Ronaldinho waits in the wings for Milan derby

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

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.

Sport
wimbledonScot will face Ivo Karlovic next
Sport
football
News
Hillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test