Serie A Preview: Juventus, Roma hit the road
By Football News
Serie A front-runners Juventus and Roma both face away tests at the weekend, travelling to Lazio and Verona respectively.
Juventus' trip to the Stadio Olimpico sees them return to a ground where they have lost twice this season, most recently as Tuesday, as Roma beat them 1-0 in a Coppa Italia quarter-final, a result that ended the club's 13-match unbeaten run in domestic competition.
However, Juve have an immediate opportunity to bounce back on the same pitch at the weekend, as they travel back to Rome to face Lazio looking to extend their winning run in Serie A to 13 games.
Antonio Conte's men, who are chasing a third successive league title, have responded superbly after losing at Fiorentina on October 20, taking maximum points from 12 successive fixtures to open up an eight-point advantage over Roma at the top of the table.
The champions have dropped just five points in 20 Serie A fixtures this term - with a draw at Inter preceding their defeat at Fiorentina - and are sure to be confident of continuing that impressive form this weekend, thanks to their formidable record against Lazio.
Juve have not been beaten by the capital club in Serie A since December 2003, a run of 18 matches, and have won without conceding on their last four league meetings with Lazio at the Olimpico.
Roma's win over Juventus will have boosted spirits ahead of a tricky trip to the sixth-placed Verona, who will be keen to bounce back from successive league losses.
Verona were unlucky to lose 1-0 at Milan last week but will take heart from their terrific home record this season, which has seen them win eight of 10 matches.
Third-placed Napoli are at home, and tackle a Chievo side who have not won in six outings.
Napoli's form could not be more different – Rafael Benitez's men are on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions that includes wins over Arsenal, Inter and Lazio.
Clarence Seedorf will hope his Milan side respond to their mid-week Coppa Italia disappointment when they visit Cagliari on Sunday.
New coach Seedorf watched on as Milan threw away an early lead to lose 2-1 in their last-eight meeting against Udinese on Wednesday.
Other fixtures on Sunday see fourth-placed Fiorentina host Genoa, while an out-of-form Inter battle rock-bottom Catania.
At the wrong end of the table, Livorno meet Sassuolo in a relegation six-pointer, Bologna go to Sampdoria, while seventh-placed Torino take on Atalanta and Parma clash with Udinese.