Friday, January 11, 2008


All eyes will be on Alexandre Pato this weekend when the youngster makes his AC Milan debut against Napoli.

The 18-year-old will play his first official game for the Rossoneri on Sunday as Carlo Ancelotti's side look to put to an end their winless run at the San Siro this season.

The Brazilian forward joined Milan from Internacional in August but as he was only 17 years old at the time, Milan were not allowed to register him in the Italian league.

Milan captain Paolo Maldini has already anticipated that the South American prodigy will be a hit in Serie A.

"He is technically very strong and has a physical strength that at 18 is impressive," said Maldini.

Ancelotti's men go into this weekend's encounter looking to reduce an 11-point gap to fourth-place Udinese - although Milan do have three games in hand.

More importantly, the Rossoneri are eager to give an improved display in front of their home fans.

"The fact that we haven't won at the San Siro since April 21 is unbelievable," admitted Maldini.

Serie A leaders Internazionale make the journey to Siena looking to extend their seven-point advantage over Scudetto hopefuls Roma.

Inter will be without David Suazo, Patrick Vieira, Dejan Stankovic and Luis Figo for the encounter due to injury.

"They are all doing their best to return to play as soon as possible," said Inter coach Roberto Mancini of the quartet.

Roma will face a stern challenge when they travel to Bergamo to meet Gigi Del Neri's Atalanta, who have only lost once at home this campaign.

The good news for coach Roma Luciano Spalletti is that his captain, Francesco Totti, has shaken off a foot injury and will be available to play.

A slip by the Giallorossi would see third-placed Juventus leapfrog the Romans in the standings should Claudio Ranieri's men triumph at Catania.

Udinese will be eager to maintain the fine form they showed in 2007 when they meet rock-bottom Cagliari.

The Bianconeri hold the last Champions League qualifying spot but will be under pressure to take all three points with Fiorentina in close attendance.

La Viola travel to Parma looking to clinch their first win on their travels since November 3.

Elsewhere, Sampdoria play host to Palermo eager to collect their second triumph at home this season, and struggling Lazio host Genoa.

In other games, Torino entertain Livorno while Reggina travel to Empoli knowing that a win would see them climb out of the relegation zone at the expense of their opponents.

No comments: