Juventus fears Milan as big guns jostle for top spot

After a week overshadowed by accusations of racism and anti-semitism in Italian football - Lazio fans having posted a photo of Anne Frank in a Roma jersey - the focus returns to action on the pitch where all is to play for.

Massimiliano Allegri... “We're on a roller coaster.”   -  AP

Massimiliano Allegri has warned Juventus to expect a mauling from AC Milan as Serie A resumes on Saturday with just three points separating the top four teams. After a week overshadowed by accusations of racism and anti-semitism in Italian football - Lazio fans having posted a photo of Anne Frank in a Roma jersey - the focus returns to action on the pitch where all is to play for.

Napoli leads with 28 points after 10 days with Inter Milan just two points behind and champion Juventus and Lazio both on 25. There should be fireworks with Roma sitting fifth and also well in the running with 21 points and a game in hand.

Read: Allegri slams Juventus after SPAL win

But despite being in close touch with Napoli, Allegri fears Juventus has been far from convincing even with a championship-leading 31 goals scored.

The Juventus boss saw worrying signs during a 4-1 win over SPAL in Turin midweek, which could be exploited by Milan boosted by a 4-1 success at Chievo after three consecutive defeats. "If we perform like that on Saturday we risk leaving the San Siro with broken bones," warned Allegri of a classic Serie A clash.

Read: Bernardeschi, Dybala brilliance inspires champion to victory

"We're on a roller coaster. We don't seem to understand that it's great to score goals but when we were 2-0, instead of controlling we did everything wrong, allowing (SPAL's Alberto) Paloschi to get a goal back."

Vincenzo Montella is fighting to keep his job after a stuttering start sees Milan in eighth, some 12 points off the top despite millions poured into the side by its ambitious new Chinese owners.

‘Mental block’

But Spanish forward Suso believes this week's win was a turning point for the former European giant. "We had a mental block, we needed a win to give us confidence," said Suso.

Milan will again be without captain Leonardo Bonucci who was red carded last weekend, but Montella wants to see "the real spark." "Next Saturday I would like the real spark. I hope the Juve will underestimate us a bit," he added.

Leader Napoli travels north to Sassuolo, which is just two points above the relegation zone, looking to keep ahead of Inter Milan which travels to lowly Verona on Monday. Both Napoli and Inter are unbeaten with solid defences, having conceded just seven goals in 10 games.

Roma hosts Bologna on Saturday without Dutch international Rick Karsdorp, who picked up a ruptured cruciate ligament during the week.

Lazio - fired by league leading striker Ciro Immobile - shows no signs of being thrown off course by the racism row over its fans.

The Roman side won in Bologna midweek and Immobile, reportedly the target of a EUR 70 million (USD 81 million) offer from Chinese club Shanghai SIPG, will be hoping to get a few more past tailender Benevento. Promoted Benevento has no point - a Serie A record - just three goals scored and 24 conceded.

Fiorentina travels to Crotone looking to gain ground on Sampdoria just above the Tuscany side in sixth and which hosts Chievo.

Elsewhere, Genoa travel to SPAL, Udinese hosts Atalanta and Torino travel to Cagliari.

Saturday (all times 1930 IST unless stated):

AC Milan v Juventus (2130)

Sunday

Roma v Bologna (0015), Benevento v Lazio (1700), Sampdoria v Chievo, SPAL v Genoa, Napoli v Sassuolo, Udinese v Atalanta, Crotone v Fiorentina

Monday

Torino v Cagliari (0115)

Tuesday

Verona v Inter Milan (0115)

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