First of all, Cagliari had their 3 point deduction overturned; thus they are no longer the worst team in the league technically (haven't been for much of the last month). There will be more on that in the preview.
Now, Romans who will be missing the game. This is a big deal, because we're one Il Capitano injury away from watching Ludovic Giuly be the only prima punta in history who can't walk out of the stadium and get onto any of the rides at the adjoining carnival. If you like targetmen, this isn't your game. Though, now that I think of it, watching Ludovicious attempt to play as a 193cm gangly striker may be the funniest thing we see all year. Watch him back into Michele Canini, holding the ball up until he falls through Canini's legs. Attempt to leap into headers and instead instead pile drive defenders in the groin. You know, that sort of thing.
As of this moment, this is what the out list looks like:
Daniele De Rossi
Daniele De Rossi, as we all know, is a major loss for any game. But if they needed to recharge his batteries for one game, I'm not all that upset it's this one. Same for Simone Perrotta, who will likely annihilate ESPN's "distance covered" measurement on Tuesday evening at the Stadio Olimpico with something just short of a light year. Mirko Vucinic is a tough loss because he's the only even remotely ideal guy to fill in when Francesco has better shit to do than hang with mere mortals.
Speaking of Jesus: he practiced and he appears to have recovered from his knocks. Hallelujah.
Romanews.eu, your portal for all things la magica, appears to think this will be the lineup come Saturday evening*:
Cicinho, Mexes, Panucci, Tonetto;
Taddei, Aquilani, Mancini;
The most glaring consideration will be the spine of the midfield and who fits where. Matteo Brighi seems to have the motor required of the pin-balling trequartista and King Berto can certainly play trequartista, but I gather the two might be better swapping spots.
From my dedicated googling and internet searching, I came across one sound theory on this "Messiah": 007 himself couldn't scratch up a scouting report. There is nothing - and I mean nothing - on this kid, other than what his pimp coach/agent, Careca, has bestowed upon us. Paraphrasing: he's the new Kaka. In a word: kaka.
For every Kaka, there are thousands of failed dreams, squad players and Serie C1 All-Stars. And it seems weekly there is a new Kaka, with this one coming from a guy who surely stands to get a cut from his contract and future earnings, should he be acting as his agent. Not exactly the best of sources, I gather.
At this stage, with a squad which can deem it fit to bench the likes of Mauro Esposito and allow him to rot on the bench for all of his time in Giallorosso, it doesn't appear as though this kid is a complete slouch. They have some big games coming up, and he's at least participating in drills with the likes of Matteo Brighi - who will play a large part in the Cagliari game in just a few days (hopefully). Can't imagine he'd be a total bag of kaka and Spalletti would see it fit to still waste time on the kid.
Then again, Adrian Pit (Pronounced 'Piz') does still lace 'em up daily......
So Genoa's Prez, Enrico Preziosi, has stated Marco's value stands at around €20m. Immediately a question popped into my head: and how much would he cost had he been scoring these goals for Blackburn Rovers instead of Genoa? I gather at least £30m and a pint of breast milk from the Queen Mum.
€20m as a starting point in a negotiation is completely feasible, but that price would have to be worked down significantly. Moot, however, in that he still has Genoa & Milan which have to settle his dealings and determine who gets him. It's like My Two Dads, with Genoa as Paul Reiser, Milan as the skeevy Other Guy, and Borriello as the whore who could've been preggers by two men. (Nevermind, Borriello would be that annoying chick from Step-By-Step. Borriello's agent can be the whore.)
* - But let's talk about Milan here for a second. One of their biggest issues the entire year has been the striker situation - namely anyone who steps foot on the grass at the San Siro - and they've got their guy, from their youth team, scoring goals like it's going out of style in the next 20 minutes. To boot, they let him go on a co-ownership which only saw them net €2m or so. Now, if they want him back, it's going to cost five times that. They can't do anything right this year, can they?
I) Gila for King Alberto? Didn't realize April Fool's Day came a week early this year. Ha.....ha......never happening.
II) Oh, but Gila's agent is saying that the violinist would love to play next to Francesco Totti. Newsflash: Anyone who has picked up a ball between 1994 and roughly now wants to play next to Francesco Totti. That doesn't make it any more likely.
III) As I'm sitting here typing this there's a bit on the news about a local charitable drive which will help buy prom shoes for underprivileged girls.
I'm pretty sure we're about 6 years from the end of the world.
IV) Coppa Italia semi against Catania (at the Olimpico) will take place at 1800 CET on April 16th. Clear your calendars, Catania's playing away from home.
V) Vincenzo Iaquinta for Mancini: This one could have legs. I doubt there's anything to it at the moment, but it could be one of those rare instances where the media actually makes an intelligent stab at a future rumor. Basically, Spal loves Iaquinta. I just spent like 20 minutes between this sentence and the last one looking for his little presser late last year where he said exactly that, but I'm shit out of luck which means so are you.
However, there's a whole bunch of complexities with this one: what's going on with Amantino's contract negotiations (if there are any); what Iaquinta's status at Rubentus will be if they're really hell bent on blowing a wad of cash on a premier striker like Huntelaar or Amauri; who on Juventus will fill the slot of "more goals than games started"; and who Raffaele Palladino will secretly fluff on the bench all game long. (You thought Vincenzo was scoring the late game goals just on his skills alone? Please.)
In a word or two, there's more time for discussion on this.
Now, so that I can go begin the Cagliari preview, I'll simply leave you with a couple YouTubers of a new name on the mercato wishlist, supposedly. In France, he's known as the new Thierry Henry. That wouldn't be bad...