Inter's defensive woes grow ahead of Reggina trip

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ROME, Oct 18 (Reuters) Serie A leaders Inter Milan have more defensive worries ahead of their trip to winless Reggina on Saturday with Nicolas Burdisso doubtful after sustaining a head knock playing for Argentina.

Burdisso needed five stitches and temporarily lost consciousness after a clash of heads during Argentina's 2-0 win in Venezuela in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Inter's defense is still missing Marco Materazzi through injury, but French midfielder Patrick Vieira is battling to return from a hamstring problem.

The reigning champions have won five of their first seven games and will be seeking to maintain their three-point lead at Reggina, who are second from bottom with four points.

Juventus, second with 14 points, are likely to be without Vincenzo Iaquinta for Sunday's tricky home tie against fifth-placed Genoa, who have won their last three games.

The striker is recovering from a bout of bronchitis that kept him out of Italy's 2-0 Euro 2008 qualifier against Georgia on Saturday and their victory by the same margin over South Africa in a friendly on Wednesday.

Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero, who signed a two-year contract extension on Tuesday, is in search of his 219th competitive goal for the Turin side.

AS Roma, who also have 14 points, will be without a large section of their support for Saturday's home game against Napoli, who will not have any followers cheering them on.

Security chiefs in the Italian capital have restricted the game to season-ticket holders to head off the risk of clashes between rival fans.

On Sunday, unbeaten Fiorentina, fourth with 13 points, entertain Tuscan rivals Siena, who beat Empoli 3-0 last time out to pick up their first win of the campaign.

After ending a poor run of form by thrashing Lazio 5-1 in Rome two weeks ago, AC Milan are seeking to claim their first league victory of the season at the San Siro against Empoli on Sunday.

Brazil striker Ronaldo said this week he has almost recovered from the hamstring injury that has kept him sidelined so far, but added he does not think he will be ready for the Empoli game.

The European champions are eighth in Serie A with 10 points.


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