Italy prime minister Giuseppe Conte revealed all of Serie A's Week 26 fixtures, including the blockbuster showdown between Juventus and Inter, could be postponed due to coronavirus fears.

The outbreak of coronavirus in Italy forced four top-flight matches to be postponed over the weekend, including Sunday's clash between Scudetto hopefuls Inter and Sampdoria.

Italy's move came as part of preventative measures against the spread of the coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 which originated in China, after two people died and dozens more reportedly tested positive.

Now, upcoming fixtures across Italy's leagues are in doubt, with Serie A leaders Juve scheduled to host Inter in Turin on March 1.

"I don't think that in just one week we'd be able to slow down the contagion so much that we could resume sporting events," Conte told Rai.

"We are constantly monitoring the situation and will evaluate. We'll see the evolution of the contagion and evaluate postponing all next week's matches."

Juve are a point clear atop the table following Saturday's 2-1 victory away at bottom side SPAL.

Cristiano Ronaldo marked his 1,000th career appearance with a goal, scoring in an 11th consecutive top-flight match – matching a feat previously achieved by Gabriel Batistuta and Fabio Quagliarella.

In-form Lazio were also in action on Saturday and edged Genoa 3-2 to extend their unbeaten streak to 20 games, while Inter are six points off the pace with a game in hand.

Inter returned to winning ways in Serie A as Romelu Lukaku scored twice in the second half to secure a 2-0 triumph away at lowly Udinese.

Antonio Conte's side had drawn their three previous league outings and, with leaders Juventus defeating Fiorentina 3-0 earlier on Sunday, appeared in danger of losing further ground in the title race.

However, after a scoreless first half, Lukaku's brace moved Inter back above Lazio and into second place, three points behind the reigning champions.  

January additions Christian Eriksen and Victor Moses were handed their full debuts by Conte while teenager Sebastiano Esposito filled in up front for the suspended Lautaro Martinez.

Yet the fresh faces failed to inspire, and it was Udinese who were the more threatening side in the first half. Seko Fofana fired into the side netting and Jens Stryger Larsen saw an on-target strike blocked by Ashley Young.

Lukaku had been on the periphery of proceedings before converting his first attempt of the game, his low, left-footed effort in the 64th minute going through the legs of Bram Nuytinck to beat Juan Musso.

The Belgian's second arrived from the penalty spot seven minutes later, Musso having been spectacularly up-ending Alexis Sanchez as the substitute attempted to skip beyond the advancing goalkeeper.

Kevin Lasagna twice dragged efforts wide in the closing stages as Udinese drew a blank, the hosts managing just one shot on target as they allowed Inter goalkeeper Daniele Padelli a comfortable outing while standing in for the injured Samir Handanovic.

Christian Eriksen's decision to choose Inter over a host of other European giants is proof the club are on the right track, according to head coach Antonio Conte.

Eriksen completed a move from Tottenham to Inter on Tuesday, becoming the Serie A club's third addition of the January window after Ashley Young and Victor Moses.

He was brought on as a substitute with 24 minutes remaining in Wednesday's Coppa Italia quarter-final and is in contention to make his first start in the Serie A visit to Udinese on Sunday.

Conte says Eriksen was courted by a number of other clubs, and he believes the Dane's decision to move to San Siro is evidence of Inter's status as one of Europe's most attractive propositions.

"Eriksen was a great coup for this club as he had so many options to choose from and he chose Inter," Conte told a media conference.

"That proves Inter are seen the right way and we are all working to ensure the brand maintains this lustre.

"Eriksen hasn't been playing very much lately for Spurs, but all told, he is in decent physical shape and is starting to get into our ideas of football.

"We talked to him a great deal, so he understands what we want from him and fortunately he is a quick learner."

Asked if the arrivals of Eriksen, Young and Moses will give Inter enough to win the Scudetto, Conte said: "Time will tell. I am happy to work with these players, but they still need to learn the style of football and the language.

"When the intensive period of the fixture list begins, all we can do is cross our fingers and hope there are no injuries.

"You all saw what happened in the first five months, as there were players forced to play every three days. I hope to have more options to choose and rotate."

Lautaro Martinez will miss the visit to Udinese as he starts a two-match ban, with Conte confirming 17-year-old Sebastiano Esposito or Alexis Sanchez will partner Romelu Lukaku in attack.

