Serie A

Big week for Juve, Napoli sees chance

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Juventus' players know they face a potentially season-defining week
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Juventus begin a potentially season-defining week when they host Lazio in Serie A on Saturday, with Napoli taking on AC Milan later that night.

Juve could move seven points clear of the chasing pack with victory over the Romans, although they could be forgiven for having one eye on their crunch midweek Champions League clash.

Reigning European champions Chelsea will arrive at the Juventus Stadium on Tuesday knowing that if they take a point from their visit they will all but end Juve's hopes of progressing.

And with a tough trip to AC Milan to follow next weekend, striker Mirko Vucinic knows there is little room for error.

"We cannot drop our guard this week," the former Roma striker told his official website.

"These are three game which could determine the destiny of our season, between Scudetto and Champions League. We cannot afford to put a foot wrong, especially against Chelsea."

Lazio's visit will have extra incentive for Vucinic given his roots to the capital and after the Biancocelesti beat his former club 3-2 in a stormy contest last weekend.

Lazio skipper Stefano Mauri misses out after he saw red late in the match but striker Miroslav Klose - who has netted seven goals in 11 league games this term - is set to recover from the illness that kept him out of Germany's midweek goalless draw with Holland.

Lazio have lost three of their past four league away games including a 4-0 reverse at Catania a fortnight ago.

Third-placed Napoli will attempt to remain in touch with Juve when they play Saturday's only other game at home to Milan.

Napoli are five points adrift and defender Paolo Cannavaro believes the leaders' tough run can allow them to pull back in the title race.

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"We are not going to just settle for third place," he told Radio Marte.

"We are doing well, but we have got to do more. Juve has a lot of difficult games coming up and we need to be ready to take advantage if it puts a foot wrong."

City rivals Sampdoria and Genoa will go in search of a much-needed win when they meet in the pick of Sunday's games.

The derby rivals straddle the relegation places with anything but victory likely to cost Samp boss Ciro Ferrara his job after seven successive league defeats.

"It is not in my personality to resign," he said. "It's not the right thing to do. We have been blocked by fear, but we will emerge from this period."

Inter Milan may have slipped seven points behind Juve by the time they host Cagliari and will look to bounce back from their surprise 3-2 loss at Atalanta last time out.

Cagliari head to San Siro having won two of their past three away games.

Atalanta could move to the brink of the European places when they travel to fourth-placed Fiorentina while Udinese host Parma in a mid-table clash.

Catania are at home to Chievo while at the wrong end of the table last-placed Siena host Pescara while Bologna, 19th, welcome Palermo.

On Monday night, Roma will look to forget their derby defeat against 12th-placed Torino.

Midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who has reportedly been fined by the club following his sending off against Lazio, is suspended.

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