Italian Football: Fiorentina missing `Batigol'

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The Independent Online
FIORENTINA, RECENTLY displaced by Lazio at the top of Serie A and still missing Gabriel Batistuta, their brilliant Argentine striker, face a tricky trip to Salerno to meet struggling Salernitana in tomorrow's live game on Channel 4.

Fiorentina took Serie A by storm in the first half of the season, with Batistuta hammering in an amazing 18 league goals and Edmundo, the temperament but talented Brazilian, plus the Portuguese playmaker Rui Costa providing tremendous service around him.

However, "Batigol" sustained a knee injury in Fiorentina's goalless draw against Milan in Florence recently and, without him, his side looked impotent up front when held 0-0 by Roma in Florence last week.

Serie A new boys Salernitana, meanwhile, despite the presence of the useful striker Marco Di Vaio, look destined for a swift return to Serie B. They lie 17th of 18 (Empoli are bottom) in Serie A following last week's 2-1 home defeat against Parma.

Meanwhile, Internazionale, hard-to-beat at home (eight wins, two defeats this term in the league) but woeful away (two wins, four draws and six defeats) entertain Juventus tonight, ahead of Wednesday's European Cup quarter-final with Manchester United. Inter will gain still be without Ronaldo. "Il Fenomeno" sat out last week's defeat at Lazio despite being passed fit and seems unlikely to figure at Old Trafford.

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

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