Totti doubtful for Rome derby

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

Roma skipper Francesco Totti could miss Sunday's derby with fourth-placed Lazio after pulling a muscle ahead of the club's sorry elimination from the Champions League on Wednesday.

Marco Borriello, who missed a penalty in the 3-0 (6-2 on aggregate) defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk in Ukraine, is likely to retain the striker's role in the battle for local pride and a Champions League spot despite his public grumblings over the way new coach Vincenzo Montella picked on him.

"It's embarrassing they're making a scapegoat out of me," said Borriello, who has already scored twice from the penalty spot against Lazio this season. "Nobody else wanted to take it."

Lazio, who are two points behind third-placed Napoli and a point ahead of Udinese, have captain Stefano Mauri and Tomasso Rocchi, scorer of five derby goals, back in contention after layoffs.

"It is going to be tough but if we have the right spirit and commitment we could inflict damage on this wounded Roma," said Lazio president Claudio Lotito.

Leaders AC Milan are likely to be without Kevin-Prince Boateng for Sunday's home match against bottom side Bari.

The Ghanaian midfielder pulled up injured in the goalless draw against Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday and should be replaced by Mark van Bommel, who was cup-tied as Milan bowed out of the Champions League.

Third-placed Napoli welcome back the much-missed Ezequiel Lavezzi after the forward's three-match ban for spitting but could be without defenders Hugo Campagnaro and Christian Maggio for the visit to struggling Parma on Sunday.

Strugglers Catania's training session on Thursday was temporarily halted by a group of rowdy fans.

Ahead of the clash with struggling Sampdoria in Sicily on Sunday a 50-300 strong group marched on the club's training facilities, throwing stones and calling for a marked improvement in commitment.

"Show some balls," read a banner. Training got back underway after Argentine coach and former midfield hardman Diego Simeone agreed to meet with a hardcore group of the protestors.

Sampdoria president Riccardo Garrone, who this week brought in Alberto Cavasin for the sacked Domenico Di Carlo following last weekend's 3-2 defeat at home to Cesena, has defended his handling of the Genoa club.

Garrone has been criticised after first banishing Antonio Cassano, now with AC Milan, before selling top striker Giampaolo Pazzini to Inter Milan in the same January transfer window.

"Nobody, unless he is a fool, would keep a player who tries so desperately to leave," said Garrone, whose club have slumped to 14th place.

"The way Pazzini was performing this year, it would have been better to play Krsticic [youth team player]."


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