Milan look for reply, Napoli wait in wings
AC Milan will attempt to overcome the midweek disappointment of their UEFA Champions League defeat to Tottenham on Sunday when they face Chievo. The Rossoneri go into the encounter on the back of a 1-0 home loss to Spurs in the opening leg of their Champions League last-16 match.
But coach Massimiliano Allegri is convinced his players will fight back in the return game on 9 March. "It's not over," he said."The qualification is still open. It would have been easier to travel to London having a different score. My team displayed a good performance and I am confident that it can go to White Hart Lane and do well."
In the meantime, Milan must prepare for a challenging schedule at home which has them hosting Napoli and visiting Juventus after the clash with Chievo. A defeat at Chievo could see in-form Napoli join Milan at the top of the standings. Napoli host Catania on the back of a 2-0 triumph at Roma which kept Walter Mazzarri's side in second place, three points behind the league leaders.
Inter Milan go into Saturday's match against Cagliari with one eye on next week's Champions League game against Bayern Munich. Leonardo's men leapfrogged Lazio into third after their 2-1 triumph at Fiorentina in midweek, cutting the gap on city rivals AC Milan to five points. Lazio host bottom-side Bari knowing that anything but a win could see them fall from the top four. The Biancoceleste hold the last Champions League qualifying spot and are two points clear of Udinese.
Udinese, meanwhile, welcome Brescia looking to extend their unbeaten run at the Friuli stadium. Francesco Guidolin's side have not lost at home since a 4-0 defeat to Juventus on 19 September. Juventus visit relegation-threatened Lecce inspired by last weekend's 1-0 triumph over Inter. That followed their 3-1 win at Cagliari and lifted Juve to sixth, four points behind Lazio.
Roma travel to Genoa on the back of three straight defeats. The Eternal City giants lost 3-2 in their Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek, having previously lost to Inter and Napoli in Serie A. The Giallorossi have conceded ten goals in their last three matches and take on a Genoa side reinvigorated by their 1-0 triumph over Sampdoria in Wednesday's derby.
Fiorentina and Sampdoria will battle it out at the Artemio Franchi stadium with both teams looking to make amends for their respective midweek defeats. Fiorentina lost to Inter while Samp suffered their fourth defeat in five games at Genoa.
Palermo travel to the Renato Dall' Ara stadium to face Bologna on Saturday. Bologna have lost just once at home this season, a 3-0 defeat to AC Milan on 3 December. Cesena coach Massimo Ficcadenti heads into Sunday's match at Parma feeling the heat after his promoted side suffered their 14th loss of the campaign in Sunday's 3-0 defeat to Udinese. The result left Cesena second bottom, three points adrift from safety. Cesena have not won since 6 January.