Serie A preview: AC Milan aim for consecutive wins
By Football News
Milan ended their run of three successive defeats in all competitions and gave under-fire manager Massimiliano Allegri some much needed breathing space following their 1-0 triumph against Genoa.
Exciting prospect Stephan El Shaarawy continued his stellar start to the season with the only goal of the match, making him the Serie A's joint leading scorer with six goals alongside Edinson Cavani and Miroslav Klose.
The 18-time Italian champions have become dependent on El Shaarawy's exploits in front of goal, with Giampaolo Pazzini yet to score since his hat-trick for Milan on September 2 and they will be counting on him to fire against a Palermo outfit unbeaten in four league games.
Since kicking off the season in dour fashion, which saw Palermo fail to win any of their five opening fixtures, Gian Piero Gasperini's men have mounted a charge up the table, although they've been held to two successive scoreless draws.
Inter Milan will look to claim a sixth victory in succession against a freefalling Sampdoria outfit.
Rivals Milan and Fiorentina have been some of Inter's scalps in recent weeks as the club surged up the table and into third, four points adrift of reigning champions and league leaders Juventus, who play host to lowly Bologna.
And with promoted Sampdoria enduring a torrid time, having lost four league games on the bounce, a successful night at the Giuseppe Meazza is expected for Andrea Stramaccioni's team.
Napoli travels to Atalanta and they will need to improve on their finishing in the attacking third or risk surrendering second spot.
Gokhan Inler and Goran Pandev were guilty of fluffing a number of opportunities against Chievo before Marek Hamsik netted the all-important goal.
In other fixtures on Wednesday, fourth-placed Lazio will be aiming to bounce back from a 2-0 defeat at Fiorentina when they do battle with Torino, while Cagliari host basement boys Siena at the Stadio Nereo Rocco.
Roma let a two-goal lead slip at home to Udinese as they fell to a woeful 3-2 loss and they face another difficult task against Parma, with just two points separating the two sides.
Relegation candidates Pescara and Chievo do battle for the first time since 2001, when both clubs were fighting for promotion in the Serie B and Francesco Guidolin's Udinese, fresh from their stunning comeback against Roma, entertain Catania.
Meanwhile, Thursday's only match pits fifth-placed Fiorentina against Genoa.