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By ESPN Staff

Moratti delighted with Inter progress

Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti has praised the good work of coach Claudio Ranieri ahead of this Sunday's clash with Lazio.

Ranieri replaced Giampiero Gasperini at the helm of the Nerazzurri in September with the team hovering above the relegation zone.

The former Chelsea boss has since overseen a major turnaround in fortunes and Inter go into the game against Lazio in fifth place, just six points behind Serie A leaders Juventus.

Ranieri's men have won six straight games and eight of their last nine, including last weekend's 1-0 triumph over AC Milan.

"This is a result that rewards the efforts and work of Ranieri,'' Moratti said. "He has woken up the team. The derby was the most important game and the team reacted very well.

"I didn't think it was possible to recover from our slow start to the season when we were fifth from bottom so there is a lot of merit to be given to the team after coming out of such an ugly situation. Ranieri is a wise man and he gets his players to understand him and follow him.''

AC Milan, meanwhile, travel to Novara looking to return to winning ways. Last weekend's setback ended the Rossoneri's 12-match unbeaten run in the league.

The result left Milan second in the standings, one point behind Juventus. Unbeaten Juve visit Atalanta having missed a chance to move three points clear at the top of the table after being held to a 1-1 home draw by Cagliari last time out.

Udinese, who have not lost at home this season in the league, host Catania on Sunday. The Friuli outfit is in third place, three points behind Juventus.

Roma are hoping to recover midfielder Daniele De Rossi in time for Saturday's game against Cesena. De Rossi sustained a muscular injury in training this week and is doubtful.

Cagliari welcome Fiorentina to Sardinia looking to improve their record at home, with just two wins taken at the Sant' Elia stadium so far.

Parma visit Bologna on Sunday looking to clinch their first win on the road since October 15, while Siena host Napoli.

Strugglers Palermo will be hoping to hand coach Bortolo Mutti his first win since taking over the club before the winter break when they take on Genoa at La Favorita.

Relegation-threatened Lecce host Chievo on Sunday looking for their first win at their Via del Mare stadium this season.

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