Saturday, 28 February 2009

Serie A - Week 26: Weekend Preview

Defending Serie A champions Inter will put their European frustrations to one side on Sunday night when they face Roma at the San Siro.

Inter go into the encounter against the Eternal City outfit on the back of a 0-0 home draw against Manchester United in the opening leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 match.

Despite the result, coach Jose Mourinho is convinced his players will come up with the goods in the return match at Old Trafford on March 11.

"The result doesn't disturb me," said Mourinho. "It would have been easier to travel to Manchester having scored a goal.

"This result gives us hope and I am confident that my team can go to Old Trafford and score."

The Nerazzurri will attempt to make it four league wins in a row and extend their nine-point advantage over second-place Juventus when they entertain sixth-place Roma.

Luciano Spalletti's Roma lost 1-0 at Arsenal in their midweek Champions League tie and will face a challenge as they look to end Inter's unbeaten run at home this season.

With 13 games left to play, Juventus and AC Milan will be hoping for a Roma victory as they attempt to narrow the gap with Inter.

Juve, nine points behind the leaders, entertain Napoli in Turin on Saturday night looking to bounce back from Wednesday's 1-0 defeat at Chelsea that complicated their European ambitions.

Claudio Ranieri's men expect to collect three points against a Napoli side that have not won since their 1-0 triumph against Catania on January 11.

Milan make the journey to Genoa to meet Sampdoria with some good news that Brazil playmaker Ricardo Kaka has recovered from a foot injury and will be available for selection.

The Rossoneri, who are two points behind Juve, crashed out of the UEFA Cup against Werder Bremen despite leading 2-0 on Thursday night while a weakened Samp side were dumped out by Metalist Kharkiv.

Fourth-place Fiorentina, who were also kncoked out of the UEFA Cup by Ajax, will be looking to extend their five-game unbeaten league run when they make the journey south to meet rock-bottom Reggina.

The Florence-based outfit will have to do without their top scorer, Alberto Gilardino, who serves a one-match ban.

Genoa meet Siena in Tuscany in buoyant mood having clinched their fourth win on the road this season in last weekends 1-0 triumph at Napoli.

That win left Genoa one point behind Fiorentina and one clear of Roma.

Lazio host Bologna in Saturday's early game looking for their first win in the Italian capital since December 20.

Surprise UEFA Europa League chasers Cagliari take on relegation-threatened Torino looking to continue their solid home form.

Atalanta will have to overcome the absence of injured captain Cristiano Doni when they meet strugglers Chievo.

Palermo lost their third game at La Favorita this season in last weekends 2-0 loss against Juventus and will look to return to winning ways when they entertain Catania.

Relegation-threatened Lecce will be desperate to avoid their fourth consecutive defeat when they travel to the Stadio Friuli to meet an Udinese who will be the sole Italian representative in the UEFA Cup after getting past Lech Poznan.

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