Sensi investigation rocks Roma

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The Independent Football

When Roma won 4-0 at Siena last week it seemed life was looking up for the gallorossi. Humiliatingly dispatched from both Europe and the Italian Cup, drifting in Serie A, onto their third manager of the season, and with their ground to be closed against Real Madrid in midweek, their season had been dire. However, their mood darkened again yesterday when it was claimed Franco Sensi, their chairman and owner, was being investigated for false accounting.

Sergio Cragnotti, the former president of Lazio, whose food company Cirio went bust precipitating his departure from the club and their financial woes, was also under investigation, said a judicial source. The investigation was said to include a probe into possible irregularities in player transfers.

Both parties said through lawyers they had not received notification of the investigation. Roma seek to build on last week by beating Sampdoria tomorrow.

Lazio have the more daunting prospect of a trip to leaders Juventus tomorrow. Their coach Domenico Caso, under pressure after their midweek Uefa Cup exit, goes into the game with this unresounding vote of confidence from club president Claudio Lotito: "From now on, everyone is under examination; that includes the players and that includes the coach."

Juve are likely to be without flu-hit Pavel Nedved but Alessandro Del Piero returns from injury. Second-placed Milan visit Parma today with Andrei Shevchenko back to partner Hernan Crespo.

In Spain, the La Liga leaders Barcelona should defeat the relegation-threatened Malaga at the Nou Camp tonight. Tomorrow Real Madrid will to rest players before next week's Champions' League tie in Rome giving Michael Owen, Santiago Solari and Raul Bravo starts at Villareal. David Beckham continues on the right-wing with 17-year-old midfielder Javi Garcia making his league debut.

In France, leaders Lyon should extend their unbeaten run to 17 league matches at Ajaccio. The Paris St-Germain manager Vahid Halilhodzic has a two-month touchline ban after being sent off against Lyon two weeks ago. His assistant Bruno Baronchelli was banned for one month after being dismissed in the same match while midfielder Jérôme Rothen was banned for four matches having insulted the referee in the tunnel at half-time.

The Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich play Bavarian neighbours Nuremberg which means a return to his former club for manager Felix Magath.

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