Inter will attempt to pull clear of Milan as they travel to struggling Salernitana in Serie A this weekend while their title rivals host a Napoli smarting from back-to-back defeats.
Champions Inter are one point ahead of Milan who on Sunday face a tricky tie against fourth-placed Napoli, just four points off top spot but losing impetus in their push for a first Scudetto in 32 years.
Simone Inzaghi’s leaders travel south to Salernitana, who are bottom of the league with their top-flight future in doubt even before the season ends.
Promoted Salernitana remain in danger of being thrown out of Serie A after failing to find a buyer two weeks before the December 31 deadline set by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC).
According to FIGC rules, two clubs under the same ownership cannot play in the same division. The club based in Salerno, south of Naples, is co-owned by Lazio boss Claudio Lotito.
Despite sitting bottom of the league with just two wins from 17 games, history favours Salernitana who beat Inter 2-0 in their last meeting when they last played in Serie A in April 1999.
Inter are one of only three sides that Salernitana have both a 100 percent win rate and clean sheet rate at home against in their Serie A history.
But after ending Juventus’s nine-year Serie A reign, Inter have lost just one match this campaign and are unbeaten in the league in two months.
Meanwhile, Milan and Napoli are both desperate for a result, having stuttered in the past month.
Stefano Pioli’s Milan have picked up eight points from six games and Napoli five in the same time.
Milan have only won one of their last 13 Serie A games against Napoli. The last time Milan won at home against Napoli in Serie A was in December 2014.
“We are going to San Siro with the conviction of being able to put in a good performance,” said Napoli right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo.
“We’re coming off a defeat against Empoli that hurts us so much. Now we must think about the future to redeem this bad period.
“We know that we are meeting a strong opponent who is doing very well. It will be a difficult match but we are preparing as best we can to try to get a positive result.”
Atalanta, sitting third, three points behind Inter, host sixth-placed Roma as they target a seventh straight win in the league to keep pace with their northern rivals.
Juventus travel to mid-table Bologna looking to get back to winning ways and cut the gap to the Champions League berths.
The Turin club have dropped to seventh, eighth points behind Napoli.
Maurizio Sarri’s faltering Lazio host Genoa with the north-western port side boosted by their first win under new coach Andriy Shevchenko in the Italian Cup this week.
Lazio are ninth with just one win in their last five league games.
“It feels great to get back winning. It’s a relief for us,” said Shevchenko.
“Now we have two difficult games ahead of us. We hope our morale will rise and we can snatch some points.
“In the Italian Cup we tried to balance the team with an eye on the match against Lazio.”