Ronaldinho and Shevchenko both eye place in Milan derby
Saturday 27 September 2008
Tomorrow's Milan derby will rock to a distinctly Samba beat with Ronaldinho hoping he can finally join the party after a quiet start to his Serie A career.
While fellow Brazilians Alexandre Pato and Kaka have been instrumental in Milan winning their last two league matches, the forward has been sat twiddling his thumbs on the bench.
The forward Marco Borriello is suffering a thigh injury after scoring the opener in Wednesday's 2-1 win at Reggina and a vacancy in the side has arisen for tomorrow's game.
The coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Ronaldinho needs more time to get 100 per cent fit after a tiring stint at last month's Olympics, but one of the biggest club games in the world should re-energise any weary limbs.
"I left him and Sheva [Andrei Shevchenko] out of the starting lineup only because of their physical condition. Ronaldinho will be a deciding factor for Milan when he returns to top form," Ancelotti said.
The striker Shevchenko, brought back to the club after a sorry two seasons at Chelsea, will also be keen to take Borriello's place after consistently impressing in the city derby during his first seven-year stint with Milan.
The derby, however, is something new to the Internazionale coach Jose Mourinho but he is unlikely to let sentiment get in the way. The Portuguese will add his own Brazilians into the San Siro mix with the defender Maicon fast becoming one of the best right-backs in the world and the striker Adriano in fine form.
The league leaders Inter were pedestrian in Wednesday's 1-0 win over Lecce, in stark contrast to the flowing displays in their previous two matches. A more passionate showing is expected with 80,000 fans ready to create the usual electrifying atmosphere.
l The Uefa Cup will be renamed the Uefa Europa League from next season in an effort to boost the competition that has lost much of its appeal. The event will also have a new 48-team group stage with both home and away matches. Uefa hopes centralised marketing of broadcast rights and of sponsorship as well as a new logo will give the competition a new lease of life.
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