Lazio renews pursuit of Juventus

With Serie A returning to action this weekend following its winter break, Lazio will resume its chase of leaders Juventus, which holds an eight-point advantage on the Rome-based side.

Juventus closed out 2012 with four successive victories to open up its lead, while Lazio finished out the year on a seven-game unbeaten run, including clean sheets in five of those contests.

Lazio will be favored to keep that run of success going on Saturday when the club hosts 17th-place Cagliari, who have lost five straight games to sit only one point above the drop zone.

Juventus takes on a Sampdoria side that has lost three straight and resides near the relegation places, while Fiorentina is only one point back of Lazio in third place and meets 16th-place Pescara, which climbed out of the bottom three by securing a win against Catania in its last match.

Inter Milan is fourth but is looking to win for the first time in three league games when the Nerazzurri travels to 10th-place Udinese. The home side is unbeaten in four games and could use a win to continue its push toward a place in Europe.

Napoli and Roma both have European ambitions and the two sides will meet up in Naples with only two points separating the top-six rivals.

The other match on Saturday features a Torino side that snapped a five-game winless run with a 2-0 victory over Chievo last time out, taking on Catania.

AC Milan continues to reside outside the European places and the Rossoneri tangles with Siena, mid-table sides Atalanta and Chievo square off and Parma hosts a Palermo outfit that enters the weekend in 18th place.