Puyol, Márquez, Oleguer, Sylvinho
Deco, Edmilson, Iniesta -
Messi, Ronaldinho, Eto'o
Sergio, Lequi, Ángel, Placente -
Iriney, Oubiña, Núñez, Canobbio -
Ascoli - Treviso
After the weekend's disappointing defeat at the hands of Cagliari, Marco Giampaolo's Ascoli will see the visit of fellow relegation strugglers Treviso to the Stadio Del Duca as a must-win. However, Alberto Cavasin's visitors will be on a high following the club's first ever home Serie A victory over Lecce and will see themselves as favourites to triumph over a side that is suffering from a long slump in form.
Following a gutsy start to life in Serie A, Ascoli are now nine games without a victory. Although the run has included impressive draws with Palermo and Chievo and a creditable defeat against Inter, the Bianconeri must start picking up maximum points if they are to avert their slide towards the drop zone.
Week 16's defeat against Cagliari cut the gap between Giampaolo's men and the trapdoor and undoubtedly the Swiss-born boss will let his side know that they cannot afford to lose to another bottom-four club.
In Ascoli's favour is the Del Duca effect. While they have lost one home fixture, it was played in Rimini by way of punishment for crowd disturbances and they are therefore unbeaten at their home stadium.
The appointment of Cavasin seems to be having the desired effect at Treviso. The Biancocelesti were written off as relegation fodder in pre-season and looked out of their depth in the first weeks of the season, but under Cavasin there has been a clear improvement. Draws with Palermo and Messina showed promise which was realised in Saturday’s historic first Serie A home win over Lecce, a result that left Treviso within three points of their opponents and hailed by Cavasin as a turning point.
Coach Giampaolo continues to suffer from a depleted squad. Mirko Cudini, Daniele Adani, Vittorio Tosto, Ivano Della Morte, Andrea Parola, Domenico Cristiano, Marco Ferrante and Valerio Virga are all unavailable. Nicolas Cordova may feature for the first time since his altercation with the Ascoli boss after being substituted against Fiorentina in Week 11. Cavasin has no injury worries and is unlikely to change the side that overcame Lecce.
Comotto, Domizzi, Paci, Del Grosso;
Foggia, Guana, Biso, Fini;
Zotti, Aguilar, Corallo, Carbone, Zanini,
Dellafiore, Gustavo, Cottafava, Dossena;
E Filippini, Parravicini, A Filippini, Pinga;
Handanovic, Giuliatto, De Martino, Chiappara, Beghetto,
Fiorentina - Palermo
Cesare Prandelli was frustrated to come away with only a point from Week 16's Tuscan derby with Empoli, and will hope that his Fiorentina side can put the pressure back on the top three with a win over an unpredictable Palermo in this Stadio Artemio Franchi clash.
Successful progress in the UEFA Cup may have cooled speculation over the future of Palermo boss Luigi Del Neri, but he needs Serie A points if his position is to remain safe over Christmas.
Del Neri was left to rue fatigue and wasted chances after Week 16's 2-0 home defeat to Livorno extended the Sicilians' miserable run to one win in seven. Despite a bright start to the campaign, Palermo have dropped to ninth and have failed to beat Treviso, Ascoli and Cagliari. President Maurizio Zamparini has stressed his belief in the man at the helm, but has also called for a greater consistency and a point here would go some way to vindicating his trust in Del Neri.
Last season's meeting at the Stadio Artemio Franchi finished 2-1 to the visitors with Luca Toni on target for the Sicilians. On Wednesday he will hope to haunt his old club and break a run of three games without a goal to add to his Capocannoniere tally of 16 for the Viola.
Despite defeat against Juventus and a draw with Empoli, Fiorentina have been the surprise package of the season. Prandelli's men have seven wins out of eight at home and look likely to finish December in a Champions League spot and make transfer window activity a real possibility.
Prandelli has no injury worries. Michele Ferri is suspended for the visitors after being dismissed against Livorno, while Christian Terlizzi and Franco Brienza remain out of action.
