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By ESPN Staff
Jan 30, 2007

Inter set to stroll into Coppa Italia final

ROME, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Holders Inter Milan are set for a San Siro stroll on Thursday as they protect a 3-0 Italian Cup semi-final lead over Sampdoria.

Another win for Inter would make it three victories in nine days over Samp, who also lost 2-0 to the league leaders in Serie A at the weekend.

Sampdoria put up a fight on Sunday and might have pushed harder had it not been for the seventh-minute expulsion of Gennaro Delvecchio for headbutting Inter defender Marco Materazzi.

'If we had had 11 men we would have given a better account of ourselves and we would have scored as well,' Sampdoria coach Walter Novellino said, though without midfielder Sergio Volpi and defender Christian Terlizzi, who are both injured, he stands little chance of causing an upset.

For Inter, Ivan Cordoba is expected to stand in for suspended defender Nicolas Burdisso, who scored twice in the first leg.

The Argentine international's absence, however, is unlikely to derail Inter's drive for the final as they aim for a third consecutive Cup title.

AS Roma start as slender favourites to reach the final going into Wednesday's second-leg of their semi-final with AC Milan at the Olympic stadium.

Trailing to early goals by Ricardo Oliveira and Filippo Inzaghi, Roma hit back through Simone Perrotta and David Pizarro to level the score at the interval before missing several chances to win the match in the second half.

With away goals counting double in the case of the tie ending in a draw, Roma are in a good position for the return.