Friday, 21 December 2007

Serie A Week 17: Weekend Preview

AC Milan will be looking to end Inter's unbeaten start to the Serie A season when the sides meet in Sunday afternoon's city derby at the San Siro.

While Roberto Mancini's Inter have dominated Italy's top flight in recent campaigns, the Rossoneri have been busy conquering Europe and the world.

The Nerazzurri go into the showdown encounter 22 points clear of Milan, who have three games in hand, but have already waved goodbye to their Scudetto hopes.

Inter have the best strikeforce and defensive line-up in the league but their remarkable form has been somewhat overshadowed by the glamorous achievements of the Rossoneri.

They have won the Champions League, the European Super Cup and clinched the FIFA Club World Cup trophy last Sunday.

"This is our last game of the year," said Kaka, who received the FIFA World Player of the Year award on Monday, having been honoured earlier this month with the European Player of the Year award.

"We have a great opportunity to reduce our deficit with Inter and we must do everything we can to clinch a victory."

A triumph by Milan will be welcomed by Roma, who are looking to return to winning ways after consecutive draws against Livorno and Torino left them seven points behind Inter.

Roma face Sampdoria on Saturday night without injured captain Francesco Totti and Juventus, who are just one point behind the Eternal City giants, host Siena determined to leapfrog Roma in the table on Sunday.

Udinese will be looking to avoid their third defeat in four games when Empoli visit the Stadio Friuli, while Fiorentina will be desperate to end their five-game winless run when they host bottom-side Cagliari.

The Sardinian outfit tried to bring back former coach Marco Giampaolo after Nedo Sonetti resigned this week, but he made a U-turn after Giampaolo refused the offer to return.

Palermo will be looking to maintain their sixth position in the table with a home victory against Lazio, but a slip by the Sicilian giants would see promoted club Napoli overtake them in the standings as long as they beat Torino.

Genoa will fancy their chances against Parma in Saturday's early game, with the Ducale club having failed to win a game on the road this campaign and Livorno take on Atalanta knowing that a defeat could see them drop into the relegation zone.

Strugglers Reggina already know they will spend Christmas in the bottom three, but will battle it out against Catania in the hope of clinching their second win of the campaign.

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