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Thursday, April 12, 2012
Conte delighted with Juve form

Juventus coach Antonio Conte is thrilled with the way his side is playing ahead of Sunday's match at rock-bottom Cesena.

Juve beat Lazio 2-1 on Wednesday night to clinch their fifth straight triumph and return to the top of the Serie A table.

"My players are doing extraordinary things this season," Conte said. "We are still unbeaten and we are one point clear of a fantastic side like AC Milan.

"We must continue like this and think of our next game at Cesena that for us and for them will be the game of our lives."

Cesena head into the encounter at the Dino Manuzzi stadium knowing that a defeat could see them relegated to Serie B. Cesena lie 15 points adrift of safety with 18 points still up for grabs.

AC Milan, meanwhile, bounced back from their 2-1 loss to Fiorentina in Tuesday's 1-0 triumph at Chievo. The Rossoneri will be bolstered by the return of defender Daniele Bonera and midfielders Alberto Aquilani and Massimo Ambrosini from suspension for Saturday's game against relegation-threatened Genoa.

Genoa will be under pressure to get a positive result knowing that anything but a win could see them fall into the relegation zone. The Grifoni hold the last position of safety and are two points clear of Lecce, who are 18th.

Lazio will be looking to strengthen their grip on third place - the last Champions League qualifying spot - when they visit second-bottom Novara.

The Biancoceleste have lost five of their last six games on the road and hold a three-point advantage over Udinese.

Udinese take on European hopefuls Inter Milan at the Friuli stadium on Saturday.

Fifth-place Roma will fancy their chances of taking maximum points against Fiorentina. The Giallorossi, who remain in the hunt for a third-place finish, have won five of their last six league games at the Stadio Olimpico.

Napoli are sixth and make the journey to Lecce desperate to end the rot. Wednesday's 3-1 defeat to Atalanta was Napoli's third straight loss and extended their winless run to five games.

Mid-table Atalanta entertain Chievo in Bergamo with both sides looking to take a giant step towards Serie A safety. The Bergamaschi have collected 40 points from 32 games and lie one place and two points behind Chievo.

Parma have not won on the road since February 5 but travel to La Favorita to face Palermo invigorated by Wednesday's 2-0 triumph over Novara. The result lifted the Ducale club four points clear of the drop zone.

Catania take on Cagliari in Trieste on Monday still smarting over their 2-1 defeat to Lecce in midweek that followed their 3-2 loss at Chievo. The Sicilians looked to be heading for their 11th win of the campaign on Wednesday only to concede two goals in the final two minutes.

Siena must overcome the absence of goalkeeper Gianluca Pegolo in Sunday's game against Bologna. Pegolo was dismissed for dissent in Wednesday night's 2-1 defeat at Inter Milan and must serve a one-match ban this weekend.




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