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When A Derby Isn't A Derby

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Roma v Lazio

Or is it? Do the teams on the stadium scoreboard supersede the atmosphere? Or is the raucous, fiery battle of the fandoms that which comes to define a true derby? I suppose it depends, but this feels anything like a proper derby.

If we thought the derby della pace following Gabriele Sandri's death was a tepid affair, today's edition just might fail to register on the decibel meter. A somber mood envelopes the players, the fans, the stadium and the whole of Italy after Monday's natural disaster, and this game has become simply that: a game.

And so just a game it is.

Going into 'just a game', what do they take? They take Francesco Totti, which is more the other side can say for their entire history - so that's something. They take a roster without Primavera padding - the youngsters back amongst their peers where they belong. They take a starting eleven which looks like an honest to god Serie A side - unlike a certain team. They take a bench that doesn't look stripped from a local schoolgirls' team - which is the most the other side can say for its entire history...again.

So they take a superior history with the backing of nearly an entire city, making this game feel almost like a derby. Almost.

Squad

2 CHRISTIAN PANUCCI
5 PHILIPPE MEXES
7 DAVID MARCELO CORTES PIZARRO
10 FRANCESCO TOTTI
11 RODRIGO TADDEI
13 MARCO MOTTA
14 FILIPE
15 SIMONE LORIA
16 DANIELE DE ROSSI
17 JOHN ARNE RIISE
19 JULIO CESAR BAPTISTA
21 SOUYMANE DIAMOUTENE
20 SIMONE PERROTTA
22 MAX TONETTO
24 JEREMY MENEZ
25 GUILHERME DE MORAIS GUSMAO ARTUR
27 JULIO SERGIO BERTAGNOLI
32 DONIEBER ALEXANDER MARANGON (DONI)
33 MATTEO BRIGHI
77 MARCO CASSETTI

Indisponibili: Pipolo, Aquilani, Juan, Cicinho, Montella, Vucinic.

Outside of Cicinho, all should be back within a week or two. Not ideal considering the fixture at hand, but it certainly could be and has been worse.

Projected XI

Doni
Motta, Panucci, Mexes, Riise
DDR, Pizarro
Taddei, Baptista, Perrotta
Totti

Brighi on the bench? RomaNews says it's so with Taddei returning and Julio primed for 89:59 of infuriating ineptitude and :01 of derby heroics.

More tomorrow.

Last Game


Predictions

The bodies return for Roma and Lazio are...well...Lazio.

Game: 3-0 Roma
Goals: Totti (14), Totti (37), Totti (71)
MOTM: Francesco

When: 1500 CET, 0900 EST.
Where: Olimpico, Rome.
Forecast: 22°C, sunny.

Streaming: MyP2P.
Liveblog: At the ungodly hour where I am currently? But of course.


FORZA ROMA