Milan meet Palermo as Inter chase
AC Milan defender Nicola Legrottaglie has congratulated Inter Milan on reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals but warned that his side now have even more belief that they can go on and claim the Serie A title.
I Nerazzurri secured a thrilling 3-2 victory at Bayern Munich on Tuesday to reach the last eight of Europe's elite club competition.
Legrottaglie believes the result is good news for the Italian game after Milan and Roma were knocked out in the last-16 by Tottenham Hotspur and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively, but is hopeful the achievement could see Inter's city rivals take their eye off the ball in the domestic league.
"Inter played a great game in Munich," said Legrottaglie. "I am happy for Italian football as we have at least one team that has progressed. Inter will now use all of their energy in the Champions League and will be less focused on the domestic front. Even if Inter are in good form in the league, we have confidence in our abilities."
Milan travel to face out-of-form Palermo at La Favorita this weekend defending a five-point lead over Inter at the summit after 29 games. Massimiliano Allegri's men missed a chance to extend their lead at the top of the standings last weekend when, after seeing Inter held to a draw by Brescia, they played out a 1-1 stalemate with bottom side Bari.
The result was not the only setback for Milan, with striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic sent off during the match for hitting out at Bari defender Marco Rossi. He starts a three-match ban this weekend.
Milan will fancy their chances of returning to winning ways tomorrow when they meet a Palermo side who are struggling in every department and go into the encounter on the back of five straight losses. Inter host relegation-threatened Lecce on Sunday looking to make it nine league wins in a row at the San Siro.
Napoli will try to consolidate third position in the standings when they take on Cagliari in Naples. The Azzurri are three points clear of in-form Udinese after last weekend's 3-1 triumph at Parma.
Udinese are enjoying a 12-match unbeaten run and welcome Catania to the Friuli stadium on the back of three straight wins. I Bianconeri are fourth and hold the last Champions League qualifying berth.
Lazio host strugglers Cesena on Saturday without the services of suspended trio Stefan Radu, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Cristian Ledesma. I Biancoceleste lost their fifth consecutive derby with last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Roma, a result which saw them drop to fifth place.
A win at Fiorentina on Sunday could see sixth-placed Roma leapfrog Lazio in the standings, while Juventus host Brescia in Turin. Bologna and Genoa battle it out at the Renato Dall' Ara stadium, Parma are the visitors to Sampdoria, and Bari host Chievo needing a win to revive any hopes of avoiding the drop.