Previews: Ranieri expecting Lazio to test Inter
AS Roma coach Claudio Ranieri does not believe city rivals Lazio, still not safe from relegation, would purposely lose at home to leaders Inter Milan on Sunday just to hit his side's title hopes.
"Lazio v Inter won't be a distorted game," Ranieri told a news conference. "Lazio will play their best in order to gain the satisfaction of beating the top team. It won't be like winning a Rome derby but it will still be satisfying for them."
Roma, who visit Parma on Saturday, trail Inter by two points with three games left.
Inter forward Goran Pandev may sit out the game at former side Lazio, whom he left acrimoniously in January, after pulling out of Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg at Barcelona at the last minute because of a leg muscle injury.
His absence may open the door for 19-year-old striker Mario Balotelli, who has again apologised to Inter fans after more rebellious antics recently.
Lazio forward Sergio Floccari is doubtful with an ankle problem and former Inter frontman Julio Cruz has a hip injury.
Team mate Cristian Ledesma is suspended.
AC Milan's injury crisis in defence is gradually improving with Daniele Bonera hoping to be back to face Fiorentina at the San Siro on Saturday.
The stuttering Rossoneri, whose coach Leonardo could be on the brink of leaving, are third but lie just four points above Sampdoria in the race for the final automatic Champions League spot.
Sixth-placed Juventus are likely to be again without injured duo David Trezeguet and Mohamed Sissoko when they travel to Catania on Sunday in what could be their last chance to move closer to the fourth Champions League qualifying place.