Serie A race back on

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT -

WITH this week­end’s pro­posed strike called off, all eyes will be back on the ti­tle race in Italy with Ju­ven­tus host­ing Lazio in the most mouth-wa­ter­ing clash to­mor­row.

Lazio lie sec­ond in Serie A, just three points be­hind lead­ers AC Mi­lan, who travel to Bologna, while Juve are third, an­other three points fur­ther back.

For both sides a vic­tory is ab­so­lutely cru­cial to en­sure they hang onto Mi­lan’s coat­tails and don’t lose any more ground in the Scud­etto race.

The Ro­mans have un­doubt­edly been the sur­prise pack­age of this sea­son but hav­ing hung in there through 15 games and hav­ing beaten cham­pi­ons In­ter Mi­lan 3-1 at home in their last match, Lazio can now gen­uinely con­sider them­selves ti­tle chal­lengers.

At least that’s what mid­fielder Stefano Mauri be­lieves.

“We have the qual­ity to stay at the top, we’ve shown that, but we can­not think that we’ve ar­rived,” he said. “We can’t af­ford to think that we’re at the top, we have to keep work­ing to im­prove be­cause when a team be­lieves they’ve reached the top, that’s when they start to slide.”

How­ever, the vic­tory over In­ter, added to a pre­vi­ous de­feat of fourth-placed Napoli and a draw with Mi­lan, has given Lazio the con­fi­dence that they are where they be­long.

“The vic­tory over In­ter gave us a lot, es­pe­cially the knowl­edge that we’re a very good team,” added Mauri. “We had al­ready shown that but this was our best match.

Mauri be­lieves the trip to Juve to­mor­row will give them an­other op­por­tu­nity to test them­selves against the best.

While those two bat­tle it out, most of Serie A will be hop­ing Bologna can put a dent in Mi­lan’s am­bi­tions and fire the ti­tle race wide open again. Mi­lan are the form team in the league hav­ing won nine of their last 11 games and have started to put pres­sure on the rest.

Ri­vals such as Ju­ven­tus, In­ter and Roma are al­ready six, 10 and 10 points be­hind re­spec­tively. – Sapa-AFP

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