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Italian Football: Sharpe may face Bologna for Platt

SAMPDORIA, THE Genoan club "supervised" by David Platt (he does not hold the requisite coaching qualification), host Bologna in tomorrow's live Channel 4 game in Serie A. Platt, who signed Lee Sharpe on loan from Leeds on Tuesday, will be hoping for better luck than on Wednesday, when Samp lost 1-0 to Fiorentina, the league leaders.

That left Samp in 14th place, just two points outside the relegation zone. Sharpe is expected to make his debut, and the striker Vincenzo Montella returns, but Samp will be without Ariel Ortega, their brilliant Argentinian playmaker, who is suspended, the Yugoslav Nenad Sakic, defender Moreno Mannini and striker Zoran Jovicic, who are all injured.

Bologna dropped to eighth place following Wednesday's 1-0 home defeat to Lazio, but that was no disgrace as Rome's big spenders promise to be one of the major players in the battle for the Scudetto. Bologna, who have conceded just 12 goals in 15 games, will be without the defenders Michele Paramatti and Giovanni Bia, the Brazilian midfielder Eriberto and the winger Carlo Nervo. However, Giuseppe Signori, their top scorer with seven goals, will lead the line.

Other games: Cagliari v Roma; Empoli v Milan; Piacenza v Parma; Internazionale v Venezia; Juventus v Bari; Perugia v Udinese; Vicenza v Salernitana.