Ibra misses crucial derby, Napoli face Lazio
AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic must settle for being a frustrated observer on Saturday when the Rossoneri go up against his former team Inter Milan. The Swede has to complete a two-match ban and that means the Serie A leaders will be without their leading scorer for one of the most important games of the campaign.
Milan go into the clash at the San Siro having failed to win in their last three games in all competitions and are only two points clear of Inter with eight rounds remaining. "Milan is the best team in Italy," Ibrahimovic said. "But we have made so many mistakes recently. If we don't win the scudetto it is all our fault."
Inter have won the last five league titles. "The derby will be important for the league title because it's not just an ordinary game," Ibrahimovic said. "I have played many derbies and this I know. It is going to be crucial and beautiful to win it."
Adding spice to the encounter is that Inter coach Leonardo will square off for the first time against AC Milan, the team he spent many years playing for, and coached last season.
Napoli go into this weekend's games in third and just one point behind Inter. The club have won back-to-back league games going into their clash with Lazio at the Stadio San Paolo. Napoli have not lost at home since 25 October.
Udinese are riding a 13-game unbeaten run in the league that has lifted the Friuli outfit into fourth place. Hoping to qualify for next season's UEFA Champions League, Udinese visit Lecce.
Roma are running out of time if they are going to have a top-four finish. They host Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday night. Roma are sixth in the table, six points behind Udinese and five points clear of Juve, a club led by former Roma coach Luigi Del Neri.
Italian football has a Sicilian duel this weekend as Palermo travel to Catania. Palermo beat AC Milan 1-0 in their last game, a result that ended a five-match losing streak. Fiorentina have not given up hope of playing in Europe next season. They go into this weekend's game at Cesena trailing Roma by nine points.
A draw at Genoa would see Cagliari reach the 40-point threshold - a haul that nearly always guarantees top-flight football for the following campaign. Bottom side Bari travel to Parma needing a positive result to keep their Serie A hopes alive. The Galletti have not won since January 6 and head into this weekend's encounter 12 points behind Cesena, who hold the last position of safety.
Bologna will look to extend their four-match unbeaten run when they visit strugglers Brescia. Sampdoria will be under pressure to win in Verona against Chievo if they are to remain above the drop zone this weekend. Samp are just two places and three points clear of 18th-placed Lecce.