Melo wary of Milan, Napoli eye revival
Juventus defender Felipe Melo believes his team need to have a flawless game on Saturday if they want to upset Serie A leaders AC Milan and stay in the hunt for a top-four finish. The Bianconeri go into the encounter at Turin's Olympic Stadium having lost four of their last six league games.
Last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Bologna dropped them to seventh in the standings, seven points behind fourth-placed Lazio. Milan won their third straight game on Monday in a 3-0 triumph over Napoli, a result that lifted the Rossoneri five points clear of second-placed Inter Milan with 11 rounds remaining.
"There is no margin for error," said Melo on the club's official website, www.juventus.it. "Milan have a very strong side and if you make mistakes, they will kill you. We will have to play as we did in our opening game against them, with concentration at the highest."
Juve beat Milan 2-1 at the San Siro back on 30 October. That defeat was the second of the season for Massimiliano Allegri's men but since then, they have lost just once in the competition. Scudetto contenders Inter will be hoping Juve win as they look to cut the gap on their city rivals. Leonardo's men host Genoa looking to make it four wins in a row.
Napoli, who are one point behind Inter, will be boosted by a strong home record as they look to bounce back immediately from the disappointment at the San Siro. Walter Mazzarri's men are unbeaten at the San Paolo Stadium since 25 October, with eight wins from nine games. They host relegation-threatened Brescia on Sunday.
Lazio are at their Stadio Olimpico and will face a Palermo side that fell to a 7-0 defeat last week against Udinese. The thrashing led to the sacking of Palermo coach Delio Rossi and the appointment of Serse Cosmi as his replacement. A Palermo victory would see red-hot Udinese leapfrog Lazio in the standings provided the Friuli outfit beat bottom side Bari. Udinese are one point behind Lazio, who hold the last UEFA Champions League qualifying spot.
Roma visit Lecce on Friday needing a win to keep up their hopes of playing in Europe's elite club competition next season. The Romans are five points behind Lazio after last weekend's disappointing 2-2 draw with Parma.
Cagliari travel to Bologna knowing that victory will all but ensure them Serie A football next season. The Sardinian outfit beat Lazio 1-0 last weekend to climb to ninth in the standings, two points away from reaching the magic 40-point threshold - a figure that usually guarantees top-flight football for the following campaign.
Catania visit Fiorentina still looking for a first win on the road this season. The Sicilian outfit have mustered just four points away from home. Chievo and Parma will battle it out in Verona with both sides looking to pull away from the relegation zone.
Victory at Sampdoria could see Cesena climb out of the relegation zone provided Roma beat Lecce tomorrow. Cesena are 18th in the standings, three points behind Lecce and the safety line.