Sam Wallace: Pardew succeeds in parallel universe but reality suggests downward spiral

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Outside the Box: Italian job on our hands to get Serie A back on the box

Such is the proliferation of televised football that in an average week more than two dozen matches are normally available live and in full. But there remains one glaring omission from the schedules. Anyone reading a preview of last weekend's game between the top two teams in Italy, Jose Mourinho's Internazionale and Claudio Ranieri's Juventus – the clubs being traditionally bitter rivals, the two former Chelsea managers without a good word to say for each other – would instinctively have wondered where they could watch this potential dust-up. The answer, sadly, was nowhere without trawling the internet and hoping for a decent connection to a station elsewhere in Europe. Sky Sports were showing Spanish football, Setanta went for the French League and British Eurosport opted for the glories of the Women's Under-20 World Cup; Serie A was nowhere to be found. It had been a fixture somewhere or other since Channel 4 picked up coverage 16 years ago in the wake of Paul Gascoigne's move to Lazio, even bringing back Kenneth "They think it's all over" Wolstenholme as a commentator. For several years the presenter, James Richardson, would be shown sipping cappuccino and flicking through the bright- pink pages of 'La Gazzetta dello Sport' in some delightful location or other, but in 2002 the channel dropped the programme because of the high price. British Eurosport, Bravo and Five have all had a turn subsequently, until the price demanded this season proved too much for any of them. A small consolation for any Italophiles missing their fix is that the new sports betting channel Sports-Xchange have the rights to the domestic cup competition and will be showing every round through to the final; Milan against Lazio can be seen at 7.45pm on Wednesday on Sky channel 456.

Adriano rejoins squad

Adriano will be in Internazionale's squad for today's big match against Juventus after missing last week's 2-0 win at Palermo because of influenza and being dropped by their Jose Mourinho for the four previous games because of indiscipline.

Milan rivals question Beckham loan motivation

Internazionale president Massimo Moratti says his club would not have made a move to sign David Beckham, who has agreed a two-month loan switch to city rivals AC Milan.



Alonso tempted by Juventus switch

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed he would still be tempted by a move to Juventus even though the Italian club turned him down over the summer.

Sampdoria rule out Cassano move to Man City

Sampdoria have ruled out the possibility of Antonio Cassano moving to Manchester City this winter. Reports have linked the former Real Madrid and Roma striker with a switch to City but the Serie A club's administrator, Beppe Marotta, insisted yesterday he was not for sale.

Alonso was 'too slow' for Juventus says Ranieri

Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri has revealed he pulled out of a move for Xabi Alonso this summer because he felt the Liverpool midfielder was "too slow".

£30m or Berbatov will stay with us, warn Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur have told Dimitar Berbatov that he is running the risk of "rotting in the reserves" for a season unless Manchester United pay the transfer fee being demanded for the striker.

Barry set for Liverpool after O'Neill puts end to resistance

Liverpool will secure Gareth Barry's signature this week, following the concession of defeat by the Aston Villa manager, Martin O'Neill, in his summer-long battle to persuade the midfielder to stay.

James Lawton: Big Phil will leave no one in doubt who is in charge

There is one major point to be made in favour of Luiz Felipe Scolari as manager of Chelsea – as there was when he came into the running as England's coach at the fall of Sven Goran Eriksson.

Let's make showdown a special one, says Grant

Blues bidding to make glorious history to fulfil Roman conquest

Cech's 50 stitches after blow to the face

Self-inflicted wounds have hurt Chelsea all season and there was another revealed yesterday when it emerged that goalkeeper Petr Cech had to undergo plastic surgery and have 50 stitches in his face after being kicked in the head during training by his team-mate, Tal Ben Haim.

Grant relaxed as Chelsea aim to extend home record

There are statistics, milestones and records surrounding every match but if Chelsea avoid defeat against Liverpool tomorrow then it will be four years since they last lost at home in the Premier League. That spans 76 games and three managers – and three very different managers at that – from Claudio Ranieri through to Jose Mourinho and now, of course, Avram Grant. It certainly also shows a resilience that has transcended whoever has been in charge.

Sissoko still main target for Juventus

The Juventus coach, Claudio Ranieri, is hoping to resurrect a move for the Liverpool midfielder, Mohamed Sissoko.

Tottenham chase Tiago but deny Bent will go

Tottenham Hotspur are attempting to sign the Juventus midfielder Tiago Mendes but, at present, are not prepared to meet the €13m (£9.75m) asking price.

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