EIGHT Serie A matches will be on your screens this weekend, with the highlight arguably being Roma's clash with Juventus as the Old Lady hunt down a top-six spot, while the Giallorossi have their sights set on Champions League qualification.

Reigning champions Milan travel to Stadio Artemio Franchi looking to strengthen their position in the top four against Fiorentina and the Rossoneri's city rivals Inter host Lecce. 

For the lowdown on all the main storylines, plus how you can watch this weekend's Serie A games on BT Sport, read on. 


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Time for Mourinho's laundry basket?

Jose Mourinho once recounted how, during his first spell in charge of Chelsea, he got round a two-match touchline ban by arriving at the Stamford Bridge home dressing room very early for a big Champions League clash and delivering his pre-match team talk before being smuggled away from the scene of the crime in a laundry basket. 

Having been handed another two-game ban after picking up a red card at Cremonese, the Portuguese will need to display similar degrees of devilment to deceive the authorities. 

Monday night's embarrassing 2-1 loss to a team that hadn't won a league game all season is undoubtedly one of the low points of Mourinho's tenure so far, with the 60-year-old watching almost the entire second half from the stands following a spat with fourth official Marco Serra.

Mourinho has said that he will seek legal action, claiming that he was provoked by Serra, but whatever the correct version of events is, the Giallorossi will have to navigate the 90 minutes on Sunday without their head coach, against a team who are really building up a head of steam in their pursuit of a top-six finish.

Juventus showed impressive resilience to see off rivals Torino 4-2 in their most recent outing, twice coming from a goal down as Paul Pogba made his long-awaited second debut having rejoined the Italian giants last summer.

Massimiliano Allegri will be pleased that four different players got on their scoresheet – including the increasingly prolific Adrien Rabiot – but he will be concerned that his men looked so susceptible to balls into the box, a defect that led to both Torino strikes, while Karol Linetty also rattled Wojciech Szczesny's bar in a pulsating encounter.

Allegri's side will go up against a familiar face this weekend in the form of Paulo Dybala, who moved to Stadio Olimpico last year following seven largely successful years at Juventus.

The Argentina international has already demonstrated his devastating link-up and eye for the spectacular on many occasions in his new colours and will be hoping to be on the right side of this match-up again this season, having scored an early equaliser in last term's corresponding fixture as Juve came from 3-1 down to stun the capital club and take home the three points.

The Bianconeri are now just six points off the European places after the blow of that 15-point deduction, winning their last four league games to put serious pressure on Atalanta.

Roma meanwhile are just a point off the top four and will crucially have Chris Smalling back in defence after his suspension at Cremonese due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

At the other end of the pitch, Tammy Abraham will be looking to make it three goals in as many games against Juve following his equaliser in the reverse fixture at the Allianz Stadium. You won’t want to miss this.

Paul Pogba smiles during Juventus' win over Torino
Paul Pogba made a winning return in Juventus colours after a torrid time with injury following his summer arrival

Spezia's task is far from Semplici

While there are big games at the top of the table, arguably the biggest Matchday 25 clash concerns two teams at the wrong end. 

Spezia, in 17th, host 18th-placed Hellas Verona with a three-point cushion over their relegation rivals. 

The fortunes of new Little Eagles boss Lorenzo Semplici for the rest of the campaign will hinge somewhat on the availability of top scorer M'Bala Nzola, who made his first start in more than a month following injury, scoring twice in Semplici's first match in charge, a 2-2 draw at Udinese. 

The Angolan's opener on just six minutes was a superb piece of individual work as he poked the ball past a defender before rounding former Leeds goalkeeper Marco Silvestri and slotting home under pressure from ex-Watford left-back Adam Masina, while his 72nd-minute equaliser was a confident sidefooted finish to round off a rapid counter-attack. 

Nzola is the only player in Europe's top-five leagues to have netted more than half his side's goals, so Semplici will be praying that the 26-year-old remains fit and firing (and that his defence - currently the third-worst in the division - can tighten up). 

The good news for Spezia is that Semplici has form in keeping teams afloat in Serie A - most recently with Cagliari - and the Liguria outfit are currently above the dreaded dotted line. 

However, defeat to Verona would see them drop into the bottom three.

Marco Zaffaroni's men suffered a dispiriting 3-0 loss at home to Fiorentina on Monday, making it back-to-back defeats for the Gialloblu after a positive run of form that had seen them pick up 12 points from a possible 21 to breathe life into their survival bid. 

