Juve's last chance

European round-up
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JUVENTUS, the defending champions, face the Serie A leaders Milan tonight, knowing anything less than victory would almost certainly seal the title for the San Siro side.

Juventus, at present lying in fourth place, trail Milan - unbeaten for 17 league matches - by 11 points, but beating them may open up the championship race.

"On Sunday night, apart from Milan supporters, all Italians will be urging us on," Roberto Bettega, vice-president of Juventus, said. "Juventus can bring a halt to Milan's gallop. The side is getting better, we've just won two consecutive games and we still want to battle for the title."

The Milan defender Alessandro Costacurta agreed: "Sunday night's game is very important. If we manage to get a result in Turin, then we've taken a big step towards winning the title, but if we were to lose, then Juventus would get a big morale boost that could prove dangerous for us."

Both sides have reservations about fielding two key strikers in Alessandro Del Piero, of Juventus, and Marco Simone, of Milan. Del Piero, who scored two goals for Italy's Under-21 side in their 4-0 midweek victory against Hungary, is in contention with Fabrizio Ravanelli for a position alongside Gianluca Vialli. Attilio Lombardo retains his place as the third man in the Juventus attack.

If the Juventus goalkeeper, Angelo Peruzzi, fails a late fitness test on a leg injury then the reserve Michelangelo Rampulla will replace him.

Milan will be without the Montenegrin Dejan Savicevic and the defender Christian Panucci, who are both suspended, while the midfielder Stefano Eranio is doubtful because of injury. Fabio Capello, the Milan coach, has to choose between Simone or the midfielder Roberto Donadoni as a replacement for Savicevic alongside George Weah, of Liberia, and Roberto Baggio in attack. Zvonimir Boban should return alongside Marcel Desailly and Demetrio Albertini in midfield.

Third-placed Parma, eight points off the pace, have a difficult game at in-form Udinese, eighth in the table and 1-0 winners against Vicenza last week. With Gianfranco Zola and Filippo Inzaghi ruled out through injury, the Parma attack will be led by Hristo Stoichkov and Alessandro Melli. Udinese will again rely on their German striker Oliver Bierhoff scorer of 11 goals this season.

In Spain, Barcelona welcome back their striker Angel Cuellar, carried off in his first game for the club against Real Betis, who need a victory to boost hopes of claiming a Uefa Cup place.

The champions Real Madrid, trailing in seventh place, travel to Compostela also looking for a win, as this is their only route to Uefa qualification unless they win the European Cup.

Atletico Madrid, the league leaders, face Celta Vigo without Kiko Narvaez, who is doubtful after sustaining an ankle injury during their midweek cup semi-final win at Valencia.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern Munich - who have lost their last two games - face Bayer Uerdingen. Lothar Matthaus, the Bayern captain, said: "A few people at Bayern have it too good. First come the demands, then comes the performance. It has to be the other way round."

He even claimed the former Tottenham striker Jurgen Klinsmann, who has scored only six goals this season, had to "get a grip on himself".

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