Vieira returns for Juve as Beckham sits on sidelines

Milan are five points behind their rivals but have a 100 per cent home record, while Juventus have won nine successive matches . The former Arsenal midfielder is likely to start alongside Emerson in the centre of midfield, but the coach, Fabio Capello, faces a tough choice in attack.

Alessandro Del Piero's recent good form is putting pressure on David Trezeguet and the Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic, while the Romanian Adrian Mutu has also impressed. Milan's attacking options are reduced by a foot injury to Andrei Shevchenko, but Christian Vieri, Filippo Inzaghi and Alberto Gilardino are all in good scoring form.

Fourth-placed Internazionale face a tricky trip to Sampdoria, while tomorrow Fiorentina, in third, host lowly Cagliari.

David Beckham has failed to recover from a calf injury and has been left out of Real Madrid's squad to face Real Betis in La Liga today. The England captain was substituted in the second half of Real's 3-1 defeat by Deportivo La Coruña on Wednesday, and did not train with the rest of the squad on Thursday or yesterday. He joins Ronaldo and Julio Baptista, Thomas Gravesen and Zinedine Zidane on Real's injury list.

Real have lost their last two in the league and slipped to sixth, three points off the leaders, Osasuna, who host Espanyol tomorrow while second-placed Getafe travel to Deportivo.

The champions, Barc-elona, who have moved up to third, host in-form Real Sociedad, who have overcome their shaky start to go four games without defeat.

In Germany, Schalke 04 face Hamburg as both sides aim to make up ground on the leaders, Bayern Munich, today. Hamburg will be without the suspended Rafael van der Vaart. Bayern are overwhelming favourites to win away at Cologne, who have lost their last five league matches, while Werder Bremen, two points behind Bayern, host in-form Frankfurt.

In France, second-placed Paris St-Germain are at in-form Auxerre while the leaders, Lyon, will hope to extend their seven-point advantage with a win over Sochaux today.

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