Leaders set for crunch clash

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A, including a big game between Juventus and Roma.

Last Updated: 02/01/14 at 13:16 Post Comment   

Juventus: Take on Roma at the weekend

Juventus: Take on Roma at the weekend

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A.

Leaders Juventus host second-placed Roma as Serie A resumes following its winter break with a crunch title clash on Sunday.

The Bianconeri won nine straight Serie A matches, conceding just one goal, prior to the Christmas hiatus and will bid to continue the remarkable run at home to the Giallorossi, who are unbeaten this season.

Carlos Tevez returned to Turin to train with his team-mates on New Year's Day after being granted extended leave in his native Argentina due to personal issues, while Andrea Pirlo has recovered from a knee injury, giving Juve a full squad.

Roma, who have midfielders Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman available following suspension, have drawn five times in their last seven matches and are five points behind entering the weekend's fixtures.

The round-18 summit clash is the highlight of three Sunday fixtures, which also sees Fiorentina take on Livorno and Chievo Verona play Cagliari.

Fourth-placed Fiorentina, who beat Juve in October, could move level on points with third-placed Napoli, who play on Monday.

Mario Gomez (knee) is out for the Viola, but Gonzalo Rodriguez is fit to feature against a Livorno side who have one point from their last six games.

Chievo, who won three in a row before losses to Sampdoria and Torino, will aim to put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone against a Cagliari side unbeaten in six.

Rafael Benitez's Napoli host Sampdoria on Monday, with a difficult test in prospect.

The Sardinians are unbeaten in five since losing to Fiorentina, while Napoli have won only two of their last six. Marek Hamsik could return from his foot injury for Napoli.

Verona play at Udinese seeking a win which, for a few hours at least, would take them above Inter Milan.

Fifth-placed Inter play at Lazio on Monday evening bidding to continue the momentum from the Milan derby win, when they followed up a loss at Napoli with victory over AC Milan.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic told Sky Italia: "We need to push on from our derby victory because they were three big points for us and we want to keep going now.

"Can we hope to finish third? Sure we can hope for that - it's what we want."

AC Milan, 12 points behind city rivals Inter in 13th place, will bid to end a four-match winless run against an Atalanta side winless in five.

Massimiliano Allegri has already confirmed his departure from the San Siro at the end of a season in which the Rossoneri have struggled in mid-table.

Bottom club Catania, whose most recent win was on November 9 against Udinese play Bologna, who are five points better off than their hosts in a precarious position in 17th place.

Genoa, beaten at Bologna in their last match, face a Sassuolo side who have lost their last three, conceding six goals in the process.

Draw specialists Parma - they have drawn five of their last six games - host Torino.

Torino are aiming to extend their three-match winning run following defeats of Lazio, Udinese and Chievo.


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