Italian Football: Batistuta returns for Fiorentina

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GABRIEL BATISTUTA is back and, with 10 games left Fiorentina will trying to keep up the pressure on Lazio, the league leaders, when they visit plucky Venezia in Channel 4's live Serie A game tomorrow.

Batistuta, the Florence club's brilliant Argentinian centre-forward who has scored 18 league goals this term, has been out of action from a leg injury. However, in midweek, he came on in the 66th minute in Fiorentina's Italian Cup semi-final second leg tie with Bologna to help La Viola reach the final.

Pasquale Padalino, the defender, also returns but Rui Costa, Fiorentina's Portuguese playmaker, is suspended and Edmundo, the Brazilian striker who has been given a four and half year prison sentence in Brazil last week for causing three deaths in a car crash, is out with bruised ribs.

Venezia, who have lost just two of their last eight games and won their last five games at their island stadium, will be without Emanuele Brioschi, the defender (suspended).

Lazio, who lead Fiorentina by four points, visit bottom-placed Empoli while tonight Internazionale play Milan at the San Siro ahead of their do-or-die European Cup quarter-final second leg with Manchester United there on Wednesday.

Ronaldo, Inter's Brazilian striker, is expected to make his first league appearance since mid-January. Il Fenomeno played for the last 35 minutes on Tuesday as Inter lost the second leg of their Italian Cup semi-final to Parma.

This afternoon: Juventus v Udinese; Parma v Bari; Roma v Bologna. Tonight: Internazionale v Milan. Tomorrow: Empoli v Lazio; Piacenza v Cagliari; Salernitana v Sampdoria, Venezia v Fiorentina; Vicenza v Perugia.