So I was near the end of the normal preview when I clicked "save" on the platform that we use. The platform, obviously a Napoli fan or something, decided "save" meant "delete" and my post vanished. This is the 5th or 6th time it has happened and I think The Powers That Is are looking into it. But for now, it means an excessively brief, well past due derby preview. (And a lot of me trying to remember what I’d written.)
Napoli v Roma
Oh yeah….Serie A. With the euphoric highs Roma experienced in Europe this week, some people seem to have forgotten there’s a game back in the homeland this weekend (some people mainly meaning me). But there is actually a game this week, and it’s not one against Craptastic FC in order to ease the boys in (I have love for 99% of the teams which battle relegation, so I’ve avoided mentioning a specific name – that and Lazio appears to be avoiding relegation yet again which must mean they’ve sold their souls to the devil for the umpteenth straight year). Nope, it’s against Napoli, the team which just downed the supposedly undownable (yes, I’m making up words again) in Inter, and we get to throw in the fact that it’s a derby away from home, to boot. Three cheers for computer scheduling.
As you know all too well, the key to this Roma team is often their mentality and self-confidence – from the pitch all the way back to the locker room. After beatings Spanish behemoths Real over two long and luscious legs, throwing 4 goals and a clean sheet Parma’s way and outplaying Inter at the San Siro again, confidence must be soaring heading into this final stretch of calcio hell. Three cheers for not playing in Tuscany anymore.
Of course, the same can be said for Napoli, who were the first Serie A team to beat Internazionale FC + 1 this campaign just last weekend at the San Paolo. They were also able to take down Juventus at their home ground in the fall (pipe down, Juventini), so they must feel their home is their castle. So everybody’s going into the game feeling good about themselves. Three cheers for high self-esteem.
Luckily for Napoli, Francesco Totti is back on form and back to walking on water without getting his sandals wet. Daniele De Rossi is playing like the best defensive mid the world has to offer (because he is). Alberto Aquilani and his big game self looked like The King during Wednesday’s clash, showing off the world’s most devastating homegrown midfield pairing in the process. Juan is making Waterford Chivu look like Swiss cheese after being hit by a drive-by in Compton. Philippe Mexes is kicking ass then taking names later so that he can write them down on a list and hand them over to Raymond Domenech with a big old “VAFFANCULO”. Doni is, now get ready for this, the nitroglycerine which is curing all of our cardiac ailments. The Grand Imperial Poobah is vaulting to the top of Europe’s wishlists again and looking dashing while doing so.
You know what all that means? Bella Roma is back. Napoli be warned.
1 GIANLUCA CURCI
2 CHRISTIAN PANUCCI
4 JUAN SILVEIRA DOS SANTOS
5 PHILIPPE MEXES
7 DAVID MARCELO CORTES PIZARRO
8 ALBERTO AQUILANI
9 MIRKO VUCINIC
10 FRANCESCO TOTTI
11 RODRIGO FERRANTE TADDEI
15 VITORINO GABRIEL PACHECO ANTUNES
16 DANIELE DE ROSSI
18 MAURO ESPOSITO
20 SIMONE PERROTTA
22 MAX TONETTO
27 JULIO SERGIO BERTAGNOLI
30 MANCINI ALESSANDRO FAIOLHE AMANTINO
33 MATTEO BRIGHI
Gianello, Navarro, Contini, Garics, Grava, Rullo, Domizzi, Cannavaro, Santacroce, Blasi, Bogliacino, Hamsik, Gargano, Mannini, Montervino, Dalla Bona, Calaio', Lavezzi, Sosa, Zalayeta.
Ludovic, Marco Cassetti and Matteo Ferrari are all out.
Il Jesus has a fever again – could somebody please get him a multi-vitamin or something – but will likely suit up.
The following players are one yellow away from suspension:
Aquilani, De Rossi, Mexes, Pizarro, Vucinic.
Next two games? Milan and Lazio. Oh joy.
OMR, Juan, Mexes, Tonetto;
Taddei, Simone, Mancini;
It won’t be 4-4. How’s that for a prediction, eh?
Score: 2-1 Good Guys
Goals: Simone (16), Totti (57), Hamsik (62)
When: 1500 CET, 0900 EST.
Where: San Paolo, South Side.
Streaming: Here. (Maybe, there are some issues with Napoli’s broadcast rights that may prevent it from being seen.)