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Football: Milan And Juve Aim To Cut Gap In Italy

Posted on: December 6, 2008

ROME : AC Milan and Juventus will try to reduce the gap on leaders Inter Milan as the champions face a tough match at the weekend with a trip to high flying Lazio.

The capital based club sit one place and one point off the Champions League qualifying places and earned a morale-boosting 2-1 victory at Milan in the Italian Cup on Wednesday.

Their controversial president Claudio Lolito claimed that Jose Mourinho’s leaders hold no fears for him.

“I’ve never feared anyone. Lazio can match anyone. I hope that against the black-and-blues (Inter) we’ll be able to show the same competitive spirit and to affirm on the pitch our abilities and determination,” he said.

“(Against Milan) we showed our true potential, we deserved to win and played great football.”

There are three more games to go before the winter break when the Serie A season shuts down for three weeks.

Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has set his team-mates a target of three wins in a row before the break if they are to hang onto Inter’s coat-tails, starting with the trip to Lecce on Sunday.

Juve have won six of their last seven Serie A matches but crucially lost to Inter at the San Siro in that spell.

“There’s three more matches and we have to do everything to take home nine points,” he said.

One of the big problems for Inter’s two main rivals, though, is that they face each other in a week’s time.

“We have two away games against teams that give 110 percent and in between is the tough challenge with Milan, a match with three times as much importance.”

Milan seem to have the simplest task of the big three this weekend as they host Sicilians Catania, who themselves have been having a great season and had they won at home to Lecce last week would have entered the top four.

Milan’s biggest problem is that their form has not been good of late.

They lost at home to Lazio in the cup just a few days after they were beaten 3-1 at another Sicilian team, Palermo.

Prior to that they drew at Torino, needed two late goals to draw 2-2 at Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup and before that they were only scraping victories such as 1-0 home successes over rock-bottom Chievo and 10-man Napoli.

They may still be in the top three but they have been far from convincing, even despite the return from injury of Andrea Pirlo.

Veteran Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf says they must keep their chins up.

“Fortunately we are optimistic, we have to remain calm and work hard,” he said.

AS Roma will try to continue their recent improvement as they travel to Chievo looking for a fourth straight league victory that could push them into the top half as they go about trying to claw back the lost ground on the Champions League positions.

As well as Lazio and Catania, several other teams could finish the weekend in the top four with Napoli hosting Siena, Fiorentina travelling to Torino, Genoa playing Sampdoria in the Genovese derby and Udinese heading to Atalanta hoping to arrest their recent slide in which they’ve lost four on the bounce.

Fixtures

Saturday

Chievo v Roma, Lazio v Inter Milan

Sunday

AC Milan v Catania, Atalanta v Udinese, Cagliari v Palermo, Lecce v Juventus, Napoli v Siena, Reggina v Bologna, Sampdoria v Genoa, Torino v Fiorentina

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: Milan And Juve Aim To Cut Gap In Italy

Posted on: December 6, 2008

ROME : AC Milan and Juventus will try to reduce the gap on leaders Inter Milan as the champions face a tough match at the weekend with a trip to high flying Lazio.

The capital based club sit one place and one point off the Champions League qualifying places and earned a morale-boosting 2-1 victory at Milan in the Italian Cup on Wednesday.

Their controversial president Claudio Lolito claimed that Jose Mourinho’s leaders hold no fears for him.

“I’ve never feared anyone. Lazio can match anyone. I hope that against the black-and-blues (Inter) we’ll be able to show the same competitive spirit and to affirm on the pitch our abilities and determination,” he said.

“(Against Milan) we showed our true potential, we deserved to win and played great football.”

There are three more games to go before the winter break when the Serie A season shuts down for three weeks.

Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has set his team-mates a target of three wins in a row before the break if they are to hang onto Inter’s coat-tails, starting with the trip to Lecce on Sunday.

Juve have won six of their last seven Serie A matches but crucially lost to Inter at the San Siro in that spell.

“There’s three more matches and we have to do everything to take home nine points,” he said.

One of the big problems for Inter’s two main rivals, though, is that they face each other in a week’s time.

“We have two away games against teams that give 110 percent and in between is the tough challenge with Milan, a match with three times as much importance.”

Milan seem to have the simplest task of the big three this weekend as they host Sicilians Catania, who themselves have been having a great season and had they won at home to Lecce last week would have entered the top four.

