Serie A Preview: Leaders Roma travel to Udinese
By Football News
Serie A leaders Roma face a testing tie against Udinese as they look to extend their 100 per cent league record to nine games.
Rudi Garcia's side came through arguably their toughest test of the campaign last time out, beating Napoli 2-0 at the Stadio Olimpico, and their next opponents are unlikely to prove pushovers.
While Udinese have lost three of their last five in the league, Roma have only beaten them once in their last four meetings and Sunday's hosts are unbeaten in 22 home Serie A matches.
Roma will be without Francesco Totti (hamstring) and Gervinho (quadriceps) but go into the game knowing they will remain top regardless of the result at the Stadio Friuli.
Despite their strong start to the season, Daniele de Rossi has urged caution and wants Roma to take each game as it comes.
"We can’t start dreaming at week eight," he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Boss Rudi Garcia is always giving the example of Atletico Madrid who ... won eight in a row, but won’t necessarily go on and win the Liga."
Second-place Napoli host Torino and will look to build on their UEFA Champions League victory against Marseille while also taking advantage of any further slip-up from champions Juventus.
Antonio Conte's side threw away a two-goal lead against Fiorentina on Sunday to lose their first game of the campaign but will be hopeful of a return to winning ways against Genoa, who have won just once in their last five games.
In-form Hellas Verona will look to make it four Serie A wins on the spin against Inter who, conversely, have not won in their last three league games.
Walter Mazzarri's men will need to be mindful of midfielder Jorginho, who is Verona's leading goalscorer having scored in each of their last four games.
It is almost 11 years since the sides met in a league encounter and Verona have yet to beat Inter.
At the bottom, Sassuolo have what looks like the most winnable encounter as they face Catania, while winless Bologna host Livorno, who have failed to pick up a point in their last three attempts.
Chievo have suffered an even more torrid time in recent weeks, losing their last four in a row, and face a Fiorentina side that boasts the league's top scorer in Giuseppe Rossi.
Struggling Sampdoria can move further away from the drop zone with a win over Atalanta while Milan will aim to extend their unbeaten record against Parma to seven games.
Lazio, without a win in three league matches, host Cagliari in the final game of the weekend.