Totti desperate to be fit for Milan showdown

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Milan, Oct 25: AS Roma striker Francesco Totti is doubtful for Sunday's top Serie A match at struggling AC Milan because of an ankle injury.

The 31-year-old sustained the knock early in a 2-1 Champions League win over Sporting on Tuesday and had to come off 10 minutes before the break after failing to shake the problem.

Roma doctors say he still has a chance of facing Milan, who have yet to win at home in the league this season and are 10 points behind leaders Inter Milan with just eight games played.

The European champions beat Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 in the Champions League yesterday, though, to ease their woes.

''Obviously, we were not in a crisis that deep. Not that it has all passed with this match,'' Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti told reporters.

Fourth-placed Roma's form has recently dipped slightly and their defence was seriously exposed in last weekend's epic 4-4 home draw with promoted Napoli.

Luciano Spalletti's side are desperate to show they are not the fourth best of Italy's 'Big Four' and a 4-1 home defeat by champions Inter last month and a 2-2 home draw with Juventus has left them even more determined to beat Milan.

Strict ticket restrictions have been placed on supporters for the big match given Italy's problems with fan violence.

Inter came from behind to win 2-1 at CSKA Moscow in the Champions League on Tuesday and have another tricky trip to Palermo on Sunday.

Midfielder Patrick Vieira is again doubtful after he was struck down with a calf problem in Moscow having only just recovered from nagging hamstring trouble.

But defenders Cristian Chivu and Maicon are available after Champions League bans in midweek with Marco Materazzi improving his fitness after a thigh injury.

Second-placed Juventus can go level on 20 points with Inter at the top, at least for a day, if they see off Napoli in Saturday's late kick off in Naples.

Juve midfielder Pavel Nedved is suspended for two matches after using an elbow in Sunday's 1-0 win over Genoa.

Third-placed Fiorentina, still unbeaten this season but four points behind Inter, visit Genoa in Sunday's late game.

All the other Sunday matches are afternoon kick offs with third-bottom Parma hosting basement side Livorno.

Reuters>

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