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Roma v Sampdoria

It's rather boring at this stage of the season, isn't it? Just sorta...win. Or else.

I don't really care what the standings say or the home and away records say (Samp are a train wreck away from home at 5-3-9 and Roma...well, they're quite decent at the Olimpico), this game is going to make climbing K2 in a mankini with no oxygen seem like a cakewalk. If they play as they did in the first half against Lazio, they'll lose. If they play as they did against Atalanta, they'll lose. If they play as though Sampdoria are rubbish away from home, they'll lose.

Those ringed fellows match up well, they've got Italy's other genius (he used to play...somewhere, I forget), Pazzini and a midfield which, on its day, bears a general resemblance to Roma's deep two, with good wingers (even if they aren't required in Rome). In a word or four: I don't like it.

This time, the moons of Jupiter will not be required of Ranieri. This time, he'll merely have to get it right from the start, which means Tovuto will likely not make an appearance. In fact barring injury, Tovuto may not make an appearance again this season - to the point, it needs an overhaul in the summer. The rumored is Me-To-Vu (Menez, Totti, Vucinic), presumably in a 4-2-3-1 but perhaps in a 4-3-3 with Menez on the right wing and a central midfield three. It's nice.

Tough game - very tough game - but a very winnable game. Just how Ranieri likes it.

Squad

1 BOGDAN LOBONT
3 MARCO ANDREOLLI
4 JUAN
5 PHILIPPE MEXES
7 DAVID MARCELO CORTES PIZARRO
9 MIRKO VUCINIC
10 FRANCESCO TOTTI
11 RODRIGO FERRANTE TADDEI
13 MARCO MOTTA
16 DANIELE DE ROSSI
17 JOHN ARNE RIISE
19 JULIO CESAR BAPTISTA
20 SIMONE PERROTTA
22 MAX TONETTO
27 JULIO SERGIO BERTAGNOLI
29 NICOLAS BURDISSO
30 LUCA TONI
33 MATTEO BRIGHI
77 MARCO CASSETTI
94 JEREMY MENEZ

XI

Julio Sergio
Cassetti, Burdisso, Juan, Riise
Pizarro, DDR
Taddei, Menez, Vucinic
Totti


Game:
2045CET