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Everton on the cusp of Europa progress

Everton about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Apr 25, 2013

Chiellini: Derby win won't secure title

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini does not believe the Bianconeri can wrap up their Serie A title defence with victory in this weekend's Turin derby - because Napoli are bound to crash the party.

Antonio Conte's Juve need just four points from their remaining five games to claim a second consecutive Scudetto, and triumph at Torino could see the Old Lady lifting the trophy downtown at the Stadio Olimpico.

For that dream to become reality, however, second-placed Napoli must drop points against bottom side Pescara - who have not won since January 6 - at the Stadio Adriatico.

And as much as Juve's vice-captain would love to taunt Granata fans with early title celebrations, he cannot imagine Napoli struggling in Abruzzo.

"I don't think it's possible that Napoli will slip up,'' he told the Gazzetta dello Sport.

"They need to consolidate second place as soon as possible because AC Milan could win all their games before the end of the season.

"With all due respect to Pescara I don't believe they can stop Napoli. We just have to think about the derby, which is always a game that defies expectations.

"Underestimating our opponent would be folly and the biggest mistake we could make would be to relax because we think the end is in sight.

"We just need to stop any more discussion on the final destination of the Scudetto.''

While Napoli trail Juve by 11 points they have a healthy seven-point lead over Massimiliano Allegri's AC Milan, who host Catania on Sunday night.

The Rossoneri have failed to win for three games, allowing Fiorentina to close in on the Champions League places, and victory at mid-table Sampdoria could finally boost Vincenzo Montella's men into the top three.

Following last week's hectic 4-3 win over Torino, Montella told La Repubblica: "I like the look of the league table better now and we can look at third with more optimism instead of worrying about fifth.''

Inter Milan, who returned to fifth place with an overdue win against Parma, lead the chasing pack and this week saw Nerazzurri president Massimo Moratti back coach Andrea Stramaccioni to continue his work at San Siro.

"Considering the conditions he finds himself working under at the moment, the fact he keeps doing well is a wonderful thing,'' Moratti told www.inter.it.

"You ask me every week if he will stay and I always say yes.''

Relegation-threatened Palermo host Inter while sixth-placed Roma welcome a Siena side just one point above the drop zone.

Genoa are the other club eager to escape the bottom three and coach Davide Ballardini must plot a first win in nine games when the Rossoblu visit Chievo in Verona.

Udinese, meanwhile, have won three straight games to close to within two points of a Europa League berth with striker Antonio Di Natale hoping to bring up 20 goals for the Serie A season with a brace at Cagliari.

Elsewhere, struggling Parma host Coppa Italia finalists Lazio at the Stadio Ennio Tardini and Atalanta go head-to-head against Bologna with mathematically-guaranteed safety in the top flight at stake.

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