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Juventus keen to retain focus

8 March 2013-DPA

juventus serie a

Focus ... Juve will turn its attention from the Champions League to Serie A (Getty)

Front-runner Juventus is keen on not lowering its guard when it welcomes Catania on Monday (AEDT) after a brilliant showing in the UEFA Champions League.

The Italian champion beat Celtic 2-0 for a 5-0 aggregate that took it among the top eight teams of the tournament.

"We are in the quarter-finals, but must keep our feet on the ground," coach Antonio Conte said.

"It will be very difficult because we are at the same time playing the home league and this will take precious energies."

Catania promises be a valid test for the Bianconeri's ability to battle on two fronts as it has shrugged off its underdog status and sits five points from the UEFA Europa League zone.

In October, Juve snatched a 1-0 win at the Sicily host, which had a man dismissed after the goal and complained bitterly about a missed off-side call when Arturo Vidal netted the winner.

Last weekend, it scared Inter Milan by taking a two-goal lead it squandered in the second half to allow the guest a 3-2 win.

With the next continental match set for early April, Juve can focus on keeping chaser Napoli at bay after drawing 1-1 in Naples to retain a six-point lead.

Napoli looks to a tricky visit to Chievo as it seeks to retain a second place that takes directly to the next Champions League.

With 11 games left, a tight race is on for third place.

AC Milan sits five points behind Napoli when it visits Genoa on Saturday (AEDT) - and also looks ahead to defending a 2-0 lead in a return match to Barcelona set for Wednesday.

Inter Milan and Lazio are one point adrift of the Devils before tackling Bologna and Fiorentina respectively.

The Florence club is currently sixth, two points adrift of Lazio and hopes to leapfrog it and move in the Europa League zone reserved for fourth and fifth place.

A further home game without fans is likely for Cagliari when it takes on Sampdoria as the renewed Is Arenas stadium remains a source of tension and controversy.

Club president Massimo Cellino remained under house arrest on charges of embezzlement as players and fans this week rallied to obtain safety measures at the stadium.

Palermo and visiting Siena battle out in the drop zone, where they sit next to Pescara, which plays a midday game at Atalanta.

Parma and Torino complete the Monday program, while Udinese and Roma face off on Sunday.

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