Football: Italians on course for final

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The Independent Online
INTERNAZIONALE and Lazio are on course to meet in the fourth all-Italian Uefa Cup final in the last nine years.

With Juventus going strong in the Champions' Cup and Vicenza in the semi-finals of the Cup-Winners' Cup, Italy could claim all three titles to provide a boost to the nation's World Cup chances in the summer.

In the Uefa Cup tonight, Inter entertain Spartak Moscow while Lazio travel to Atletico Madrid.

Italians clubs have dominated the Uefa Cup to such an extent over the last decade that 11 of them have reached the last nine finals and six have won the title. Inter won in 1991 and 1994, and were runners-up last season.

Tonight, Inter's Argentinian midfielder Diego Simeone is suspended, as is their winger Francesco Moriero. The defender Fabio Galante is injured while the Portuguese midfielder Paolo Sousa and another defender, Mauro Milanese, are both ineligible.

In Spain, Lazio will be without two defenders: the Italian international Alessandro Nesta, who is suspended, and Giuseppe Pancaro, who is injured. Giovanni Lopez or Alessandro Grandoni will replace Nesta, while the Argentinian defender Jose Chamot will start in place of Pancaro.