Kaka omission keeps Milan's eyes on Arsenal

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The Independent Football

Milan have made their priorities clear ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tie with Arsenal. Vice-president Adriano Galliani yesterday said Kaka would be omitted from tonight's home game against Lazio to ensure he is fully recovered from a knee injury by the time Arsenal arrive in Lombardy.

The defending European champions, currently fifth in Serie A, will again be without Ronaldo, Alessandro Nesta, Dida (all injured) and Giuseppe Favalli (suspended). Defenders Marek Jankulovski and Serginho are also fitness doubts.

City neighbours Internazionale are also, as ever, hampered by injury ahead of tomorrow's visit to Napoli . Brazilian Maxwell is the latest casualty joining a lengthy list which includes Walter Samuel, Ivan Cordoba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Julio Cruz and Olivier Dacourt. Ibrahimovic and Cruz should be back for Liverpool's visit on 11 March.

While Inter are nine points clear in Italy, Real Madrid's lead in La Liga has been cut to two points since the winter break after three defeats in four matches. Tonight they travel to Recreativo Huelva without Ruud van Nistelrooy and Guti but Robinho, Pepe and Javier Saviola return. Barcelona, in second, are at Atletico Madrid. Last season they won 6-0 at Vicente Calderon but, said Argentina international Lionel Messi, "a 1-0 win will do us". Sergio Aguerro expects to be fit for Atletico.

Bayern Munich, four points clear in the Bundesliga, are at Gelsenkirchen today to play Germany's only Champions League survivors, Schalke 04.

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