"Lautaro is a big miss, considering his strong rapport with Romelu Lukaku," Conte added. "It's an opportunity for those who haven't played as much to make the most of the situation. Either Sebastiano Esposito or Alexis Sanchez will start.

"Marcelo Brozovic had his first training session with us yesterday and is coming to Udine, then we'll evaluate his fitness there.

"I expect a tough game, as Udinese are a very physical side with strong quality too. It'll be a hard match, as they all are in Serie A."

Stefano Pioli said the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic has "raised the level of training" at Milan, who are unbeaten in three Serie A matches with the 38-year-old striker involved.

The Rossoneri on Sunday beat Udinese 3-2 in an entertaining encounter at San Siro, where an error by Gianluigi Donnarumma allowed the visitors to take the lead after six minutes through Jens Stryger Larsen.

Second-half strikes from Ante Rebic and Theo Hernandez turned the game on its head before Kevin Lasagna's 85th-minute equaliser.

There was one final twist, though, as Rebic won it deep into stoppage time and Pioli revelled in a third successive victory, but warned Milan have plenty of room for improvement.

"I have to congratulate my players on their performance against the team that caused us a lot of problems," the Milan boss told DAZN.

"We still have to work a lot, because today we showed our quality but there were also moments of relaxation where we exposed to rival blows."

He added: "I asked my players that this week would be perfect and we succeeded, although it was hard.

"This should teach us that the match never ends. We will still work on efficiency."

Ante Rebić's first Rossonero brace and Theo's stunner clinch the win against Udinese Read more https://t.co/eo7djPvp3V

La prima doppietta rossonera di Rebić e la magia di Theo decidono #MilanUdinese  Scopri di più https://t.co/iY1DYC4enn#SempreMilan pic.twitter.com/B2LleqOJ2y

— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 19, 2020

Ibrahimovic played the full 90 minutes and Pioli was full of praise for the veteran striker's performance, as well as that of Rebic after he scored three minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute and struck again at the death.

"Ibra is an added value in our daily work," Pioli said of Ibrahimovic. "He raised the level of training.

"Rebic has been hoping for more opportunities, he always trains well, and after Christmas he returned very determined and willing.

"Everyone who wants to help the team will be given chances."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic helped Milan to a 3-2 victory over Udinese on Sunday to break yet another record.

Milan's success in Ibrahimovic's 222nd Serie A appearance made the veteran striker the fastest player to 150 wins in the Italian top flight in the three-points-for-a-win era - which started in 1994-95.

The 38-year-old was making only his third appearance since arriving at San Siro for his second spell at the club, as two goals from Ante Rebic and one from Theo Hernandez steered Milan to a third consecutive victory in all competitions.

Ibrahimovic has played for Juventus, Inter and Milan across the course of two decades in which he has won seven Scudettos, two of which were revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal.

He has achieved 150 wins in eight fewer matches than former Inter team-mate Esteban Cambiasso, and 10 fewer than Napoli forward Lorenzo Insigne.

Substitute Ante Rebic completed a match-turning second-half double in the 93rd minute to earn Milan a rollercoaster 3-2 victory over Udinese in Serie A on Sunday.

The Croatian winger struck moments after his half-time introduction to cancel out Jens Stryger Larsen's early opener before Theo Hernandez volleyed in a brilliant second, only for Kevin Lasagna to head the visitors level in the 85th minute.

However, the Rossoneri were not to be denied a thrilling come-from-behind win and they had Rebic to thank for a second successive league victory, the 26-year-old keeping his cool to convert in a crowded box deep into added time.

The result at least momentarily lifts Milan up to eighth and gives Stefano Pioli increased hope of leading the team to Europa League qualification.

Maurizio Sarri described Gonzalo Higuain's opener that set Juventus on course for a 4-0 win over Udinese as a goal of "rare beauty".

Juventus marched through to the Coppa Italia quarter-finals with their emphatic victory, which was achieved without the unwell Cristiano Ronaldo.

While Ronaldo contended with a bout of sinusitis, his Juventus team-mates ensured there would be no slip-ups at the Allianz Stadium.

And it was a glorious effort that set them on their way, Higuain ending a quickfire five-pass interaction with fellow Argentinian Paulo Dybala by burying the ball past Brazilian keeper Nicolas.

"The knockout fixtures are always an unknown factor, but the feeling in training was that the team was brilliant, so I expected a great performance, and, in fact, we had a good match," Sarri said.

