MILAN - The battle for the Serie A scudetto and three coveted Champions League places reaches a potential turning point this weekend when the Italian league's top four sides meet in the space of two days.
Napoli, who sit six points behind leaders Juventus after their scoreless draw away to Udinese on Tuesday, host the Turin giants today hoping to relaunch a title bid.
Tomorrow Lazio - who sit in third 11 points off the pace - are away to an AC Milan side which has fought its way back to challenge for a top three place that could guarantee Champions League football next season.
Although the rest of the program will be played on Sunday, of particular interest will be Inter Milan's visit to a Catania team whose recent purple patch has left them in seventh place.
Napoli had been hoping for the attendance of former striker Diego Maradona on Friday to bring the same kind of fortune as it did in 1987 and 1990 when the Argentine legend led them to their sole league titles.
However Maradona - who travelled to Italy in a bid to plead with the authorities over millions in unpaid taxes - yesterday flew out to Dubai.
"I don't know if I'll be back for the Napoli v Juve game," Maradona told reporters at the airport.
Whether his decision not to attend is a portent of what's to come for Napoli is anyone's guess.
Defeat for Napoli would hand Juventus a nine-point lead.
But with Juventus poised to qualify for the quarter-finals of the Champions League, following a last 16 first leg defeat of Celtic (3-0), Bianconeri coach Antonio Conte is wary of a late title charge from his closest rivals.
Napoli were knocked out of the Europa League last week and are no longer in contention for the Italian Cup they won last season.
"Napoli still have a chance of winning the title, it's the only objective they've got left this season," said Conte.