Conte asks Juve for "game of our lives"
© AFP

There are 17 places between them in Serie A but Juventus coach Antonio Conte has described Wednesday's visit of lowly Lecce as the most important match of the season.

Juve, who were stripped of the 2005 and 2006 Scudettos because of their involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, could claim their first title in nine years should they defeat Lecce and AC Milan lose to Atalanta at the San Siro.

"We know how to add up," Conte said after Sunday's 4-0 win at Novara, which maintained their three point lead over second-placed AC Milan with three matches of the season to go. "We are ahead and are masters of our own destiny."

Juventus, who finished outside the European places last season, are still unbeaten and have won their last eight matches, plundering 23 goals in the process to leapfrog Milan, against whom they have a better head-to-head record.

When people talk about Juventus there is always someone trying to put a spanner in the works.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte

With the finish line in view in his first season as coach of the Turin giants, former Bianconeri Conte bristled as he belatedly gets the recognition his record deserves.

"When people talk about Juventus there is always someone trying to put a spanner in the works," he said. "In this campaign, in which we are still unbeaten, there has always been a but. First it was the draws that were brought up, then they spoke about the lack of goals from our forwards.

"But this just gave us extra drive to succeed, which together with our day-to-day improvement as a team, is helping us achieve something extraordinary. Wednesday will be the game of our lives."

Conte is likely to keep faith with the Mirko Vucinic-Marco Borriello partnership up front with the rejuvenated former Roma forwards having scored four goals between them in the past two victories.

"Borriello's in great form and he's fitted perfectly into our system," he said. "Together with Vucinic his performance was excellent against Novara."

Lecce visit the Juventus stadium for the first time fighting for Serie A survival after suffering back-to-back home defeats against Napoli and Parma.

In the relegation battle, the Pugliese side remain a point behind fourth-from-bottom Genoa, who will be looking for a first victory in 15 matches when they entertain Cagliari.

Seven points behind Lecce, Novara, who visit Fiorentina, need to win their final three matches and hope Lecce and Genoa fail to pick up more than a point from theirs to manage an unlikely escape from the drop.

Equally intriguing is the battle for the third and final Champions League (qualifying) place for next season after Udinese's 2-0 defeat of Lazio on Sunday night left those two sides along with Napoli and Inter Milan all sharing 55 points.

Inter, who host rivals Milan and travel to Lazio in their final two games, face a tricky trip on Wednesday to resurgent Parma, who have won their last four matches.

Napoli, with arguably the easiest run-in which features a trip to Bologna and final game at the San Paolo against Siena, host Palermo on Tuesday night, while Udinese visit relegated Cesena and Lazio entertain Siena.

Serie A fixtures
Tuesday
Chievo v Roma
Napoli v Palermo

Wednesday
AC Milan v Atalanta
Catania v Bologna
Cesena v Udinese
Fiorentina v Novara
Genoa v Cagliari
Juventus v Lecce
Lazio v Siena
Parma v Inter Milan