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Serie A: Juventus head to Turin derby struggling to assert dominance

Saturday 5 December

17:00: Spezia v Lazio

20:00: Juventus v Torino

22:45: Internazionale v Bologna

Sunday 6 December

14:30: Hellas Verona v Cagliari

17:00: Parma v Benevento

17:00: Roma v Sassuolo

17:00: Udinese v Atalanta

20:00: Crotone v Napoli

22:45: Sampdoria v Milan

Monday 7 December

22:45: Fiorentina v Genoa

Kampala, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT | The undoubted headline clash out of Italy this weekend is the Turin derby – ‘Derby della Mole’ – between Juventus and Torino at the Allianz Stadium. Named after the Mole Antonelliana, a major landmark in the city and the architectural symbol of the Piedmontese capital, this derby is one of Serie A’s oldest and grandest rivalries.

It also takes on special significance this season as Juve are struggling to assert the usual dominance they have enjoyed in Italian football in the past decade or so, while Torino’s poor start to the season means they are currently in a relegation scrap and looking to rise away from the danger zone as soon as they can manage.

Juve’s French midfielder Adrian Rabiot is a growing influence on the Bianconeri under manager Andrea Pirlo, who believes the 25-year-old is a “complete player” but still has room to become even better.

“I have rarely seen someone so strong both physically and technically,” Pirlo explained. “He doesn’t even know the potential for improvement he can have, and we work on the mental side of things to make him understand that he is a champion. He is improving game after game.”

Elsewhere in Italy this weekend, the clash of Roma and Sassuolo in the ‘Eternal City’ promises to be one for football purists to enjoy, with Giallorossi manager Paulo Fonseca emphasising the confidence his side is enjoying after a strong run of form, while also insisting that his future with the club (his contract expires at the end of the season) will be sorted out in due course.

“I am not concerned, as I am concentrated only on the matches. I am satisfied because the team is playing well and the important thing is that Roma win and repeat this kind of performance,” said the Portuguese.

The round of matches also sees Internazionale at home to Bologna, in-form Milan have a tricky trip to Sampdoria, Lazio will fancy themselves to beat Spezia away, and Atalanta will face Udinese at the Dacia Arena.

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