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Serie A Matchday 30 Preview


After the last international break before the start of the World Cup in Russia, Serie A teams prepare themselves to go back on the pitch in the 30th fixture of this season, right before Easter. The highlight of the matchday will definitely be the one of the biggest clashes in Italian football: Juventus-Milan. Despite a goalless draw against SPAL two weeks ago, the Bianconeri are still the leader in the standings with 75 points, with Napoli trailing them from short distance at 73 points. In the Champions League-zone, Roma (59 points) managed to widen the gap between them and the other contenders Inter and Lazio (55 pts with one game in hand and 54 pts respectively), as the Giallorossi prepare to face Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals. Just behind them, Milan (50 points with one game in hand) are slowly but surely climbing up the table and their claim at a Champions League spot gets stronger by the matchday. At the bottom of the table the battle for safety is more open than ever, as Verona, Crotone, SPAL, Chievo and Sassuolo are packed up in the space of just five points.

Here are all the matches of Serie A matchday 30:

Saturday, March 31st (time GMT +1)

12:30

Bologna – Roma

15:00

Lazio – Benevento

Cagliari – Torino

Inter – Hellas Verona

Fiorentina – Crotone

Genoa – SPAL

18:00

Sassuolo – Napoli

Chievo Verona – Sampdoria

20:45

Juventus – Milan

GAMES TO WATCH

Inter – Hellas Verona

After the trashing 5-0 win at the Marassi against Sampdoria, Inter seem to have bounced back after a rough start to the year. The Nerazzurri, still running for a Champions League spot, will face a very motivated Hellas Verona side, as the Gialloblu can still reach safety despite some very mixed results so far. Spalletti’s team will once again be captained by their star striker Icardi, who is looking to reach Immobile in the race for the Serie A top goalscorer after the poker against Sampdoria and who is fully rested as he wasn’t called-up for international duty with Argentina.

PROBABLE FORMATIONS

INTER (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; Cancelo, Miranda, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio; Brozovic, Gagliardini; Candreva, Rafinha, Perisic; Icardi.

HELLAS VERONA (4-4-2): Nicolas; Ferrari, Vukovic, Caracciolo, Fares; Romulo, Calvano, Valoti, Verde; Petkovic, Matos.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Inter – Joao Cancelo

After a shaky initial period of adjustment, the Portuguese right-back has finally begun to show his qualities, becoming a fundamental player for Spalletti with his assists, skills and precise crosses. If he continues like this, he could definitely be worth the €35 million that Inter should pay to Valencia to buy him permanently.

Hellas Verona – Romulo

Verona’s captain Romulo has been one of the few players to consistently perform on good standards. He played in almost every position on the pitch this season, running constantly and being the soul of the team. It won’t be easy for him at the San Siro, but one thing it’s for sure: he won’t give up under any circumstances.

PREDICTION

Inter 2 – 0 Hellas Verona

Spalletti’s side seem to have found the right path again also thanks to the return on good standards of many key players like Perisic, Brozovic and Icardi. The Nerazzurri have also regained some sort of solidity at the back, as they have kept a clean sheet in their last three games. Both teams are extremely motivated, and it won’t be an easy test for the Inter, but they have the quality to defeat Verona and continue their chase for a Champions League spot.

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Sassuolo – Napoli

Raul Albiol’s goal from two weeks ago against Genoa could be remembered as one of the most important goals of Napoli’s season if the Azzurri eventually managed to win the Scudetto at the end of this campaign. After two games without a win against Roma and Inter, the three points against Genoa, following Juventus’s draw against SPAL, reignited Sarri’s hope of finally winning the league, after a 28-year long abstinence. On the other hand, Sassuolo find themselves in the struggle for staying in the top flight: an unpredictable situation at the start of the season looking at their squad.

PROBABLE FORMATIONS

NAPOLI (4-3-3): Reina; Hysaj, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mario Rui; Allan, Jorginho, Zielinski; Callejon, Mertens, Insigne.

SASSUOLO (4-3-3): Consigli; Lirola, Acerbi, Goldaniga, Peluso; Missiroli, Magnanelli, Duncan; Politano, Babacar, Berardi.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Sassuolo – Matteo Politano

After that his rumoured move to Napoli in the winter transfer window fell through, Sassuolo’s winger Matteo Politano will want to show why the Azzurri wanted to get him so badly. Berardi’s nosedive in performances this season made him become the technical leader of the Neroverdi, the one player that can be decisive for them in the safety battle.

Napoli – Lorenzo Insigne

The “scugnizzo” is one of the most in-form players in Napoli side at the moment. Returning from international duty with Italy, during which he also scored the late penalty to rescue a draw for the Azzurri against England, Insigne could show that he has the maturity to be the leader that Napoli need right now to keep pace with Juventus.

PREDICTION

Sassuolo 1 – 3 Napoli

Sassuolo have a lot to fight for in this game, as they still have a long way to go to avoid relegation, but Napoli’s chance is too big for them to miss it. Their rivals for the Scudetto will in fact play a difficult match against Milan and this could be a great opportunity to get closer to them before the Juventus-Napoli game. Despite a minor dip in form in the last few games, Sarri’s band have enough in them to get the upper hand in this delicate clash.

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Juventus – Milan

The biggest game of the matchday will take place at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, as Juventus and Milan will face each other to keep their runs for their respective goals alive. On the one hand there’s Juventus, that after the 0-0 draw against SPAL can’t afford to lose more points with Napoli breathing behind their neck. On the other hand, the Rossoneri are enjoying an exciting comeback to rescue 4th place and Champions League qualification. It will be also interesting to see how the Bianconeri fans will welcome their former idol Bonucci, in his first game against his ex-team.

PROBABLE FORMATIONS

JUVENTUS (4-3-2-1): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Asamoah; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Dybala, Higuain.

MILAN (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Romagnoli, Bonucci, Rodriguez; Kessié, Bonaventura, Biglia; Suso, Calhanoglu, Andrè Silva.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Juventus – Giorgio Chiellini

These are the kind of games that 33-year old defender loves the most. Chiellini thrives in tense and tough matches, he is always there when there’s a battle to be fought. This time won’t be any different, as he will surely offer a solid and pugnacious performance against the lively Milan attackers.

Milan – André Silva

Just when he looked like one of the biggest flops of this Serie A campaign, the Portuguese striker pulled the rabbit out of the hat scoring two late and vital winners against Genoa and Chievo. This game will be a real test for the ex-Porto, as he will face arguably the most experienced and solid defence in Italy. It will be interesting to see if he will be up to the challenge.

PREDICTION

Juventus 1 – 1 Milan

Who would have thought that this could be an even match after Milan’s poor start to the season? Yet this is the case, as the Rossoneri have collected 2 points more than Allegri’s side in the last five matches and they have completely turned it around under Gattuso. It’s difficult to make a prediction: all things considered the most logic result would be a draw, but games like these very rarely follow some kind of logic, so anything can happen.