Pjanic missing Champions League

A look ahead to the weekend's action in the Italian Serie A.

Last Updated: 20/12/12 at 18:39 Post Comment

Miralem Pjanic: Wants Champions League football

Miralem Pjanic: Wants Champions League football

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Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic is feeling pangs of nostalgia and jealousy as Saturday's opposition, AC Milan, prepare for another Champions League appointment with Barcelona.

The Bosnian enjoyed three European campaigns with Lyon but has not tasted European football since moving to Serie A for 11million euros last year.

The Giallorossi have been convincing in their mission to secure a top-four finish, though, winning four of their last five games to go sixth, but seventh-placed Milan are two points behind and snapping at their heels in the last match before the winter break.

He told Corriere dello Sport: "My dream is to improve at Roma and make sure we always finish top three in the league.

"The one thing I miss terribly is the Champions League, which I had the opportunity to play in for three years."

Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri, meanwhile, is out for revenge after enduring four fruitless encounters with Barca last season.

"We're up against the strongest team in the world," he told acmilan.com. "We want to progress so I hope we're luckier than last year."

Winter champions Juventus play Cagliari at Parma's Stadio Ennio Tardini after the Rossoblu's Stadio Is Arenas home failed safety checks.

The Bianconeri could lead second-placed Inter Milan by 10 points going into the weekend should they beat struggling Cagliari.

Head coach Antonio Conte will be without captain Giorgio Chiellini for at least two months after the defender tore his right calf.

The Juve boss said: "I'm convinced he'll come back stronger than before, looking to recover as soon as possible.

"Perhaps it's the first game we'll face with a series of injury problems. I'm convinced the team will respond in the correct manner."

While Cagliari and Juventus do battle in the Ducale city, Parma's players are just down the road in Bologna for the first Derby d'Emilia of the season.

The Rossoblu claimed an impressive 3-2 victory at Napoli to climb to 13th place after weeks of struggle, while Parma have slipped to 10th having only won two games from their last seven.

Napoli will have a point to prove at Siena after being deducted two points for alleged involvement in match-fixing, but the Bianconeri have a new manager, Giuseppe Iachini, who will be keen to make a good impression on his debut with the league's bottom side.

Delio Rossi replaced Ciro Ferrara as head coach at Sampdoria this week and his first task will be his former club Lazio at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

Inter remain Juve's closest challengers and will hope to capitalise on any slip up on Friday night to close a seven-point gap with a positive result over relegation-threatened Genoa.

Fourth-placed Fiorentina hope to persuade talented striker Stevan Jovetic to stay in Tuscany by earning Champions League football but opponents Palermo are one place clear of the relegation zone and desperate for points.

Elsewhere, Chievo plot to win four consecutive league games for the first time since 2002 as they visit Torino, who are without a win in five.

Pescara welcome resurgent Catania to the Stadio Adriatico before Atalanta host Udinese in a mid-table scrap as another year of Italian football draws to a close.


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