Ranieri can give Roma the edge in Serie A title race, says Lippi

The Italy coach, Marcello Lippi, believes
Internazionale's exertions in Europe could work against them in their pursuit of a fifth straight Scudetto. Roma, he says, are the team to beat.

"I see Roma as favourites because they are one point ahead and they depend on themselves, not on others," Lippi said. "Roma has had an extraordinary season and much of the merit is down to coach Claudio Ranieri.

"Since taking over earlier in the campaign, Ranieri has led Roma to an impressive run and he is the symbol of this Roma side. He has brought experience and knowledge."

Roma beat Lazio 2-1 in the Rome derby last weekend to reclaim first place with four games remaining. The Giallorossi host Sampdoria on Sunday night on the back of six straight victories. They are riding a 24-match unbeaten run in Serie A.

Lippi has been equally impressed by Inter, who followed up last Friday's impressive win at Juventus with a 3-1 home triumph over Barcelona in the Champions League first-leg semi-final on Tuesday.

"I think Inter are favourites to win the Champions League," said Lippi. "They are aware of their quality and have gained a confidence that they didn't have in previous years.

"They are still alive in all competitions and perhaps this might give Roma the edge in the Scudetto."

Inter host relegation-threatened Atalanta tomorrow with all eyes set on the Nerazzurri's controversial striker Mario Balotelli.The striker threw his Inter jersey on the pitch after coming on as a second-half substitute against Barça but is set to play this weekend.

Milan go into the final four weeks of the season in third place and seven points behind league leaders Roma. The Rossoneri have won just one of their last six games and hope to end Palermo's unbeaten run at La Favorita this season.

Palermo lie fifth in the standings, two points adrift of fourth place and the final Champions League spot, currently held by Sampdoria.

Struggling Juventus have not given up hope of a last-four finish. The Bianconeri, after last week's 2-0 defeat to Inter, are in seventh place and six points behind Samp.

Napoli, who will welcome back Paolo Cannavaro and Salvatore Aronica from suspension for Sunday's match against Cagliari, are sixth and hold the last European qualifying spot.

Fiorentina trail six points behind Napoli and head into Sunday's game against Chievo looking to revive their European ambitions. Bologna will be under pressure to beat Parma knowing that a defeat could see them fall to the relegation zone.

The Rossoblu have claimed just two points in the last seven games and hold the last position of safety, two points clear of 18th-place Atalanta. The Udinese coach, Pasquale Marino, will be desperate for his side to produce the same performance that saw them beat Roma in the Coppa Italia this week when they host Siena in a relegation battle on Sunday. The Friuli outfit edged Roma 1-0 but failed to progress to the Coppa Italia final having lost 2-0 in the first leg in Rome. Udinese lie five points clear of the drop zone with four games remaining.

Lazio must put behind them the painful 2-1 loss against Roma and concentrate on beating Genoa on Sunday if they are to take a step towards Serie A survival. The Biancoceleste lie three points clear of the drop zone.

Rock-bottom Livorno go into Sunday's match against Catania knowing that anything but a win could see them relegated to the second division. Last weekend's 2-0 loss at Chievo marked their second straight defeat and left Livorno 10 points from safety with four games remaining.

The Juventus captain Alessandro del Piero will see out his contract until the end of next season, ending media speculation he would quit in May to play in Major League Soccer.

"Yes, it's true. This summer I'm going to America. On holiday. Then however, I will definitely come back," the 35-year-old forward wrote on his official website yesterday.

Juventus are seventh in Serie A after one of their worst seasons in the top flight, while Del Piero has struggled for form and fitness, meaning an Italy comeback at June's World Cup looks highly unlikely.

In Spain, Raul will take stock of his career at Real Madrid at the end of this season. The striker's contract expires next year and speculation about his future has mounted in recent months. The 32-year-old Spaniard has played mainly as a substitute in the second half of the season with Gonzalo Higuain, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema taking preference in attack.

"Right now I'm not going to retire," Raul said yesterday. "I'd like to see out the year left on my contract. We'll see what happens at the end of the season. I want to keep playing football."

The former Spain striker has started just eight games and scored four goals in La Liga this season. Raul made his debut for Real in 1994 as a 17-year-old and has won six league trophies and three Champions League titles. He stopped playing for his country in 2006 after winning 102 caps.

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Voices
Oscar Pistorius is led out of court in Pretoria. Pistorius received a five-year prison sentence for culpable homicide by judge Thokozile Masipais for the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
voicesThokozile Masipa simply had no choice but to jail the athlete
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Russell Brand at an anti-austerity march in June
peopleActor and comedian says 'there's no point doing it if you're not'
Arts and Entertainment
Sister Cristina Scuccia sings 'Like a Virgin' in Venice
music

Like Madonna, Sister Cristina Scuccia's video is also set in Venice

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
James Blunt's debut album Back to Bedlam shot him to fame in 2004
music

Singer says the track was 'force-fed down people's throats'

Life and Style
The Tinder app has around 10 million users worldwide

techThe original free dating app will remain the same, developers say

News
news

Endangered species spotted in a creek in the Qinling mountains

News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

Life and Style
health

Some experiencing postnatal depression don't realise there is a problem. What can be done?

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album