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Ballardini begins Genoa tenure

Davide Ballardini will begin his second tenure as Genoa manager on Saturday, but he does so against the most difficult possible opponent, Juventus.

Ballardini took charge of Genoa on Monday after Luigi Delneri was sacked, having spent just three months at the helm.

Saturday will represent a return to the sidelines at Genoa for Ballardini, who managed the club from November 2010 to June 2011, but he faces a tall order at the home of the defending Serie A champions.

Ballardini will be charged with keeping Genoa in the top flight as he inherits a team that sits in 18th place with 17 points from 21 matches.

Genoa is three points from safety and has lost its last two league games, and things figure to only get more difficult on Saturday.

Juventus is coming off of a 4-0 thrashing of Udinese last weekend which extended the club's lead at the top of the league to five points.

Lazio hosts Chievo in Saturday's other contest with the home side sitting in third place, five points adrift of Juventus.

Napoli is level with Lazio on 43 points and the club visits a Parma side that is unbeaten in its last five fixtures, while fourth-place Inter Milan tries to snap a slump of one win in five matches against Torino, which has claimed three wins from its previous four contests.

Fiorentina has dropped to fifth place after securing only one point from its past three games and the Viola travels to Catania, sixth-place AC Milan aims to continue its climb up the table as the Rossoneri invades Atalanta, and Roma visits Bologna with the hopes of ending a recent slide of one win in five games.

Cagliari hosts Palermo in an important relegation battle with the two sides separated by four points, bottom-half sides Pescara and Sampdoria meet up and Siena hits the road to face Udinese.