Milan’s biggest problem is that their form has not been good of late.

They lost at home to Lazio in the cup just a few days after they were beaten 3-1 at another Sicilian team, Palermo.

Prior to that they drew at Torino, needed two late goals to draw 2-2 at Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup and before that they were only scraping victories such as 1-0 home successes over rock-bottom Chievo and 10-man Napoli.

They may still be in the top three but they have been far from convincing, even despite the return from injury of Andrea Pirlo.

Veteran Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf says they must keep their chins up.

“Fortunately we are optimistic, we have to remain calm and work hard,” he said.

AS Roma will try to continue their recent improvement as they travel to Chievo looking for a fourth straight league victory that could push them into the top half as they go about trying to claw back the lost ground on the Champions League positions.

As well as Lazio and Catania, several other teams could finish the weekend in the top four with Napoli hosting Siena, Fiorentina travelling to Torino, Genoa playing Sampdoria in the Genovese derby and Udinese heading to Atalanta hoping to arrest their recent slide in which they’ve lost four on the bounce.

Fixtures

Saturday

Chievo v Roma, Lazio v Inter Milan

Sunday

AC Milan v Catania, Atalanta v Udinese, Cagliari v Palermo, Lecce v Juventus, Napoli v Siena, Reggina v Bologna, Sampdoria v Genoa, Torino v Fiorentina

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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Football: Milan And Juve Aim To Cut Gap In Italy

Posted on: December 6, 2008

ROME : AC Milan and Juventus will try to reduce the gap on leaders Inter Milan as the champions face a tough match at the weekend with a trip to high flying Lazio.

The capital based club sit one place and one point off the Champions League qualifying places and earned a morale-boosting 2-1 victory at Milan in the Italian Cup on Wednesday.

Their controversial president Claudio Lolito claimed that Jose Mourinho’s leaders hold no fears for him.

“I’ve never feared anyone. Lazio can match anyone. I hope that against the black-and-blues (Inter) we’ll be able to show the same competitive spirit and to affirm on the pitch our abilities and determination,” he said.

“(Against Milan) we showed our true potential, we deserved to win and played great football.”

There are three more games to go before the winter break when the Serie A season shuts down for three weeks.

Juventus centre-back Giorgio Chiellini has set his team-mates a target of three wins in a row before the break if they are to hang onto Inter’s coat-tails, starting with the trip to Lecce on Sunday.

Juve have won six of their last seven Serie A matches but crucially lost to Inter at the San Siro in that spell.

“There’s three more matches and we have to do everything to take home nine points,” he said.

One of the big problems for Inter’s two main rivals, though, is that they face each other in a week’s time.

“We have two away games against teams that give 110 percent and in between is the tough challenge with Milan, a match with three times as much importance.”

Milan seem to have the simplest task of the big three this weekend as they host Sicilians Catania, who themselves have been having a great season and had they won at home to Lecce last week would have entered the top four.

Milan’s biggest problem is that their form has not been good of late.

They lost at home to Lazio in the cup just a few days after they were beaten 3-1 at another Sicilian team, Palermo.

Prior to that they drew at Torino, needed two late goals to draw 2-2 at Portsmouth in the UEFA Cup and before that they were only scraping victories such as 1-0 home successes over rock-bottom Chievo and 10-man Napoli.

They may still be in the top three but they have been far from convincing, even despite the return from injury of Andrea Pirlo.

Veteran Dutch midfielder Clarence Seedorf says they must keep their chins up.

“Fortunately we are optimistic, we have to remain calm and work hard,” he said.

AS Roma will try to continue their recent improvement as they travel to Chievo looking for a fourth straight league victory that could push them into the top half as they go about trying to claw back the lost ground on the Champions League positions.

As well as Lazio and Catania, several other teams could finish the weekend in the top four with Napoli hosting Siena, Fiorentina travelling to Torino, Genoa playing Sampdoria in the Genovese derby and Udinese heading to Atalanta hoping to arrest their recent slide in which they’ve lost four on the bounce.

Fixtures

Saturday

Chievo v Roma, Lazio v Inter Milan

Sunday

AC Milan v Catania, Atalanta v Udinese, Cagliari v Palermo, Lecce v Juventus, Napoli v Siena, Reggina v Bologna, Sampdoria v Genoa, Torino v Fiorentina

– AFP/vm

Channel News Asia

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