Monday, 28 January 2008

Midweek Serie A & Coppa Italia Preview

AC Milan's creep up the Serie A table could be given more impetus on Wednesday when they visit struggling Reggina in the first of their two games in hand.

The European champions, who endured a poor first half of the season, are now up to seventh following Sunday's 2-0 win over Genoa when new Brazilian star Alexandre Pato scored twice.

The 18-year-old played upfront on his own at the San Siro and may be called upon to do so again at Reggina with injury-plagued Ronaldo struggling with a muscle problem.

"Pato has been fundamental. He is starting to get to know Italian football better," team mate Kaka said.

Australian Zeljko Kalac is likely to deputise for the tired Dida again as Milan play a match rearranged from when they won the FIFA Club World Cup in Japan in December.

They host Livorno in their last game in hand on February 13.

Also on Wednesday, Juventus host Inter in an Coppa Italia quarter-final second leg with the tie intriguingly poised at 2-2.

Juve keeper Gianluigi Buffon is doubtful after missing Sunday's 3-1 win at Livorno with a bad back but winger Mauro Camoranesi, who scored in the 1-1 home league draw with Inter in November, may be fit after a month out with a thigh problem.

The Turin club are expected to wrap up the signing of Liverpool midfielder Mohamed Sissoko later on Monday but he will not be available as he jets straight back to the Africa Cup of Nations with Mali.

Defender Guglielmo Stendardo has signed on loan from Lazio and is likely to play in the Cup given Juve's defensive injuries.

Serie A leaders Inter, who drew 0-0 at Udinese on Sunday, will again rotate their side.

Udinese take a 3-2 advantage to Catania and Lazio also visit Fiorentina on Wednesday 2-1 up from the first leg.

On Tuesday, holders Roma host Sampdoria following a 1-1 draw in Genoa last week.

Coppa Italia (QF, 2nd Leg):
Tuesday January 29
Roma v Sampdoria (2000, UK Time)

Serie A (Week 15):
Wednesday January 30
Reggina v Milan (1930)

Coppa Italia (QF, 2nd Leg):
Wednesday January 30
Catania v Udinese (1400)
Fiorentina v Lazio (1645)
Juventus v Inter (2000)

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