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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Serie A: Tough weekend tests for Milan rivals

MILAN, Sept 15 (Reuters) - After contrasting fortunes in the Champions League, AC Milan and city rivals Inter have tricky tests in Serie A this weekend.

Defending champions Inter, who lost to Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday after winning their domestic opener against Fiorentina, host Sampdoria on Saturday.

On Sunday, Milan, who beat AEK Athens 3-0 at the San Siro on Wednesday are away to Parma.

Inter's form has been chequered so far -- they won the curtain-raising Italian Super Cup 4-3 by coming back splendidly from 3-0 down against AS Roma before nearly letting Fiorentina steal a point on the first day in Serie A, winning 3-2 after being three goals up.

On Tuesday, they looked poor in their 1-0 loss in Lisbon but Portuguese winger Luis Figo warned against reading too much into the defeat.

'We have to admit that we played badly but at the same time, we mustn't make a drama of it.

'It is better to lose now when we still have the chance to recover than later on when a defeat could jeopardise everything,' he said.

Inter coach Roberto Mancini must decide whether to stick with Brazilian Adriano in attack or opt for the combination of Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Argentine Hernan Crespo.

Sampdoria have several key players missing through injury including striker Fabio Bazzani and close-season signing Christian Terlizzi.

Giulio Falcone and Gennaro Delvecchio are both suspended following red cards in the disappointing loss to Empoli last week.

Milan, who started the season with an eight-point penalty imposed by a sports tribunal after the match-fixing scandal, have been rotating their line-up so far.

Against AEK on Wednesday, coach Carlo Ancelotti rested midfielder Andrea Pirlo and defender Alessandro Nesta.

Dutchman Clarence Seedorf also started that game on the bench but could return for the trip to Parma -- with Alberto Gilardino also hoping to be back in the starting line-up after sitting out for Ricardo Oliveira against AEK.

Last season saw plenty of goals in meetings between Milan and Parma -- Ancelotti's side won 3-2 away and 4-3 at home.

Roma, who enjoyed a good start in the Champions League with a 4-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk are away to Siena on Sunday while Fiorentina face Livorno in a Tuscan derby.