Verona also have unpleasant memories of the reverse fixture as Spezia came from a goal down to win at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi thanks to a brace from that man Nzola. 

Can Zaffaroni galvanise his side for the first of 14 pivotal games to decide their Serie A fate? Find out on Sunday afternoon. 

Leonardo Semplici
New Spezia boss Lorenzo Semplici can draw on past experience keeping SPAL and Cagliari in Serie A

Inter aim to respond to Bologna shock

In a season that has been characterised by inconsistency among the country's powerhouses, Inter's 1-0 loss at Bologna was the latest example. 

Granted, Thiago Motta's men are in strong form and even have an outside chance of gatecrashing the top six, but the Nerazzurri didn't muster many clear-cut opportunities at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, and when they did, their finishing was found wanting. 

Romelu Lukaku will be one of those who will look back on last weekend's contest with a feeling of what might have been, with the Belgian taken off for Edin Dzeko midway through the second half. 

However, Lukaku will have fond memories of facing upcoming opponents Lecce after the striker scored inside two minutes on his return to Inter against them. 

Denzel Dumfries bagged a priceless 95th-minute winner that day, but both he and Nicolo Barella are a booking away from incurring a one-match suspension, while Lecce have four players walking that same disciplinary tightrope with centre-back Federico Baschirotto banned for the trip to San Siro.

Simone Inzaghi will hope to have Milan Skriniar and Federico Dimarco back for selection after they missed the Bologna defeat, with Lecce head coach Marco Baroni likely to take inspiration from that encounter, not least the slack marking that allowed Riccardo Orsolini to drift into space and volley in sumptuously for the winner. 

That said, Lecce also lost 1-0 last time out - at home to Sassuolo - and have only ever won once at Inter, all the way back in November 2000. Can that tally of victories be doubled on Sunday evening?

Romelu Lukaku during Inter's game at Bologna
Romelu Lukaku and Inter didn't have their shooting boots on at Bologna as they slipped to defeat

Can Milan keep up positive momentum?

Their finishing may still need a bit of work, but Milan's 2-0 victory over Atalanta made it three league wins on the bounce after a dire start to 2023.

Theo Hernandez's thumping volley broke the deadlock - via a post and visiting goalkeeper Juan Musso's back - before Junior Messias produced a cute dink to round off the win.

Incredibly, that goal was the first time that Messias has netted in back-to-back league games for the Rossoneri since joining in the summer of 2021, but his renewed confidence is invaluable for Stefano Pioli, who has struggled to get the attack purring this campaign. 

The returns of both Mike Maignan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic from injury against Atalanta were also huge pluses, while Davide Calabria, Alessandro Florenzi and Ismael Bennacer could all make the squad for Saturday's night trip to Fiorentina, leaving no bodies on the treatment table.

While Pioli may have half an eye on Wednesday's Champions League last-16 second leg at Tottenham, the visit to Stadio Artemio Franchi still holds great significance given that the reigning champions are only three points ahead of fifth-placed Roma in the battle to dine at European football's top table next season. 

Fiorentina eased past Hellas Verona on Monday, with Arthur Cabral neatly guiding in his fifth goal in four games in all competitions, while Antonin Barak opened the scoring with just his second league strike of the campaign - and against the club he left permanently in January. 

However, the highlight of the night was Cristiano Biraghi sensational free-kick from just inside his own half that completely outfoxed Verona goalkeeper Lorenzo Montipo, leaving everyone at Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi stunned.

Interestingly, Barak's other Serie A goal this campaign in the reverse fixture came at Milan in a match that saw Rafael Leao open the scoring and Nikola Milenkovic put through his own net on 92 minutes to hand the hosts the win. 

Leao is currently on an eight-match scoring drought. Can he end that barren spell in Tuscany?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic gestures during Milan's win over Atalanta
Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally made his first appearance of the season last weekend following a debilitating knee injury

Your Serie A weekend on BT Sport


Atalanta vs Udinese (5.15pm on BT Sport 3)

Fiorentina vs Milan (7.30pm on BT Sport 1)


Spezia vs Hellas Verona (11.30am on BT Sport 1)

Sampdoria vs Salernitana (2pm on BT Sport 2)

Inter vs Lecce (5pm on BT Sport 2)

Roma vs Juventus (7.45pm on BT Sport 1)


Sassuolo vs Cremonese (5.30pm on BT Sport 1)

Torino vs Bologna (7.30pm on BT Sport 1)