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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 5 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 8, 2008

Inter Milan look to sew up third successive title

MILAN, May 8 (Reuters) - Inter Milan have suffered a bruising week but all will be forgotten if they beat Siena at home on Sunday to retain their Serie A title.

The leaders could have sealed a third successive scudetto last weekend but a 2-1 derby defeat by AC Milan allowed second-placed AS Roma to close the gap to three points.

With two games remaining, Inter still only need one win because their better head-to-head record over Roma would be the deciding factor if they finished level on points.

The fallout from the derby defeat included club president Massimo Moratti and coach Roberto Mancini clashing over whether the side had been too cautious against Milan.

Media speculation that Mancini will soon leave continues but Wednesday's 2-0 win at Lazio in the Italian Cup semi-final second leg showed the team have not been adversely affected.

'If we play Siena with the same determination we will win the scudetto. Now we hope to recover the injured players, we need everyone's energy,' captain Javier Zanetti told Rai TV.

Defenders Cristian Chivu and Nicolas Burdisso are doubts for Sunday after going off at Lazio, while striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is not expected to be fit due to knee trouble.

Centre back Marco Materazzi was sent off in Rome but he will be banned for the Cup final rather than the league.

Television replays also showed striker Julio Cruz punching Lazio's Aleksandar Kolarov while Mancini was sent to the stands, but any bans they receive are expected to be limited to the Cup.

Roma, who beat Sampdoria 3-0 last weekend, will again be ready to pounce on any Inter slip up when they host Atalanta.

However, Luciano Spalletti's men also know Inter only need to match Roma's result to take the title.

Roma are assured of at least second and Juventus will definitely finish third but the race for the final Champions league spot goes on with one point between Milan and Fiorentina.

The derby win lifted Milan into fourth but Sunday's tricky trip to Napoli will give fifth-placed Fiorentina hope when they entertain relegation-threatened Parma. Udinese host Cagliari Sampdoria visit Palermo in the battle for a UEFA Cup spot.

In the relegation scrap, bottom side Livorno will go down if they fail to win at home to Torino. Empoli and Parma will also drop if they lose at Reggina and Fiorentina respectively and Torino get a point and Catania beat Juventus.