ROME: AC Milan will be looking for their fifth consecutive Serie A victory tomorrow when they face city rivals Inter Milan at the San Siro.
Milans winning run, the perfect response to back-to-back defeats at the end of January, has seen them claw back an eight-point deficit on Juventus and they are now joint top with their title rivals from Turin and 11 points ahead of third-placed Inter.
Both Milan and Inter enjoyed excellent results in the Champions League on Wednesday and are well placed to secure their places in the last eight of the competition. Milan won 1-0 away to Manchester United, while Inter drew 1-1 away to Champions League holders Porto.
Hernan Crespo scored Milans winning goal and the in-form Argentinian believes their heroics at the Theatre of Dreams bodes well for the rest of the season.
The victory at Old Trafford showed we are capable of dominating in any stadium and its a great confidence booster for the side, said the South America forward, who is on loan from English Premiership leaders Chelsea until the end of May.
The games are coming thick and fast, but results like this make you forget about tired legs. Now we have to focus on the derby.
With Andriy Shevchenko recovering after surgery on a fractured cheekbone, Crespo will once again lead the front line against his former club and he says he will have no complaints if he has to play as a lone striker, just as he did in Manchester.
I like this system, though I think Ive proved this season that I can also score with two strikers up front. The important thing is that the team plays well.
Inter coach Roberto Mancini continues to maintain the title is not beyond his team, despite the yawning gap between themselves and the joint leaders.
We have to keep believing, otherwise we might as well give up now, he said.
Worryingly for Mancini, striker Adriano has not scored since Dec 12, but the Inter coach is still backing the misfiring Brazilian, who has had niggling calf problems all season.
Any striker is upset when he goes for so long without a goal, but he has to stop worrying about it, Mancini said. The goals will come, he just has to relax a little.
Juventus, who have taken just four points from the last 12 and were beaten 1-0 at Real Madrid on Tuesday, host third-from-bottom Siena.
Czech midfielder Pavel Nedved is ruled out after suffering concussion in Spain, but French striker David Trezeguet has recovered from flu and should start against the Tuscans.
Siena won at home to Fiorentina last weekend to end a run of six successive draws. AFP