Serie A Previews: Buffon set to return

ROME - Brief news before this weekend's matches in Italy's Serie A:

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will return to league action for Juventus against Fiorentina in Turin on Saturday but the second-placed side remain short-handed.

Defender Cristian Molinaro and midfielder Momo Sissoko are suspended, while the long list of unfit players includes centre back Giorgio Chiellini and winger Mauro Camoranesi, who are battling to overcome thigh muscle and calf problems.

Alex Manninger, who has been deputising for Buffon, is unavailable because of a knock but fit-again Italy forward Vincenzo Iaquinta has been called up by coach Claudio Ranieri for the first time in 2009.

Sixth-placed Fiorentina are unable to call on suspended full back Gianluca Comotto and Romania forward Adrian Mutu is expected to be out for 10 more days with an elbow injury.

Sebastien Frey should be back between the posts after missing last week's 1-0 defeat at AC Milan with a knee problem.

Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho is likely to field 18-year-old Mario Balotelli in place of suspended Sweden forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic when the leaders entertain Sampdoria on Sunday.

Balotelli is edging back into favour with Mourinho after dropping a request to be loaned out which had irritated the Portuguese coach.

Sampdoria striker Antonio Cassano is a doubt because of a neck injury and the visitors will be without suspended defender Stefano Lucchini.

Kaka will be at the centre of attention again when AC Milan visit Bologna on Sunday in the Brazil playmaker's first league game after Manchester City's massive bid for him failed.

Loan signing David Beckham is being tipped to get his third consecutive Serie A start for third-placed Milan, while Marek Jankulovski is suspended after being sent off against Fiorentina.

Genoa should welcome back top-scorer Diego Milito in Sunday's home clash with Catania after the Argentine missed the surprise fourth-placed package's run of three wins in their last three Serie A games through injury.

Captain Francesco Totti may return to resurgent AS Roma's squad for Sunday's visit to Napoli as he is back in training after suffering a thigh muscle injury in December. Totti scored four goals in a practice match on Wednesday.