"The first goal is of rare beauty, with trade [of passes] at full speed."

Sarri added, quoted on the Juventus website: "Our team has great potential, sometimes it gives the feeling of being able to do more, but we are growing.

"Ronaldo was not present because for a couple of days he had a bit of sinusitis and today he felt some shivers, so we prefer to keep him rested given the cold evening.

"Is it Sarri's Juve? No, it's Cristiano's, Dybala's, Higuain's Juve... I'm trying to put something of my own in it, but you have to respect the characteristics of the players."

Dybala added two goals, including a penalty, while Douglas Costa also slotted away a spot-kick as Juventus dominated and might have won by a greater margin.

"It was an important game," Higuain said. "We wanted to pass the round because we want to win the Coppa Italia."

Juventus made light of the absence of a sick Cristiano Ronaldo as their Argentinian connection dazzled in a 4-0 Coppa Italia win over Udinese.

The onset of sinusitis on Wednesday afternoon meant Ronaldo sat out this last-16 tie, but Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala put the game beyond Udinese before the hour mark.

And an outstading five-pass exchange between the Juve strike pair set the tone for the one-sided cup tie, with Higuain netting the 16th-minute opener.

Dybala slotted a penalty 10 minutes later, then struck a sublime third goal in the early stages of the second half.

The former Palermo man would have been on for a hat-trick had he taken the second penalty awarded to Juventus just after the hour. Instead, Douglas Costa took responsibility, safely finding the right corner.

If it had come as a blow to coach Maurizio Sarri to lose Ronaldo so close to kick-off, the former Chelsea boss would have been delighted by the response of his healthy players.

Lazio last year ended Juventus' run of four consecutive Coppa Italia triumphs, when a surprising 3-0 thumping by Atalanta in the quarter-finals concluded Juve's quest.

This time Juve will tackle Parma or Roma in the last eight.

Higuain gave Juventus the lead in style, trading a succession of passes with Dybala on the edge of the Udinese penalty area before being played through by his fellow Argentinian to fire into the left corner.

Udinese appealed for offside, but Higuain had timed his run perfectly and the striker's finish was emphatic.

Dybala stayed cool from the spot after Federico Bernardeschi was tripped by goalkeeper Nicolas, and it was looking like a long night for Udinese.

A VAR offside ruling denied Higuain, after he tucked home when Matthijs de Ligt's shot was parried out, but there was no doubt Juventus had a third when the ball next hit the back of the net.

Higuain fed his compatriot on the right corner of the penalty area, and although Nicolas got a touch to Dybala's shot, it arced in such a way that he had little hope of keeping it out.

Juventus were awarded their second penalty when Bram Nuytinck blocked Daniele Rugani's shot with his hands, and they were home and dry when Douglas Costa put the ball beyond Nicolas.

Cristiano Ronaldo was ruled out of Juventus' Coppa Italia clash with Udinese on Wednesday after falling ill.

Juventus announced the former Real Madrid forward would miss the last-16 match, dealing a blow to boss Maurizio Sarri ahead of kick-off.

The club issued a statement on Twitter that read: "Cristiano Ronaldo was struck by a bout of sinusitis this afternoon and will not be present at the Allianz Stadium for tonight's match."

The omens were still good for Juventus heading into the tie, with Sarri's men having won their past five matches against Udinese across all competitions.

Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala started in attack in the absence of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Ronaldo began the new year with a hat-trick against Cagliari in Serie A, before his penalty on Sunday in a 2-1 win against Roma helped Juventus replace Inter at the top of the table.

Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri reiterated there is no issue between himself and Paulo Dybala after the forward's angry reaction to being substituted during Sunday's 2-1 win at Roma.

Dybala crossed for Merih Demiral's opener and won the 10th-minute penalty converted by Cristiano Ronaldo, but was angered when he made way for Gonzalo Higuain with 20 minutes to play.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday's Coppa Italia tie against Udinese, Sarri maintained there was no need to clear the air.

"I talk to Dybala every day, also because I like him. There is no need to talk about what happened," he said.

"Among other things, the staff told me that he asked only why he was being replaced, it doesn't seem to me anything in particular.

"We are fortunate to have strong attackers who must be a resource, not a problem or a controversy."

Sarri suggested he could select a strong line-up for the round-of-16 fixture, with Ronaldo under consideration.

