European Football: Klinsmann back to face Milan

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The Independent Online
THE fallen giants Milan, with just one victory in six Serie A matches this season, will not relish their journey to Genoa this afternoon to face Sampdoria, who expect to have Jurgen Klinsmann fit again, though he may only start on the bench with the Argentine coach Cesar Menotti preferring Vincenzo Montella and Sandro Tovalieri in attack.

Milan's coach, Fabio Capello, may drop the Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert, opting instead for Dejan Savicevic as partner for George Weah in attack. The midfielders Roberto Donadoni, Demetrio Albertini, the Brazilian Leonardo and the Frenchman Ibrahim Ba will form the backbone of the side.

Roberto Baggio returns for Bologna to partner the Swede Kennet Andersson and Carlo Nervo up front against Napoli in a match which has surprisingly become a basement battle. Napoli, without the injured striker Igor Protti, look to Claudio Bellucci and the Argentine Francesco Calderon for their striking options.The Uruguayan Gustavo Mendez returns for Vicenza against Atalanta, who will be without the suspended defender Paolo Foglio and injured striker Cristian Lucarelli.

Lecce, who picked up their only points of the season when they beat the tormented Milan 2-1 at the San Siro last time out, have the former QPR striker Daniele Dichio in partnership with Francesco Palmieri in attack against Brescia, for whom Dario Hubner - six goals this season - leads the line.

In Spain today, Espanol, who crashed out of the Spanish Cup to third- division Figueres on Wednesday will be hoping to follow up the 5-0 defeat of Real Betis and the 2-0 victory at Atletico Madrid with a win over one of the weakest sides in the top flight, Salamanca.

Zaragoza, yet to win at home, have a tough task on their hands if they are to break their duck at the expense of the visiting Real Sociedad, Zaragoza defenders Solana and Gilmar have recovered from injury and look set to play but in-form Real, on a fine run having taken 13 points from a possible 15, should keep them fully occupied.

Racing Santander will be without David Billabona, Nacho Conte and Fernando Moran through injury for their trip to Compostela after surviving a midweek Spanish Cup scare at the hands Numancia.

Deportivo La Coruna are still without a manager but are looking to extend their good record at Oviedo, where they have won three times in the last four seasons. Oviedo look to be foundering after losing two consecutive league games at home and going down to Alaves in the Spanish Cup on Wednesday.

Merida and Valencia, who play tomorrow night, are both in trouble at the foot of the table after poor starts, and the difference between them could be Merida's Brazilian striker Romario, who was on target again in the midweek Spanish Cup victory over Hercules. Injured defender Mendieta is out for Valencia.

In Germany this afternoon, SV Hamburg will be without their top striker Karsten Baeron, who is recovering from a knee operation, for their trip to Arminia Bielefeld.

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