Previews: Sneijder out for Inter

ROME - Brief news ahead of midweek Serie A matches:

Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder will miss Serie A leaders Inter Milan's home game with Palermo on Thursday with a pulled hamstring and faces a battle to be fit for next week's trip to Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

Coach Jose Mourinho will be keen for the former Real Madrid player to return against Kiev, with Inter needing a win to get their European challenge on track following three draws.

Midfielder Thiago Motta may return to the starting lineup on Thursday after a month out with a thigh problem.

Palermo coach Walter Zenga is relishing the game against Inter, the team he represented for 22 years, especially with his side in fourth place after three consecutive wins.

Former keeper Zenga, though, said he was in no rush to realise his ambition of taking over his former club.

"It's true I said my dream is to coach Inter but I also added that beforehand I would have to work with great commitment and dedication," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Mourinho is the best in the world."

Third-placed Juventus said they would be without Vincenzo Iaquinta for 40 days after the Italy striker had successful knee surgery on Tuesday.

Italy captain Fabio Cannavaro is likely to return for Wednesday's clash in Turin with surprise packages Sampdoria, who are in second spot two points behind Inter, after being rested for Sunday's 1-0 win at Siena.

Goalkeeper Sebastien Frey, who has been in fine form for fifth-placed Fiorentina, said he was baffled at not getting a call-up from France coach Raymond Domenech.

"I've never had any particular problems with Domenech but he doesn't want me in his squad and he has never explained the decision to exclude me," Frey was quoted as saying by Italian media ahead of Wednesday's visit to Genoa.

AS Roma could be without in-form captain Francesco Totti for a month after a minor operation on his knee on Monday.

Norway full back John Arne Riise has taken a knock to his foot while keeper Doni and midfielder David Pizarro are also likely to miss Roma's visit to Udinese on Wednesday.

Defender Alessandro Nesta will be fit for resurgent AC Milan's game at Napoli on Wednesday despite a fractured nose, the club said.