Roma v Cagliari
Well isn't this a lovely little powder keg?
There are more points here than a La Liga title race, so let's begin.
- The first point, obviously, is Totti. My feeling is he probably went home, threw on some FIFA 10 and booted Balotelli up the ass a couple more times, just to be sure, while calling Mario a female cleansing product. Mario's video game likeness then accused him of racism due to simply not knowing what it meant.
Probably not, but he'll be fine.
(My real feeling is Ilary made what Francesco did to Balotelli look like a consolatory pat on the shoulder.)
- There's the entire team, then. However, I believe Daniele when they say morale is high, because they know they were the better team and they couldn't do anything about the other stuff. Therefore: no fallout.
- The first meeting. That was a little bit of catastrophe, wasn't it? For those that missed it, they dominated throughout and then collapsed in injury time. It was like the Spalletti era blackout, only without the rest of the half to torture us with the potential of a fight back.
Whether that weighs on them, I don't know. I doubt it. I suspect the first game combined with the Coppa means they're not quite happy - angry even. I think that's good, but I can't be too sure.
- Allegri's gone for a wandering eye, Cellino just cut the chord before he could be cheated on in the summer. They also took something like two points from his final nine games, which has transformed into five points from the last twelve. Three draws against pretty good opposition - Palermo, @Napoli, Udinese - is certainly an improvement.
However, in case you hadn't noticed...Roma is awfully good. This is the type of game I would expect to look cause dyspepsia pregame - and remember, as a Roma fan I am the eternally suicidal pessimist - only for Mirko to score two in the first ten, one while slaloming through the Cagliari team picture twice, and put me into a nap by the half. One slight problem with that, though...
- ...No Mirko.
To-To looked awfully good at times when Francesco spread across the pitch, often to the right, against Parma; it looks less good, one might even say bad, when the two were climbing up each other like Jeremy's mancrush on Mirko in his first year. RomaNews has a 4-4-2 with To-To and Menez at RW/RM. I'd like a tridente giving Luca some space to work. I'm not sure, with the potential for Jeremy to play too close to Francesco in attack (particularly when they're both converging on that right channel), this is going to look awfully pretty. Claudio might have to sub in the jaws of life to separate the three by the half.
No Mirko, no fun.
- No Cassetti, which means Motta. 4-3 Roma, I die of heart attack by minute 37.
Or maybe it'll mean Burdisso at RB. 1-0 Roma, I die of exposure to ugliness by minute 37.
- I understand you're supposed to love your children and all that nonsense, but Bruno Conti needs to put his kid in his place before the game - we can't have any of that bullshit again.
- Andrea Cossu is back. He was suspended for two games, which meant missing Roma, but then had it reduced, which means Roma. I'm a fan, therefore I am not a fan.
- Lost in the wake of the midweek shenanigans is they took an awful lot of knocks, bruises and Walter Samuel fouls. This will not be the freshest 90 minutes they've ever played, for sure. Which really makes you worry about that first dance being repeated in the second dance.
Thus it's a Ranieri game. The gut is he's rounded them into the right frame of mind to succeed regardless of "points": that of Romans.
Which should be good enough for the points...and plenty of scoreboard watching.
1 BOGDAN LOBONT
3 MARCO ANDREOLLI
4 JUAN SILVEIRA DOS SANTOS
5 PHILIPPE MEXES
7 DAVID MARCELO CORTES PIZARRO
10 FRANCESCO TOTTI
11 RODRIGO FERRANTE TADDEI
13 MARCO MOTTA
14 RICARDO FATY
16 DANIELE DE ROSSI
17 JOHN ARNE RIISE
19 JULIO CESAR BAPTISTA
20 SIMONE PERROTTA
22 MAX TONETTO
24 ALESSIO CERCI
27 JULIO SERGIO BERTAGNOLI
29 NICOLAS BURDISSO
30 LUCA TONI
33 MATTEO BRIGHI
94 JEREMY MENEZ
Motta, Burdisso, Juan, Riise
Menez, DDR, Pizarro, Taddei