Hodgson's derby test

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The Independent Online
ROY HODGSON, the English coach of Internazionale, will face the sternest test since taking over at the San Siro when his side go into battle against Milan in the Serie A derby this afternoon. Inter's results since Hodgson took the reins have been modest - a 0-0 draw with Lazio in the league and an Italian Cup victory over third division opposition - and today's encounter will give the new boss a chance to assess his revitalised squad against the present Serie A leaders.

The Inter midfielder Felice Centofanti, one of several younger players promoted by Hodgson, summed up the importance of the game. "I've given up drinking wine for 10 days, just to be sure of playing in, and winning, this game," he said. Hodgson is likely to field Maurizio Ganz alongside Benito Carbone up front as both Marco Delvecchio and Davide Fontolan are injured. Milan will give late fitness tests to the strikers George Weah and Roberto Baggio.

The champions, Juventus, who lie joint second along with Napoli and Parma one point behind Milan, have a difficult fixture in Rome against Lazio as they prepare for their return Champions' League clash with Rangers at Ibrox on Wednesday.

The Turin club's striker Gianluca Vialli has revealed that he would be interested in a move to an English Premiership club at the end of the season. The 31-year-old has been troubled with a long-standing knee injury and said yesterday that he had been approached by a Premiership club. "I have has an offer from one of the big English clubs and I will make a decision at the end of the season. I like English football because it is strong, exciting and not cynical.

"There are four options open to me (after 30 June when Vialli's contract expires). I can stay with Juventus, go back to Sampdoria, move to England or retire," Vialli said.

The Atalanta coach Emiliano Mondonico will face disciplinary action for swearing at the crowd during an ill-tempered midweek Italian cup match against Juventus. Johan Cruyff, the Barcelona coach, was this week banned from the bench for five matches for receiving the red card after arguing with the referee in the Spanish league match against Valencia.

In Germany, Franz Beckenbauer's dual role as a media star and Bayern Munich chairman is causing the league leaders problems as they strive to become a European power again. The former World Cup winner called the club's expensive array of stars a "school team" in an interview.

Bayern's Swiss international Ciriaco Sforza, who came under direct fire from Beckenbauer, said: "I don't think it is okay that you hear things like that on the television. There is no point in this drama."

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