Juventus set for Turin derby
A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A.
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Leaders Juventus head into Sunday's Turin derby against Torino in the unusual position of watching their neighbours fly high in Serie A.
Unlike past seasons, Juve do not have to look all the way down the table to spot Torino.
The Granata are seventh in the standings, just two places and three points behind Inter Milan, who hold the last European qualifying spot.
Not since 22 years ago was Toro in such a lofty position in Italy's top flight.
"We are playing well," Toro coach Giampiero Ventura told Gazzetta dello Sport. "We are improving game by game and becoming more of a team."
Torino have not beaten Juve in the league since 1995 and have lost their last five meetings against them.
Juve, who act as hosts this weekend, are perfect at home this season and are nine points clear of second-placed Roma.
"We know how much the derby means in Turin," Ventura said. "We will try to do our best but we cannot forget we face the strongest team in the tournament."
Juve go into the encounter on the back of a 2-0 triumph over Trabzonspor on Thursday that saw them take a step closer to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Roma have a game in hand and visit Bologna on Saturday in a must-win encounter.
The Giallorossi host Inter Milan after their trip to Bologna before facing third-place Napoli at the San Paolo stadium.
Napoli square off against Genoa on Monday looking to cap off a positive week.
The Azzurri beat Sassuolo before holding Swansea to a goalless result in Wales in the Europa League in midweek.
Fourth-place Fiorentina were also involved in European action and won 3-1 at Esbjerg to bounce back from last weekend's 2-1 defeat to Inter.
The Viola will face a bigger test when they travel to the Tardini stadium on Monday with rivals Parma unbeaten since November 2.
Inter have won their last two league games and are keen to continue their recent revival with victory over Cagliari.
AC Milan, meanwhile, will attempt to overcome the midweek disappointment of their Champions League 1-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid when they play at Sampdoria on Sunday.
Mid-table Lazio face bottom side Sassuolo having seen their six-match unbeaten run come to an end in last weekend's 3-1 loss at Catania.
They followed that result with a 1-0 midweek home reverse against Ludogorets in the Europa League.
Livorno have suffered a blow ahead of their match against Hellas Verona with captain Andrea Luci ruled out for the rest of the season with a left knee injury.
Atalanta coach Stefano Colantuono is feeling the heat ahead of Sunday's match at Udinese with his side having lost three of its last four league games.
Chievo have not won since December 8 and host a Catania side that is invigorated by its convincing triumph over Lazio last time out.