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Victory will give Inter top spot

Inter Milan host struggling Napoli tonight knowing maximum points - coupled with other results going the Nerazzurri's way - will return the Serie A champions to return to the top of the table.

Inter Milan host struggling Napoli tonight knowing maximum points - coupled with other results going the Nerazzurri's way - will return the Serie A champions to return to the top of the table. They will have to do it without their Portuguese coach Jose Mourinho, though, who is serving a one-match ban after being sent off in Sunday's 2-1 win at Cagliari. Tensions were high in Sardinia. Sickening racial abuse rained down on Mario Bolotelli, the Inter striker.

"On the basis of what I've been told, Mourinho definitely didn't insult the referee and we didn't expect this type of sanction," said Inter club president Massimo Moratti. "I wouldn't want his lively character to be confused with aggressive behaviour." The Inter goalkeeper Julio Cesar is confident of his team's abilities. "Napoli are a side that can cause you big problems. However, we are Inter," Cesar said.

With second-placed Juventus not in action until tomorrow when they travel to high-flying Genoa, early pacesetters Sampdoria take their perfect record to sixth-placed Fiorentina knowing a win could open up a three-point lead. In other games, rock-bottom Atalanta have pinned their hopes on their new manager Antonio Conte getting his reign off to a winning start against the 18th-placed Catania, while Claudio Ranieri's AS Roma, 3-1 winners against Fiorentina last time out, visit Palermo.

Elsewhere, the under-fire Brazilian forward Ronaldinho has pledged his commitment to AC Milan ahead of their trip to Udinese. "I am happy at Milan and I will remain here until the end of my contract," said the two-time Fifa World Player of the Year. emegson@thenational.ae Inter Milan v Napoli, KO 10.45pm, Aljazeera Sport +1

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