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Serie A preview: Mid-table Milan look to topple Napoli

The big guns do battle in Serie A this weekend with a number of players returning to their club sides after Italy’s 2-1 friendly loss to France.

AC Milan’s Stephan El Shaarawy sparked a largely youthful Italian side with a beautiful finish in the first half of the match on Wednesday before France replied with two goals.

The 20-year-old linked up well with Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli and will be an integral figure yet again when Milan take on third-placed Napoli at the Stadio San Paolo.

Napoli are five points behind leaders Juventus, who take on Lazio on Saturday.

Striker Miroslav Klose could be back for Lazio having missed Germany’s 0-0 draw with the Netherlands on Wednesday.

The Rome-based side are coming off a 3-2 win against Roma in the derby but Antonio Conte’s Juventus are also in a purple patch having discarded Pescara 6-1 in their last league game.

Simone Pepe should be at the disposal of Conte for his first appearance of the season.

Roma are back in action at home to Torino on Monday and will likely be without midfielder Daniele De Rossi, who had crisis talks with the club this week following his red card against Lazio.

The midfielder was given a straight red for striking Lazio captain Stefano Mauri and could be on his way out of the club with head coach Zdenek Zeman refusing to include him in the centre of the park.

Second-placed Inter Milan host Cagliari on Sunday following last weekend’s 3-2 loss to Atalanta, who are up to sixth after a third straight win.

On Sunday, they travel to face Fiorentina who moved up to fourth on the table with a fourth consecutive victory.

Struggling Sampdoria take on Genoa at the Stadio Comunale on Sunday with both sides on five-game losing streaks.

Second-last Bologna are at home to Palermo, Catania take on Chievo and Udinese welcome Parma, all on Sunday.

Thu 15 November, 2012
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