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  06/02/2014: Top five reasons why the Derby della Capitale is not to be missed
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When Rome's great river Tiber swells up like the Ganges threatening to almost completely engulf and totally submerge such monumental landmarks as the Ponte Sant 'Angelo only a few short days before the Roman Derby, one must ponder, is this a sign from the almighty Gods of old? You know the vengeful ones from antiquity that were worshipped for thousands of years to prevent The Eternal City from going under, then abandoned. While the city has already felt their wrath with scenes reminiscent of the floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome when they felt neglected and not appeased, such images and footage that has been reeling out of Italian news reports these last few days is really giving the impression that bigger things are looming on a larger scale than we can surely fathom. It certainly sets the atmosphere for an indomitable clash of the Roman titans, giving the impression that the end is nigh and doom is lingering for one half of the city at least. It might not be pretty at the moment as the turbid waters slowly recede, but we are going to delve a little deeper anyway and have a look into what makes this derby in particular the greatest in the world and simply a must see for all.


1. Mauri is back.

True Lazio captain Stefano Mauri is back and set to return to action just in the nick of time, after a lengthy spell on the sidelines after his match fixing scandal for allegedly failing to report attempted match fixes in games with Genoa and Lecce way back in May 2011.


2. Totti's time is running out.

Roma's captain Francesco is in his last years and desperately looking to break Lazio's Silvio Piola's all time record. Piola is not only Lazio's all time highest goal scorer but Serie A's as well with a tally of 274 Serie A goals. At 36 years of age it is really now or never for 'Er Pupone' or the Big Baby as he is often called, named after his infamous thumb-sucking celebration, and he is certainly playing the part having one of his best season's yet trying desperately to catch up. At 232, he is 42 goals short of breaking this record, and any goal's scored in this match in particular will count as double in the mind's of the lupi(AS Roma's wolf like fans) everywhere.


3. The battle of the masterminds Garcia and Reja.

Both coaches have proven they know football. Not only this but they know it very well. With Rudi Garcia making everyone sit up take notice early in the season with Roma's unbeaten run setting new bench marks. Also with the return of Edy Reja to the Lazio boss's chair, the team has had a remarkable turn around in fortune, starting with great win against Inter. His new rising striking star 18 year-old Keita Balde who partners Antonio Candreva perfectly in attack is also someone to watch out for. It will be very interesting to see just how they handle each other, both tactically and technically.


4. It is the greatest in the world.

Not just my opinion mind you, but everyone's. It has even been stated on national television in country's as far away as Australia, an English colony and certainly biased in the favour of Barclays Premier League and usually not afraid to exaggerate in their favour either.


5. Both teams are fighting for pride, a loss is simply not an option.

'Bragging rights' for the rest of the season are at stake and a loss or win could tip the balance of the remainder of the season either positively or negatively in regards to team confidence. This along with crucial points are at stake, as Roma attempts to keep up with league leaders Juventus and Lazio attempts to break free from mid-table obscurity. Although in ninth place a couple of wins would see the Biancoceleste back up in around Champion's League and Europa spots which according to press statements issued from the club is the overall goal for the season. Other notable points to keep in mind are with this week's Roma vs Parma clash having to be abandoned because of a waterlogged field at the Stadio Olimpico, Lazio will still have a slight advantage going into this match because of Roma's Coppa Italia first round match against Napoli midweek which would be a change of pace as it has been Lazio who have had to fight in three competitions this season while Roma have only had the Serie A to contend with. The game is set to kick off at 15:00 CET February 9.
Author: Michael D Bailey
 
 
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