"Our three forwards are all in good shape," he said. "Cristiano is fine and in great form and I want to speak to him on Wednesday to find out whether or not to play him."

At the other end of the field, Demiral is facing an extended spell on the sidelines after sustaining anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus damage to his left knee later on in the Roma match.

"I'm very sorry for Merih Demiral," Sarri added, with Juve having confirmed the 21-year-old Turkey international would undergo surgery on Monday.

"It happened in a particular moment in which he was growing a lot, demonstrating that he's a Juventus player and having scored his first goal for the club."

Watford have signed Argentine winger Ignacio Pussetto from Udinese for a fee reported to be in the region of £7million (€8m).

Pussetto, 24, joined the Serie A outfit from Huracan in 2018 and scored five times in 50 appearances - including one during last month's 3-1 defeat to Juventus, although he has been used predominantly as a substitute this term.

Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo is the father of Watford owner Gino Pozzo and transfer business between the clubs has been frequent over recent years.

The Hornets' scheduled FA Cup third-round replay at Tranmere Rovers was postponed due to heavy rainfall on Tuesday.

Recently appointed head coach Nigel Pearson has overseen a sharp upturn in form at Vicarage Road, with four wins from their past five matches lifting them out of the Premier League relegation zone.

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri reaped the benefits of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain playing together - then warned it may not happen often.

The front three, who also impressed against Bayer Leverkusen in midweek when Dybala came off the bench, were finally fielded as a starting combination for the first time in Serie A.

The selection paid off, Ronaldo scoring twice in a 3-1 victory over Udinese with one of his goals being set up by Higuain. Temporarily at least, the result moved Juve back to the top of the league standings.

However, Sarri suggested it was only due to Udinese's conservative style of play that he decided to start the three forwards together, with the frontline just one possible option for the former Napoli and Chelsea coach.

"It's the first time that we've managed to really attack the game after a Champions League fixture. We played at a high level for a good 60 minutes," Sarri told Sky Sport Italia.

"At this moment, those three are in good shape and we were facing an Udinese side that doesn't really keep possession, they like to try long balls.

"I therefore thought this was a situation where we could afford to have them. As soon as Udinese started passing it around more, we struggled, so it is a valuable option for us, but one we cannot use all the time.

"Our forwards also worked hard to help the defence and press the opposition for the first 60 minutes. In attack, they did what I asked, which was quick exchanges and passing.

"If we are in a game where the opposition will have 50-50 possession, then it becomes more complicated. They were very organised and focused today.

"Against Leverkusen, I saw they were getting tired and struggling to keep up the intensity, so I introduced the trident for that reason. Udinese play in a different way, they are not so focused on passing."

Ronaldo, meanwhile, believes Juventus have found a good way of incorporating all three forwards into the line-up.

"The most important thing was to win, although we could've had more goals," Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia.

"I think this is a good way of playing and it's important we must play with confidence. It's not about individual performances, but how we work as a collective."

Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Juventus returned to winning ways in Serie A, easing to a 3-1 triumph over struggling Udinese on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri finally fielded Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain together from the start – and the trio were influential in helping the reigning champions record a first victory in three league outings.

The result was a formality by half-time at Allianz Stadium, Ronaldo getting a brace as Udinese struggled to cope with a pumped-up home team eager to bounce back from a 3-1 loss away to Lazio the previous weekend.

The Portugal international opened the scoring in the ninth minute, firing home a loose ball with an instinctive first-time effort, while it was Higuain's well-weighted throughball that set up for a second, finished with his left foot.

Leonardo Bonucci added a third before the interval, flicking in a header at a corner from centre-back partner Merih Demiral via a deflection off the underside of the crossbar, allowing Juve to ease up in the second half.

As the tempo dropped, the hosts relied on the evergreen Gianluigi Buffon - making his 478th Serie A appearance in place of the injured Wojciech Szczesny, drawing him level with Alessandro Del Piero's club record in the competition – to keep Udinese at bay.

The veteran goalkeeper - guilty of a costly error in the 2-2 draw against Sassuolo earlier in December - twice denied the lively Kevin Lasagna, while he also turned away a fierce drive from Seko Fofana.

However, there was little Buffon could do to stop Ignacio Pussetto getting a consolation goal in stoppage time, preventing the former Italy international recording a clean sheet.

