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Roma - Milan Preview

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If you want a proper Roman preview you have come to the wrong place, try one of the many romacentric sites here at the Offside.com like here, here, and even here. But if you want to share a laugh and start 09 off with a bit of banter then you have come to the right place.

It seems that I have aged beyond my years of twenty five, a word I so wholeheartedly knew and loved has changed meanings right before my own two eyes. It appears that the word Bullshit can know mean something good!? I couldn’t believe it either, but alas I want to dispel that notion and provide a proper definition:

bull•shit n.
1. Foolish, deceitful, or boastful language.
2. Something worthless, deceptive, or insincere.
3. Insolent talk or behavior.

It is odd that the Roman legion would find a way to redefine a word that so easily defines their team and fan behavior. As we all know I do not hold the club in the highest of regard, their constant complaints to help ease their early season troubles were exactly as stated in number 3 and 1, and their claims at the title while Milan floundered with point deductions and CL titles is nothing short of deceptive, but it appears they found a way back to mediocrity which is how I have always viewed them in the first place. Some people even call them the Arsenal of the Serie A, sure they can play some quality calcio at times, but when the chips are down they will always find a way out of the title race, mostly out of their own devices.

Ok, enough is enough, and I won’t poke anymore fun, after all there is a game to be discussed, and an important one at that. We have before us two coaches to stubborn for their own good pushing their formations through thick and thin, and two teams seemingly more capable than their point totals would show, so it seems. A win for Milan keeps them close to the top, while a win for Roma begins the long and hard climb out of the early season hole and 11th place.

Roster wise the game looses a bit of luster with Gattuso out with injury, many have claimed DDR to be the newer more efficient version of Rino, and many were even ready to bestow serious honors on the Roma midfielder. I on the other hand gave credit where it is due, but have yet to see DDR have the impact that Rino has when he is on pace and in form, he will be missed, but hopefully we can make the loss easier with some of the new weapons on the bench.

The proposed lineups are as follows:

Roma (probable): Doni; Cassetti, Mexes, Juan, Riise; Taddei, De Rossi, Brighi, Perrotta, Menez; Vucinic

Milan (probable): Abbiati; Zambrotta, Kaladze, Maldini, Jankulovski; Seedorf, Pirlo, Flamini, Kaka; Ronaldinho, Pato

For Milan, I would hope for a bit of change. The front and back is fine by me, but the midfield may be better suited with Flamini or Ambro to the left of Pirlo and the inclusion of David Beckham at the start. Call me crazy, but when a player debuts for Milan magic happens, and Becks may be no different. If he is fit, give him a chance and we may see a performance like the debuts of Pato, Fat Ron, and even Dinho. Seedorf is all well and good, but to combat the four man Roman attack it is best if Ambrosini or Flamini are there to mop up play in and around Pirlo and to keep Roma’s upcoming Brighi off the ball. For as much as DDR has been touted, Brighi is the player that has intrigued most. Aquilani is a sharp wind away from another injury, while Brighi has shown a desire, grit, and even some ability in front of the net. Easily, a threat to be considered and further more a player to watch should Roma decide to keep Aquilani and part ways with Brighi.

On the attack Milan will have the Brazilian trident, making the work of Janks and Zambro less offensive minded which is OK by me. If those three can find a rhythm akin to the Udinese match and find the net early, Roma, who has difficulty playing when losing. But lets not forget if the past has taught us anything when these two teams take the pitch all bets are off. Specifically last season’s Vucinic show that cost Milan a very valuable three points and a shot at fourth place. With Totti on the injury report yet again, keeping Vucinic quiet is a job for the real Il Capitano, and though we all wonder when he will show his age, his performances are still better than most of his teammates on defense. With him marked, it will be up to Janks and Zambro to guard the flanks and keep Menez and Taddei off the deep runs and force them to work for the ball closer to the midfield line.

It is a crying shame that we will not get to see Loria in action, easily any Roman opponent's best player, but the Roman defense has been almost as suspect, if not more so, than Milan and I can’t stress enough how important an early lead may be. If Carletto plays his cards rights, he can sub Becks with a lead and pack the midfield making an already midfield dominated match into a possession battle that favors Milan in the long run. A win is what we all want here and what we can hope for, I just hope the Rossoneri can deliver, a bit of revenge for letting Inter win the scudetto, and a bit more for last season's loss.

FORZA MILAN!