Friday, 28 March 2008

Totti fit for Cagliari trip

Roma have received a boost ahead of Saturday's clash away to Cagliari with the news captain Francesco Totti is fit to play.

Totti, who returned to training today, has recovered from a knee injury and has been given the all-clear to travel to the Stadio Sant'Elia.

The news is a relief for coach Luciano Spalletti, who will be without pivotal trio Simone Perrotta, Daniele De Rossi and Mirko Vucinic due to suspension.

Totti will be desperate to find his goalscoring touch this weekend ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League quarter final first-leg clash against Manchester United.

The former Italian international, who is Roma's top scorer with 13 goals this campaign, has failed to find the target in the last three league games.

And he has insisted he would rather win Europe's premier competition than the Serie A title.

"I would prefer to win the Champions League but after Sunday I also believe we can win the Scudetto," said Totti. "I want to win with Roma because a trophy here equals 10 trophies elsewhere."

If things go Totti's way, Roma could end up winning three titles this season, with the Giallorossi already through to the Coppa Italia semi-finals.

Roma head to Sardinia in buoyant mood having bounced back from their 3-2 defeat to city rivals Lazio with last weekend's 2-1 triumph against Empoli.

Their win over Empoli coupled with Inter's slip against Juventus allowed Roma to cut the gap to the league leaders to just four points with eight games remaining.

With Inter facing a more challenging encounter at Lazio later on Saturday, the Giallorossi are looking to cut that deficit even further.

"We have to take it one game at a time," said Spalletti. "This is a crucial time of the season and we must maintain our focus."

Asked whether he thought city rivals Lazio would do them a favour in their game with Inter, Spalletti said he doesn't care what they do.

Despite insisting that his side will fight for the three points earlier this week, Lazio boss Delio Rossi admitted today that he hoped Inter would win the title.

"I don’t care what Lazio do and we are just focused on our own game," Spalletti said. "But of course if they [Lazio] were to lose they would be 30 points back from us and that’s never bad to see, given that they are a good team.

"They have had some tough times and paid for them dearly. During my three years at Roma, I have seen a close-knit team that have great individuals, but have often spent lots of money.

"In fact they have spent as much as us, if not more to create their squad. Still, Rossi deserves praise beyond that because he is a great coach," he added.

The Romans will not take Cagliari lightly and for good reason. The Giallorossi have won just one of their last five encounters on the road, while relegation-troubled Cagliari have collected 16 of a possible 18 points in their last six games at home.

Source: Sporting Life / C4 Football Italia

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