Serie A: AC Milan midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng targets win at Juventus
Kevin-Prince Boateng reckons AC Milan must win at Juventus on Sunday to stand any chance of finishing second in Serie A.
Last Updated: 19/04/13 7:49am
Milan no longer harbour realistic hopes of winning the Scudetto, given Juve's 15-point advantage with only six games remaining, but Boateng is concerned defeat at the Juventus Stadium would jeopardise prospects of playing Champions League football.
The Ghanaian was sent off as Juve claimed a 2-0 victory in last season's meeting in Turin and he is particularly eager to reach the final whistle as part of the winning team on Sunday.
He told La Repubblica: "If we want to finish second then we will have to win in Turin. The team that makes the fewest errors will win the match.
"The Juventus match will be a special game and no-one here needs any more encouragement going into it."
Juve require just seven points from their remaining games to guarantee the defence of their title and defender Andrea Barzagli believes a focused approach will be essential against Milan.
"We're chasing the Scudetto, while they're aiming for Champions League qualification," he told Juve's website. "It won't be easy, but we're preparing well."
Napoli are 11 points behind but can stay in touch with the leaders with victory over mid-table Cagliari at San Paolo while fourth-placed Fiorentina try their luck against Torino.
Vincenzo Montella's Viola closed to within four points of Milan by beating Atalanta last time out.
Lazio, who occupy the final Europa League place, visit an Udinese side who are determined to qualify for continental competition for the third season in a row.
Three points and three places separate the two clubs, with Coppa Italia semi-finalists Roma and Inter Milan bridging the gap.
The Giallorossi completed a 5-3 aggregate victory over Inter to book their place in next month's final, where they will face city rivals Lazio, but more pressing is the visit of bottom side Pescara to the capital.
The season run-in promises to be particularly complicated for the Nerazzurri, with injuries to Esteban Cambiasso and Fredy Guarin leaving head coach Andrea Stramaccioni short of 13 senior players.
Inter have lost four of their last five games to drift nine points away from the top three and 36-year-old Stramaccioni is under pressure to deliver a positive result against Parma at San Siro, despite the injury crisis.
The race to avoid relegation heats up this weekend with Siena, Palermo and Genoa all battling to secure 17th place with time running out.
The Tuscans have a slight advantage over their rivals in the form of a two-point cushion above the drop zone and next up at the Stadio Artemio Franchi are Chievo, who are eight points clear of the bottom three.
Palermo travel the short distance to Catania for the second Sicilian derby of the season while 19th-placed Genoa host Atalanta.
Elsewhere, Bologna and Sampdoria go head-to-head at the Renato Dall'Ara with both sides eager to banish any lingering threat of relegation.