Zanetti backs Inter boss Leonardo

MILAN - Brief news from Serie A ahead of this weekend's matches

Inter Milan captain Javier Zanetti believes the club must rally round coach Leonardo after last weekend's 3-0 derby loss against leaders AC Milan and Tuesday's shock 5-2 home defeat by Schalke in the Champions League.

"He's an extraordinary man in every aspect. He has confidence in us and we have confidence in him." Zanetti told reporters ahead of his third-placed side hosting Chievo on Saturday.

"Since he arrived here, Inter have changed. I believe we should move forward with him because we get on very well."

Hapless Inter defender Cristian Chivu, sent off in both those defeats, is banned for the match.

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back from suspension for Sunday's trip to Fiorentina but is not guaranteed a starting spot after Alexandre Pato and Robinho ran rings round Inter last weekend.

Fellow striker Antonio Cassano is banned, however.

Napoli, three points behind leaders Milan in second place with seven games left, visit mid-table Bologna on Sunday with a surprisingly poor record against the hosts and top striker Edinson Cavani suspended. Giuseppe Mascara is set to fill in.

Bologna, who appointed their fifth president in 10 months on Thursday in the form of Albano Guaraldi, have won 31 of their 61 meetings in the league and Italian Cup while they recorded a 2-1 win in the corresponding fixture last term.

Fourth-placed Udinese, who lost their first league match of the year at lowly Lecce last weekend, welcome AS Roma on Saturday in a key match for both sides' European ambitions.

"It's a match that is worth double, above all from a psychological point of view," Udinese centre-back Maurizio Domizzi told reporters. "If we win we will eliminate a direct competitor for the Champions League."

Roma in sixth head into the game without injured French duo Philippe Mexes and Jeremy Menez, who have both hinted they could leave the club in the close season.

Lazio have defender Giuseppe Biava and midfielder Stefano Mauri suspended for Sunday's home game with Parma but Cristian Ledesma and Cristian Brocchi have recovered from knocks as they aim to revive their Champions League push after last weekend's 4-3 defeat by Napoli.