Friday, 14 November 2008

Zarate homing in on Rome derby triumph

When he was unveiled to the media in July, Lazio summer signing Mauro Zarate was quick to reveal his greatest wish: "I want to score two goals against Roma."

Mauro ZarateHaving registered seven times in his first eleven Serie A games, the 'Zarate Kid' has cause for optimism as he prepares for his first Rome derby on Sunday night.

Lazio are just two points behind leaders Inter and have netted 21 goals so far; more than any other team.

"This is the biggest match of the season and we are going into it in the best possible condition," said the 21-year-old Argentinian forward, recruited from Qatari side Al-Sadd after an eye-catching loan spell at Birmingham City in England.

"We want three points and obviously it would be great for me to score. I have always said we can win the Scudetto and I haven't changed my mind about that."

Roma striker Mirko Vucinic is also bent on victory, however, with the Giallorossi having won only twice in ten Serie A outings this term.

"We are 14 points behind Lazio and want to reduce the gap immediately – a draw won't do," said the Montenegrin international, who struck twice in the 3-1 UEFA Champions League victory over Chelsea last week.

"This a special game. We face Lazio twice a year and you can feel the atmosphere for days in town."

Last Saturday an added-time own goal from Cicinho restricted the fourth-from-bottom Giallorossi to a point at Bologna.

"That draw will not affect the confidence we took from our triumph against Chelsea, because we know we are on the right path," said Vucinic. "This season we haven't won many matches but our morale is still high. We are aware of our strengths and are working hard every day to solve our problems."

Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi fell heavily on his hand in training on Thursday but an x-ray has ruled out a fracture, so the Italian international should feature for the 'hosts' at the Stadio Olimpico.

Francesco Totti, who made his 400th Serie A appearance against Bologna, will play his 28th derby in all competitions despite his usual right-knee troubles.

Source: UEFA

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