NO TOTTI, NO DE ROSSI, NO PARTY?
In what will come as a huge blow to AS Roma’s chances in their upcoming clash against fellow title contenders AS Milan, Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi have both been ruled out due to injuries. The captain and vice-captain are the legendary leaders of Rome and their absences will surely be a big advantage for the Rossoneri.
Totti had picked up his injury against Chievo Verona where he had gone down late on clutching his ankle. It was later revealed that ‘Il Gladiatore’ had twisted his ankle badly and would miss over a month of football. The player-manager of Roma has enjoyed a sparkling season, scoring 10 goals and racking up 11 assists throughout the season.
On form Mattia Destro is expected to take Totti’s place in the XI after scoring four goals in his last three games and will likely be partnered with the Giallorossi’s top scorer, Adem Ljajic. Some pundits are suggesting that Totti may select Gervinho instead and play with no recognized striker, moving the Ivorian to one wing and Ljajic to another.
To make matters even worse, Daniele De Rossi will also miss the top of the table clash. The vice-captain and natural born leader sustained a bruised rib in training and is set to miss at least a week of football, certainly ruling him out of the Rossoneri clash. De Rossi has also enjoyed a stellar season, pitching in 3 goals along with some top notch performances.
Industrious midfielder Michael Bradley is expected to take up the holding midfield role, as he is the only natural heir to that position. The American international was the subject of a long, arduous courtship from Manchester United, only to ultimately stay on at Roma and have a big impact in central midfield. Bradley is held in very high esteem among both Francesco Totti and James Pallotta and will likely wear the armband in Totti and De Rossi’s steads.
AC Milan manager was quick to point out these two glaring losses in his pre-match press conference, quipping, “No Totti? No De Rossi? Roma hardly have a team otherwise. We can’t wait to put a serious dent in Roma’s title race and bring ourselves back into the hunt.”
Francesco Totti, however, was surprisingly confident. “There is a lot more to this team than just Daniele and I. Of course, we are both veterans at AS Roma, and we always look to lead the team, but we have leaders and talented players that will be on the pitch come match day. The lads are ready to go out and show Milan who is the true champion of Italy this year.”