Claudio Ranieri expects “a great game” as Roma clash with on-form Palermo, but surprisingly stands up for Jose Mourinho in card-gate.
The Coach has always had an intense and often bitter rivalry with Mourinho, so naturally was asked about the ‘improper conduct' investigation into Real Madrid allegedly getting two players sent off to clean their disciplinary record for the knock-outs.
“Is this a new thing? No, so let's not kid ourselves,” shrugged Ranieri. “Some do it more, some less...”
The Giallorossi visit Palermo on Sunday evening in a battle for position, as only two points separate them.
“I would've liked to have all my players, but we won't cry about it,” he said of Mirko Vucinic's ankle injury.
“We will be up against a Palermo side that is very competitive in a packed stadium with a wonderful atmosphere.
“We have to be mentally strong to fight back blow for blow. I expect a great game. Palermo are in excellent form and their three forwards make the difference, so they will be on the attack with passion.”
Much of the build-up has been concerned with debate over whether Javier Pastore is better than Jeremy Menez at this moment in time.
“Pastore is scoring many goals, while Menez is working towards that. They are two great young players to watch and they fire up the enthusiasm of the crowd. We'll certainly hear about them both for a long time to come, as they are natural talents.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition  - £11,000 to be won monthly!