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Horncastle: Roma need to avoid UCL hangover

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By ESPN Staff
Feb 2, 2012

Allegri upbeat on title hopes

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his team's 2-0 midweek defeat at Lazio will not hurt his side's Scudetto hopes.

The Rossoneri, who host Napoli on Sunday night, lost for the fourth time this season in Rome. Milan are one point behind Serie A leaders Juventus, who have a game in hand.

"We played a terrible game but I don't think this result gives the all-clear to Juventus," Allegri said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "The campaign is still long and there will be time to discuss these things.

"I believe the defeat can do us good and help us to grow. Lately, despite winning, we haven't had the same grit that we need to win the Scudetto. This is why I believe the defeat can be healthy."

This weekend's opponents Napoli have drawn three of their last four games, losing the other against Genoa at the weekend.

Juventus remain unbeaten this season and host Siena on Sunday with both teams heading into the encounter fully rested after their midweek games were called off due to snow.

Siena, who hold the last position of safety, remain winless on the road this season.

Udinese are third in the standings thanks to their impressive unbeaten run at home so far. However, the Friuli outfit have collected just 10 of their 41 points on the road and are seeking only their third away win at Fiorentina on Sunday.

Lazio, whose win over Milan was their second in a row, are two points behind Udinese and take on Genoa at the Luigi Ferraris stadium.

Roma and Inter Milan go into their game at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday looking to bounce back from disappointing results.

Inter followed their 1-0 defeat at Lecce with a 4-4 draw against Palermo in midweek, while Roma lost 4-2 at Cagliari having previously been held to a 1-1 home draw by Bologna.

Inter are fifth in the standings, five points clear of Roma.

Palermo have taken seven points from a possible nine to climb to eighth in the standings and host Atalanta looking to make it three wins in a row at La Favorita.

Cagliari go into Sunday's encounter at bottom side Novara in good spirits after their triumph over Roma, which halted a three-game winless run.

Parma have lost just once in their last eight league games and travel to Verona to face Chievo on Sunday with both sides level on 24 points.

Catania have taken just two points from their last four games as they prepare for Saturday's clash with relegation-threatened Cesena at the Dino Manuzzi stadium.

Lecce had taken seven points of a possible nine from their previous three games before losing 2-1 at Udinese on Wednesday. They are in 18th place and host Bologna.

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