Ujfalusi, Gamberini, Dainelli, Pasqual;
Fiore, Brocchi, Donadel, Jorgensen;
Cejas, Di Loreto, Pancaro, Montolivo ,
Maggio, Pazienza, Bojinov
Zaccardo, Biava, Barzagli, Grosso;
Gonzalez, Barone, Corini, Bonanni;
Andujar, Biava, Rinaudo, Conteh
Codrea , Masiello, Palmiteri
Inter - Empoli
Inter have hit a rich vein of form and will be strong favourites to record their sixth straight win when they meet Empoli at the San Siro. While Mancini's men are going from strength to strength, Mario Somma's Empoli have found wins hard to come by and will not be expecting to get only their second away win of the season against the Nerazzurri.
Pre-season expectation was intense amongst the Inter faithful but the Nerazzurri are only now starting to find some consistency. Week 16's 4-0 demolition of Reggina closed the gap between Inter and Juventus to eight points and, while most critics believe that the Scudetto race is over, Inter are unbeaten in seven and could be a force to be reckoned with if they do lure January reinforcements.
Empoli's fortunate draw with Fiorentina was the Azzurri's first point in five games. Although Somma's side seemed at home in Serie A in early weeks, the Tuscans have struggled recently and have been overly dependent on Francesco Tavano. His nine goals propelled Empoli into comfortable mid-table, but he is now without a goal in three matches and the Serie A newcomers have started to slide.
Roberto Mancini will be without Ivan Cordoba but Pierre Wome is ready to return. Somma has the luxury of a full squad for the daunting trip to the San Siro.
J Zanetti, Mihajlovic, Samuel, Favalli;
Figo, Cambiasso, Veron, Stankovic;
Toldo, Burdisso, Recoba, Wome,
Pizarro, C. Zanetti, Cruz
Lucchini, Coda, Pratali, Bonetto;
Busce', Almiron, Moro, Vannucchi;
Balli ,Moro, Raggi, Zanetti,
Serafini, Gasparetto, Pozzi
Juventus - Siena
Juventus dropped points for only the second time this season in last Saturday's draw with Lazio and will not expect to have the same kind of problems against struggling Siena at the Stadio Delle Alpi. The visitors have shown little to suggest that they can follow in Milan's footsteps and will need to dig deep to cause any problems for Fabio Capello's men.
Siena boss Gigi De Canio has always made it clear that his aim for the season is only survival and, despite a promising start, it looks like the expected relegation dogfight is beginning. The Tuscan side have only won once in six games after a very late Parma equaliser denied them a much-needed win in Week 16 and club President Paolo De Luca has started to show signs of discontent. De Canio will not expect a point but will hope his side can trouble the hosts enough to impress his employer. Three players who will not lack motivation are Nicola Legrottaglie, Matteo Paro and Daniele Gastadello who all arrived from Turin in the summer.
Capello was left to rue the Lilian Thuram error that cost his side victory at the Stadio Olimpico last Saturday and will not accept any such defensive lapses jeopardising his side's perfect home record. David Trezeguet will be relishing the chance to menace Siena's leaky defence after taking his total to 14 goals with his eighth goal in as many games in the draw with Lazio. Last season's two meetings between the two sides both finished 3-0 in favour of Juventus and Capello will be looking for a similar result to confirm his side's winter supremacy.
Capello is still without the injured Emerson and Gigi Buffon who will probably be sidelined until mid-January while Adrian Mutu is doubtful. Gianluca Falsini is still suspended for Siena and is joined by Simone Vergassola.
Zambrotta, Thuram, Cannavaro, Chiellini;
Camoranesi, Blasi, Vieira;
Del Piero, Trezeguet, Ibrahimovic
Chimenti, Kovac, Balzaretti, Pessotto,
Olivera, Blasi , Zalayeta
Foglio, Portanova, Legrottaglie;
Gastaldello, Alberto, Paro, Molinaro, Locatelli;
Fortin, Mignani, Colonnese, Foglio,
Volpato, Nanni ,Marazzina
Lecce - Lazio
Lecce will be desperate to put last weekend's defeat against Treviso behind them and will look to avoid spending Christmas bottom of the table by beating a Lazio side that has been poor on the road. However, Lazio will see this as a chance to build on a great draw with Juventus and settle amongst the contenders for UEFA Cup places.
Despite pre-season fears of a relegation battle, Delio Rossi has earned the fans' trust and taken the Biancocelesti to eighth place. However, the capital club's success has been based on home form and they have only won once on their travels. The Lazio boss will now be determined that his side build on a 1-1 draw with leaders Juventus.
