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Imperious inter put Jose in happy place

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho has given a thumbs-up to the job done by his players so far this season.

The four-time defending champions are cruising on top of Serie A and Wednesday's 1-0 win at Chievo saw Inter maintain an eight-point cushion over scudetto contenders AC Milan at the halfway point of the campaign.

With the Nerazzurri unbeaten at the San Siro and having suffered only two defeats in 18 games, Mourinho has reason to be happy.

"I am extremely satisfied," said Mourinho. "My team is showing a lot of character and this is something that can only make a coach happy.

"What makes the difference in games is the character displayed by the team.

"I have a lot of top professionals on the pitch and they do a great job."

If results go their way, Inter's lead could increase to 10 points this weekend.

The Nerazzurri host rock-bottom Siena today, while 24 hours later Juventus take on in-form AC Milan in Turin in the battle for second spot. The Rossoneri beat Genoa 5-2 in their first game of 2010 and are one point clear of Juve heading into tomorrow's clash. Napoli host Sampdoria in buoyant mood after their 2-0 win at Atalanta in the last round extended their unbeaten run to 11 games and lifted the Partenopei to fourth.

A slip by Napoli could see Roma regain the fourth and last Champions League qualifying spot, provided the Giallorossi beat Chievo today. Genoa will be desperate to make amends for their hammering by Milan when they host relegation-threatened Catania tomorrow.

Fiorentina take on surprise package Bari looking to get back in the European qualification places. The Viola lie seventh after Wednesday's 5-1 triumph at Siena and are three points behind Napoli.

Bologna will be under pressure to beat Cagliari knowing that a defeat could see them drop into the relegation zone. The Rossoblu currently lie one point clear of 18th-place Catania.

Atalanta head into Sunday's game at Palermo looking for a new manager following Antonio Conte's resignation this week. Conte stepped down after Wednesday's 2-0 defeat to Napoli that left the Bergamaschi in 19th position in the standings.

The Bergamo outfit have clinched just one win from their last eight matches.

Parma look to stop the rot when they travel to Leghorn to meet Livorno. Defeats to Roma and Juventus have seen Francesco Guidolin's side drop to sixth.

Strugglers Udinese will be hoping the presence of Serie A's top scorer Antonio Di Natale will inspire their team to return to winning ways against Lazio.