AC Milan and front-runners Napoli meet in the Serie A late on Sunday at the Giuseppe Meazza, with both coming off successful starts into the Champions League.
Napoli upset last year’s finalists Borussia Dortmund 2-1 to delight the 60,000 fans at the San Paolo, while Milan got a late 2-0 against Celtic. “Being Argentine and remembering what Maradona represented for Napoli, I feel the passion and the love that comes from this public,” said new signing Gonzalo Higuain in reference to Diego maradona’s successful spell at the club in the 1980s.
Defender Ignazio Abate and midfielder Andrea Poli are due back against Napoli, while Kaka and Riccardo Montolivo remain on the Devils’ long injured list.
“It was the win of a group that in a difficult moment got onto the pitch with solidity, winning and not conceding goals,” Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said.
“Now let’s get ready for Napoli, who are playing well with the imprint (new coach Rafael) Benitez gave them in such a short time.”
Roma are also benefiting from a change of coach, and from the amazing form of evergreen striker Francesco Totti. The 36-year-old is to captain the team of Rudi Garcia on Sunday afternoon against cross-town Lazio.
With a history of violence between rival fans and against police, the Rome derby worries authorities, who are considering to have the big match played away from the capital to prevent clashes.
Champions Juventus are at home to promoted Verona after a disappointing 1-1 draw at minnows Copenhagen in the Champions League.
Inter Milan visit newcomers Sassuolo in midday action.DPA