ROME - Brief news ahead of this weekend's
Serie A matches.
Juventus, joint top of Serie A alongside Udinese after
four matches, have striker Mirko Vucinic back from suspension,
and defender Andrea Barzagli and long-time absentee Fabio
Quagliarella fit for the first "big match" at their atmospheric
Juventus Arena against AC Milan on Sunday.
With something of a selection dilemma in attack, coach
Antonio Conte, whose side have drawn their last two matches
after an impressive start, could well turn to the experience of
Alessandro Del Piero.
"Throughout my career Juve-Milan has been the big one," the
36-year old said on his website. I
can't wait to feel the electrifying atmosphere inside our new
Champions Milan travel to Juventus on Sunday with
midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng and Philippe Mexes back in
training as their injury crisis slowly eases.
Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who scored in the midweek
Champions League win against Viktoria Plzen, should made his
first league start of the season against his old club.
The Rossoneri, 12th with five points from four games, still
have Robinho, Gennaro Gattuso and Massimiliano Ambrosini
Fiorentina's wantaway midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has
been supported by Italy's players' union (AIC) after receiving
"We are in solidarity with Riccardo Montolivo who has always
behaved professionally," read a statement on the union website.
"We strongly condemn this unacceptable episode stigmatised
According to the Corriere Fiorentino, the Italian
international handed in a transfer request, saying he wanted to
play for a "big club."
The Viola, in fifth place a point behind the leaders, host
Lazio on Sunday still without injured striker Alberto
AS Roma, who this week announced a net loss of 30.5
million euros in the year to 30 June 2011, host in-form Atalanta
on Saturday four days after American Thomas DiBenedetto
was finally named as president.
Mid-table Roma have midfielder Simone Perrotta and striker
Marco Borriello missing through injury but welcome back
goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg who had lost unconsciousness
after a kick to the head in the match against Inter Milan.
After last weekend's first win of the season at Parma, the
mood among the Giallorossi appears much lighter.
"I feel fresh... I'm running and pressing opponents even
more than in the past," skipper Francesco Totti told Corriere
dello Sport on Tuesday, his 35th birthday, giving the thumbs up
to the high-tempo game employed by Spanish coach Luis Enrique.
Promoted Atalanta, who boast the best record in Serie A
with three wins and a draw from their opening four matches,
travel to Roma on Saturday with Argentine Maxi Moralez
back after injury.
The diminutive forward, who scored a brace on his debut for
the Bergamaschi, will line up in attack alongside compatriot
Germain Denis with midfielder Marco Brighi set to play against
his former club.
"We've started well, the best of all... but the surprise
effect is now over," coach Stefano Colantuono, whose side were
docked six points for alleged matchfixing at the start of the
season, told reporters.
Inter skipper Javier Zanetti was toasted on Wednesday
after celebrating a club record 757 appearances for the
Midfielder Wesley Sneijder is still out and striker
Giampaolo Pazzini is struggling with a twisted ankle, but the
38-year-old Argentine, who has stayed virtually injury-free
throughout his career, will line up for Claudio Ranieri's side
for the visit of Napoli on Saturday.
"He was the best player for me in Moscow," president Massimo
Moratti told reporters of Tuesday's Champions League win against
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