By Petar Todorovski

The Lupi are expecting a derby game which could send them into a genuine title race. Maybe some people already consider them as contenders, like their technical area director Gian Paolo Montali, but standing on sixth place even with only five points behind leaders AC Milan doesn’t say so.

Their rival Juventus is currently fifth, with one point ahead of Roma. They have won five and lost two out of eleven games so far, a record which is not as impressive as it was expected by the Turin side before the start of season. Like Roma, they started slowly, but they are somehow finding their rhythm, although still a little bit shaky. They seem to be dependant on newest acquisition, super creative midfielder Milos Krasic (photo). Bianconerri often struggled to break through opposition’s defense so far when the Serbian was not on the pitch.

Roma waits for this game with no euphoria after last weekend’s city derby victory and the midweek one against Fiorentina, but certainly with much more confidence. Motivation is high on Stadio Olimpico, even more with the fact that those five points behind Milan could melt to only two; if they beat Juve and Rossoneri fail to win the derby of Milan.

They are still without long term injured Taddei, Pizzaro, Juan and Okaka, but Cassetti is back in squad after suspension. Juvetus will start the game without a lot of first team players. Buffon, Krasic, Legrottaglie, Rinaudo, Grygera, De Ceglie, Martinez and Manninger are all out injured.

The popular “Tinkerman”, coach Claudio Ranieri claimed that Roma will do everything to beat Juventus. “They are ahead of us and so we must do what we can to get past them, I want to win, whether it is Juventus or other teams. I just have the will to win”, he said. Later in the interview he talked about the possibility to field powerful duo Totti – Vucinic. It probably means that this time Marco Boriello could start from the bench. The Italian striker earlier called his team mates to be more clinical in front of the goal. He was self-critical enough because of lots of scoring opportunities he misses, a fact that shows high level of motivation to improve things, but this time he would have to wait for his chance.

Last who expressed his expectations in front of the derby was Roma icon Francesco Totti. According to him this is a fundamental game for their campaign, mentioning that they mustn’t get carried away now, when they’re so close to the top.

It was mentioned already that gainin Saturday’s victory the Giallorossi would continue climbing table, with the possibility to reach even third place. It won’t be easy, of course, but could be much more difficult if Milos Krasic was able to help his team mates. With Juve wings cut and easy-picking striker like Vincenzo Iaquinta, it’s up to Roma to put pressure and create chances to score. Should they do that, they’re definitely going to be back on Scudetto track.