MILAN - Brief news ahead of this
weekend's Serie A matches.
Inter Milan defender Lucio is suspended for Saturday's
derby with league leaders AC Milan while fellow
centre-back Andrea Ranocchia faces a late fitness test along
with left-back Cristian Chivu.
Injury-prone striker Diego Milito may make the bench.
Inter, managed by last season's Milan coach Leonardo and
seeking a sixth straight scudetto with eight games left, will
storm top with a win against their rivals in one of the biggest
derbies for years.
Milan are without suspended former Inter striker Zlatan
Ibrahimovic and are in shaky form but midfielder Clarence
Seedorf, another ex-Inter player, has rallied the troops after
some team mates had attempted to play down the significance of
"I say that this derby is decisive. On a psychological
level, it counts a lot, anyone who says otherwise is a liar,"
the Dutchman told a news conference.
Inter's build-up has been partly upset by president Massimo
Moratti being called to give evidence to the soccer federation
over accusations his club were also involved in the 2006
match-fixing scandal and should have that year's scudetto
Moratti, who denies any role in the affair for which
Juventus and Milan were among those punished, told reporters:
"It was important I was here. You'll have to ask them how it
went but it was a calm and educated meeting. I am more than
convinced of my position."
Third-placed Napoli, three points behind Milan, host Lazio
in fifth in another big game on Sunday with doubts over
the fitness of midfielder Juan Zuniga because of an ankle
Lazio boss Edy Reja has hinted he may change formation for
the clash as he tries to revive their Champions League hopes.
Sixth-placed AS Roma welcome Juventus in seventh in
Sunday's late match with anticipation building over
Thomas Di Benedetto's consortium taking over of the capital
"Winning the scudetto as soon as possible is the aim," the
American, who denied there were problems with UEFA given he has
been part of the group which owns Liverpool, told reporters.
"In reality, we hope for success this season because
qualifying for the Champions League would count as a great
Juventus are injury-riddled for the game with striker
Vincenzo Iaquinta possibly out for the season, defender Giorgio
Chiellini missing for maybe a month and Alessandro Del Piero
doubtful with a knock.
Udinese, looking to cling on to the fourth and final
Champions League qualifying spot, travel to
relegation-threatened Lecce on Sunday with no new
injuries following the international break.
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