Mourinho endures back trouble

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The Independent Online

Internazionale are set to face Manchester United in the Champions League on Wednesday with just two fit central defenders after losing Marco Materazzi and Nicolas Burdisso to injury.

Both picked up injuries within the first half-hour of Inter's 2-0 victory over Genoa on Saturday, and coach Jose Mourinho doubts either will be available for the game at Old Trafford.

Mourinho said: "[Cristian] Chivu, [Walter] Samuel, Materazzi and Burdisso are out." He jokingly adding that there "is a bit of hope" they can recover, but that the hope "will end tomorrow morning".

Mourinho (right) admitted he is tempted to play his biggest striker in the back four. That would be Mario Balotelli, who Mourinho says is a consideration for the second leg, the first leg having finished 0-0. "I have got to think about it," he said. "Who knows, it is a possibility with his height, that maybe he could play at the centre of the defence."

Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Balotelli gave Inter victory in Genoa but Materazzi went off with a leg injury and Burdisso also suffered a knock.

Juventus face Chelsea tomorrow without midfielder Mohamed Sissoko, who broke a metatarsal bone in his left foot in the 1-0 win over Torino on Saturday which may keep him out for the remainder of the season. Giorgio Chiellini's header with nine minutes to go earned Juve victory in the Turin derby, which keeps them seven points behind the leaders Inter.

Roma, who play Arsenal on Wednesday, drew 1-1 at home to Udinese on Saturday despite having midfielder Daniele De Rossi sent off in the 69th minute for a second yellow card. Felipe opened the scoring for the visitors in the 54th minute, but Mirko Vucinic equalised seven minutes later, just four minutes after coming on.

David Beckham has confirmed a deal is in place which will allow him to divide his time between Milan and LA Galaxy this year. Beckham played just behind the strikers in Milan's 3-0 win over Atalanta yesterday.

Robbie Keane's late equaliser at Sunderland produced only the second draw between Sunderland and Spurs in 16 Premier League meetings. The only other draw, 1-1 in February 2006, saw a Keane opener equalised in the 89th minute.

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