MILAN, Sept 23 (Reuters) - The suspension of this weekend's
Serie A players' strike has come at a bad time for beleaguered
AS Roma, who could have done with Saturday off rather than
hosting champions and leaders Inter Milan.
Roma were close runners-up to Inter last term having become
favourites in the run-in when they defeated their big rivals at
home only to throw away their advantage in a loss to Sampdoria.
The ghosts of April's capitulation have continued to haunt
Claudio Ranieri's cash-strapped side at the start of this season
where they have so far failed to win a game.
Wednesday's 2-1 defeat at promoted Brescia was symptomatic
of their problems with goalkeeper Julio Sergio seriously
injuring his ankle and a raft of refereeing decisions going
against them, so much so that the Romans plan a formal
Media speculation has linked former Italy coach Marcello
Lippi with the club and despite official denials, Ranieri is
taking nothing for granted.
"There are those who move in the shadows. The newspapers
have come up with first and last names, so they know something
too," the coach cryptically told reporters.
Roman warriors Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi missed
the Brescia defeat through injury and face a race against time
to be fit for Saturday when a packed Stadio Olimpico is still
expected despite the up-for-sale team's early woes.
Treble winners Inter will show no mercy now they have hit
their stride with a 4-0 home win over Bari on Wednesday when
last term's hero Diego Milito broke his scoring drought.
Rafael Benitez's new side top the table with 10 after four
games with surprise packages Chievo and Brescia a point behind.
AC Milan, picked as favourites by some pundits to stop Inter
winning their sixth straight scudetto this term after the
signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, are already five points adrift of
their dominant rivals following Wednesday's 1-1 draw at Lazio.
The Rossoneri have won only one game out of four, the 4-0
win over Lecce in the opener before forward Ibrahimovic joined.
Fellow new signing Robinho is not yet fully fit while
Alexandre Pato and Massimo Ambrosini wil again miss Saturday's
home game with Genoa through injury.
"When everyone is fit it wil be another Milan," new coach
Massimiliano Allegri, whose side have not won Serie A since
2004, told reporters after a disjointed showing at Lazio.
Chievo host Lazio in Sunday's main programme of games.
The Italian players' union had called a strike for this
weekend in a dispute over a collective contract with Serie A but
on Tuesday they decided to postpone the walkout to allow more
dialogue, although future industrial action could still follow.
Berlin will stage Champions League final for the first time in 2015
Borussia Dortmund's Mario Gotze ruled out of Champions League final against Bayern Munich
Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand signs one-year contract
Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini will leave the La Liga club at the end of the current season
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010