Milan to test high-flying Genoa's credentials
04 December 2014, 20:55
Milan - Surprise title outsiders Genoa will face a test of their new-found mettle when they host Filippo Inzaghi's AC Milan in Serie A on Sunday.
At the start of the season, few would have expected Gian Piero Gasperini's team to be sharing third position with Napoli after 13 matches.
But, boosted by the six league goals scored by striker Alessandro Matri, Genoa have turned into one of the most consistent sides in Italy.
"I must admit our position in the table gives me a good feeling," said Gasperini. "We are already achieving beyond our expectations."
Genoa have not been in the top four of Serie A since 1990-91 when they were coached by Osvaldo Bagnoli who also led Hellas Verona to the title in 1985.
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Gasperini's side were knocked out of the Italian Cup by Empoli on Wednesday and that will allow them to focus their attentions on trying to qualify for next season's Champions League via their finishing position in Serie A.
Sixth-placed Milan have had a stop-start season under Inzaghi but the players are beginning to show signs of reliability under their new coach.
Sampdoria, the other club from Genoa, are one point behind their city rivals in fifth spot and will travel to Hellas Verona on Monday.
Juventus, who have a three-point advantage over AS Roma at the top of the table, visit eighth-placed Fiorentina on Friday night.
About 2,000 Juve fans are expected to travel to Florence for the match.
Roma are ready to take pounce on any mistake from the leaders and will be overwhelming favourites to dispose of Sassuolo, who are 10th, at the San Siro on Saturday.
Under-fire coach Roberto Donadoni desperately needs a victory when his bottom of the table Parma team entertain Lazio on Sunday.
Media reports are suggesting that former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo will take over from Donadoni if Parma suffer their 12th league defeat of the season.