By Petar Todorovski
Derby della Capitale is on the rise. The arch rivals are preparing for another passionate game, but not just for winning points. This is game for honor for both clubs.
Even with such game upcoming, dropping points is not an option for AS Roma. They currently lay ninth place with only three victories from nine games, having a great need to turn things around. The team that started this campaign with Scudetto ambitions will have to struggle to secure a Champions League spot for the next year. On the other hand their rivals from Stadio Olimpico have their best run of the last few seasons, winning seven out of nine so far.
Roma will try to extend their current unbeaten run of three games. Last game they defeated Basel in the Champions League in a very difficult away clash with 3:2. The Gialorossi started the match well, leading at half-time 2:0 despite the Basel attacking style, having possibility to lead with even bigger margin. In the second half the team lacked pace and let the Swiss side to put pressure, fortunately, not enough for stealing points. After the game coach Claudio Ranieri stated that securing three points was most important, although he was concerned about the way they did it.
For next game Roma will have to cope without several players. Taddei, Pizzaro, Brighi and Okaka are injured, while Burdisso is doubtful, although he told journalists that he will play the derby. However, the worst handicap will be missing of superstar captain Francesco Totti (photo), who was sent off in the previous league game because of another foolish act. He is the main creative force for the Lupi and they will certainly feel his absence, especially when playing an important game like this. Lazio will have to oppose them without injured Meghni and Quadri and suspended Biava.
Roma won three of the last for matches against Lazio. However, this is a fierce derby game, always passionate, so the games between these two clubs are always unpredictable. Also, the team that was in worse form managed to secure points often in the past.
If Roma want to win the game they have to establish their style of play in the midfield from the first minute. They mustn’t let the in-form Lazio to create chances from the start, as Basel did. The Biancocelesti have much better offensive players who won’t miss any opportunities to make their fans in Stadio Olimpico go wild.
Roma scored two in the first half against the Swiss but this time it won’t be easy. We can’t expect much from striker like Marco Boriello, who usually misses some chances before he scores, especially in a situation when Totti is not there to feed him passes. Probably he will be easily stopped. Ironically, in his last statement before the game the suspended captain called his team mates to be more incisive in attack. So, it’s very important Mirko Vucinic to perform well. The wide attacker can attack from any offensive position and score the match winner anytime if given a chance, whether Roma is putting pressure on opponents or not.
However, we expect a very interesting match, full of emotions, passion and tension. Roma is improving their form and is going to do everything to improve further against the fierce rivals. But with the first whistle every prediction becomes not important. What would matter is playing with heart.