Leonardo expects extraordinary derby
AC Milan coach Leonardo believes Sunday night's Milan derby could not have come at a better time for his side.
The result of the clash at the San Siro is likely to go a long to deciding the outcome of the Serie A title race. I Rossoneri go into the clash six points behind league leaders Inter Milan, but with a game in hand and on the back of three convincing wins.
"This derby arrives at the right time for us," said Leonardo. "We are getting closer to Inter and it will be an extraordinary game. We are playing well and we hope to give consistency to our results."
Leonardo will be without injured striker Alexandre Pato but will be able to count on Ronaldinho who is brimming with confidence The Brazilian has struck seven of his team's 12 goals in the last three league games. "This is a special moment in my career and I want it to last as long as possible," said Ronaldinho.
Milan will have an added motivation to beat Inter as the last time both sides met earlier in the campaign, I Nerazzurri thrashed I Rossoneri 4-0. Roma and Juventus will both be rooting for Milan. They clash 24 hours earlier in Turin with third place up for grabs.
The Turin outfit are two points behind Roma and desperate to return to winning ways having lost four of their last five games. A draw in Turin could see Napoli climb to third - provided the Partenopei can cope without top scorer Fabio Quagliarella, who serves a one-match ban, to win at Livorno.
Sixth-place Palermo will face a battle as they look to defend the last European qualifying spot when they take on Fiorentina at La Favorita. The Sicilian giants moved one point clear of the Viola last weekend and are unbeaten at home this campaign.
If results go their way, in-form Cagliari could leapfrog Palermo into sixth. The Sardinian outfit, who travel to rock-bottom Siena, are unbeaten in 2010 and their solid form has seen them move level on 30 points with Fiorentina. Bari go into Sunday's game at Bologna looking for their first win on their travels since 19 October. Lazio will look to end a dismal week on a positive note when they take on Chievo in the Italian capital.
I Biancoceleste slumped to 17th in the standings after a 3-0 defeat at Cagliari at the weekend before being knocked out of the Coppa Italia in midweek by Fiorentina. Parma will expect to claim their first win this year in Sicily when they take on second-bottom Catania.
With just two points from their last five games, Udinese will be under pressure to deliver in front of the home fans when they host Sampdoria. The Friuli outfit are level on 20 points with Lazio and Bologna, three points clear of 18th-place Atalanta.