Serie A Table 2013 Week 9: Updated Standings and Predictions for Matchday 9
Two Serie A powerhouses faced off over the weekend when AS Roma played Napoli, and it ended with the league-leading Roma squad pulling out a 2-0 victory to further extend their lead over the second-place club.
But that was only the beginning of the action from Week 8. AC Milan was able to pull out 1-0 victory over Udinese as they aim to get back to the top of the table after starting out slow.
Meanwhile, Juventus' 4-2 loss at the hands of Fiorentina has them tied for the second-most points, but Napoli is second on goal differential. Inter pulled out a 3-3 tie against Torino, but will be without Samir Handanovic, who got a red card early in the match.
Let's take a look at how all of the action impacted the Serie A table and break down Matchday 9's biggest upcoming showdowns.
Notable Matchday 9 Matches
Udinese vs. AS Roma
Eight matches and eight wins for Roma as they extended their lead in Serie A to five points after Matchday 8 with a huge win over Napoli.
Things get just a tad easier in the upcoming weekend, though they'll go on the road to face a formidable Udinese squad.
The opposition have just 10 points in eight matches but boast one of the most dangerous players in Italian football, Antonio Di Natale, who has already netted three scores on the league campaign.
Besides Di Natale, playmaking on offense has been hard to come by for Udinese. Meanwhile, Roma is already out to a gaudy plus-21 goal differential.
Udinese will keep this close at home, but the gaping differences in offensive efficiency for each squad will turn into another Roma victory.
Prediction: Roma 3, Udinese 2
Napoli vs. Torino
Reeling off of a disappointing loss to the league-leading Roma squad over the past weekend, Napoli will look to turn things around against Torino on Sunday.
Napoli catches Torino at a fortunate time. The second-place club plays at home, and their opponent has notched just one point in their last three appearances and are sliding down the table after a positive start.
Although they've struggled, Torino seems to score goals at will behind the play of Alessio Cerci, who has six goals in just eight matches.
But Napoli boast offensive firepower and then some. The addition of Gonzalo Higuain has paid off (three goals), but the story of the season has been the stellar play of Marek Hamsik (five goals) and Jose Callejon (four goals).
As long as they keep rolling, Napoli will win just about every match they play.
Prediction: Napoli 3, Torino 1
Juventus vs. Genoa
Coming off a league championship, Juventus are poised to halt Roma's running away with Serie A and desperately need to get back to their winning ways after last weekend's loss.
Will Juventus defend their title?
The club may receive some understandable distraction during the week, facing Real Madrid in a Champions League tilt on Wednesday before facing Genoa at home on Sunday.
But don't expect any less from the defending champs, as the shocking loss to Fiorentina last weekend will be all the motivation they need to get ready for this all-important match.
Meanwhile, the opposing side in Genoa are looking to build off of a 2-1 win over Chievo and turn around what has been a less-than-stellar start to the 2013-14 league campaign.
Carlos Tevez and Arturo Vidal have lifted the Juventus offense during the league slate, and that will continue against a side that struggles to score goals themselves.
Prediction: Juventus 3, Genoa 0
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