MILAN - Brief news ahead of this
weekend's final round of matches in Serie A.
Sampdoria's home game with Napoli on Sunday,
where a win would guarantee them the fourth Champions League
qualifying berth, is being overshadowed by media speculation
that coach Luigi Del Neri will join Juventus next week.
Fourth-placed Samp, who like Juve are not commenting on the
rumours, have not featured in Europe's top club competition
since the 1992 final in their only previous appearance.
Reports say Juve, no longer pursuing Liverpool's Rafa
Benitez, are waiting until the end of the season to make a move
for Del Neri and Samp's sporting director Beppe Marotta.
Samp have doubts over injured right back Luciano Zauri
and Napoli, already assured of a Europa League berth, will be
without suspended main striker Ezequiel Lavezzi.
Palermo's hopes of snatching the fourth and final
Champions League qualifying spot have been hit by top scorer
Fabrizio Miccoli being ruled out of the trip to relegated
Atalanta on Sunday because of a knee injury.
Fifth-placed Palermo, two points behind Sampdoria in
fourth, said in a statement that the 19-goal striker would
undergo knee ligament surgery and could be out for three or
The Sicilians will also be without suspended midfielder
Giulio Migliaccio and four other injured first teamers while
Atalanta forward Nicola Amoruso is among three home players
Inter Milan, who will seal a fifth straight scudetto with
a win at relegated Siena on Sunday, have defender Ivan Cordoba
injured but centre back Lucio and playmaker Wesley Sneijder
have returned to full training after knocks.
Second-placed AS Roma, two points behind Inter, have
influential left back John Arne Riise suspended for their trip
to mid-table Chievo on Sunday.
All other games in Serie A's final weekend cannot affect
the title, European race or relegation, which has already been
decided with Livorno also down.
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