The Sun (Malaysia)

Roma face test at Inter, troubled Juve eye derby

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TOP scoring leaders Roma meet Inter Milan and Serie A’s meanest defence tomorrow in a key encounter where something has to give.

Inter, level with Napoli and Fiorentina, only trail Rome by two points at a crowded Serie A summit where champions Juventus are conspicuou­s by their absence after a turgid campaign so far. Wednesday’s 1-0 loss at Sassuolo left Juve in 12th.

Tomorrow’s home derby with Torino would normally be a standout game but Inter vs Roma later on now takes top billing.

Roma, almost perennial runners-up in recent years who last won the title in 2001, have 23 points from 10 games and boast a 25-12 goal record after a 3-1 win over Udinese in midweek.

“We have a great side here,” Roma defender Kostas Manolas told the club website.

“We have to play well and make our fans happy. We’re all satisfied, but we need to work even more. Next up is Inter and we want to win that game.”

Inter, who have conceded just seven goals this term, clinched their fifth 1-0 win in midweek against Bologna despite the dismissal of Felipe Melo.

Fiorentina play Sunday at home to promoted Frosinone, while Napoli head to Genoa chasing a sixth straight win like Roma.

Beleaguere­d Juventus could only dream of such a run after a fourth league defeat of the campaign against Sassuolo. Goalkeeper and captain Gianluigi Buffon was bitter about the attitude of his team, whose hopes of a fifth straight title are dwindling.

Torino, who in April won a first city derby for 20 years, arrive at the Juventus Stadium on the back of a 3-3 home draw against combative Genoa and sit in ninth.

Sassuolo, meanwhile, are fifth on 18 points before visiting Udinese on Sunday. Lazio are also on 18 and boast five wins from as many home games as they welcome AC Milan (16) on Sunday.

Atalanta on 17 visit troubled newcomers Bologna, who appointed new coach Roberto Donadoni yesterday after sacking Delio Rossi.

Promoted Carpi and Verona are both bottom on five points and meet on Sunday. Chievo vs Sampdoria and Palermo vs Empoli close the 11th round of matches Monday. – dpa

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