MILAN - Udinese and Lazio are fighting
until the final minute of the Serie A season to try to grab the
fourth and final Champions League qualifying spot against two
teams who will be in a jolly mood on Sunday.
Udinese host an AC Milan side still basking in
the glory of their first title since 2004 and, although their
scudetto was already assured last weekend, they still thumped
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin, whose team lead Lazio by
two points heading into the final day, is well aware Milan will
not be taking the game lightly - especially with Andrea Pirlo
wanting to go out on a high in his final Rossoneri appearance.
"Sunday we will be ready to scale our toughest obstacle, we
meet a Milan team that is the best side of all, the strongest,"
he told reporters.
"Of course we are in good form and we are trying our best to
attack the Italian champions but nothing has been achieved yet."
Lazio, relegation candidates last term and best placed for
fourth for much of the season before Udinese's late burst,
travel to Lecce on Sunday and will find themselves in the middle
of a survival party.
The southerners secured their position in the top flight
last weekend after a 2-0 win at already relegated derby rivals
Bari helped send Sampdoria down instead.
Lazio must hope celebrating Lecce do not have their mind
fully on the game.
'We deserve fourth spot because we have always been among
the top four, then we have dropped back in the last three games
and now I hope the team does everything to beat lecce, as long
as Milan can defeat Udinese," Lazio owner Claudio Lotito said.
"Maybe we have missed a bit of experience in managing
With the three relegation berths (Bari, Brescia, Sampdoria)
and the three automatic Champions League qualifiers (Milan,
Inter Milan and Napoli) decided, the only other issues other
than fourth spot to be sorted out are the Europa League places.
The team who misses out on fourth will head into Europe's
second tier competition along with Palermo, who qualify because
they meet Inter in the Italian Cup final on May 29.
That leaves sixth spot as the last Europa League place up
for grabs and AS Roma are the big favourites to land it.
The Romans, who host devastated Samp on Sunday with interim
coach Vincenzo Montella set for probably his final game in
charge, are three points ahead of Juventus but have a worse
head-to-head record in case they finish level on points.
Juve, who media reports say will sack coach Luigi Del Neri
after the game whatever the result, host Napoli.
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