Inter Milan, Juventus in need of improvement

March 6th, 2009 - 12:27 pm ICT by IANS  

ChelseaRome, March 6 (DPA) Mid-week slip-ups in the Italian Cup have marred the run-up to tough Serie A games for leaders Inter Milan and Juventus before they face even harder hurdles in the Champions League of European football next week.
“The team gives away too much, then it is hard to come back,” Inter coach Jose Mourinho said after a 0-3 drubbing at Sampdoria. The defeat followed a 3-3 home draw with Roma in the league last weekend.

Inter have a seven-point lead on Juve, but are in for a difficult affair Saturday at fifth-placed Genoa, who are just one point shy of a Champions League berth and, with Inter, are the only side still unbeaten on home turf.

Also Saturday, struggling Torino await Juventus for a hot Turin derby in which anything can happen and the point difference - 53 points for Juve, 24 for Torino - will be no indicator of the outcome.

Torino coach Walter Novellino said he will try and play to win “because draws are not enough to save yourself (from relegation).” He added that he would give up two months of his pay to win the derby.

Juve lost 2-1 at Lazio, with sights probably set on the next mid-week game with Chelsea, who arrive in Turin with a 1-0 lead from the first-leg.

Inter’s task is also difficult as they visit European champions Manchester United after a scoreless draw in Milan.

A third Saturday tie sees Roma visit Udinese in a game they will play without striker Francesco Totti. The captain hopes to overcome knee trouble for Wednesday’s Champions League home match with Arsenal after a 1-0 defeat in London.

On Sunday, third-place AC Milan are still without injured Brazilian star Kaka when they go into a tense regional derby against Atalanta.

The Devils were eliminated from the UEFA Cup and stunned 2-1 by Sampdoria last week, which cut them off the title race and complicated their efforts to secure one of four Champions League berths.

Fiorentina, on 46 points, lie two behind Milan when they host Palermo, with Genoa on 45 and Roma on 44.

After beating Milan and Inter, Sampdoria seem to have overcome a long crisis, largely thanks to the goals of new arrival Giampaolo Pazzini, whose brace helped sink Inter.

The side from Genoa are away to struggling Bologna, struggling Chievo welcome Cagliari, Lecce and tail-enders Reggina clash in the drop zone, Napoli host Lazio and Catania take on Siena.

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