Football: Veron to take centre stage in Rome derby

ITALIAN PREVIEW
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The Independent Online
ROMA MEET Lazio in the Rome derby at the Olympic Stadium tomorrow afternoon (live on Channel 4). Roma, who play Newcastle in the Uefa Cup on Tuesday, have become less cavalier under Fabio Capello, their new coach, who has recruited the striker Vincenzo Montella (pounds 15million, from Sampdoria), and the outstanding Brazilian defensive prospect Walter Samuel (pounds 13m) to a squad which already includes Samuel's compatriot Fabio Junior, Marco Delvechhio and Francesco Totti up front.

However, Lazio will provide a stern test. Unbeaten in the Champions' League, Sven Erikkson's outfit are also undefeated in nine domestic matches. Juan Sebastian Veron, Lazio's Argentinean playmaker, has been in fantastic form along with midfield compatriots Matias Almeyda and Diego Simeone. Lazio's strikers - the Chilean Marcelo Salas, Croatian Alen Boksic, the Swede Kennet Andersson and Simeone Inzaghi - have reaped the benefit.

Manchester United fans will be keeping an eye on Fiorentina, Tuesday's Champions' League opponents, who entertain Perugia today in Florence.

FIXTURES (league positions in brackets): This afternoon: Fiorentina (12) v Perugia (8). Tonight: Udinese (9) v Bologna (7). Tomorrow afternoon: Bari (13) v Reggina (14); Internazionale (6) v Lecce (11); Parma (5) v Cagliari (17); Roma (4) v Lazio (1); Venezia (18) v Piacenza (16); Verona (15) v Torino (10). Tomorrow night: Juventus (2) v Milan (3).

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