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Totti Today #66: Sunny side up

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After the National Water Aerobics Games in rainy Bologna, the Giallorossi visit a sunnier place this time around: The football capital of Europe, Barcelona! And truth be told, as a Roma fan I feel a lot more optimistic in Barcelona than Bologna. After all, this is AS Roma we’re talking about.

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press/Getty Images

Broken glasses

Don’t hurt your brain and dig too much into that last sentence. Ok, visiting the Camp Nou is not merely a city trip and it’s probably Roma’s biggest, baddest, hardest match of the entire season. But what can be worse than a soaked Bologna pitch, right? At least the weather circumstances now are better and Roma doesn’t need to dictate play there. The Giallorossi can try to repeat their trick from September and, with a tonload of luck, try to squeeze out a draw.

Now wait a sec. Before you steal my giant giallo e rosso glasses, throw them on the ground, break them and throw them away in the river Tiber, keep in mind this is Roma. The most Jeckyll & Hyde team on the planet (and beyond). Of course chances we win in Barcelona are slim, maybe 1% but which other team is capable of doing what is deemed impossible and honor that 1%? This is not the time to be realistic but optimistic, otherwise we might as well give forfait and don’t bother travelling to Spain in the first place. Or it had to be for the Sagrada Familia ( still not finished by the way) or one of Gaudi’s houses.

Open floodgates

Yes, Saturday was a horror show but the pitch didn’t help and so did Bologna's calcio. It should’ve been cancelled but it’s in the past now. Things are still looking good in Serie A, everything is packed at the top and will remain that way until after New Year. We already saw the best (Florenzi’s stunner or a large portion of Leverkusen-Roma) and worst (BATE away, obviously) of Roma in the CL so this one can go either way really. Last weekend Barcelona had to play the big Clásico against Real Madrid, a lot more intense and demanding match-up than Bologna.

Yet Barca go into this match with a lot of momentum, humiliating Real in their own Bernabeu. But tell me honestly, would they manage to win 0-4 as well on Bologna’s pitch on Saturday? Very doubtful. I just want to point out that a disappointing result in Bologna has nothing to do with our chances in Barcelona. Every match starts 0-0 so basically every team has a 50% chance to win. Of course, an early lead for Barcelona and the floodgates are open. Hell, even more than the clouds in Bologna last weekend.

Propaganda and predictions

Missing Salah and Gervinho is a huge blow so we’ll have to rely on former Barcelona youth product Falque and ‘our own Messi’, Iturbe. If both ever needed a place and time to shine, it is now. Because we literally have no other options up front: Salah, Yao and Totti are injured, Ponce and Sadiq not included in the players list.

Pallotta will surely have marked this fixture with a big fat red circle as well. Time for some propaganda. With Leverkusen making the difficult trip to BATE, everything but a loss would be considered a moral boost, a succes, maybe even decisive for that second place in group E. Don't forget Roma still need to play their ‘easiest’ game in this group, at home against BATE.

You can’t predict the outcome of Barca-Roma but you can predict the weather. And I’m told after rain always comes sunshine… So I guess I still need those glasses then.