MILAN - Brief news ahead of this weekend's
Serie A matches.
Experienced AC Milan duo Alessandro Nesta and Andrea Pirlo
are both training fully with the squad after shoulder and thigh
problems respectively and are pushing to return in Saturday's
home game with Parma.
The leaders need a win after two straight draws boosted the
chasing pack's hopes of snatching the scudetto (title).
Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi wants his struggling side
to realise Milan can be beaten having already claimed the scalp
of Juventus this term.
"I've heard it said that we've got nothing to lose at Milan.
It's not true. We have points to lose which we need," he told
Juventus midfielder Felipe Melo has said his eighth-placed
side must beat title-chasing Inter Milan in Turin on Sunday.
"We want to beat Inter at all costs. It's a special game, a
game which can leave you with your morale on the ground or can
give you a massive boost," the Brazilian told Juventus TV.
Alessandro del Piero, close to agreeing a one-year contract
extension, may again have to settle for a place on the bench for
the big game with Alessandro Matri and Luca Toni both scoring in
last weekend's 3-1 win at Cagliari which stopped the rot.
Inter left-back Yuto Nagatomo is unlikely to make his
first start for the champions in the clash with their big rivals
despite Cristian Chivu's continued suspension.
Coach Leonardo put utility man Javier Zanetti at left-back
in last weekend's 5-3 win over AS Roma given the pressure of the
encounter and the Juve match is even more hyped.
Diego Milito's thigh injury and Goran Pandev's shaky form
mean Samuel Eto'o and Giampaolo Pazzini will almost certainly
start up front again for Inter with Wesley Sneijder in the hole.
Second-placed Napoli, three points behind Milan, host AS
Roma in seventh on Saturday with the visitors having
to field a makeshift defence but with midfielder David Pizarro
and forward Francesco Totti set to be available again after a
knee problem and flu respectively.
Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone, whose side host
Bologna on Sunday, has half-denied he is planning to sell
the club having let top strikers Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo
Pazzini leave in January.
"Rumours are flying, there are so many and they get used,
elaborated and blown up by the media," he told reporters.
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