Monday, January 21, 2008
Milan catch up in league, Inter face Juve in Cup
MILAN, Jan 21 (Reuters) - AC Milan can continue their recent mini-revival with a win at Atalanta on Wednesday in the first of their three games in hand in Serie A.
Substitute Alberto Gilardino's stoppage time winner gave
Milan a 1-0 victory at Udinese on Sunday and moved the European
champions up to ninth place.
The league win was their second in a row following a 5-2
triumph over Napoli the weekend before last when new Brazilian
striker Pato inspired the team to their first home league
victory this term.
The original Atalanta match in November was abandoned early
on after home fans tried to smash a perimeter fence in protest
at the shooting dead of a Lazio supporter by police.
Security will be high for the rearranged game (1930 GMT)
after three Catania fans were injured when they were stabbed
before their match with AS Roma on Sunday.
Zeljko Kalac is set to remain in goal with Dida struggling
with injury but Gilardino's strike may not be enough for him to
break up the Brazilian front three of Kaka, Pato and Ronaldo.
Paolo Maldini is doubtful after missing the Udinese game
The first legs of the Italian Cup quarter-finals also take
place this week with the standout tie between bitter rivals
Inter Milan and Juventus.
The first leg at the San Siro on Wednesday (2000) is
unlikely to feature their first choice sides, although Juve
have little room to manoeuvre after a number of injuries.
Former Juve midfielder Patrick Vieira, out for four months
with hamstring trouble, came off the bench in Inter's 3-2 win
over Parma on Sunday, which maintained their seven-point lead
at the top of Serie A.
The France captain will hope for a start in the Cup
especially as new loan signing Maniche was hauled off early in
the second half against Parma after an uninspiring display.
The other Cup first legs on Wednesday are Udinese against
Catania kicking off at 1400 and Sampdoria versus holders AS
Roma at 1730. Lazio host Fiorentina at 2000 on Thursday.