serie a preview

Juve's Amauri vows to respect Palermo

February 19, 2009

Juventus striker Amauri has said he will not celebrate if he scores at former club Palermo on Saturday, even if the goal helps boost his side's faltering title challenge.

Second-placed Juve have dropped nine points behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan after last weekend's 1-1 draw with Sampdoria where Amauri scored his first goal since December.

Another slip-up in the potential banana skin in Sicily, coupled with a win for Inter at Bologna on Saturday (1500), could leave Juve's scudetto hopes hanging by a thread.

Amauri, signed from Palermo in the close season, wants to be considerate to his old side despite the importance of the game.

"Out of respect for the club that allowed me to make this leap of quality, I think I won't celebrate if I score," he told the Juventus television channel.

"They treated me like king."

The Brazilian is waiting for an Italian passport and could yet play for his adopted nation having been forced to turn down his first Brazil call-up for the friendly with Italy this month.

Juve would not release him because the call-up came too late but Amauri did not hold a grudge and rewarded the club with a brave headed goal against Samp.

Juve, Inter and Roma play on Saturday this weekend to give them extra time to prepare for next week's Champions League last 16 first legs against Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal.

Sixth-placed Roma host Siena (1700) without suspended midfielders Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta while Inter do not have an easy game against a Bologna side managed by former Inter assistant coach Sinisa Mihajlovic.

The fiery Serb has already clashed with Inter coach Jose Mourinho this season over the merits of the Portuguese's side compared to the Inter team that won last season's scudetto under Roberto Mancini and Mihajlovic.

Inter, who beat AC Milan 2-1 on Sunday, are without suspended defenders Nicolas Burdisso and Cristian Chivu but Adriano is available after league officials decided his handball goal in the derby was involuntary and not worthy of a ban.

Milan, 11 points behind Inter in third, host in-form Cagliari on Sunday (1400) with Kaka hoping to return after a foot injury ruled him out of the Inter defeat.