Ronaldinho waits in the wings for Milan derby
Sunday'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 AC Milan winning their last two league matches, the forward has been sat twiddling his thumbs on the bench.
The close season signing from Barcelona started the opening two Serie A games, which Milan lost, and failed to offer the immediate spark which the Rossoneri fans had hoped for.
But with forward Marco Borriello suffering a thigh injury after scoring the opener in Wednesday's 2-1 win at Reggina, a vacancy in the side has arisen for Sunday's game.
Coach Carlo Ancelotti believes Ronaldinho needs more time to get 100 percent 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 (Andriy 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 told reporters.
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 Inter coach Jose Mourinho but the perfectionist technician is unlikely to let sentiment get in the way.
The Portuguese will add his own Brazilians into the San Siro mix with colossal defender Maicon fast becoming one of the best right backs in the world and Adriano looking more like the striker who terrorised defences before two years of problems.
Champions and 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 in the derby can be almost guaranteed with 80,000 screaming fans ready to create the usual electrifying atmosphere.
Last season's runners-up AS Roma have won just once this term and although some bad decisions from the officials contributed to Wednesday's 3-1 defeat at Genoa, the side is not functioning properly.
A home game with surprise high-fliers Atalanta on Sunday will be far from easy as will Juventus's trip to Sampdoria on Saturday.
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift
Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'
Latest in Sport
Luis Suarez: Lionel Messi is better than Cristiano Ronaldo
Indian footballer Peter Biaksangzuala dies from spine injury after doing somersault celebration
Arsenal vs Hull: Gary Lineker and Piers Morgan lead criticism of Arsene Wenger after 'uncomfortable' interview with Jacqui Oatley
Angel Di Maria injury: Manchester United sweat over fitness of record signing as he is in danger of missing Chelsea clash
West Brom vs Manchester United player ratings: Saido Berahino scores highest, whilst Marcos Rojo scores lowest
- 5 Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after treatment by British doctors on brink of 'cure'
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Lord Freud: Tory welfare minister apologises after saying disabled people are 'not worth’ the minimum wage
Lord Freud hangs on as MPs of all parties 'call for his head' over disability comments