Brief news ahead of this
weekend's Serie A matches:
Unbeaten Juventus may be without influential midfielder
Andrea Pirlo for the first time this season for Saturday's
top-of-the-table clash against Lazio.
Pirlo, ever-present since his off-season move from Milan,
pulled out of Thursday's training after taking a knock to his
The Bianconeri, who also face Napoli at the San Paolo on
Tuesday in a rearranged fixture, are level on 22 points with
Lazio, having played a game fewer.
Lazio coach Edy Reja has urged striker Djibril Cisse to
have patience after the Frenchman's goal drought stretched to 10
league games in last weekend's goalless draw at Napoli.
"He must be patient because he has the quality," the veteran
coach told reporters. "The spaces you are allowed are different
in Italy, defenders are attentive and physically tough. I hope
his run ends as soon as possible but I have complete faith in
Cisse, whose only goal for the club came in their opening
fixture against Milan, should recover from a muscle injury for
the Juve match. German Miroslav Klose, who has hit six Serie A
goals since joining Lazio in June, also faces a late fitness
AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano resumed light training
this week 20 days after undergoing minor heart surgery but the
Italian is not expected to return to action until late in the
Third-placed Milan, who have won five of their last six
matches, host Chievo Verona in Sunday's late match.
Fifth-placed AS Roma have been hit by injuries ahead of
Friday's mouthwatering clash at fourth-placed Udinese.
Along with defenders Cicinho and Aleandro Rosi, skipper
Francesco Totti, who returned to action last weekend after a
six-week absence, is out with a sprained ankle, and fellow
striker Marco Borriello is sidelined by a thigh strain.
Coach Luis Enrique, who has not started the same 11 in
consecutive matches this season, said his side would attack
despite the chopping and changing.
"Our way of playing is not negotiable," he told a news
conference on Thursday. "Udinese are a dangerous side, but I
want opponents to adapt their game to our way of playing not the
other way around."
Struggling Inter Milan forward Diego Milito has pledged
his allegiance to the club despite failing to command a regular
place under coach Claudio Ranieri.
The Argentine, who struck the goals that brought Champions
League glory to Inter 18 months ago, has sat out the last two
league matches, with Ranieri preferring Italian Giampaolo
Pazzini as the spearhead striker.
"My future is Nerazzurro," Milito, who has scored three
Serie A goals this season, told Gazzetta TV. "Let's not talk
about what happened two seasons ago. Not even the team can
repeat that or, at least, it would be very difficult to do so."
Inter, who are two places above the drop zone, travel to
mid-table Siena on Sunday.
Fiorentina coach Delio Rossi is again likely to be without
talented forward Stevan Jovetic as he makes an emotional return
on Sunday to Palermo, the club he managed in two separate
stints last season.
The new Viola boss, whose side progressed to the last 32 of
the Coppa Italia in midweek, is set to keep faith with winger
Alessio Cerci - scorer of both the side's goals in the 2-1 cup
win over Empoli - against sixth-placed Palermo who boast a 100
percent record this season at the Renzo Barbera Stadium.
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