Inter Milan struggling to keep Roma at bay

March 28th, 2008 - 12:28 pm ICT by admin  

(Italian Football Preview)
Milan, March 28 (DPA) It’s not panic stations yet, but a fair amount of anxiety looms over Serie A football leaders Inter Milan as they feel Roma’s breath on their neck with eight games left. Last weekend’s 1-2 home defeat to Juventus continued a poor run for Inter, who have seen their Rome pursuers reduce to four points the 11-point gap they had in mid-February.

With a solid Lazio awaiting Inter in Rome late Saturday, Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar is again expected to limit damages behind an Inter defence package weakened by injuries to Ramiro Cordoba and Walter Samuel. “Theoretically, four points seem to be a lot, but they are few,” the in-form Cesar said.

“It’s enough to botch a game and Roma are on us. But Inter will win the scudetto. I’m certain. It’s enough to finish level with Roma. The direct games are in our favour (Inter boast a win and a draw against Roma).”

Roma have no easy task earlier Saturday at lowly but upbeat Cagliari, who have moved off the bottom after notching seven points in three games and this week had a three-point penalty cancelled by a sports court.

Roma captain Francesco Totti may be missing the game due to a knee problem as striker Mirko Vucinic is suspended along with internationals Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta.

A rough April awaits Roma, with two Champions League quarterfinals against Manchester United and an Italian Cup semi-final with Catania to be added to the Serie A weekends. “I’d rather win the Champions League, but since last weekend I believe in the scudetto too,” Totti said.

More good football is expected Sunday between Udinese and guests Fiorentina, who look to retain the fourth available Champions League berth as their opponents trail six points adrift.

Fifth-placed AC Milan also hope for a slot in the continental tournament as they play a Lombardy derby with Atalanta, while Juventus are safely third ahead of a home game with lowly Parma.

Bottom side Empoli host Sampdoria and Napoli and Palermo play a mid-table clash late Sunday, after Genoa host second-last Reggina.

Catania and visiting Torino look to rise above a danger zone that also worries Livorno as they take on Siena in a Tuscany derby.

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