Ranieri confident of Inter response
Inter Milan will attempt to shrug off their Coppa Italia elimination at the hands of Napoli when they return to the Serie A business this weekend.
I Nerazzurri, winners of last season's Coppa, lost 2-0 in Naples on Wednesday and failed to reach the semi-finals for the first time in nine years. The setback also snapped Inter's eight-match winning streak in all competitions. They will now try to bounce back on Sunday at Lecce.
"We really wanted to go through and it's a shame," Inter coach Claudio Ranieri said. "I thought my team did well against a good side like Napoli. It's hard to be eliminated but we must leave this disappointment behind us and concentrate on Sunday's game at Lecce. We have found our way in the league so I'm confident we will return to victory on Sunday."
Inter beat Lazio 2-1 last weekend to climb to fourth place, six points behind league leaders Juventus. Juve host third-placed Udinese on Saturday in great spirits.
Antonio Conte's men brushed aside Roma 3-0 on Tuesday to reach the last four of the Coppa. Juve are unbeaten at the halfway stage of the campaign and lead Serie A by one point from AC Milan.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, meanwhile, will face his former club Cagliari on Sunday night at the San Siro. The Rossoneri bounced back from their 1-0 defeat to Inter with last weekend's 3-0 triumph at Novara.
Lazio are fourth and know that a defeat at Chievo on Sunday could see city rivals Roma join them on 33 points, provided I Giallorossi beat Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico. The Biancoceleste have won just one of their last five league games while Roma are riding a four-match winning streak in Serie A.
Napoli are looking to follow their Coppa Italia midweek success against Inter with victory at Genoa on Sunday. However, last weekend's 1-1 result at Siena was Napoli's second straight draw and with just two wins taken in their last six league games, they have dropped to seventh place.
Stefano Okaka could make his debut with Parma in Saturday's game at Catania. The Italian striker joined the Ducale outfit on loan from Roma this week.
Last weekend's 5-3 triumph over Genoa was Palermo's first win in seven games and handed coach Bortolo Mutti his first triumph since taking over the team last month. The Sicilians are eighth and host bottom side Novara on Sunday.
Siena players go into their Tuscan duel at Fiorentina on Sunday with their confidence sky-high after Wednesday's 1-0 triumph at Chievo. The result saw the Flying Donkeys progress to the semi-finals of the Coppa for the first time in the club's history.
Atalanta have lost their last three league games and travel to the Dino Manuzzi stadium to face 18th-placed Cesena on Sunday desperate to clinch their first triumph on the road since beating Parma 2-1 on October 24.