Serie A Previews: De Rossi confident of derby fitness

ROME - Brief news ahead of this weekend's matches in Italy's Serie A.

AS Roma's Daniele De Rossi is confident of being fit for Sunday's derby against Lazio after hurting his wrist in a fall in training on Thursday.

"The wrist hurts but I'm going to play," the Italy midfielder was quoted as saying by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Captain Francesco Totti pulled out of training on Friday with pain in the knee he had surgery on last term but media reported the club were more concerned about Brazilian winger Rodrigo Taddei, who has a thigh problem.

Struggling Roma, who are just one point above the relegation zone and trail fifth-placed Lazio by 14, are without the suspended David Pizarro, while fellow midfielder Alberto Aquilani is not expected to make it back from a thigh injury.

Lazio captain Tommaso Rocchi believes the teams' contrasting positions in the standings will have little bearing on the game.

"We have 14 points more than them which means we have done well up to now and we deserve this position in the table," the striker told Sky television. "But the two sides' form does not count in the derby."

Inter Milan coach Jose Mourinho told a news conference that Sulley Muntari would start for the leaders at Palermo on Saturday after recovering from a right leg strain.

Adriano has been excluded from Inter's squad for a fifth consecutive game but Mourinho said it was because the Brazilian striker had been ill this week and not because of the indiscipline that caused him to be dropped previously.

Ricardo Quaresma, Inter's biggest close-season signing, has been left out too following some poor displays.

Palermo are without suspended midfielder Antonio Nocerino while striker Fabrizio Miccoli is a doubt because of a knock he took in training.

AC Milan midfielder Andrea Pirlo said he was close to recovering from a thigh problem but does not expect to take part in Sunday's game against Chievo Verona at the San Siro.

"Perhaps it's still a bit early," Pirlo told the club's in-house TV channel. "I've trained with the rest of the team all this week. We'll see how it goes day by day.

"On Sunday it will be two months since I suffered my injury. It's been a while and I hope to come back soon because I really want to play."

Milan have 23 points from 11 games, one point less than Inter and Juventus, who thrashed Genoa 4-1 on Thursday in a match brought forward because the Italy rugby team play Argentina in Turin on Saturday.