Pato revels in career highlight
It is no surprise that AC Milan's fortunes have changed along with those of Alexandre Pato. Without a goal since the opening week of the Serie A campaign against Siena, the Brazilian forward has hit the back of the net three times in the past two matches, including twice in I Rossoneri's 3-2 triumph at Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
Former coach Carlo Ancelotti predicted a week ago that Pato would soon deliver, and the player has wasted no time in proving him right. The result has been significant for Milan, because they have suddenly gone from a struggling outfit under novice coach Leonardo to a side which suddenly looks capable of challenging for titles in both Italy and Europe.
Milan will be looking for Pato to score again this weekend when they go up against Chievo in Verona, and he will certainly be fired up after stealing most of the headlines with his dynamic performance at the Bernabeu. "It was the most beautiful night of my career as a player," said the 20-year-old.
"It has been a great victory and we have collected three important points. Milan have proved they are returning to their level and I'm delighted because I play in a great team."
Troubles for Inter, Juve
If the mood is suddenly positive in the Rossoneri camp, that is not the case at rivals Inter Milan, who continue to struggle in Europe. Jose Mourinho's side failed to win for a third successive time in the Champions League when they drew 2-2 against Dinamo Kiev.
Inter have won four consecutive Serie A titles and went into their European game on the back of a 5-0 thrashing of Genoa. I Nerazzurri host Catania on Saturday looking to increase their two-point advantage at the top of the standings.
Meanwhile, Juventus go into their match at Siena having claimed their first triumph, a 1-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa, in the Champions League this season. However, I Bianconeri, who are four points behind Inter, have not won on the domestic front since beating Livorno 2-0 on 19 September.
Fiorentina host Napoli looking to maintain their good form after holding Juve to a 1-1 draw, before edging Debrecen 4-3 in the Champions League. Second-placed Sampdoria must overcome the absence of top scorer Giampaolo Pazzini (fractured nose) when they square off against Bologna.
Genoa will expect to bounce back from their humiliating defeat to Inter when they travel to Cagliari, and Lazio will be desperate to end their winless run at Bari. I Biancoceleste have failed to win in Serie A since beating Chievo 2-1 in Verona on 30 August.
Atalanta host Parma in search of their first home triumph this season, while Udinese want to avoid their third straight defeat when they take on Palermo in Sicily.
Serse Cosmi will face a stern test on his debut as coach of Livorno when his side take on Roma at the Stadio Olimpico. Livorno are bottom of the standings and have yet to claim a win after eight games.