Silvio Baldini's Lecce will have been particularly frustrated by the 2-1 defeat against Treviso as the Giallorossi had finally hauled themselves off bottom with a shock win over Udinese in Week 15.
Central to Lecce's improvement has been 22-year-old Serbian striker Mirko Vucinic who has been showing his great potential. Vucinic was the hero in last year's fixture with a hat-trick in a thrilling 5-3 victory - the return fixture was also a classic, finishing 3-3 - and he has moved up to five goals for the season with four coming in the last three games.
Delio Rossi has a strong squad but still lacks Cesar who is out for a month because of a thigh strain. Valon Behrami will also be a spectator after he was stretchered off against Juventus, leaving Dane Christian Thielsen Keller likely to start his first Serie A match. Paolo Di Canio is also missing after he was banned for his controversial Roman salute.
Baldini will have to give Francesco Benussi his first chance of the season as first choice goalkeeper Vincenzo Sicignano is suspended after being sent off against Treviso. The Lecce boss will however be delighted by the return of Alex Pinardi.
Angelo , Diamoutene, Stovini, Rullo;
Marianini, Delvecchio, Camorani;
Konan, Vucinic, Valdes
Petrachi, Cassetti, Cozzolino, Pellè,
Giorgino, Schiavi, Eremenko
Oddo, Siviglia, Cribari, Zauri;
Keller, Dabo, Liverani;
Pandev,( Inzaghi/Manfredini), Rocchi
Ballotta, Stendardo, Belleri , Giallombardo,
Mudingayi, Tare, Inzaghi?
Livorno - Milan
Livorno will have the chance to draw level with Milan when the two sides meet at the Armando Picchi. A great run of form by the Amaranto has seen them climb to fifth in the League table and they are now just two points off Champions League qualification.
In their last five games, the Tuscan side have gained 13 points out of a possible 15. Now on a run of three straight wins, they will be hoping to further defy the critics by causing yet another upset here. They will be helped by the absence of Rossoneri captain Paolo Maldini and striker Filippo Inzaghi as both will miss this match through injury.
Milan will be out to show that they are still a force to be reckoned with this season. Defeats to Fiorentina, Chievo and Inter almost saw their campaign fall to pieces. Their 4-0 demolition of Messina suggests this was just a brief hiccup, but they will be desperate to avoid another poor result here. They will be relying once again on Andriy Shevchenko and Alberto Gilardino as the pair continue to emerge as the deadliest strike-force in Italy. With 17 goals between them already this season, expect them to cause their opponents plenty of problems.
Livorno Coach Roberto Donadoni will be especially hoping for a good result against the club he represented for most of his career. Donadoni made 287 appearances for the Rossoneri between 1986 and 1998, winning the Serie A title six times. It may be a while before he tastes such massive success again, but a win in this match would see him go one step closer. Two of his players, Diego De Ascentis and Francesco Coco, will also be playing against their former side. De Ascentis spent one season at the San Siro in 1999-00, while Coco graduated from the Diavolo’s primavera team and stayed in Milan from 1993 until 2001.
Grandoni, Vargas, Galante;
Cesar Prates, Morrone, Passoni, De Ascentis/Colucci, Coco;
Acerbis, Balleri, Melara, De Ascentis?,
Centi, Bakayoko, Pfertzel
Stam, Nesta, Kaladze, Serginho;
Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf;
Kalac, Simic, Ambrosini, Vogel,
Rui Costa, Vieri, Jankulovski
Messina - Reggina
Messina and Reggina will both be hoping to bounce back from heavy defeats when they come face to face on Wednesday. They were both on the receiving end of a 4-0 hammering from a Milan based side on Sunday. The Amaranto’s good run of form was halted by Inter which now sees them flirting with the relegation battle all over again. It had looked like they would break clear from the pack and secure a safe mid-table position, but a defeat in this match could see them drawn back in.
The Sicilian outfit’s 4-0 deficit came at the hands of Milan and was the third time they have conceded four goals this season. Their defensive weakness has been a problem for the Giallorossi, but before that loss two clean sheets in a row gave the impression that things were improving. They will need to overcome their mauling at the San Siro quickly in time for this match, as a win would help them move further away from the relegation zone and one step closer to survival.
