Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Serie A Week 29: Midweek Preview

Roma captain Francesco Totti insists his team "don't fear" city rivals Lazio ahead of their derby clash on Wednesday as they seek to keep their Scudetto dreams alive.

The Giallorossi go into the encounter boosted by Saturday's comeback triumph against AC Milan that allowed them to keep up the pressure on Serie A leaders Inter.

With 10 games remaining, Roma players are well aware that they cannot afford any slips if they wish to bring the league title back to the Eternal City for the first time since 2001.

"We don't fear Lazio," Totti said. "If we were to lose the derby, I would be disappointed for our fans and for myself. A win on the other hand would mean to remain in contention for the Scudetto.

"To win the Scudetto after our comeback would have an added significance."

Totti will have an added incentive as he aims to end his goalscoring drought, having failed to score in the derby since October 23, 2005.

"The derby is always a special encounter," said Totti. "We hope there will be no trouble and the fans will enjoy themselves."

Inter travel to Genoa having restored order at the club with a 2-1 win against Palermo on Sunday.

The result followed a week when they were eliminated from the UEFA Champions League by Liverpool which prompted coach Roberto Mancini to reveal he would step down from his post at the end of the season, only to reverse his decision a day later.

The Nerazzurri will go to Genoa without suspended defender Marco Materazzi.

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti will be desperate to recover midfield trio Ricardo Kaka, Clarence Seedorf and Yoann Gourcuff ahead of their midweek clash against Sampdoria.

All three players sustained injuries during the 2-1 defeat against Roma and are doubtful for the encounter.

Milan will be under pressure to claim victory as they trail in-form Fiorentina, who are holding onto the last Champions League qualifying spot, by four points.

Fiorentina travel to Napoli looking to keep up with third-placed Juventus, who are four points clear of the Viola.

Juve will be aiming to clinch a convincing victory when they travel to Empoli having edged Napoli thanks to a late goal by Vincenzo Iaquinta at the weekend.

Udinese will be hoping Milan can hand them a favour by beating Samp as they attempt to get back into sixth position in the standings.

Last weekend's 2-2 draw against Lazio saw Samp climb one point clear of the Bianconeri in the table. Udinese travel to Turin to meet Torino.

Livorno will have an added motivation to beat Reggina at home knowing that a defeat will see them drop to the relegation zone.

Parma coach Hector Cuper will be looking for his first victory since taking the reins of the Ducale club when his team entertain Palermo.

Struggling Catania will seek home comfort when they host Siena, with the Sicilian minnows having failed to win a game on the road this season.

Bottom side Cagliari will be looking to build on last weekend's 3-0 triumph against Torino when they welcome Atalanta to Sardinia.

1 comment:

  1. Roma has everything to win this match. A Roma defeat and an Inter victory will only prepare INTER to receive the Scudetto.

    I hope any of Roma keyplayers get injured during the match because I rather see them fit for the UEFA Champions League against Manchester United.

    Key players for Roma: Simone Perrotta, Philippe Mexes, Daniele De Rossi, Super Totti, Doni, David Pizarro.

    I expect GENOA to give a good match and maybe upsetting Inter. That will be a breaking news.

    About Milan? Oh well, what else to say about the rossoneri! They better shape up and pray for Fiorentina to lose 2 matches to catch up.

    Italian Soccer Serie A Preview Week 29