Milan (AFP) – AC Milan take their title push to Rome on Sunday looking to keep touch with leaders Inter in a top-four clash which could boost champions Juventus’s hopes of a 10th consecutive crown.
Stefano Pioli’s Milan are coming off back-to-back defeats and trail four points behind Inter who can hammer home their advantage against 11th-placed Genoa.
Roma in fourth, five points behind Milan, were held to a goalless draw last time out against Benevento.
Both Roma and Milan drew 3-3 in the reverse fixture.
It’s a clash between a Roma side who have collected the most league points at home this season with 30, and a Milan team that boasts the best away record — picking up 28 points on their travels.
“It will be a very important match against a great team that is doing well,” said Roma coach Paulo Fonseca.
The two teams advanced to the Europa League last 16 on Thursday, Roma easing past Portuguese side Braga 5-1 on aggregate, with Milan beating Red Star Belgrade on away goals after their tie finished 3-3.
Milan have stuttered in the new year, as they juggle league and Europa League commitments, and desperately want to avoid losing a fifth top-flight match in the first two months.
Inter host a resurgent Genoa, who have powered back into mid-table with a run of seven games without defeat under new coach Davide Ballardini.
Antonio Conte’s side are without any European football and have won four games in a row as they target a first league title since 2010.
In third, Juventus — eight points off top spot with a game in hand — face a tricky task at ninth-placed Hellas Verona.
Cristiano Ronaldo has rediscovered his form, scoring three goals in as many games league appearances after failing to find the net in the previous three.
Atalanta travel to Sampdoria after their home Champions League defeat by Real Madrid, with striker Duvan Zapata in doubt after picking up a muscular problem against the Spaniards.
The Bergamo side are trying to keep their bid for a top-four finish alive with Lazio just behind on goal difference before their game against 12th-placed Bologna.
Napoli and coach Gennaro Gattuso are under increasing pressure with three defeats in their last five league games, and elimination from the Europa League.
“The criticisms are deserved, things are not going well. The main one responsible is me,” insisted Gattuso.
“It’s understandable that I’m massacred, but leave my players alone.
“We need actions, not words, but we mustn’t get depressed. We must look forward.”
Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen is out after taking a blow to his head in last weekend’s 4-2 defeat at Atalanta, with club record goalscorer Dries Mertens making his way back from an ankle injury.
Torino’s game on Friday against Sassuolo has been postponed because of a coronavirus outbreak at the club.
One to watch: Leonardo Semplici
Semplici takes the reins at Cagliari after Eusebio Di Francesco was sacked with his first game against relegation rivals Crotone.
The Sardinians, in 18th, have a golden chance to snap their 16-match winless run, the club’s worst ever in Serie A, against rock-bottom Crotone.
Crotone have never beaten Cagliari and have also lost their last five league games.
57 – Inter’s goals in 23 games, including 30 scored between Romelu Lukaku (17) and Lautaro Martinez (13)
19 – Lazio are close to matching their record scoring run in Serie A of 21 consecutive games
18 – Cristiano Ronaldo leads the goalscoring charts
16 – Roma’s unbeaten home run in the league
15 – Players who have scored for Atalanta this term
14 – Parma’s winless run
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Torino v Sassuolo — postponed
Spezia v Parma (1400), Bologna v Lazio (1700), Hellas Verona v Juventus (1945)
Sampdoria v Atalanta (1130), Crotone v Cagliari, Inter Milan v Genoa, Udinese v Fiorentina (all 1400), Napoli v Benevento (1700), AS Roma v AC Milan (1945)
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