sport

Serie A weekend preview

Marco Amelia has urged his AC Milan team-mates to try and stop the rot when the floundering Serie A giants visit Lazio on Sunday night.

There is an unmitigated crisis at San Siro as 18-time Italian champions Milan stumble towards a bottom-half finish having tumbled into 11th place on the back of three straight defeats.

A 4-2 home humbling by Parma appeared to be the final straw for under-pressure coach Clarence Seedorf but, following an emergency meeting between hardcore fans, senior players and the Dutchman, he remains in place.

Second-choice goalkeeper Amelia gets the gloves for Sunday's trip to Rome - following Christian Abbiati's dismissal against Parma - and he is demanding his colleagues "stand tall" at the Stadio Olimpico.

He told acmilan.com: "We have to start from scratch and adopt an aggressive attitude to get ourselves out of trouble.

"Milan are a team full of great players and now it's up to us to prove what we're worth.

"The team struggled in 1998, then the year after they won the Scudetto. We hope to repeat that feat.

"I have been telling my team-mates that they all need to stand tall."

Defeat in the capital could see Milan dragged into 13th place based on other results while improving Lazio take aim at the Europa League places.

The battle for Europe holds the most excitement in the Italian league with the title race virtually over thanks to indomitable Juventus, who lead nearest challengers Roma by 14 points and Napoli by 17.

Looking to gatecrash the Champions League places are unstoppable Parma - unbeaten in 16 and targeting a fourth straight win when they host Genoa - and Fiorentina.

La Viola visit Napoli on Sunday and can therefore close the gap on third place to seven points while fifth-placed Inter Milan host in-form Atalanta, who have won three games on the spin.

Reigning champions Juventus visit bottom side Catania.

The Sicilians were left propping up the table when Sassuolo won a relegation six-pointer last time out and Eusebio Di Francesco's 19th-placed Neroverde next visit inconsistent Udinese.

Bologna occupy the final spot in the relegation zone after losing at Livorno and will hope to drag the Tuscans back into the soup by beating Cagliari.

Domenico Di Carlo's Livorno can pull further away from danger with a positive result at Torino while 16th-placed Chievo tackle Roma at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria and Hellas Verona are both looking to bounce back from disappointing defeats and go head to head at the Marassi on Sunday afternoon.