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it's derby day in Rome

This is one of the matches that everyone has been waiting for this season. Granted the Inter vs. Roma match was one for the history books, no Roma fan or Lazio fan misses the Derby della Capitale. Now that Roma is at the top of the table this is their first match to defend that position. Of course or draw or a loss would put their Scuddetto hopes in jeopardy, I am sure that practice has been tough this week, and that Roma want to defend the lead that they now have on Inter and AC.

Lets go back and take a look at the history between these two teams. Lazio is named after the region that the city of Roma occupies. Lazio was founded in 1900 and Roma was foundered when 3 teams in the city merged in 1927. Mussolini wanted a strong club to stand up to the more dominant northern city clubs. Lazio was supposed to merge with Roma as well, but was the only team to resist the merger, because an influential Fascist General , Giorgio Vaccaro, was a member of the club. Since the two teams share the city and the Stadio Olimpico a rivalry formed, and it is one of Europe’s biggest rivalries. Generally, Lazio fans are from the Northern part of the city, and Roma fans are usually from the Southern end. So the Southern and Northern ends of the stadium are usually filled with fans from their respective regions. Unfortunately there has been some blood spilled due to fan violence. In 2004 the game was suspended due to violence in the stands, which led to rioting. During the 1st time these teams met earlier this season the second half started late because of fireworks being thrown onto the field. So needless to say there is a lot of pride between the fans about who wins the derby. The passion seems to spill from the stands and onto the pitch as the players from both teams feed off of the fans energy.

The first game between Roma and Lazio took place December 8, 1929. Roma won the next match between them later that season. Since then the teams have played each other not just in league games but also in Coppa Italia matches as well. Roma has won more of the derby matches, with 58 wins. So history is on Roma’s side. Also, Totti has played more derbies than any player on either team. So experience is also working in Roma’s favor. It’s great to see Totti back, and he looks to be getting better with each game since he came back from injury. I am going to make a prediction and say that he scores a goal this game. There is a little history about the derby. Lets take a look at where the teams stand today.

Lazio was one of the top teams in Italy in the 90s, and they won they Coppa Italia last year. This year they are in bad form, and have been close to relegation. I remember hearing a lot about Zarate last year, and how he was their star player. This year Zarate has barely made a dent with only 3 goals scored, and I have heard a few rumors that he wants to leave. But it seems that under their new coach they are at least looking to stay out of relegation, which is the best that they can pull this season. For them a draw would be a success for this match. So far they have won 8 games, drawn 13, and lost 12. They currently have 37 points for the season. However, their match form for the past 5 matches is, win-win-draw-draw-win. So this is not the same Lazio team and they drew with AC Milan and Napoli, which are two teams that are a lot higher on the table than them. Roma have won their last 5 games, and you have to go back 6 matches when they drew with Livorno. Roma is on fire though, and want the Scudetto. Even though they won their last match against Atalanta, many are saying that they did not look as strong in the 2nd half as they did in the first half. I somewhat agree with this. I think that Roma changed their strategy to just keeping the lead and winning the game. Also Vucinic was taken out of the game, and it is very clear now that he brings something to the team. Even when he doesn’t score he gets the ball down the field and creates chances. I think that Roma will play Totti, Toni, and Vucinic this game. There is no doubt that they will try to score early and show their dominance. They have some of the best Midfielders playing the game right now, De Rossi and Pizarro.

The last time these two teams met Roma won 1-0 with a late goal by Cassetti. I remember it was a tough game and it looked as if it was going to end in a draw. Lets not forget when these two teams met in the 2nd half of last season. Roma’s defense allowed 2 within the first 5 minutes. Things looked grim. It was not a good day for Roma fans. That was last year though and this year Roma has been unbeaten since October, an impressive statistic in Serie A these days. They have rarely given up a lead and tied. However, this is a hungry team with a lot to prove for Ranieri, the rest of the league, and most of all for us Romanistas. I think that as long as Roma’s defense holds up under pressure and doesn’t give Rocchi or Mauri easy chances at the goal than this game is in the bag. I really think Ranieri rested Toni for this game. Although, I think Vucinic may have had a slight leg injury, I have not heard that he will be sitting out this game. That’s all I have for now, but you can bet I will be getting excited for this match. By the way I really enjoyed the feedback for my first blog post, so please leave comments. Since the game is a few days away, I have to go to the store and get some birra for this weekend’s matches.

Ciao, Daje Roma!guest writer/Jay Scardina

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4 Responses so far.

  1. MJ says:

    Grazie roma we gotta win this after inter won. Do you think having toni and totti and vuci is too attacking? also with totti and toni both are slow and less mobile so its hard to build up attacks as both like to move deep and seem to overlap in areas and if we want to defend its harder with these two as they dont track back.

  2. Walker says:

    too attacking? The best defence is an offence. But more accurately you can't win if you can't score MJ. After today's win by Inter, which places them at least temporarily back on top, Roma will need goals against Lazio to retake the scudetto lead. Before the arrival of Toni and during the managerial guidance of Spalletti, Roma attack was bottlenecked by dependence upon Francesco Totti. Once Totti became injured the Roma attack was retracked, drowning, beached like a whale. Added to vowful attack at the beginning of the season was a recovering from injury Mirko Vucinic who was searching for his groove. Personally, I enjoy and approve of that attack, attack, attack progression at AS Roma.

  3. Jay says:

    I thought the same thing too when I saw them all starting against Bari, but it looked like they worked well together. This is an important game in more ways than one. Taking back 1st place, and winning the derby. It is going to take some time for Totti to get back to where he was at the beginning of the season, but he was instrumental with goal winning passes in the last two games. Even though Toni is not the fastest guy on the block he definitely provides strength up front. Vucinic provides the speed. A lethal combination up front. I really think defense is going to be a big factor if they want to win, and not draw.

  4. Jay says:

    It was a great game and I think that I was right about the importance of defense in this game
    Sergio made a great PK save and Vucinic scored from a PK and a free kick

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