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By ESPN Staff
Apr 30, 2012

Battle for third hotting up

The battle for the third and final Champions League qualifying spot in Serie A could not be closer with three rounds of games remaining.

Napoli currently hold the precious position but the race is wide open as they are level on 55 points with Inter Milan, Udinese and Lazio.

Napoli host Palermo at the San Paolo stadium on Tuesday on the back of Saturday's 2-2 draw against Roma.

Meanwhile, Inter looked to be out of contention last month but an impressive comeback under coach Andrea Stramaccioni has seen them re-enter the race.

Sunday's 2-1 triumph over Cesena was Inter's third win in four games.

"There is no favourite team to finish third,'' said Stramaccioni, who took the helm last month after Inter sacked Claudio Ranieri.

"We remain in the race and even though we face a difficult calendar ahead, we will not slow down.

"I'm not saying we will finish third but I can guarantee that we will give our all to finish third.''

Inter have a difficult run-in as they visit red-hot Parma on Wednesday before hosting AC Milan at the weekend.

The Nerazzurri end the campaign at Lazio on May 13.

Udinese have won only three of their last 14 games, including Sunday's 2-0 victory over Lazio. They visit already relegated Cesena on Wednesday.

Lazio, meanwhile, host Siena at the Stadio Olimpico in midweek looking to rediscover their winning touch after claiming just one point in their last four games.

Serie A leaders Juventus are firmly on course to win the scudetto.

Winners of eight consecutive games and still unbeaten in the league, Juve host relegation-threatened Lecce.

The Turin giants won 4-0 at Novara last time out to remain three points clear of AC Milan at the top of the standings.

Milan face Atalanta to the San Siro on Wednesday on the back of a 4-1 triumph at Siena.

Seventh-placed Roma travel to Verona to face Chievo looking for just their second win away from Eternal City this year.

Catania and Bologna square off at the Angelo Massimino stadium with both sides having already assured themselves of Serie A football next season.

Second-bottom Novara must win at Fiorentina if they are to have any chance of avoiding the drop.

Novara are eight points adrift of safety with nine still up for grabs.

Strugglers Genoa have not won since February 5 and they are at home to Cagliari. The Grifoni are one spot and one point clear of 18th-place Lecce.

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