Stramaccioni begins, Juve face Napoli
All eyes will be on Andrea Stramaccioni when he makes his Serie A coaching debut with Inter Milan against Genoa on Sunday. The 36-year-old was promoted from youth team coach to guide the senior side after i Nerazzurri parted company with experienced tactician Claudio Ranieri earlier this week.
Ranieri was shown the door after last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Juventus left Inter ten points adrift of the third and last Champions League qualifying place. "Our club president has been very clear," Inter club administrator Ernesto Paolillo said.
"Stramaccioni is not just a caretaker coach. We are hoping that he can start a new young cycle at this club." Inter have won just one of their last ten league games and are eighth in the standings with nine fixtures remaining.
Serie A leaders AC Milan go into Saturday's game at Catania with their hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League semi-finals very much alive after holding defending champions Barcelona to a goalless draw on Wednesday at the San Siro. I Rossoneri travel to the Nou Camp next Tuesday for the crucial return leg.
In the meantime, Massimiliano Allegri's men will turn their focus back on the domestic front. I Rossoneri hold a four-point lead over Juventus and are riding a four-game winning streak in Serie A.
Juventus are unbeaten this season but face a stern test when they square off against Champions League hopefuls Napoli in Turin on Sunday night. Napoli are fourth in the standings and three points behind Lazio, who are third and hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.
Lazio visit Parma on Saturday without the team's top scorer Miroslav Klose through injury. Fifth-place Udinese have won just one of their last seven league games and are level on 48 points with Napoli. The Friuli outfit take on Siena in Tuscany.
Roma expect to maintain their push for a top-three finish when they welcome relegation-threatened Novara to the Stadio Olimpico. I Giallorossi are seven points behind city rivals Lazio. Palermo travel to Bologna looking for their first win on the road this season. The Sicilians have mustered five points - all from draws - in 14 games away from Palermo so far.
A win at Cagliari would all but assure Atalanta Serie A football next season. I Bergamaschi are three points away from the 40-point mark, a figure deemed sufficient to avoid the drop. Chievo have suffered a blow ahead of Sunday's game at Fiorentina with the news that striker Davide Moscardelli will be sidelined for the rest of the season. Moscardelli tore a tendon in his left thigh during last weekend's 1-1 draw against Siena and will be out of action for two months.
Lecce and Cesena will battle it out at the Via del Mare stadium with both sides desperate to claim three points to avoid relegation. Lecce are 18th, five points behind Parma, who hold the last position of safety. Cesena, meanwhile, remain at the foot of the standings, 14 points behind Parma and are winless since 15 January.