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Serie A heavyweights head-to-head

50-50 Challenge 2 days ago
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By ESPN Staff
May 12, 2011

Milan relishing homecoming party

AC Milan missed out on the opportunity to win a Serie A and Coppa Italia double this week but the Rossoneri will still get a heroes' welcome when they return to the San Siro for Saturday's match against Cagliari.

Milan captured their first Scudetto since 2004 after last weekend's goalless draw at Roma but were eliminated from the Coppa Italia on Tuesday after a 2-1 defeat at Palermo. Palermo booked a final meeting with Inter Milan in Rome later this month after a 4-3 aggregate victory.

"We are disappointed not to have reached the final," AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said, "but I cannot criticise my players. They did their best against a very good Palermo.

"We will party on Saturday in Milan. We hope it's a nice celebration and a fantastic evening.''

Inter, who beat Roma 2-1 on aggregate in the other Coppa Italia semi-final, will look to secure a second-place finish this weekend. The Nerazzurri square off at the San Paolo stadium against third-place Napoli holding a four-point advantage over the Naples outfit with two rounds remaining.

Napoli will be without the team's top scorer, Edinson Cavani, who serves his first of a three-match ban on Sunday.

The stakes are high when fourth-place Udinese visit Chievo on Sunday. The Bianconeri hold the last Champions League qualifying spot and are two points clear of Roma and Lazio.

Lazio host Genoa on the back of three consecutive defeats, including last weekend's 2-1 setback at Udinese. Roma, meanwhile, visit a Catania side that has already guaranteed Serie A football next term.

A defeat against Palermo could see Sampdoria join Brescia and Bari in the second tier next season if results in other games also go against them. Samp are 18th and two points adrift of Lecce, who hold the last position of safety. Lecce travel to bottom-side Bari on Sunday.

Juventus must win at Parma if they are to have any chance of playing in the Europa League next season. With Palermo having already assured themselves a place in Europe after reaching the Italian Cup final, only the top six teams in Serie A will play in the continental competitions next season. Juve were held to a 2-2 draw by Chievo last week and are three points behind sixth-place Lazio.

Bologna are safe from relegation but have clinched just one point in their last six games and will be looking to make amends for a dismal end to the campaign with a win at Fiorentina.

Cesena, who gained promotion to Italy's top flight last summer, will be certain of avoiding relegation with a win or a draw against Brescia. They are four points clear of the drop zone.

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