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SOCCER

Milan hopes to close gap on Napoli

AC Milan can move to within one point of second-place Napoli on Sunday when the two sides collide at the San Siro.

Napoli is riding a three-game winning streak after a bit of a rough patch, while Milan is unbeaten in its last 13 Serie A matches and is eyeing a win to put major pressure on the Neapolitans.

Wins over Atalanta, Torino and Genoa have followed a seven-match winless streak for Napoli, but the club will need to claim at least a point in Milan on Sunday to stave off a fierce challenge for second place from the Rossoneri.

A top-three place will be required to reach the Champions League, but third only guarantees a qualification berth, not an automatic spot, adding a bit of incentive in the race for second.

Mario Balotelli has been outstanding for Milan since joining in January with seven goals in eight Serie A appearances, but he will miss Sunday's match as he serves the first of a three-game ban for insulting a match official in Milan's contest with Fiorentina last weekend.

Juventus will resume its march toward another Serie A crown as the club was dumped out of the Champions League in midweek, losing 4-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich.

Juve enters the weekend with a nine-point lead atop the league and the club visits fifth-place Lazio on Monday.

Fiorentina sits in fourth place and eyes its fourth win in six games at Atalanta to remain in the hunt for a Champions League place, while the other contest on Saturday takes place at the opposite end of the table as last-place Pescara hosts a Siena side that sits above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Inter Milan's European hopes have taken a hit with three losses in the last four games, and the Nerazzurri will try to turn things around with an away match at Cagliari.

Roma sits two points behind Inter and travels to bottom-half Torino, Genoa is second from the bottom but is only one point from safety and the club hosts Sampdoria, Palermo is level on points with Genoa and entertains Bologna, Udinese hits the road to meet Parma and Chievo squares off Catania.