AC Milan, leader jostled after the slap against Atalanta (0-3) then the hot derby lost against Inter Milan (1-2) in the Italian Cup, will try to regain its serenity in Bologna during the 20th day of Serie A.
The latter begins Friday with Torino-Fiorentina, two of the big disappointments of the first half of the season in Italy.
Franck Ribéry's Viola has been doing a little better for a few weeks (12th) but must do better away from its bases (only 19th in the standings for away matches) to return to the Top 10. In Torino, the new coach Davide Nicola, who arrived on January 19, will try to sign his first victory after a draw (2-2) at Benevento.
At the top of the standings, the mano a mano between the leader AC Milan and his runner-up Inter (two points) resumed at a distance on Saturday, four days after the hot derby in the Italian Cup.
The Nerazzurri snatched the qualification (2-1) for the semi-finals after a match marked by tense face to face - and insults - between Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, then the exclusion of the Swede.
"Ibra" and his teammates must regain their serenity after their two consecutive losses.
The Swede, who will only serve his suspension in an upcoming Italian Cup match, will have the opportunity to be forgiven.
Mario Mandzukic, who felt a little pain after his debut against Atalanta, is still uncertain about the trip to Bologna (13th).
This is also the case for two players who are missing a lot in the middle at the moment, Hakan Calhanoglu (coronavirus) and Ismael Bennacer (return from injury).
- "Full confidence" in Gattuso -
Inter Milan missed the opportunity last week to take the lead, failing to beat Udinese (0-0).
No question this time of missing a possible new Rossonero misstep for the Nerazzurri, who welcome Benevento (11th).
Antonio Conte's team could not count on the transfer window to strengthen, due to the sobriety demanded by the Chinese owner Suning, in serious financial difficulties.
But the derby against Milan brought back in the saddle a player who was thought to be already gone, Christian Eriksen, hero of the evening with his delicious decisive free kick in added time.
The indoor coach even hinted that the Dane could eventually stay.
Juventus (4th), returned only seven lengths from the top (potentially four with its late match against Naples), is expected Saturday in Genoa against a Sampdoria (10th) still difficult to handle.
Paolo Dybala is still out but coach Andrea Pirlo has found some certainty in the midfield with Rodrigo Bentancur and Weston McKennie.
Even if "we still have to progress, especially in the phases of possession", pleaded the coach.
Sunday, Naples (6th) will have to avoid another misstep against relegation Parma (19th), a week after the defeat at Hellas Verona (1-3).
Faced with rumors of threats to the post of Gennaro Gattuso, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis, however, confirmed Wednesday his "full confidence" in his coach.
To follow also the revenge between Atalanta and Lazio Rome, again in Bergamo, four days after the intense quarter-final of the Italian Cup won by the Bergamasques (3-2).
The program for the 20th day:
(8:45 p.m.) Torino - Fiorentina
(3:00 p.m.) Bologna - AC Milan
(6:00 p.m.) Sampdoria Genoa - Juventus Turin
(8:45 p.m.) Inter Milan - Benevento
(12:30 p.m.) Spezia - Udinese
(3:00 p.m.) Cagliari - Sassuolo
Crotone - Genoa
Atalanta Bergamo - Lazio Rome
(6:00 p.m.) Naples - Parma
(8:45 p.m.) AS Rome - Hellas Verona
© 2021 AFP