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Milanese thoughts turn to derby

Published: Sunday 27 February 2005, 0.28CET
Unbeaten FC Internazionale Milano take on city rivals AC Milan in the 260th 'Derby della Madonnina'. features

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Published: Sunday 27 February 2005, 0.28CET

Milanese thoughts turn to derby

Unbeaten FC Internazionale Milano take on city rivals AC Milan in the 260th 'Derby della Madonnina'.

By Paolo Menicucci

Four days after excellent UEFA Champions League away results for FC Internazionale Milano and AC Milan, the city rivals go head-to-head in the 260th 'Derby della Madonnina' on Sunday night.

Eleven-point gap
Milan defeated Manchester United FC 1-0 on Wednesday and Inter earned a similarly precious 1-1 draw at European champions FC Porto. The Rossoneri have won their last four games to wipe out Juventus FC's eight-point advantage. In contrast, the Nerazzurri, unbeaten in all competitions this season, are eleven points adrift of the joint-leaders after their 16th draw in 25 Serie A outings at Udinese Calcio last week.

'Peculiar match'
"It is a peculiar match," said Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti. "Anything can happen in a derby and, for Inter, this is a last chance to keep their Scudetto hopes alive. It is a must-win game for them, but we will also play for the three points and I will field two forwards."

Strike pair
With Filippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko injured, ex-Inter man Hernán Crespo and Jon Dahl Tomasson will form the strike pair. Giuseppe Pancaro is suspended while fellow defender Jaap Stam is doubtful after suffering a muscle injury in the warm-up for the game at Old Trafford.

Adriano 'improving'
Meanwhile, Inter hope previously prolific Adriano can score for the first time in 2005. "I am not worried because he's improving with every match since returning from injury," explained coach Roberto Mancini. The teams' meeting in October ended goalless.

Juve pair out
Juventus welcome third-from-bottom AC Siena without Pavel Nedved and David Trezueguet. The Czech midfielder is spending a few days in hospital following a clash of heads during the Champions League defeat by Real Madrid CF while the striker is ill.

Palermo test
Elsewhere, sixth-placed US Città di Palermo hope to keep their European ambitions alive when they host an AS Roma side missing the suspended Francesco Totti. Parma FC, fresh from beating VfB Stuttgart in the UEFA Cup, visit S.S. Lazio.

Zeman reunion
Cagliari Calcio entertain bottom team Atalanta BC, Bologna FC take on AS Livorno Calcio, US Lecce coach Zdenek Zeman faces former club FC Messina Peloro, and AC Chievo Verona go to Reggina Calcio.

Last updated: 27/02/05 21.21CET