Lazio tangles with Napoli in top-four clash

Rome, Italy ( - With Juventus and Roma battling it out at the top of Serie A, there is likely one Champions League place remaining for a handful of teams.

Two of the leading candidates to claim third place, Lazio and Napoli, will square off at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday with the two sides separated by just one point.

Lazio has reached third place on the strength of a six-game unbeaten streak in league play, including a 2-2 draw against Roma in the Rome derby last weekend.

Napoli dropped to fourth place after losing 3-1 to league leaders Juventus, and Rafael Benitez will be eager for his side to bounce back and reclaim a spot in the top three.

Lazio manager Stefano Pioli will miss forward Felipe Anderson because of a knee injury, which will be a blow to the capital club with Anderson having recorded five goals and five assists in his previous five outings.

The visitors were level with Juve through 65 minutes in their last match, but goals from Martin Caceres and Arturo Vidal over the final 20 minutes handed the club its fourth league defeat of the season.

At the top of the league, Juventus holds a three-point lead on Roma and the Old Lady will be facing a familiar foe on Sunday as the club entertains Hellas Verona.

These two sides met up on Thursday in the Coppa Italia with Juve rolling to a 6-1 victory behind two goals from Sebastian Giovinco, and the home side will be looking to replicate that result to remain on top of the table.

Roma will hit the road to face mid-table Palermo in an effort to keep pace with Juventus, while Sampdoria enters the weekend level with Napoli on 30 points and should be expecting to add to that total on Sunday at second-from- the-bottom Parma.

Inter Milan will kick off the weekend on Saturday at bottom-half side Empoli with Inter riding a four-game unbeaten streak and the club possibly handing a debut to new signing Xherdan Shaqiri.

Atalanta sits three points above the relegation zone and faces a tough trip to AC Milan, last-place Cesena hosts Torino, Fiorentina invades Chievo, mid-table sides Genoa and Sassuolo square off and Udinese hosts Cagliari.