Serie A Preview: Juve aim to extend lead, Lazio can increase pressure

Juventus host an improving Parma on Sunday aiming to build on midweek momentum and increase their lead at the top of Serie A.

Massimiliano Allegri's men stretched their advantage at the top of the table to three points last weekend.

Juve recovered from defeat to Genoa with a comfortable victory against Empoli while Roma slipped up at Napoli.

The defending champions carried that form into the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday as they came from behind to beat Olympiacos 3-2 and strengthen their hopes of qualification for the last 16.

But attention returns to domestic action this weekend with Parma standing between Juventus and a third straight victory in all competitions.

Roberto Donadoni's Parma will be confident themselves, however, having halted a run of six successive defeats with an impressive win against Inter last time out to ease the pressure on him amid rumours over his future.

Allegri will have to do without Kwadwo Asamoah after the midfielder aggravated a knee injury on Tuesday.

But, as has been a recurring theme this season, Allegri's biggest selection decision concerns whether to pair Alvaro Morata or Fernando Llorente alongside Carlos Tevez in attack.   

"They have different attributes: Morata attacks from deep and drives forward compared to Llorente who acted as a target man for Tevez," Allegri told the club's official website.

"Carlitos (Tevez) can play with everyone, and understands where to go and seek out pockets of space.

"We're in a good position and still in the hunt to finish first. Now let's turn our attentions to Parma and then we’ll begin preparations for the game with Malmo."

Roma's defeat last weekend means cross-city rivals Lazio could climb above them with success at struggling Empoli, although Rudi Garcia's side can avoid that if they overcome Torino.

Sampdoria have endured a tough run of fixtures, facing Fiorentina, Inter and Roma in their previous three games. But Sinisa Mihajlovic's side remain just six points behind Juve ahead of hosting Milan on Saturday.

Atalanta travel to Sassuolo in Saturday's other match with the hosts looking to extend a four-match unbeaten run that has allowed them to climb to 14th.

Two of the bottom three meet in Verona as Chievo take on Cesena with both sides desperate for a first win in over two months.

Napoli have not lost in seven Serie A matches and can keep up the pressure on the leaders with a positive result from their trip to Fiorentina.

Five places and four points separate Udinese and Palermo, but that matters little when Giuseppe Iachini's men play hosts on Sunday, hoping to add to victories against Milan and Chievo.

And Inter will look for a response to their reverse at Parma as Verona visit San Siro while Genoa aim to continue their fine form at Cagliari.