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Serie A: Week 5 Predictions

ROME, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 22: Francesco Totti of AS Roma in action during the Serie A match between AS Roma and AC Siena at Stadio Olimpico on September 22, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
James RiggioContributor ISeptember 30, 2011

Week 5 of the Serie A season brings us some heavyweight matchups, as Inter Milan hosts red hot Napoli and Juventus hosts AC Milan.

 

Atalanta at AS Roma

Atalanta began the season with a six-point penalty due to its role in a betting scandal. That penalty has quickly evaporated as the club already has four points on the plus side.

Atalanta does have a solid midfield with Luca Cigarini and former Roma man Matteo Brighi in the middle of the pitch.

Roma is still trying to find an identity, as the club has made many changes in the summer—its first under new owner Thomas DiBenedetto.

Roma goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg returns after being injured several weeks back after a collision with Inter’s Lúcio.

Prediction: Roma 2-1.

 

Napoli at Inter

Napoli is playing very well right now. However, Edinson Cavani is expected to miss the match after picking up a minor ankle injury during the Champions League.

NAPLES, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 18:  Ezequiel Lavezzi of Napoli in action during the Serie A match between SSC Napoli and AC Milan at Stadio San Paolo on September 18, 2011 in Naples, Italy.  (Photo by Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images)
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images

 

Inter may miss Giampaolo Pazzini for the same reason Napoli will be without Cavani.

Inter is a little banged up as Wesley Sneijder is also out.

Prediction: 2-2 tie

 

Chievo at Cesena

Cesena made some moves to upgrade the roster over the summer. So far, it hasn’t worked out, as the club is pointless after four matches. Unless it can make a miraculous turnaround, like Udinese did last season when it was dead last in the standings after five weeks, it could be a long season.

Chievo is simply same-old Chievo. It still gives opponents trouble week in, week out. Sergio Pellissier is expected to be back after recently missing time due to injury. American Michael Bradley seems to fit in perfectly with this club and is expected to start in the midfield.

Prediction: Chievo 1-0

 

Lazio at Fiorentina

FLORENCE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 21:  Sergio Floccari of Parma FC competes for the ball with Riccardo Montolivo of ACF Fiorentina during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and Parma FC at Stadio Artemio Franchi on September 21, 2011 in Florence, Italy.
Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

 

Fiorentina has actually done better than one would expect, given that Alberto Gilardino is out with an injury, Juan Manuel Vargas hasn’t played every match and Riccardo Montolivo is still butting heads with the clubs.

Lazio is a veteran group that is playing well with Djibril Cisse and Miroslav Klose in the attack.

Prediction: 2-2 tie

 

AC Milan at Juventus

What we have here is a Juventus side that is at home and not as banged up as AC Milan.

This will be Andrea Pirlo’s first official match against his former club, and Alberto Aquilani, who spent last season with Juventus, will be doing the same.

AC Milan is starting to get healthier and Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to start.

This is a match that could go either way. Juventus is expected to start eight Italians and AC Milan is expected to start seven.

Prediction: 2-2 tie

CATANIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Andrea Pirlo of Juventus in action during the Serie A match between Catania Calcio and Juventus FC at Stadio Angelo Massimino on September 25, 2011 in Catania, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

 

Cagliari at Lecce

 

Cagliari’s Daniele Conti will never achieve the status of his famous father, Bruno Conti. But the veteran midfielder has played very well to start the season, which has ignited Cagliari.

Although Cagliari appears to be in better shape, Lecce is at home, which is definitely to their advantage.

Prediction: Cagliari 2-1

 

Catania at Novara

Novara stunned Inter a few weeks back with a 3-1 shocker. Then again, that was not the Inter we all know.

Now Catania comes in to face the newly-promoted side. This match is a big one for both sides: Each team needs to grab points early, in order to have them near the season’s end and avoid relegation.

Prediction: Catania 2-1

 

Siena at Palermo

Palermo is actually doing quite well under new coach Devis Mangia. Not much was expected after owner Maurizio Zamparini sold the better half of his starting lineup over the summer.

Playing in Palermo is never easy for any opponent, so Siena’s Emmanuele Calaio and Gaetano D’Agostino will certainly be looking to play well in front of their home crowd.

Prediction: Tie 1-1

 

 

Genoa at Parma

Parma has struggled to begin the season and should see this is as a great opportunity to turn things around. Sebastian Giovinco has been awesome and perhaps he can help get Parma back on track. Genoa is without Giandomenico Mesto and Dario Dainelli on defense, which should help Parma out even more.

Rodrigo Palacio has four goals thus far for Genoa, which currently leads Serie A.

Prediction: Tie 2-2

 

Bologna at Udinese

Antonio Di Natale is once again playing very well and should give Bologna trouble. Bologna’s Federico Agliardi takes over the gloves in goal for Jean-Francois Gillet, who has a separated shoulder.

Look for Udinese to gain the three points.

Prediction: Udinese 2-0

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