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Huntelaar excited by derby debut

Klaas Jan Huntelaar will face a Serie A baptism of fire this weekend when he makes his bow for AC Milan in the city derby.

The Holland striker joined Leonardo's Rossoneri this summer from Real Madrid and missed the opening Serie A fixture through suspension.

Unlike city rivals Inter, the Rossoneri enjoyed a fine start to the campaign with two goals from Alexandre Pato firing them to a 2-1 win at Siena. Now comes what is always one of the biggest matches of the season, broadcast live on ESPN, and Huntelaar cannot wait to get a taste of the atmosphere.

"I couldn't have asked for a more beautiful game for my debut," he said. "It's a derby, a very hard game and it will be great to play this game for the first time.

"Inter drew their opening game but they are a good squad. We faced them in Pescara (in pre-season) and they are strong. We hope to win and play a great match."

Defending champions Inter will be looking to clinch their first win after dropping two points last week against newly-promoted Bari. Inter fans will be in the minority in this derby as they are officially the away team.

Juventus will be boosted by the presence of captain Alessandro Del Piero when they travel to the Eternal City for Sunday's clash at Roma. Del Piero missed his team's 1-0 triumph over Chievo with a muscular injury but has recovered and will lead his team onto the pitch at the Stadio Olimpico.

Fiorentina host Palermo seeking their first win of the season after a 1-1 draw at Bologna on opening day.

Lazio have winning momentum on their side as they go up against Chievo in Verona. Davide Ballardini's men won the Supercoppa Italiana, cruised to a 3-0 triumph over Elfsborg in their Europa League first leg play-off and then followed that up with a victory over Atalanta in their Serie A opener.

Udinese hope in-form striker Antonio Di Natale can maintain his goalscoring form when they travel to Genoa to meet Sampdoria. Di Natale struck twice as his team secured a point in their 2-2 draw against Parma last weekend.

Genoa beat Roma 3-2 in their opening match of the campaign and coach Gian Piero Gasperini will expect his team to build on that success when they meet Atalanta in Bergamo.

Cagliari were excellent in their home matches last season and Sunday's game against Siena marks their first encounter at the Stadio Sant'Elia this term. The Sardinian outfit won 11 and lost just four of their 19 encounters at home in 2008-09.

Promoted side Bari go into the their home game against Bologna inspired by their 1-1 draw at Inter, while Parma and Catania battle it out at the Stadio Ennio Tardini with both sides' main aim this campaign to avoid the drop.

Livorno must overcome the loss of striker Alessandro Diamanti as they travel south to meet Napoli on Sunday. Diamanti, who was the Amaranto's top scorer last season, was sold to West Ham this week.


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