Both of these teams will have to contend with a number of injuries though. Reggina will be without ‘keeper Ivan Pelizzoli, strikers Rolando Bianchi and Simone Cavalli and defender Juriy Cannarsa. For Messina, only Alessandro Parisi and Carmine Coppola are certain to miss out but Massimo Donati, Rahman Rezaei, Giuseppe Sculli, Filippo Cristante and Domenico Giampa are all doubtful and will have to face late fitness tests.
Zoro, Olorunleke/Rezaei, Cristante, Aronica;
Zanchi, Memede, Donati;
Di Napoli, Zampagna
Pansera, Donati, Olorunleke?, Sullo, D'Agostino? ,
Lanzaro, De Rosa, Lauro/,Franceschini, Lucarelli;
Mesto, Paredes, Tedesco, Modesto;
Saviano, Lauro?, Rigoni, Carobbio,
Biondini, Vigiani, Missiroli
Parma - Cagliari
The latest instalment in the relegation battle will take place at the Stadio Tardini as Parma play host to Cagliari. With the one point that separates these two sides also marking the boundary of the relegation zone itself, this game will have more influence over the eventual relegation candidates than most. With the close current standings at the bottom of the table, a win for either team could drag another two sides below them.
The Gialloblu have now not won in their last five matches and have dropped into the relegation zone. There is still hope though as only one point separates them from survival and the return to full fitness of a number of key players can only help. The return to form of Bernardo Corradi is also a promising sign, as the former Chievo hitman has now scored three times in his last three appearances. He will need to make up for the continued absence of Daniele Bonera, Fernando Couto, Marco Delvecchio and Domenico Morfeo who is still suspended following his red card against Reggina in Week 14.
Cagliari have their own crucial goalscorer though in David Suazo. The Honduran international has scored eight of his team’s 13 goals this season and has helped to make up for the poor form of last season’s heroes Mauro Esposito and Antonio Langella. The performances of Suazo and Corradi could go a long way to deciding this match.
The Rossoblu are now just outside of the relegation zone thanks to their 2-1 win over fellow strugglers Ascoli, but defeat here would see them drop straight back in. Only one defeat in their last four games suggests they have the ability to avoid the drop especially as that one loss was against Juventus in Turin. But unless they can win the relegation encounters like this one, they will find it hard going.
Coly, Cardone, Cannavaro, Contini;
Grella, Bolano, Simplicio;
Marchionni, Bresciano; Corradi
De Lucia, Couto, Camara, Dessena,
Cigarini, Dedic, Paponi
Bega, Canini, Lopez, Agostini;
Esposito, Abeijon, Gobbi, Conticchio, Langella;
Tomasig, Bizera, Pisano,Pani,
Budel, Cossu, Capone
Roma - Chievo
Roma will be eager to make up three points on Chievo when the Veronese outfit travel to the Olimpico. The Gialloblu are currently occupying the last European spot, a position their opponents are desperate to fill. Chievo may be worried going into this game though as despite their excellent League placing, they have only won once away from home since September. Their loss to Messina in Sicily in Week 15 was especially disappointing and they will want to bounce back from that here to show they are a major force in the top flight both home and away.
Roma have suffered a slump of late and have not won in five matches. Their home form has also been surprisingly poor and they have earned just one point from their last three games at the Olimpico. Now six points off Chievo and their own European ambitions, a win here could take a lot of the pressure off Coach Luciano Spalletti. He will not be helped by a growing injury list though, which now includes Vincenzo Montella, Antonio Cassano, Shabani Nonda and Samuel Kuffour as well as fitness worries over Cristian Chivu and Olivier Dacourt.
Giallorossi midfielder Simone Perrotta will be keen to play a major role in this match as he faces the side where he broke into the Italian national set-up. He spent three years at the Flying Donkeys from 2001 until 2004. He made 95 appearances during that time, scoring six goals, before moving to Rome. He will be hoping that he can show in this game that he made the right decision when leaving Verona.
