Friday, 8 February 2008

Serie A Week 22: Weekend Preview

Roma captain Francesco Totti has warned Inter they are not giving up in the race for the Scudetto.

Sunday's 3-0 defeat at Siena, which marked Roma's first slip of the year, allowed unbeaten Inter to regain their eight-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings.

"We didn't expect this defeat at Siena," admitted Totti. "All of us made a mistake in the approach to the game and we cannot hide our responsibility. But we cannot throw away all the good things we have done so far."

With 17 games left to play before the end of the season, Totti is confident his team still have a chance to win the Italian title.

"We believe it's possible," he said. "We owe it to our fans, to the club and to ourselves to continue to battle for the Scudetto."

Luciano Spalletti's side will need Totti to recover his best form if they wish to challenge the Nerazzurri.

Ever since sustaining a foot injury at the end of November, Totti, who is Roma's top scorer with 10 goals so far, has struggled to recover his form.

"I am still not at my best and I notice it on the pitch," he said. "But I'm working hard to get my fitness back."

Roma host Reggina on Saturday knowing they cannot afford further slip-ups.

Inter will be without midfield duo Dejan Stankovic and Patrick Vieira when they make the journey to Catania on Sunday night.

Stankovic is out of action with a muscular problem, while Vieira will serve the first of a two-match ban after being sent off in last weekend's 1-0 triumph over Empoli.

AC Milan will be hoping the absence of Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato will not hinder the team when they take on Siena.

Pato, who scored last weekend's winner against Fiorentina, is unavailable because of an ankle injury.

The Rossoneri will be hoping Fiorentina lose at in-form Atalanta as they aim to cut the four-point gap to the Florence outfit, who hold the last Champions League qualifying spot.

Third-place Juventus will be desperate to return to the winning ways when they meet Udinese at the Stadio Friuli.

Juve collected their third draw in four games with last weekend's 1-1 result against basement boys Cagliari.

The Bianconeri will be hoping to Serie A's top scorer David Trezeguet recovers in time from a groin injury sustained in training this week.

Sampdoria and Napoli will battle it out at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris with both teams in the race for a UEFA Cup spot.

Parma travel to Cagliari knowing that a slip could see them drop into the relegation zone. The Gialloblu are one-point clear of third-from-bottom Reggina.

Lazio travel to Empoli looking for their first away win since October 1.

Livorno will be hoping to avoid their third consecutive defeat when they host Genoa, while Torino will have a challenge on their hands when they entertain ninth-place Palermo.

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