League. The Nerazzurri will play host to Sassuolo on gameweek 27, as they look to consolidate their third spot standings.
Sassuaolo, on the other hand, are 12th in league standings, with little more than pride to fight for this season. That being said, the game at Guiseppe Meazza should be a good watch for the neutrals.
Atalanta vs Lazio (Prediction: 2-2)
Arguably the marquee fixture of this week, second-placed Lazio will travel to fourth-placed Atalanta on Wednesday night. For the visitors, it’s all about keeping themselves within touching distance of Juventus, who have struggled a bit recently.
Atalanta, meanwhile, have become a force to be reckoned with under Gian Piero Gasperini. They overcame Sassuolo last week, and have been the high-flyers of Serie A this season. That being said, the result of this game could have huge ramifications in the title race. It’s definitely a must-watch fixture.
Roma vs Sampdoria (Prediction: 3-1)
In the last game of this week’s round of fixtures, Roma will welcome Sampdoria to the Stadio Olimpico in a match that is of great importance to both teams. While the hosts are fifth on the league table, a win on Thursday is must to keep their Champions League dreams alive.
Elsewhere, Sampdoria currently occupy the 16th spot on the Serie A standings and are embroiled in a dogged race to avoid relegation. Every point counts from here onwards, and the visitors need to get their act together before it’s too late.