Giallorossi Squared: Hats Versus Kicks

ROME, ITALY - APRIL 01: Luis Enrique coach of AS Roma looks on during the Serie A match between AS Roma and Novara Calcio at Stadio Olimpico on April 1, 2012 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)

Pregame checklist.

Red: Check

Yellow: Check

More red: Check

More yellow: Check

Wolves: Check

Standalone defense which could see its respective team relegated by a league of moderately skilled chimpanzees: Check

What's there to tell the two teams apart, I say.

Actually, that last one merely was true. Largely for both teams, and it's likely Roma could revert to the leg-opening lass of old with their devil-may-care approach to that whole concept of defense at any moment, particularly if that tatted Dane is involved. However, they've been passable, if rickety-legged, of recent. Roma Lite (real lite), meanwhile, has Serse Cosmi at the helm now, which means they can actually close up shop a little bit. So that's no fun. Who wants to see a three-man defense sit in the box when they're booking a ticket to B anyway? That's like a death row inmate passing up dessert during the last meal in an effort to watch their caloric intake.

Because Lecce's goin' down. Down, down, down. Much though I dream to see the purple ones go to the dungeons while waving my "Talent recognition does not necessarily equate to team building." Pantaleo Corvina non-flag with a suspect glare in the direction of Walter Sabatini, Lecce's going to be the one to tumble. They also may do so as the first team in history better away from home than at home*. (* - This is completely untrue.)

What should happen in a perfect world is a continuation, a progression, of last weekend; possibly a scoreline closer to 10-1, or the odds that Kjaer skates the game without earning a yellow. What will happen is anyone's guess, because I cannot even begin to tell you how little I care to ponder all the ways AS Roma has managed to @#$% up momentum over the years. Even if momentum is one home game against Novara.

Mostly, however, I would like to see a postgame exchange not of shirts, but of Serse Cosmi's hat for Luis Enrique's kicks. And then they can celebrate Jesus' resurrection with chocolate and caramel and marshmallow chirp chirps.


Projected XI

Stekelenburg

Taddei, Kjaer, Heinze, Angel

Gago, DDR, Marquinho

Pjanic

Bojan, Osvaldo

Two players from last year's squad, one of whom is in an even remotely familiar position.

Miralem returns, but likely to a position higher up the pitch. This would seem beneficial on the surface, at least until Marquinho starts thinking he's Christian Panucci circa 2007 and latches himself to the six yard box (details) in an effort to earn capocannoniere status with his head.

There are a plethora of logical reasons Erik Lamela shouldn't be the first name on the teamsheet every week, prime among them that I've been pouring my morning cereal with a box sporting his face since December. I don't want to hear any of them.

Speaking of cereal, this is an earlier than normal match for a Saturday - 1500CET - due to all that bunny rabbit business on Sunday. I'll put early estimates on how many fans forget at a conservative 30%.

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