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Serie A preview: Battle for Europe heats up

The race for European spots in the Serie A heats up this weekend with two crucial clashes helping to shape the table.

Fiorentina host Napoli at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday with the former looking to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Udinese last weekend.

Napoli, who had a two-point deduction for alleged involvement in match-fixing overturned on appeal, are now sitting on 42 points – in equal second with Lazio – and after three consecutive wins, will be keen to get a victory to extend the seven-point gap over Fiorentina and hold fourth-placed Inter Milan at bay.

Fiorentina will be looking to contain the free-scoring Napoli, led by Edinson Cavani, and start working their way toward finishing in the Champions League positions.

After two consecutive losses against Catania and Napoli, Roma will be hoping for a return to form on Sunday in their home clash against Inter Milan, who snapped a run of three games without a win with a 2-0 triumph over Pescara last weekend.

Inter is sitting in fourth position and will be keen to start putting pressure on Napoli and extend the six-point gap they have over sixth-placed Roma.

League leaders Juventus host Udinese on Saturday as they attempt to preserve their lead over Napoli and Lazio, who travel to Palermo in the other Saturday game.

In other clashes on Sunday, Milan will attempt to drag themselves up the table as Bologna visit the San Siro, while Cagliari will look to stay above the relegation zone as they play away at Atalanta.

Genoa will meet Catania, Chievo Verona host Parma in a ninth-versus-10th battle and Pescara welcome Torino.

Bottom-placed Siena will be hoping to snap a six-game losing streak as they face Sampdoria.

Fri 18 Jan, 2013
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