Serie A midweek preview

Napoli head coach Walter Mazzarri is refusing to rest on his
laurels despite leading his side to the precipice of Champions
League football next year.

While they now cannot catch Juventus, who sealed another Serie A
success on Sunday, the Partenopei remain well placed to play in
Europe’s elite competition next season as they are seven points
clear of third-placed AC Milan with three games to go.

They can guarantee runners-up spot with victory at mid-table
Bologna on Wednesday although Mazzarri is not taking anything for
granted against a team he refers to as Napoli’s “bete noire”.

“Let’s remain focused, we still need three points,” said
Mazzarri on the club’s official website following their 3-1 win
over Inter Milan.

“I am satisfied with this victory, but I was afraid that we
would not close the game because although we had many efforts at
goal they managed to draw. However, we were able to impose our
supremacy and achieve a well-deserved victory.”

“Now we must go on with this intensity. On Wednesday we are
going to play against Bologna, our bete noir.

Milan will also hope to move one step closer to Champions League
football when they play rock-bottom Pescara. The Rossoneri went
four points clear of fourth-placed Fiorentina, who next travel to
relegation-threatened Siena, by edging out Torino on Sunday and
will be looking to carry that momentum into their clash at the
Stadio Adriatico.

“The match against Pescara will be fundamental. Winning there
and maintaining our lead on Roma and Fiorentina would be great,”
said vice-president Adriano Galliani.

Roma can go level on points with Fiorentina if they can follow
up Saturday’s win at La Viola with another three points against
Chievo in Tuesday night’s only fixture.

The Giallorossi can approach this match with confidence as they
are unbeaten in their last six matches in all competitions and have
claimed four wins in their last five.

Juventus will be aiming to celebrate claiming back-to-back
Scudettos at Atalanta on Wednesday, but they must do so without
Paul Pogba, whose season is over after being suspended for three
matches for spitting at Palermo defender Salvatore Aronica
yesterday.

At the other end of the table, Palermo host Europa League
chasers Udinese hoping to close the three-point gap on fellow
strugglers Genoa, who could move above Torino with victory over
Giampiero Ventura’s men.

Inter Milan have lost five of their last six matches in all
competitions so will therefore be looking for a much-needed three
points against Lazio, Sampdoria host Catania, while Parma travel to
Cagliari.