PREVIEW-Soccer-Key strikers doubtful for Inter and Roma
MILAN, March 27 |
MILAN, March 27 (Reuters) - Title-chasing Inter Milan and AS Roma could be without top strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Francesco Totti because of knee injuries this weekend.
Champions Inter, four points clear of second-placed Roma, visit Lazio on Saturday (1930 GMT) with Ibrahimovic a doubt after pulling out of Sweden's midweek friendly with Brazil with a recurring knee problem.
Inter are already missing suspended striker Julio Cruz but Luis Figo is back in training after a knock and fellow midfielder Esteban Cambiasso may shake off a calf injury.
Last weekend's home loss to Juventus has increased the pressure on Inter coach Roberto Mancini, with his side's healthy Serie A lead being gradually eroded by Roma.
Italian newspapers are packed with stories about potential replacements for Mancini after he said he would leave at the end of the season following their Champions League elimination. He changed his mind the next day but his future remains unclear.
Inter's lead may be cut to a point by the time they face Lazio with Roma visiting Cagliari in Saturday's 1700 kickoff.
Totti picked up a knee problem in training and coach Luciano Spalletti will be glad midfielders Simone Perrotta, Daniele De Rossi and Alberto Aquilani came through Italy's 1-0 friendly defeat in Spain on Wednesday largely unscathed.
Roma will be wary of their trip to Sardinia after in-form Cagliari won their appeal against a three-point deduction for a legal wrangle and edged up to third from bottom.
Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon was at his towering best against Spain and was only beaten by a wonder strike from David Villa.
The Juventus shotstopper should have an easier time at home to struggling Parma on Sunday when his side will look to further consolidate third place in the table.
Fifth-placed AC Milan, four points behind Fiorentina in fourth, host Atalanta with forwards Kaka, Alberto Gilardino and Filippo Inzaghi all doubtful. Alexandre Pato, who scored a great debut goal in Brazil's 1-0 win over Sweden, is expected to lead the line.
Fiorentina travel to Udinese in sixth.
(Editing by Alastair Himmer)
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