Serie A: Inter aim to extend winning run

November 30, 2006

MILAN, Nov 30 (Reuters) -- Serie A's unbeaten leaders Inter Milan will expect to extend their winning streak to eight games when they take on Siena at the San Siro on Saturday while their closest challengers AS Roma are at home to Atalanta.

Inter currently lead on 33 points with Roma four points behind and Palermo a further two points behind in third place.

Defending champions Inter have enjoyed a positive November, securing a place in the last 16 of the Champions League and the quarter-finals of the Italian Cup as well as winning away to title rivals Palermo last week.

With a trip to Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Tuesday, in a game which will decide who finishes top in Group B, Inter coach Roberto Mancini may be tempted to rotate some of his players.

Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and Brazilian striker Adriano have both recently returned to fitness and could both benefit from a good run-out against the Tuscan side.

So far Mancini has managed to keep his large, multinational squad happy by his selection decisions and club owner Massimo Moratti paid tribute to his coach after Wednesday's 4-0 Italian Cup win over Messina.

'Mancini deserves a great deal of credit because it isn't easy to manage a large group of star players like this. He has been superb and you can see he has things under his control,'said Moratti.

After making a positive start to the season Siena have lost their way a little in recent weeks picking up just five points from their last five games and coach Mario Beretta could ring the changes.

Roma will be taking nothing for granted against Atalanta at the Olympic stadium but having won their last five matches should be able to keep on the tails of Inter.

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti's injury problems have eased in recent weeks and he now has genuine competition for places throughout his team - especially in attack where Vincenzo Montella and Mirko Vucinic are both pushing for places.

On Sunday, Fiorentina host Lazio in Florence in a game which, had it not been for the points penalties imposed by a sports tribunal which investigated match fixing, could well have been a top-of-the-table encounter.

As it is though, Fiorentina are third from bottom while Lazio are seventh.

Another team punished by the tribunal, AC Milan, are also still in the bottom half of the table and will not fancy their trip to Cagliari, who have lost just twice this season.

The eyes of some of the top officials in the game will be on Udinese's home game with Reggina which the Italian Football Federation have authorised as an experiment in goal-line cameras for decisions on the ball entering the goal.