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Inter looking to draw first blood against Roma

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 May 2008

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Inter Milan are hoping to sew up the first leg of a potential domestic double as they face little Siena on Sunday in their penultimate Serie A match of the season.

Victory would give the nerazzurri their third straight Scudetto crown under Roberto Mancini and would give them the edge ahead of the Coppa Italia final later this month.

Second-place Roma need to win their last two matches, starting with Sunday's visit of Atalanta, and hope Inter fail to win either of theirs in order to overturn the three-point gap between the pair.

Just as they managed last season, the two teams are guaranteed to finish in the top two league positions and will contest the cup final.

Last year Inter won the league and Roma the cup. Inter look near certainties to repeat their feat with a Siena who have nothing to play for the only thing standing in their way at the moment.

Inter president Massimo Moratti said he was looking forward to the season run-in.

“The duel with Roma in the cup final was obviously going to happen,” he said. “This challenge against Roma will be fascinating, it's a re-match.”

He said the team is calm ahead of what awaits them, especially after their victory over Lazio in midweek in the cup semi-finals.

“We're living this wait in a serene manner, the players know what they have to do and I'm sure they'll play well,” he added.

“The match against Lazio renewed their confidence after the derby defeat (last weekend against AC Milan). The team played well and gave the right response following the derby.”

Siena coach Mario Beretta promised that his team would give their all, despite ensuring their Serie A safety last weekend.

“We're going to play our match, knowing that it will be difficult, but without saying that we know we're safe,” he said. “We'll try to attack Inter where they are weak.”

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti knows that his team's hopes of catching Inter are barely slim but he said they could do no more than concentrate on their own game.

Already, last week it seemed certain the title would be decided as Inter led by six points ahead of their city derby and Roma had to go to Champions League chasing Sampdoria.

But Roma won 3-0 in an incredible performance and Inter were felled 2-1, meaning the title is still alive.

“We have to do what we have to do and try to win against Atalanta,” said Spalletti. “We'll try but Inter have to drop points.”

The other important issue that could be decided is the last Champions League qualification place, which is more or less a straight fight between Milan and Fiorentina.

Milan have the upper hand ahead of their tricky trip to Napoli as they hold a one point advantage.

Fiorentina, who have struggled over the last month, particularly away from home, host Parma, who are desperate to earn points to avoid the drop.

A couple of weeks ago La Viola had a four point lead over Milan but five dropped points out of six has turned things around.

“We're no longer the masters of our own destiny. We need to win six points and have a bit of luck to overtake them,” said striker Giampaolo Pazzini. “But for me I still think it's been a good season.”

At the bottom Livorno have to win to stand any chance of surviving as they host Torino, but if results go against them they will definitely be down.

Empoli, who travel to Reggina, and Parma could also be relegated if results go against them.

Fixtures:

Sunday

Fiorentina v Parma, Genoa v Lazio, Inter Milan v Siena, Juventus v Catania, Livorno v Torino, Napoli v AC Milan, Palermo v Sampdoria, Reggina v Empoli, Roma v Atalanta, Udinese v Cagliari

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