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Serie A Weekend Preview

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon believes his team can still win the Scudetto despite being seven points adrift of Serie A leaders Inter Milan. The Bianconeri lost ground on Inter and were leapfrogged by AC Milan after last weekend’s 3-2 defeat against Cagliari – their second consecutive loss.

Claudio Ranieri’s men travel to Catania this week trailing Milan by a point.

“To be second or third doesn’t worry me that much,” said Buffon. “It is a temporary overtake by AC Milan. “The only position that matters is the top spot and we need to reduce our deficit with Inter, starting this weekend. “All of the top teams have struggled this year and we have been no exception. “There are still many games to play and our chances of winning the title remain the same.”

Fortunately for Juve, Inter have also had their share of problems. Jose Mourinho’s side have won just two of their last five encounters and they struggled to earn a point in last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Torino. Mourinho will be hoping Inter get their act together when they travel to face Lecce on Saturday.

Red-hot AC Milan remain unbeaten in 2009 and will fancy their chances against rock-bottom Reggina. The Rossoneri, who will be without playmaker Andrea Pirlo through suspension, have not lost at the San Siro since August 31. 

Sunday’s encounter between Roma and Genoa in the Eternal City is a clash between two in-form sides looking to finish in the top four. Roma will be hoping to recover captain Francesco Totti from injury as they attempt to cut the three-point gap to fourth-placed Genoa, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Fifth-placed Fiorentina will be looking for more of the same from Adrian Mutu when they host strugglers Lazio. Mutu returned to action from injury and notched his 100th and 101st Serie A goals in Monday’s 3-1 win against Bologna.

Surprise package Cagliari face Atalanta in Sardinia looking to clinch their fifth consecutive victory. The Rossoblu are seventh in the table after their impressive start to the year in which they have claimed four wins and drawn once.

Palermo meet Napoli at La Favorita ready to bounce back from defeats by Roma and Genoa.

Udinese seek home comforts when they host Bologna. Pasquale Marino’s outfit have not won on the road since October 29 but have lost only twice at the Stadio Friuli.

Recent signing Stephen Makinwa is expected to make his first start for Chievo in Sunday’s relegation battle at Torino. Both sides have 18 points, four behind a Bologna side that holds the last position of safety.

Sampdoria meet Siena in Genoa looking to extend the gap to the bottom three. The Blucerchiati are six points clear of Chievo and Torino.