Inter hopes to keep pressure on Juve
Rome, Italy (Sports Network) - Inter Milan continues its push for first place in Serie A on Saturday when the club visits the Italian capital to face Lazio, which resides only four points behind the Nerazzurri.
Inter is hoping to end 2012 with two wins in order to keep the pressure on defending champions Juventus, but three points won't be easy to attain at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.
Lazio enters the contest on a five-game unbeaten run that has vaulted the club into fourth place, but manager Vladimir Petkovic will be missing a lengthy list of players due to injury, including Sergio Floccari, Ederson, Cristian Brocchi, Mauro Zarate and Tommaso Rocchi.
Inter has won its last two Serie A matches, but club president Massimo Moratti won't be enjoying the holiday season unless his side can finish 2012 on a strong note.
"Winning the next two league games could be enough for us to have a happy Christmas," Moratti told Gazzetta.it. "But they won't be easy. Here at Inter we need to keep winning everything over the coming months so we can have a splendid summer.
"We're doing what I think is within our power and we will see if we are better than all the other teams come the end of the season. Andrea Stramaccioni has proved that he can handle the situation very well and he has proved to be more mature than I expected he would be."
Inter has injury issues of its own as Dejan Stankovic, Joel Obi and Gabi Mudingayi are unavailable, while midfielder Wesley Sneijder has been left out of the team once again amid his ongoing contract dispute.
Juventus hosts mid-table Atalanta on Sunday with the club hoping to maintain its four-point advantage at the top of the league, while third-place Napoli hosts a Bologna side that sits one point above the drop zone.
Fiorentina dropped to sixth after losing 4-2 to Roma last weekend, and the Viola try to bounce back with the points against last-place Siena.
Roma moved into the top five and attempts to win its fifth straight game when the club travels to Chievo, AC Milan hosts bottom-half Pescara, Catania entertains Sampdoria, Torino visits Genoa, Parma tangles with Cagliari at the Ennio Tardini Stadium and Udinese goes in search of its third successive win when the club welcomes Palermo.