Silva and Stankovic to miss Milan derby

Round-up of news before this weekend's Serie A fixtures:

AC Milan will be without defender Thiago Silva for Sunday's derby against Inter Milan, a crucial game which could yet prove to be the scudetto decider.

The Brazilian trained separately from the rest of the first team squad on Friday and has been struggling with a muscle injury.

Milan, one point behind leaders Juventus, may also have to make do without full-back Luca Antonini and midfielders Clarence Seedorf and Urby Emanuelson.

Inter's Dejan Stankovic will miss the Milan derby after an ongoing Achilles problem finally put paid to his season.

Coach Andrea Stramaccioni knows that all-important third spot for the Champions League play-offs is now looking increasingly unlikely, but victory against the Rossoneri will be a serious boost for his long-term job prospects, even if it would hand the title to eternal rivals Juventus.

Leaders Juventus travel to Trieste, where they play Cagliari on Sunday, without Paolo De Ceglie. The defender will miss the season's two remaining league games, and possibly the Coppa Italia final against Napoli, after suffering a thigh injury.

Meanwhile Gianluigi Buffon, whose mistake in the draw against Lecce on Wednesday saw Juve dropping points in their title chase, has been given unanimous backing by fans and team-mates.

New interim coach Vincenzo Guerini has said he will only take charge of Fiorentina for the remaining two games of the season and does not want to take on the role full-time.

"I said yes for the love of Fiorentina," Guerini told a news conference on Friday.

Earlier, former coach Delio Rossi, sacked after punching player Adem Ljajic during Wednesday's game with Novara, was embraced by fans gathered outside the club's Stadio Franchi after apologising for the incident.

For his part, Ljajic has said sorry to Rossi via his Facebook page, adding that he "wishes Signor Rossi the best for the future". Earn a point at Lecce on Saturday and Fiorentina will be safe.

Bologna captain Marco Di Vaio has confirmed that he will be leaving the club for MLS side Montreal Impact at the end of the season.

Speaking at a specially-arranged news conference on Friday, the former Italy international did not rule out a future return to the club, possibly in a coaching or director's role.

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis says the club "are masters of our own destiny" as they look to secure third place and another crack at the Champions League.

Thousands of travelling fans will accompany the team for Sunday's game at Bologna, where striker Ezequiel Lavezzi is expected to again start on the bench.

The Argentine, linked in the media with a move to Inter, celebrated his 27th birthday during the week.

"I sent him an SMS," De Laurentiis told Italian radio. "He's a true Neapolitan, even if he doesn't actually realise it."

AS Roma coach Luis Enrique does not know if he will be leaving the capital at the end of the season, despite growing pressure for him to resign.

"I'm only interested in qualifying for Europe," he told reporters on Friday. Club officials have made a point of standing by the Spaniard, despite supporters turning against the former Barcelona player in recent weeks.

Vincenzo Montella, Luis Enrique's predecessor, brings his Catania team to the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday.


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