Inter look to stifle Di Vaio firepower

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The Independent Football

With a nine-point cushion at the top of the table, Internazionale could be forgiven for having one eye on their forthcoming meeting with Manchester United in the Champions League when it travels to lowly Bologna today.

Inter host Manchester United on Tuesday, while Juventus and Roma travel to London to meet Chelsea and Arsenal respectively. All three are playing today to give them an extra day to prepare.

Jose Mourinho’s Inter have a comfortable lead over Juventus and will seek to press their advantage during a busy time of the year, but face a tricky match. Bologna need points to avoid slipping closer to the relegation zone – they are just three points above the drop zone – but boast the league’s leading scorer in Marco Di Vaio, who has hit 16 goals so far this season.

Juventus also face a difficult away fixture at Palermo and will hope to improve on their previous performance in Sicily. Two weeks ago, a Christian Poulsen goal in injury time gave Claudio Ranieri’s team a 2-1 win over Catania, but it was a poor performance and the team will need to build some momentum ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge. Ranieri, meanwhile, is increasingly coming under fire for a team lacking in fitness and inspiration.

Roma host Siena following a 3-0 defeat in their last match against Atalanta. A win would put them back into contention for the Champions League qualification places, but there are fears that Luciano Spalletti’s side could be without the first-choice goalkeeper Doni, who has back problems. Also missing will be Daniele De Rossi and Simone Perrotta, who are both suspended.