Stankovic doubtful for nervy Inter

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

Inter Milan welcome back new signing Diego Forlan for the visit of AS Roma on Saturday after the Uruguayan was cup-tied for Wednesday's shock 1-0 home loss to Trabzonspor in the Champions League.

Serbian midfielder Dejan Stankovic is a major doubt with a muscle strain but Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder should recover from a knock to his ankle to line up against the Giallorossi.

Three defeats into the season, president Massimo Moratti has already given new coach Gian Piero Gasperini a vote of confidence but recommended playing 4-4-2 rather than the 3-4-3 formation used in last weekend's 4-3 defeat at Palermo.

"I know that I'll have to make things happen quickly," the former Genoa coach told reporters. "The club's faith in me may only last up to a certain point."

While the tension rises at the San Siro, a semblance of calm appears to have descended on Roma despite last weekend's home defeat to Cagliari that followed their early exit in the Europa League.

Long-time skipper Francesco Totti invited his younger team-mates out for a meal in midweek and although new coach Luis Enrique was not on the guest list, the session was reportedly designed for bonding rather than stirring ahead of Saturday's trip.

Champions AC Milan have been hit by a rash of injuries ahead of Sunday's late game at Napoli. Along with Gennaro Gattuso, Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic being out, midfielders Kevin-Prince Boateng and Massimo Ambrosini suffered side and back strains in Tuesday's 2-2 draw at Barcelona in the Champions League.

Alexandre Pato, who scored after 24 seconds at the Nou Camp, is again expected to lead the Rossoneri attack at the intimidating San Paolo alongside Antonio Cassano.

"Morale is sky high despite the injuries," chief executive Adriano Galliani told Sky Sport 24. "To call it a scudetto decider is a bit over the top given the fact it's the second game of the season."

Napoli, who confirmed their fine start to the season with a 1-1 draw in midweek against Manchester City on their Champions League debut, are expecting a sell-out at the San Paolo for Sunday's visit game.

The city mayor was among hundreds of fans who stayed up half the night at Naples airport on Wednesday to greet the players returning from Manchester as high expectations gripped Italy's southern capital.

Napoli, who finished third last season, may well have to do without talismanic Argentine striker Ezequiel Lavezzi who has a heel injury.

Juventus, enthused by last Sunday's impressive 4-1 win at their new stadium against Parma, look set to rest 36-year old striker Alessandro Del Piero for Sunday's trip to Siena.

Big summer signing Mirko Vucinic is favourite to start alongside Alessandro Matri in attack with new coach Antonio Conte's only selection dilemma being whether to replace suspended left-back Paolo De Ceglie with the out-of-favour Fabio Grosso or by switching centre-half Giorgio Chiellini.

"We are a team of warriors," midfielder Arturo Vidal, scorer of a goal on his debut, told Sky TV, summing up the new combative Juve spirit under Conte. "We have to aim for the scudetto this season."

Lazio midfielder Stefano Mauri looks set to miss Sunday's seasonal Serie A debut at the Stadio Olimpico against Genoa after picking up a thigh strain in midweek.

The club vice-captain, who set up both goals in last Friday's 2-2 draw at Milan, missed Thursday's disappointing Europa League draw against Vaslui.

Brazilian midfielder Hernanes and Miroslav Klose are expected to return to Edy Reja's first XI.


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