- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

MILAN (AP) - Looking to continue its impressive home form, Juventus can extend its Serie A lead when it hosts Fiorentina on Sunday.

Second-place Roma visits Napoli later, hoping to keep up the pressure on the leaders. AC Milan visits Udinese on Saturday.

Here are five things to know about the Italian league this weekend:



Juventus continues to stride to a third straight Serie A title and has extended its lead at the top of the standings.

A 2-0 win at AC Milan, combined with second-place Roma being held to a goalless draw by Inter Milan, saw Juventus move 11 points clear - although it has played a game more than the capital side.

“The title’s not already won, but we took a big step forward last weekend,” Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said. “I don’t feel as if we already have our hands on the title because behind us there is a team which isn’t involved in Europe and can win all its matches from now until the end of the season.”

Juventus has won all 13 of its home league matches this season.



Carlos Tevez is one of the driving forces behind Juventus’ charge to a hat trick of Italian league titles.

The Argentina forward scored again with a 25-meter shot to help Juventus to a 2-0 victory at AC Milan last weekend.

It was Tevez’s 15th goal of the season, putting him at the top of the Italian league’s scoring chart, one ahead of Fiorentina’s Giuseppe Rossi, who has been out injured since January.

“He kept us alive at the beginning of the season when we had a few difficulties,” Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said. “Now he has achieved prestigious figures which makes us even greater.

“Milan played a great game and could have won but Tevez scored a great goal which sealed the match and made us happy.”



Fiorentina will be looking to its own star striker to make the difference as it aims to become the first team to win in the league at Juventus Stadium since Sampdoria’s shock victory 14 months ago.

Mario Gomez has yet to score after recently returning from an injury to his right knee which sidelined him for more than five months.

“I’m good at the moment, I don’t feel pain anymore,” Gomez said. “I’m not worried about not getting a goal since I’ve come back because in my career I have always scored. But you need patience because for my teammates I am still a new player, we need to find and improve our understanding.

“I know that everyone is expecting me to do the same as before, but it’s not easy. But I feel good and I am ready to start against Juve.”

Gomez was Fiorentina’s marquee signing when he joined from Bayern Munich for a reported 20 million euros ($26 million).

He scored twice in his second league match for Fiorentina but was injured on his next Serie A appearance, against Cagliari on Sept. 15.

Fiorentina lost 1-0 at home to Lazio last weekend and has only won one of its past six league matches.



Parma is placed surprisingly high in the Serie A table and could edge out Italian footballing giants Inter Milan and Fiorentina for a European spot.

A remarkable run has seen Parma remain unbeaten since the beginning of November, a club record total of 14 matches.

Parma hosts high-flying promoted side Hellas Verona on Sunday in a match which is a direct battle for a European spot. Verona and Parma are level in the Serie A standings, just one point behind Inter and five behind Fiorentina, although Parma has a game in hand on all three of those teams.

“We are happy with the standings, we are sixth having played a game less,” Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi said. “It’s a positive period, we’re beating the records set by our greatest team which won eight cups and fought for the title.”



Roma has to pick itself up swiftly after seeing its Serie A title hopes grow even fainter last weekend.

The capital side was held to a 0-0 draw at home by Inter Milan and fell 11 points behind leader Juventus. It faces a tricky trip to Napoli on Sunday, with the hosts looking to snatch second place from Roma.

“I can’t lie, the title is gone,” Napoli coach Rafa Benitez said. “We have to focus on aims which we can achieve: second spot, and making us ready for next season, creating the right mentality.”

Napoli, which has drawn its past two league matches, is third, six points behind Roma, which has a game in hand.

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