Europa progress boosts Juve

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A leaders as Juventus look to build on their lead at the top of the table.

Last Updated: 11/04/14 at 10:36 Post Comment

Juventus: On a high heading into Monday's match

Juventus: On a high heading into Monday's match

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Serie A leaders Juventus are in celebratory mood heading into Monday's league game at Udinese.

Juve claimed a 2-1 home victory over Lyon on Thursday to progress 3-1 on aggregate to the Europa League semi-finals.

Not since 2003 had Juve reached the last four of a European competition.

"We are proud to be the only Italian side to represent our nation in European competition," coach Antonio Conte told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"After more than 10 years, we return to a European semi-final and this gives us a lot of joy.

"We deserved to go through.

"The level of the teams left in the competition - Valencia, Sevilla and Benfica - is higher and it will be fantastic to reach the final, which will be played in our stadium."

Conte's men must now turn their attention back to the domestic front.

Juve head into the clash at the Friuli stadium with an eight-point advantage over Roma with six games remaining.

Roma are showing no signs of slowing down and host Atalanta on the back of four-straight wins.

The Giallorossi must overcome the absence of their leading scorer Mattia Destro, who serves his first of a four-match ban on Saturday.

Third-place Napoli will be looking to make amends for their 1-0 defeat at Parma last time out when they host European hopefuls Lazio.

That reverse dropped Napoli 12 points adrift of Roma.

Fiorentina are fourth and welcome back defender Stefan Savic and midfielder Borja Valero from suspension for Sunday's match at Hellas Verona.

Inter Milan will be under pressure to end their four-match winless run at Sampdoria if they are to hold on to fifth spot and the last European qualifying place.

The Nerazzurri were held to a 2-2 draw by Bologna last weekend to allow Parma to go level with them on 50 points.

Parma make the trip to Bologna without injured star striker Antonio Cassano.

Bottom-side Catania face AC Milan at the San Siro on the back of five-straight defeats and needing a win to revive their hopes of avoiding the drop.

The Sicilians, who sacked Rolando Maran and appointed Mauricio Pellegrino as his replacement on Monday, are seven points adrift of safety.

Cagliari also made a coaching change this week with former boss Ivo Pulga returning to the club following Diego Lopez's dismissal.

The Sardinian outfit has lost four of its last five games to drop to 15th place and take on relegation-threatened Sassuolo on Saturday.

Genoa have collected 39 points in 32 games and a triumph at Torino would ensure them Serie A football next season.

Victory over Chievo on Sunday would see third-bottom Livorno climb out of the relegation zone.

The Tuscan outfit trail two points behind 16th-place Chievo.


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