International

Juventus, Inter return to Serie A fray after European successes

2019-10-25 08:30
Gonzalo Higuain (Twitter)

Milan - Champions Juventus turn their focus back to maintaining their Serie A supremacy ahead of nearest challengers Inter Milan with both Italian teams riding high after their European successes this week.

Juventus are just one point ahead of Inter Milan in the Italian league after eight games.

Maurizio Sarri's side head to promoted Lecce, while  Antonio Conte's Inter are at home against Parma.

Juve extended their unbeaten run in all competitions with Paulo Dybala's quick-fire double earning a 2-1 over Lokomotiv Moscow in Turin on Tuesday in Europe.

Inter Milan beat Dortmund 2-0 in the San Siro the following night to boost their last 16 hopes, with Napoli also coming through with a thrilling 3-2 win in Salzburg.

"We're very much alive," said Conte. "Unfortunately, we can't enjoy this result too much. We now have less than three days to recuperate ahead of our match against Parma, who are on an excellent run."

Third-placed Atalanta return to the comforts of home against Udinese licking their wounds after a bruising 5-1 defeat to Manchester City.

Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli, one point behind the Bergamo side in fourth and six adrift of Juventus, need a result at relegation-threatened SPAL to keep pace with the leaders.

In a match between fallen giants, sixth-placed Roma host an AC Milan side who are struggling in 12th and desperate for a first win under new coach Stefano Pioli.

The injury-hit Romans were bitter after being held 1-1 by Borussia Monchengladbach's last-gasp penalty in Europa League action on Thursday.

"It's not a great spell for us," said Roma forward Edin Dzeko, wearing a mask to protect a broken cheekbone.

"This was our fourth draw in a row and a win would have been a morale boost.

"There's no point looking back though, only forward. We have a match against AC Milan and we must do everything possible to win it."

City rivals Lazio are also in need of a boost as they travel to Fiorentina, after falling 2-1 to Celtic in their Europa League clash.

One to watch:

New Genoa coach Thiago Motta's first game in charge of the club where his playing career took off a decade ago will be against Brescia.

"In 2008, Genoa changed my situation. Now I really want to coach the squad and change our fortunes," said Motta.

Former Italy international Motta's only previous coaching experience is with PSG's U19 team, which he managed until July.

The 37-year-old former PSG, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid player takes over a Genoa side that has won just one game out of eight this season.

Key statistics:

116 - Dries Mertens goals for Napoli, one more than Diego Maradona - he still trails Marek Hamsik

21 - Atalanta lead the way in league goals scored

15 - Genoa's unbeaten run in home matches against Brescia

12 - Ciro Immobile's contributions to Lazio's league goals this season - 9 goals and 3 assists

Fixtures (all SA time)

Friday

Verona v Sassuolo (20:45)

Saturday

Lecce v Juventus (15:00), Inter Milan v Parma (18:00), Genoa v Brescia (20:45)

Sunday

Bologna v Sampdoria (12:30),  Atalanta v Udinese, SPAL v Napoli, Torino v Cagliari (all 15:00), AS Roma v AC Milan (18:00), Fiorentina v Lazio (20:45).

Read more on:    juventus  |  serie a  |  gonzalo higuain  |  soccer

 

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