Football: Bologna worry as Signori struggles

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BOLOGNA, WHOSE last appearance in a European semi-final was 38 years ago, are ready to write another compelling chapter in their successful Uefa Cup story when they face Marseilles in the first leg of the semi- finals today.

The Serie A side, who were in Serie C four years ago, have reached the last four the hard way after playing in the Intertoto Cup last summer, and their veteran coach, Carlo Mazzone, is expected to field a defensive line-up.

Giuseppe Signori, who usually partners Sweden's Kennet Andersson in attack, is battling to recover from an injured left knee and is "very doubtful," Mazzone said. The midfield will be led by the experienced Giancarlo Marocchi and the powerful Swede Klas Ingersson.

The Marseilles coach, Rolland Courbis, has declined to name his side, but defender Patrick Blondeau may not be fit enough despite recovering from a knee injury. William Gallas could take his place.

In midfield, Courbis will have to choose between Eric Roy and Frederic Brando, while Pierre Issa should start in defence.

In the other semi, the Atletico Madrid coach, Raddy Antic, could be forgiven for feeling a sense of deja vu as he prepares to meet Parma.

Antic was in charge last year when Atletico lost out to Lazio at the same stage, a result that spelled the end of his three-year reign at the club, though he returned last month.

Recent signing Giorgio Venturin is ineligible after playing for Lazio in the Cup-Winners' Cup earlier this season and Oscar Mena is likely to replace him in the midfield. Parma will be without the suspended defender Fabio Cannavaro.