Cassano case set to go to arbitration

MILAN - Brief news from Serie A ahead of midweek matches.

Antonio Cassano is poised to miss Sampdoria's game at Parma on Thursday after president Riccardo Garrone said he would wait for the outcome of an imminent arbitration hearing before deciding what to do with the rebel striker.

The Italy forward has been suspended by the club and missed three games for swearing at Garrone after refusing to attend a club dinner. He has since apologised several times and Samp fans have called for the talisman to be recalled.

"The situation has not changed," Garrone told reporters as he confirmed he would wait for arbitration to decide whether his suspension of Cassano was lawful.

Parma coach Pasquale Marino goes into the Samp game under pressure with his side joint-bottom after 10 games.

"It's clear we are all under examination," Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi told reporters. "First of all it's the players who go out on the field and also Marino, who is the first not to be happy with the situation.

"I will definitely watch the next two games carefully and then draw some conclusions."

Second-placed AC Milan host Palermo on Wednesday looking for further proof that they can finally end Inter Milan's five-year stranglehold on the Serie A title.

"We are not favourities but we are a side worthy of the scudetto," chief exceutive Adriano Galliani told reporters.

"No one will leave in January," he added.

Midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is suspended while Andrea Pirlo may be rested to avoid picking up a yellow card which would rule him out of Sunday's derby with Inter.

Inter's dreadful injury problems are easing very slightly before Wednesday's trip to promoted Lecce.

Midfielder Dejan Stankovic is back in training after a calf injury and may be risked given their lack of bodies in the middle of the park while Wesley Sneijder looks to have recovered having fainted at half-time in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Brescia.

Juventus are also hoping for good news on the injury front with Giorgio Chiellini in contention to face Brescia on Wednesday after a knock, the website said.

Alessandro Del Piero, who turned 36 on Tuesday, is also set to start.