Galliani positive ahead of derby
A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A, including the Milan derby on Sunday night.
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AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani believes the Rossoneri have more than just bizarre statistics in their favour as the first Milan derby of the Serie A season looms large.
If the unusual pattern of the last three years repeats itself again, then Massimiliano Allegri's men are on course for a 'Derby della Madonnina' double - Inter won both meetings last term, with Milan taking six points in 2010-11 after Inter had done the double a year earlier.
Of course, relying on a statistical quirk would be folly and Galliani is confident Milan can take control of their own destiny on Sunday night.
Following a morale-boosting Champions League victory at Zenit St Petersburg, he told acmilan.com: "The team is getting better. We're coming back.
"It's a team that plays with its heart on its sleeve. We've been blessed with a bit of good luck after going through some bad times.
"(Stephan) El Shaarawy has played nine games and scored seven goals, this is his year. Last year he was just a baby.
"And my compliments go to Mr Allegri. This victory means we are back on course and it boosts us ahead of the derby."
Inter Milan are also fighting on multiple fronts and go into the derby on the back of a long trip to face Neftchi in the Europa League.
But head coach Andrea Stramaccioni insists the Nerazzurri intend to conquer every challenge they face.
He told the club's official website: "I think a club like Inter must have the goal of going far in all competitions during the season.
"We want to try to win them all."
Two coaches make their Serie A debuts this weekend as both Cagliari and Chievo opted to make a change on Tuesday.
Former Rossoblu player Ivo Pulga replaced Massimo Ficcadenti ahead of Cagliari's trip to Torino, and he could barely contain his excitement.
"It's always been my dream to come back and work here and the fact that my dream has come true fills me with joy," he said at his unveiling.
Eugenio Corini has taken over from Domenico Di Carlo at Chievo just in time to welcome Sampdoria to the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, with the Flying Donkeys on a five-game losing streak.
He told chievoverona.it: "I feel ready to take on this great opportunity. I'll bring knowledge, enthusiasm and motivation to the team."
Roma have beaten Atalanta at the Stadio Olimpico six times in a row and Giallorossi boss Zdenek Zeman is under pressure to make it seven after last weekend's heavy defeat at leaders Juventus.
The defending champions, meanwhile, travel to face Antonio Conte's former club, Siena.
The ex-Juve midfielder is awaiting the outcome of his appeal against a 10-month ban for failure to report match-fixing while in charge of the Robur.
Bologna's Alberto Gilardino is eager to catch the eye of Italy boss Cesare Prandelli by scoring against his old employers Fiorentina while Napoli look to keep pace with Juve by beating Udinese at the San Paolo.
Lazio visit Pescara, who have won two games on the spin, and Sicilian club Palermo travel to Genoa with Parma flying in the opposite direction to take on Catania.