I know everybody would like some revenge on the Englishmen. Fans and players. And until Roma puts a similar scoreline on them, those unrequited desires will go on, whether it be this year or five years from now. It won't matter. So wait until then, because if Roma goes into this game playing like their arses have been lit on fire looking for revenge, they've already lost.
Chanmester will field an "experimental" side if you're to believe Whiskey Honker, and will undoubtedly be resting their big boys up for the clash this weekend against Liverpool. Inter has brought 21 players to their meaningless encounter in Eindhoven, 7 of whom have been plucked straight from the "Primavera" (bullshit, we all know the only way they can field multiple Italians these days is to pluck kids from the streets of Milan). They've been hit by a string of injuries, while Zlatan is suspended, and will likely attempt to avoid more as they travel to Sardinia over the weekend. Juventus and Udinese, the two hottest on Roma's trail, both have the week off. Roma could use some time off just as much, if not more, than all of them. Qualifying one matchday early is a gift, take it.
Why would Roma risk fatigue and injury in a game which holds zero pragmatic significance? Especially considering Spalletti is deathly allergic to rotation and we could probably say that is a partial contributor in the line which is forming outside Trigoria's training room? The Poobah isn't stupid, he knows how crucial each Serie A encounter is from here on out. That Inter isn't going to give a centimeter, so every point Roma drops is magnified that much more. What happens if DDR gets two-footed by some amateur from Chanmester who couldn't time a tackle with Michael J. Fox's DeLorean? Say he goes out for the year, what happens? Kiss the scudetto goodbye, that's for sure.
The players are also smart, and as much as they want revenge, know that this game pales in comparison to the trip up to the northwest over the weekend. There is no mental edge to be won here. It's clear Manchester has nothing to play for except pride, and will not be going out as though this is their last game on Earth. So what will a blowout prove? That they could get it done against a Manchester JV in a meaningless game? Anybody who knows anything knows that game was a complete fluke, even the players, and while revenge will surely be welcome, this is not time to go all out and look for the kill. That's when stupid decisions lead to stupid consequences.
Which is why this game worries me more than anything. Not because of a potential repeat, but because it's "one of those games" which has zero meaning but still has something devastating happen, the only reason being to seemingly fuck the team over. A season-ending injury or the like. It's an exhibition, regardless of how anyone feels about Manchester United.
I would personally love to see this lineup thrown out there:
Cicinho, Ferrari, Juan, Antunes;
Espo, Giuly, Pit;
The Oompa Loompa Brigade in full effect. Not only does it eliminate injuries at most levels (some are there by necessity, like Juan, David and Lulu), but also gives some guys a chance to play who have been spending much, if not all, of the year playing grabass on the bench. That and I really wanna see this Claudio Della Penna kid. (Is it me, or does he not look like SuperMarco and King Alberto somehow made a homosexual love child?)
(I was going to do the actual probable XI, but once I got to Max I got the sickening feeling as though Antunes won't see a single minute. Let's just hope Spalletti gives the kid a cool 90 minutes before he's loaned out. Therefore, I can't do it.)
Other than that, I could honestly care less about this game. It means exactly the same as the West Ham, Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen games did way back in the summer: nothing. The only thing I'll be caring about is also the same, that the overworked players (you know there are plenty) get some rest and the trainer's room at Trigoria starts emptying, not filling back up again.
King Alberto: Looking to be out until January, and it's really hard to argue with that. He's needed for much more than Torino and Sampdoria, and the team can get those done without him.
Simone Perrotta: Rumor has it he may play against Chanmester. If he's 100%, fine, get him some minutes to return to form, but if he gets hurt again.... (I still doubt he plays, despite what anyone else has to say.)
Marco Cassetti: Judging by the date of the injury (Dec. 2nd) and supposed length (month), his return should coincide nicely with the close of the winter break. Of course, that's before factoring in Roma's medical staff, which couldn't tell you how many minutes to boil a three-minute egg. Who the hell knows.
Marco Andreolli: Long term back issues really spells trouble for this kid in the immediate and distant future. I wouldn't expect to see his name on any squad lists before January.
Gianluca Curci: I have no idea. If he's alright, I'd expect him to get the start in this game. That should be your indicator right there.
I'm out for the day, enjoy the game and fill in anywhere I missed down below. And while the game may mean nothing...
(3-2 Roma; Vucinic 2, Fucking Antunes)
I hope the Primavera goes all Chuck Norris on their asses. Forza Roma.