Panucci, Mexes, Chivu, Bovo;
De Rossi, Aquilani;
Mancini, Perrotta, Taddei;
Eleftheropoulos, Cufrè, Tommasi, Rosi,
Dacourt, Alvarez, Okaka
Malago, Mandelli, D’Anna, Lanna;
Luciano, Sammarco, Giunti, Semioli;
Alfonso, Scurto, Moro, Sammarco,
Antonelli, Zanchetta , Obinna
Udinese - Sampdoria
Udinese and Sampdoria will both be looking to end their bad run of form when they meet at the Stadio Friuli. Both sides have seen their European aims damaged due to poor results in recent weeks and will be hoping that they can start their recovery here.
The Blucerchiati have only won once in their last four matches and a defeat to crisis club Cagliari and failure to beat struggling Parma has underlined Samp’s problems. They will be relying heavily on Emiliano Bonazzoli, Francesco Flachi and possibly the now returning Fabio Bazzani to break down their opponent’s shaky defence.
Udinese will be hoping that they can overcome their numerous injury problems to end their run of three straight defeats. It had seemed that the Zebreti had overcome their poor start, but this latest setback has given the fans more cause for concern. Cesare Natali, Giampiero Pinzi, Faustino Rossini, Marco Motta, and Vincenzo Iaquinta will all definitely miss out, but a number of others are doubtful as well as Stefano Mauri and Dias Felipe being unavailable through suspension. Their replacements will need to show their worth if they are to end their disappointing form.
One Udinese player who will be more upset than most if he has to miss out is Damiano Zenoni. If he can prove his fitness in time he will come face to face with his identical twin brother Christian. The two were also teammates at Atalanta and the sibling rivalry should be obvious on the pitch. Neither player will want to be reminded of another defeat over the family table at Christmas dinner.
Bertotto, Sensini, Zapata;
Vidigal, Tissone, Obodo, Muntari, Pieri;
Di Michele, Di Natale
Paoletti, Rinaldi, Juarez, Pinzi
Candela, Migliorini, Girardi
Zenoni, Falcone, Sala, Pisano;
Diana, Gasbarroni, Dalla Bona, Tonetto;
Castellazzi ,Zamboni, Pavan, Zauli
Borriello, Bazzani, Kutuzov
PS Varamiehet La Gazzetalta, ja muutamissa miehissä epäselvyyttä onko avaus/vaihto/loukk.
Uusi nimi kokpanossa
Birmingham v Man Utd
Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor comes in for suspended Nico Vaesen, while keeper Colin Doyle is recalled to the bench from a Millwall loan spell.
Striker Emile Heskey could return after missing the last game because his partner was due to give birth.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will check on the fitness of Louis Saha and Alan Smith.
Both men suffered from viruses and Ferguson will want to be sure they are 100% fit before he selects them again
Birmingham (from): Maik Taylor, Doyle, Martin Taylor, Tebily, Cunningham, Upson, Painter, Clapham, Johnson, Clemence, Butt, Dunn, Heskey, Pandiani, Forssell, Pennant, Jarosik.
Man Utd (from): Howard, Steele, Neville, Bardsley, Eckersley, Brown, Pique, O'Shea, Richardson, Ronaldo, Fletcher, Martin, Smith, Park, Jones, Rossi, Saha, Ebanks-Blake, Rooney
Wigan v Bolton
Wigan manager Paul Jewell is again likely to be without Josip Skoko, Stephane Henchoz and David Connolly for the Carling Cup quarter-final.
Skoko (groin), Henchoz (dead leg) and Connolly (Achilles) missed Saturday's 3-0 win at home to Charlton and are rated doubtful for the Wanderers game.
Bolton defender Tal Ben Haim is available after serving a one-game ban.
Full-back Ricardo Gardner could also come into contention following a hamstring strain.
Wigan (from): Pollitt, Chimbonda, McMillan, Jackson, Henchoz, Camara, Johansson, Kavanagh, Mahon, de Zeeuw, Francis, Taylor, Teale, Skoko, Bullard, McCulloch, Baines, Roberts, Connolly, Wright, Waterhouse, Walsh.
Bolton (from): Jaaskelainen, Hunt, O'Brien, N'Gotty, Ben Haim, Jaidi, Gardner, Giannakopoulos, Faye, Okocha, Nakata, Fadiga, Nolan, Speed, Diouf, Davies, Borgetti, Vaz Te, Walker(BBC)