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AC Milan aim to secure Champions League spot

Associated Press
May 11, 2013 at 08:52am IST

Rome: With Juventus already having won Serie A and Napoli assured of finishing second, AC Milan's battle with Fiorentina for third is the last key item to be determined in the Italian league. Milan will be hoping to secure a place in the Champions League playoff with a win against Roma on Sunday, although the Giallorossi are still attempting to clinch a Europa League spot.

Fiorentina host Palermo, who are on the verge of relegation. The top two finishers qualify directly for the Champions League, third place goes to the playoffs and fourth and fifth earn Europa League berths.

With two rounds remaining, Milan have 68 points, with Fiorentina on 64. Udinese, Lazio and Roma are also vying for fifth. The winner of the Italian Cup final between Roma and Lazio will also get a Europa League berth.

AC Milan aim to secure Champions League spot

With two rounds remaining, Milan have 68 points, with Fiorentina on 64.

Inter Milan, who are eighth with 53 points, have already been eliminated from Europe. Lazio host Sampdoria and Udinese, led by Italy forward Antonio Di Natale, face Atalanta. Juventus will hold a victory celebration after their match against Cagliari on Sunday.

Siena, who visit Napoli, also appear set for relegation. Three clubs will drop down to Serie A. The bottom of the standings currently reads: Torino 37, Genoa 36, Palermo 32, Siena 30, Pescara 22. Pescara have already been relegated after just one season in the top flight.

Milan routed Pescara 4-0 on Wednesday and have been cruising since Mario Balotelli returned from a two-match suspension. Balotelli, who transferred back to Italy from Manchester City in January, has scored 11 goals in 11 matches with the Rossoneri, including two against Pescara.

However, it's not all straightforward for Milan with local media speculating that manager Massimiliano Allegri will break his contract with the club and sign with Roma once the season is finished. A front-page report in mainstream daily Corriere della Sera last weekend indicated that the move is prompted by criticism of Allegri from Milan president and former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

Allegri sought to smooth things over after the win over Pescara.

"This victory should be dedicated to (Berlusconi), especially in this difficult moment," Allegri said, referring to Berlusconi's tax fraud conviction and four-year prison sentence getting upheld on the first appeal on Wednesday.

"I haven't taken any decision," Allegri added. "Right now we've got to focus only on finishing third. Once we've fulfilled that goal then we can take stock of the situation as usual between a coach and a club."

However, Allegri hinted of a change in his pre-match news conference, when he said: "In 10 days you'll know if I'm leaving, if they send me away or if I'll stay."

Napoli coach Walter Mazzarri's future is also uncertain. Mazzarri said months ago that he would like to take a sabbatical after this season but with the southern club assured of playing the Champions League he could now change his mind.

Also this weekend, it's Chievo vs. Torino; Catania vs. Pescara; Genoa vs. Inter; and Parma vs. Bologna.AC Milan aiming to secure Champions League spot.

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