Ronaldo had been denied a hat-trick by the post in the closing minutes but Juve coasted to a result that sends them above Inter, although the Nerazzurri can reclaim top spot when they travel to Fiorentina in Sunday's late kick-off.

What does it mean? Sarri sees forwards combine

Having worked so well in the second half of the 2-0 Champions League victory over Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, Dybala, Higuain and Ronaldo had the chance to show they can function from the outset. They did just that, combining impressively on a number of occasions. 

So, was Sarri's starting XI a one-off, or a sign of things to come? This was, admittedly, the ideal game to experiment in; Juventus have won more matches against Udinese than any other Serie A opponent. It will be fascinating to see if they are all selected again for trickier tests in the future.

Ronaldo still going strong

The forward - who turns 35 in February - may not quite have the blistering pace that was once such a trademark, but he remains a ruthless finisher. His goals demonstrated just how dangerous he is when presented with a sight of the target.

Lasagna goes cold on big stage

The Italy international was starved of service in an opening half that was one-way traffic towards the Udinese goal. In the second, however, he failed to capitalise on the opportunities that came his way, including twice allowing recovering defenders to make crucial blocks when seemingly in the clear.

What's next?

Juventus go up against Claudio Ranieri's Sampdoria on Wednesday in their final league outing before the mid-season break in Italy. Udinese, meanwhile, round out 2019 with a home game against Cagliari next Saturday.

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will miss the Serie A clash with Udinese after feeling discomfort in his right shoulder ahead of Sunday's game.

In a statement on social media, Juve said Szczesny reported the problem on the morning of the match and will be rested as a precaution.

Gianluigi Buffon looks set to start in goal at Allianz Stadium after completing 90 minutes in the midweek Champions League win over Bayer Leverkusen.

The 41-year-old kept a clean sheet in Germany but made a glaring error in his last Serie A appearance, the 2-2 draw against Sassuolo on December 1.

Mattia Perin has been added to the matchday squad as Maurizio Sarri's men aim to overtake leaders Inter, who visit Fiorentina later on Sunday.

Maurizio Sarri has challenged his Juventus side to fight against the Champions League hangovers that threaten to derail their bid for a ninth consecutive Serie A title.

Juve have dropped points in four of their 15 league games this season, two of which came immediately after midweek Champions League fixtures.

They drew 1-1 with Lecce in October following a win over Lokomotiv Moscow and were held to a shock 2-2 home draw by Sassuolo this month after beating Atletico Madrid, before losing 3-1 to Lazio a week later.

Those results have left them trailing leaders Inter by two points and Sarri has demanded they do not suffer a similar fate against Udinese on Sunday after the 2-0 win over Bayer Leverkusen that concluded their Group D campaign in midweek.

"The risks of dropping the intensity levels and dropping points after Champions League games is visible in the statistics," he told a media conference. "You can't argue when it happens two or three times.

"We've got to find out why it keeps happening and fix it. There are differences playing in Serie A to the Champions League, but it's not true to say the European opponents are more open. Bayer Leverkusen focus mainly on possession, while Lokomotiv Moscow tend to clam up.

"Perhaps subconsciously our minds can drift to other targets after so many Scudetto titles in a row, but that is something we must absolutely fight against. If we are to be competitive in the Champions League, we need to be competitive in Italy, too."

Udinese are led by caretaker coach Luca Gotti, who was part of Sarri's staff at Chelsea last season.

They have failed to win any of their past four Serie A games, but Sarri is expecting a tough match at the Allianz Stadium.

"Gotti is very talented," he said. "Udinese can transform any long ball into a scoring opportunity, so we've got to be wary of that.

"They are a dangerous team that knows how to close down well and make the game tight. They have strikers who work well and can be dangerous in different circumstances."

Midfielders Adrien Rabiot and Emre Can have struggled for game time this season, with the pair starting only five times between them in Serie A, while Can was omitted from the Champions League squad for the group stage.

Sarri says both can expect to feature against Udinese and has suggested Rabiot – a free transfer following his departure from Paris Saint-Germain during the off-season – has not yet adjusted to life at the club.

"He has struggled to settle into our football, but that is normal," he explained. "He also came off an injury and struggled more in the first half in Germany [against Leverkusen], but he came out towards the end. He is also quite introverted, which doesn't help him to settle.

"Can was immensely disappointed [at being left out of the Champions League squad]. Either Can or Rabiot will certainly play and both of them may well be on the pitch for a portion of the game."

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