ROME, Mar 3 (Reuters) - AS Roma turn their attention to the fierce competition for Champions League places when they host Inter Milan on Sunday (kickoff 1930 GMT) as the dust settles on their record 11th consecutive Serie A win.
With 11 games left, only leaders Juventus seem secure of a place in Europe's top club competition next season.
They travel to Sampdoria on Saturday with a 10-point advantage over second-placed Milan, who host relegation-threatened Empoli.
Inter have 58 points and Roma 54, while Fiorentina, a further point behind, could climb back into the top four with a victory against mid-table Siena.
However, most of the attention this weekend will be focused on Rome's Olympic Stadium.
Roma's record-setting victory against city rivals Lazio last Sunday sparked celebrations reminiscent of those that followed the team's Serie A title win in 2001.
Fellow coaches, players, and pundits have been queuing up to heap praise on Roma coach Luciano Spalletti, the man credited with turning results around at a club that risked relegation a year ago.
One Inter player who knows Spalletti better than most is midfielder David Pizarro.
The Chilean was one of the driving forces behind the Udinese side Spalletti guided to a fourth-place finish last season.
'To me it is no surprise he has been so successful,' said Pizarro, who is expected to start in place of the injured Juan Sebastian Veron.
'He deserves the excellent results he has been getting. Roma are in great form, it will be difficult to beat them. They are particularly good on the break and we will have to be very concentrated, especially when we lose possession.'
The one unknown in Roma's side is their lone striker Vincenzo Montella, who fills in for injured captain Francesco Totti, but has only recently returned from a lengthy layoff.
Inter are without striker Adriano, who is suspended, although the Brazilian's stand-in, Julio Cruz, has been in excellent form, scoring three times in his last two games.
Another striker more used to sitting on the bench but likely to start this weekend is Juventus's Alessandro Del Piero.
The 31-year-old, who scored in Italy's 4-1 midweek win over Germany, is expected to partner David Trezeguet in place of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who limped off with a knee injury during Sweden's 3-0 defeat to Ireland.
Juventus are heavily tipped to beat a Sampdoria side that was pushing hard for a Champions League place 12 months ago but has faltered and lost the last two games against Ascoli and Siena.
Of the top teams, Milan has the easiest-looking fixture against Empoli, whose four-month run without a win has left them 18th in the 20-team division.
The Tuscan side's porous defence should give Milan's strikers an opportunity to add to their recent impressive haul.
Between them, Filippo Inzaghi, Andriy Shevchenko, and Alberto Gilardino have hit the target 11 times in Milan's last four matches and will be eager to lead the side to its fifth Serie A win in a row.