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AS Roma head to Udinese in search of record win

Associated Press
Oct 25, 2013 at 01:14pm IST

Milan: Roma head to Udinese in search of a record-breaking ninth victory, while Juventus hope to kick-start their season against Genoa. Napoli host Torino on Sunday, looking to bounce back after their first defeat of the season. Here's what to look forward to this weekend in Italy:

RECORD-SETTING ROMA?

Roma are looking to become the first Serie A team to win its first nine matches of the season when it visits Udinese on Sunday. Last week's 2-0 win over Napoli saw them match the longest winning streak at the start of an Italian season, set by Juventus in 1930-31 and matched by the Bianconeri in 1985-86. Juventus won nine straight to start 2005-06, but their title was stripped in the "calciopoli" match-fixing scandal. Roma have scored 22 goals this season, conceding just once.

AS Roma head to Udinese in search of record win

AS Roma team-mates celebrating after scoring a goal against Napoli in a Serie A match. (Reuters)

DEFENSIVE WOES FOR JUVE

Juventus' title-winning campaigns of the past two seasons have been built on a solid defence, and both years they let in the least goals in Serie A. However, this season there have been signs of problems at the back and last weekend they let slip a two-goal lead to lose 4-2 against Fiorentina - their first defeat of the campaign. It is the first time since 1992-93 that Juventus have let in 10 goals in the opening eight matches. Antonio Conte's team hosts Genoa on Sunday.

KAKATASTIC

Kaka shone for AC Milan in their 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Champions League on Tuesday. The Brazilian looked like a player reborn as he showed flashes of his old form after a disappointing few seasons at Real Madrid. The performance was all the more impressive as Kaka is not yet fully fit after recently returning from injury. The 31-year-old, who had only played 83 minutes for Milan, lasted 70 minutes before going off to a standing ovation. Kaka is again likely to start at Parma, with forwards Stephan El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini still out injured.

DIVIDED LOYALTIES

It will be a special match for Hellas Verona coach Andrea Mandorlini this weekend as he takes his team to Inter Milan, the club he supports and played at for seven years. Mandorlini brought Verona up to the top flight for the first time in 11 years and the team has enjoyed an impressive start, to sit fourth after the opening eight matches.

"I have never hidden my passion: as a young boy I supported Inter, then I played for them, I won the scudetto with a record number of points," Mandorlini said. "This will never be a normal match for me, going into San Siro always gives me a special emotion. I would sign up now for a draw. That way everyone would me happy, Verona and me."

CATANIA COACH

Despite guiding Catania to their best Serie A finish of eighth last season, coach Rolando Maran has paid the price for the club's poor start to this campaign, which has seen them win just one of their opening eight matches. Luigi De Canio was brought in to help Catania claw their way away from the relegation zone. His first match in charge will be at home to fellow struggler Sassuolo, who will be boosted by picking up their first ever Serie A victory.

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