x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Ancelotti is relaxed for the derby clash

AC Milan's title aspirations will be put to the test on Sunday when they meet the champions and city rivals Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Inter Milan's Argentinian forward Julio Cruz celebrates after scoring against Lecce.
Inter Milan's Argentinian forward Julio Cruz celebrates after scoring against Lecce.

ROME // AC Milan's title aspirations will be put to the test on Sunday when they meet the champions and city rivals Inter Milan at the San Siro. Three wins in four games have put unbeaten Inter at the top of the league, a position many people predict Jose Mourinho's side will occupy for the duration of the campaign. Milan, whose main aim this year is to claim the Scudetto after failing to qualify for the Champions League, have endured a difficult start to the campaign.

The Rossoneri lost their opening two games, but a 4-1 win over Lazio last weekend and then a 2-1 triumph over Reggina in midweek has got them back on track. "We suffered but we won and that is what we need at this time," said the Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti of their improved form. "We needed a victory to climb up in the standings and things have gone our way. I am not worried about the derby. In a week we have taken many steps forward."

Inter go into the clash on the back of a midweek triumph against Lecce, their third straight league victory. "We want to prove our strength on Sunday," said their Argentine striker Julio Cruz. "The derby is a special game and we are really eager to be in good form." Juventus, who travel to Genoa to meet Sampdoria, will return to the top if they win and Inter drop points against Milan. Atalanta travel to struggling Roma, who are 14th in the table and their under-pressure coach Luciano Spalletti will be desperate for his side to collect their second win of the campaign.

Fiorentina host Genoa, while Bologna will seek their first home success of the season when they entertain Napoli. The bottom side Cagliari travel to Lecce seeking their first victory of the season, while Udinese take on Siena, and the Sicilian outfits Catania and Palermo will go into their respective games this weekend both determined to keep their 100 per cent records at home. Catania welcome Chievo, while the Rosaneri host the so-far winless Reggina.

* PA Sport