Del Piero poised for bench berth against Inter
Juventus forward Alessandro Del Piero is likely to return to the bench for the home game against Inter Milan on Sunday despite scoring in the Turin's side's Italian Cup semi-final triumph over AC Milan in midweek.
The 37-year-old, likely to leave the second-placed outfit for abroad next season, is used to being a substitute this term and is expected to be replaced by Alessandro Matri as Juve try to make up a four-point gap to leaders Milan.
Seventh-placed Inter are struggling to stay in contention for a Champions League qualifying spot after a woeful season and victory at their old enemy Juventus would offer a rare chance to celebrate.
"It is the right night to give some sense to our season," midfielder Dejan Stankovic told reporters.
Inter, who could be missing key midfielder Wesley Sneijder after the Dutch midfielder tweeted that he was unlikely to be fit for the game, have been linked in the media with a move for Udinese utility player Mauricio Isla.
Milan, who host AS Roma on Saturday, are set to send injury-prone striker Alexandre Pato to the United States to try to clear up his constant hamstring problems.
"It could be that next week he goes to see another luminary in the U.S., a different one from last time. He will get better; he has to," Milan chief executive Adriano Galliani told reporters in a hint that the Brazilian could be sold if the issues persist.
There was some good news for coach Massimiliano Allegri, who announced on Friday that Kevin-Prince Boateng was fit to return from injury.
Milan director Barbara Berlusconi has hailed Roma's new approach under coach Luis Enrique but still expects a Rossoneri victory over the sixth-placed side.
"The clash with the Giallorossi could be decisive," she told reporters. "Roma are strong and unpredictable but I have faith in Milan. I like the fact Roma are concentrating on young talent. It is an ambitious project that will lead to good results."
Third-placed Lazio look likely to be without striker Miroslav Klose for Sunday's home game with Cagliari after the German suffered a hamstring injury.
Modest Catania, who could be pushing for a Champions League spot if they win at European rivals Napoli on Sunday, are far from surprise packages as far as former Italy coach Marcello Lippi is concerned.
"They have Nicola Legrottaglie in defence, a midfield of quality and they are still scoring goals despite Maxi Lopez joining Milan," Lippi told Gazzetta dello Sport.