Juventus' Serie A supremacy faces a stiff test with the champion just one point ahead of Lazio as the Italian league kicks off again this weekend following a three-month shutdown.
A return seemed impossible back in April as Italy's daily coronavirus death tole rose to hundreds, totaling nearly 35,000 victims in the country.
But the situation has improved with strict health protocols in place and all matches being played behind closed doors.
Four postponed games will take place first this weekend involving teams at the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Atalanta hosts Sassuolo in Bergamo on Sunday, and Inter Milan is at home against Sampdoria.
On Saturday, Torino hosts Parma and Cagliari travels to Hellas Verona.
Next week all teams will have 12 games left to play, with Juventus at Bologna on Monday and Lazio traveling to Atalanta on Wednesday.
Maurizio Sarri's Juventus fell in the Italian Cup final to Napoli on penalties midweek, having also lost the Italian SuperCup to Lazio in December.
"Ronaldo, (Paulo) Dybala and our great soloists lack that little bit of brilliance, but I consider it quite normal in this period," said Sarri.
"I didn't say anything to the players, we were all very angry and disappointed, and I think it's better to be silent right now."
Sarri's woes have been compounded with Brazilian defender Alex Sandro tearing a knee ligament against Napoli and Sami Khedira picking up a potentially serious tendon problem.
Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain and captain Giorgio Chiellini are also not yet at full fitness.
Juventus will be counting on its top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo to react after suffering two defeats in a final for the first time in his career and missing a penalty in the Italian Cup semifinal.
Lazio's Ciro Immobile has scored 27 goals this season, six more than Ronaldo, as the in-form Romans target their third Scudetto and first in two decades.
Simone Inzaghi's side has already beaten Juventus twice this season, in the Italian SuperCup final and 3-1 in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
The top two teams will meet in Turin on July 20.
Inter Milan is third, nine points behind Juventus. Inter lost to Lazio 2-1 and Juventus 2-0 just before the suspension.
"If I have to find a positive part of this crisis, it's that I've had time to focus and try to find different areas in which the team can improve," said Inter Milan coach Antonio Conte.
Atalanta occupies the final Champions League berth, three points ahead of Roma, with Napoli sixth a further six points behind.
Roma against racism
Meanwhile, Roma players will come on the pitch with an anti-racism badge on their shirts, which will stay on for the remainder of the season.
Players will wear the badge featuring two clasped hands – one black and one white – with the words "Black Lives Matter" and "Assieme" ("Together" in Italian) for the remaining 12 Serie A games.
"We feel it's a timely opportunity to communicate an important message to millions of television viewers around the world," Paul Rogers, chief strategy officer at Roma, said on the club's website.
"Not being racist isn't enough. We must be anti-racist," he continued, speaking of the global protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the United States.
Italian football is regularly beset by racism controversies with players of African origin often targeted for abuse.
Brazilian player Dalbert of Fiorentina, Inter Milan's Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and AC Milan's Ivorian Franck Kessie have been targeted by "monkey" calls this season.
Blaise Matuidi, Kalidou Koulibaly and Moise Kean were also victims last season.
In September, Roma banned a fan for life and informed the police of racist abuse aimed at their own Brazilian fullback Juan Jesus, and in October they issued an apology after their supporters racially abused Sampdoria's English midfielder Ronaldo Vieira.
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