MILAN NEEDS MORE OF SOME OF IBRA
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored on his first start to his second spell with AC Milan last week when Rossoneri took a 2-0 win over Cagliari.
The former LA Galaxy man scored his 57th goal in Milan, seven years and eight months after his 56th; shoot Theo Hernandez’s cross in the bottom corner.
The result marked a first win in four league games for Stefano Pioli’s men, and the Milan boss has praised the 38-year-old’s ‘really important’ impact on a youthful squad.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates after scoring the first goal of his second spell with AC Milan
The San Siro club has been active on the transfer market this week and has loaned Bournemouth goalkeeper Asmir Begovic while Pepe Reina joined Aston Villa until the end of the season.
And it will be intriguing to see what effect fellow newcomer Simon Kjaer will have on locker room chemistry when Milan hosts Udinese on Sunday.
The defender, who has been loaned from Seville until the end of the season, may have faced an uncomfortable reunification with Ibrahimovic. The Swede grabbed Kjaer’s throat during a match for Manchester United against Fenerbahce in 2016.
Ibrahimovic and Simon Kjaer are now teammates after this incident in November 2016
Kjaer responded after the Europa League game by labeling the striker as’ an arrogant, puffing player, but the Dane has maintained this week ‘there are no problems’ between the pair.
Udinese have pulled out of the relegation zone with three consecutive wins in recent weeks.
Rodrigo De Paul scored in all three wins over Cagliari, Lecce and Sassuolo, and manager Luca Gotti needs his talisman in top shape if Udinese wants to extend their run this weekend.
CONTE CAN FOCUS AFTER THE CHELSEA COURT CASE
Inter Milan dropped points in a painful 1-1 home game with Atalanta last week after Lautaro Martinez’s opener was eliminated by Robin Gosens.
Antonio Conte’s men have faltered in recent weeks after winning just two of their last five league games, and now Nerrazzuri are two points behind Juventus.
The Inter boss may have been distracted in recent weeks by the tough legal battle with former club Chelsea, from which he will receive an additional £ 85,000 after a judge declared he was wrongly fired.
Antonio Conte can leave all distractions behind after winning a fee from Chelsea
SERIES A LUMINAIRES
Lazio vs Sampdoria (2pm)
Sassuolo vs Torino (5pm)
Napoli vs Fiorentina (7:45 pm)
AC Milan vs Udinese (11.30am)
Lecce vs Inter Milan (2pm)
Brescia vs Cagliari (2pm)
Bologna vs Verona (2pm)
Genoa vs Roma (5:00 pm)
Juventus vs Parma (7:45 pm)
Atalanta vs SPAL (7:45 pm)
All KO times are GMT
The Blues have now paid a massive £ 26.6 million to Conte since his layoff in 2018, making it the most expensive layoff in football history.
And now Conte is looking to raid the London club during the transfer window, with Inter plans for Marcos Alonso and Olivier Giroud.
Ashley Young completed his £ 1.3m move to the San Siro after declining a new contract with Manchester United, giving him a timely boost when Inter looked to inflict Lecce on their fifth straight defeat.
The Serie A wrestlers have conceded 38 goals this season – most in the division – and Romelu Lukaku will try to cash in. The Belgian scored on the opening day in the reverse game and scored 18 times in 25 appearances during this period.
In addition, Inter has the opportunity to take the top of the table with a win and put pressure on Juventus prior to their clash with Parma on Sunday evening.
KULUSEVSKI FROM TO HAUNT PARENT CLUB JUVENTUS
Juventus took a major step towards their ninth consecutive Scudetto last week when the goals of Merih Demiral and Cristiano Ronaldo the Elder Lady delivered a pivotal 2-1 win over Roma.
However, it was a frustrating weekend for Italy’s manager Roberto Mancini, who witnessed Demiral and Nicolo Zaniolo sustaining identical injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament.
While the Roma attacker underwent reconstructive surgery on Monday, it remains doubtful that both players will be fit in time to appear at Euro 2020.
Juventus defender Merih Demiral could miss Euro 2020 after an ACL injury to Roma
Juve host Parma this weekend just weeks after squeezing their best artist for free.
Maurizio Sarri’s outfit sealed the signing of £ 30 million from Atalanta midfielder Dejan Kulusevski, who flourished on a rental basis with Parma in the first half of the season.
Juve sports director Fabio Paratici approved a deal that allowed Kulusevski to join Parma until the end of the campaign and the Swede qualifies for a performance in Turin.
The 19-year-old has given four goals and seven assists in 19 appearances this season and could cause a disturbance at his parent club’s home as Parma aims for a top six finish for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Juventus’ £ 30 million signing of Dejan Kulusevski will play against them on Sunday for Parma
TITLE CONTENDERS LAZIO GOES FOR 11 IN A ROW
Lazio announced last week as true title seekers with a narrow 1-0 victory over Napoli.
Simone Inzaghi’s husband made it to a club record of 10 league wins in a row thanks to Ciro Immobile’s strike at Stadio Olimpico while the Rome-based outfit continued their trend of late goals.
The Biancocelesti had won their previous four domestic matches with last minute goals, so Immobile’s relatively early 82nd minute effort might have felt like some sort of anticlimax.
Ciro Immobile scored 20 goals in 18 appearances after his winner against Napoli
Lazio has certainly had pulses racing this season, but will aim to make things easier when they host low Sampdoria on Saturday afternoon.
Gennaro Gattuso enjoyed his first season in the heart of AC Milan midfield, the last time Lazio won the Scudetto in 1999-2000, and he was in the dugout last week when the 2020 class beat his Napoli side.
Gattuso was willing to take the blame for David Ospina’s mistake leading up to the decisive goal and pressure on the 42-year-old is mounting to get results.
The Napoli Boss has won one and lost three of his Serie A games in charge, and while a 2-0 home win over Serie B club Perugia in the Coppa Italalia was a welcome relief, Gattuso has yet to oversee a home win in the competition.
He has the chance to set the record straight when he is 14th Fiorentina trip to Stadio San Paolo on Saturday evening.
Napoli boss Gennaro Gattuso has yet to win a home league as Napoli boss