AC Milan will look to tighten their grip on the scudetto on Saturday when they travel to Turin to take on an unpredictable Juventus side.
The Serie A leaders are five points clear of Inter Milan and coming off a 3-0 thumping of third-placed Napoli on Monday, but manager Massimiliano Allegri will be wary of a Juventus team blowing hot and cold.
After beginning the year with a 4-1 loss at home to Parma and a 3-0 thrashing at Napoli, they followed a goalless draw with Sampdoria with further defeats to Udinese and Palermo.
A 3-1 win over Cagliari and a 1-0 triumph over reigning champions Inter prompted some to declare Juve were back in form, but since then they have slumped to back-to-back defeats against Lecce and Bologna – meaning they are now in seventh place on the table and 17 points adrift of Milan.
To compound manager Luigi Delneri’s problems, midfielder Mohamed Sissoko has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee complaint and Alberto Aquilani is under a cloud with a thigh strain.
Sixth-placed Roma will look to bridge the gap on the leaders when they kick off the weekend’s fixtures on Friday with a trip to relegation-battlers Lecce
Inter, meanwhile, will be looking for Delneri’s side to do them a favour with 11 games to go and take some points off the rampaging Milan, while hoping for full points themselves when they host Genoa on Sunday.
Also on Sunday, Napoli will look to bounce back from their mauling at the hands of Milan when they face second from bottom Brescia at home.
Fourth placed Lazio welcome a Palermo side to the Stadio Olimpico no doubt still smarting from their 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Udinese last Sunday and keen to impress new coach Serse Cosmi, who replaced Delio Rossi in the wake of the debacle.
Udinese are in fifth place and piling the pressure on Lazio as the race for a Champions League berth intensifies. They play host to bottom side Bari, hoping for more good form from veteran forward Antonio di Natale, whose hat-trick against Palermo gave him 21 for the season.
Bologna welcome Cagliari in a mid-table clash, Parma visit Chievo Verona, Sampdoria host Cesena and Fiorentina will welcome Catania in Sunday’s other games.