Serie A Matchday 19: Lazio test lies in store for Milan
Reigning Serie A champions AC Milan face a challenging test on Matchday 19 when they travel to the capital for a clash with Lazio.
And fellow title hopefuls Juventus host a similarly formidable opponent when Atalanta visit Turin on Sunday.
Runaway leaders Napoli, meanwhile, should have no trouble at lowly Salernitana.
Elsewhere, Supercoppa Italiana winners Inter Milan entertain Empoli and Roma head to Spezia.
Game of the week: Lazio vs AC Milan (Tuesday, 7.45pm)
Lazio are likely to be stubborn hosts when second-placed Milan pay them a visit on Tuesday.
Maurizio Sarri's men have already bettered their clean sheet total from last season, keeping 10 shut-outs in just 18 outings, compared to nine overall last term.
The visitors are suffering a bad patch of form, following last week's Coppa Italia exit to Torino with a humbling 3-0 loss to fierce rivals Inter Milan in Wednesday's Supercoppa Italiana showpiece.
They have dropped points in each of their last two league outings, leaving them nine points behind Napoli, and will look to extend their three-match winning streak against Lazio to get their season back on track.
Juventus vs Atalanta (Sunday, 7.45pm)
A 5-1 defeat at Napoli on Matchday 18 brought an abrupt end to Juventus' eight-game winning run in Serie A and the Old Lady now need to pick up maximum points against Atalanta to keep the Partenopei in their sights.
Max Allegri's side sit 10 points behind the leaders, but recent history suggests they will face a tough challenge on Sunday night — they have won only one of their last six meetings with the Bergamo outfit.
La Dea have a spring in their step following an 8-2 victory over Salernitana last weekend, with seven different goalscorers on target for Gian Piero Gasperini's men.
They followed up with a 5-2 triumph over Spezia in the Coppa Italia last night but it is unlikely they will enjoy similar success in the final third against the Bianconeri, who have won without conceding in each of their last five Serie A home games.
Salernitana vs Napoli (Saturday, 5pm)
A turbulent few days for Salernitana saw them sack boss Davide Nicola on Monday, before rehiring the 49-year-old on Wednesday.
But the Campanians, who have leaked a league-high 35 goals, now face an almighty challenge as they host Napoli — the top scorers in the Italian top flight (44).
Luciano Spalletti's visitors themselves hit trouble on Tuesday, when they slumped to a penalty shootout exit to Cremonese in their Coppa Italia last-16 clash.
They will expect to leave the Stadio Arechi with a victory though, as the Granata have earned the second-fewest points of any side in the division (two) since November.
Inter Milan vs Empoli (Monday, 7.45pm)
Inter gave their season a huge boost with a big win over Milan in a Supercoppa Italiana clash in Saudi Arabia and return to face mid-table Empoli on Monday night.
The hosts can take confidence from their recent run of results against the Tuscans — they have won all of their last 10 meetings by an aggregate score of 23-9.
Inter have been a real force at the San Siro under Simone Inzaghi, winning more games (22), earning more points (69) and scoring more goals (69) at home than any other side in the division since their manager's arrival in July 2021.
Both sides have enjoyed success when shooting from distance this term — the pair rank joint-second for goals scored from outside of the box in Serie A (five each).
Spezia vs Roma (Sunday, 5pm)
Roma must continue to churn out results in order to push for a top-four finish and a trip to 15th-placed Spezia is next up for the Giallorossi.
The visitors have earned the joint-most points against teams in the bottom half of the table this term with 25 (eight wins, one draw).
Jose Mourinho's men are also unbeaten in their last eight road trips (five wins, three draws), notably coming back from two goals down to earn a share of the spoils at Milan on their last away encounter.
After a goalless draw with Lecce and a 1-0 win at Torino, Spezia could keep a clean sheet in three Serie A games in a row for the first time.
The weekend's other games
Verona vs Lecce (Saturday, 2pm)
Fiorentina vs Torino (Saturday, 7.45pm)
Sampdoria vs Udinese (Sunday, 11.30am)
Monza vs Sassuolo (Sunday, 2pm)
Bologna vs Cremonese (Monday, 5.30pm)