ROME - Six Italian clubs play in European tournaments at a time of the season while small teams are giving their best to avoid relegation with 14 games left.
Leaders Juventus and chasers Roma aim to spice up their race for the Serie A title after unimpressive showings against struggling clubs.
Holders Juve could have gone nine points clear of the Rome side Sunday, but were held 2-2 at second last Cesena, hours after the Giallorossi drew 0-0 at home to bottom side Parma.
"We trained well in recent months. We must be ready for the final part of the season in the (Serie A), the Champions League and the Italian Cup," Juve international midfielder Claudio Marchisio said.
"In Cesena, a small alarm bell rang, and it should not happen again. We must understand our mistakes.
"We botched an important game. But this gives us more concentration for the next games. We are not seeking excuses. It was our fault. (In Cesena) there was not the real Juve."
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The Bianconeri's home game to lowly Atalanta is set for Friday at the Juventus Stadium, where they then await Borussia Dortmund Tuesday to kick off the knock-out stage of the Champions League.
Roma are away to struggling Verona Sunday, after playing at home to Feyenoord Thursday in the Europa League.
French coach Rudi Garcia sounded positive despite a recent run of five draws and one win.
"No other team in Europe had as many injuries as Roma," Garcia said. "But the team are second (on 47), seven points behind the first and have a five-point lead on the third (Napoli). They have done something incredible."
Veteran Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic are back with the Giallorossi as new signing Seydou Doumbia looks to improve after Sunday's lacklustre debut.
Doumbia transferred from CSKA Moscow and joined Ivory Coast compatriot Gervinho, who is with the Giallorossi since 2013. The two strikers won the Africa Cup of Nations together on February 8.
"I do not think that Garcia made a mistake in fielding me from the start (Sunday), although I only trained twice (at Roma)," Doumbia said. "I will do all I can to meet the expectations of the fans."
Elsewhere, Fiorentina are fourth when they meet Torino late Sunday after both play Thursday in the Europa League.
Third-place Napoli and Inter Milan are also in the tournament. Sassuolo visit the Naples side Monday and Inter are away to Cagliari.
The 24th round features a city derby between Sampdoria and Genoa early Saturday. The Sunday programme includes Empoli v Chievo, Lazio v Palermo, AC Milan v Cesena and Parma v Udinese.For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.