Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Roma expects victory, but will they once again end up begging for the Reds mercy?

The time for talk is nearly over, as AS Roma are once again set to visit Old Trafford the battle scene of that fabulous 7-1 Champions League trouncing last season.

As ever we've had the usual pre-match hot-air emanating from both camps. From United we normally have Ryan Giggs or Gary Neville telling us the fans that this year the Reds will go all the way to the final, blah, blah, blah.

On the back of his woeful performances of late Giggsy is thankfully keeping schtum and of course our Gary has been out injured and so he too has more pressing things on his mind, like getting fit.

So it has been left to Ronaldo to put his big foot in it. On the eve of the game our Portuguese star has let be known that an unnamed Roma player 'begged for mercy' when pleading with him not to do any more fancy footwork, aka dribbling. You really could not make it up. It's not as if Roma needed any more of an incentive to wipe the bitter memory the last season's mauling is it? In true Basil Faulty style I guess we can forgive Ronaldo because he's from Portugal isn't he.

From Roma's perspective they too have been talking the talk, nothing out of the ordinary, Ludovic Giuly has said that his team-mates are looking for revenge.

United have injury concerns over Vidic, Brown and Hargreaves. I expect all three to start the game, call it a gut feeling. Van der Sar is out with a toe-injury.

Ahead of the game experts like Alan Hansen have been somewhat predictably telling us mere mortal fans that there will be no repeat of the same Old Trafford result. No exactly a difficult prediction that Al.

The only thing that I will predict with any degree of confidence is that when United visit Rome for the return leg of this double header is that the local police force will be just as useless as they nearly always are. Apparently AS Roma do not stop fans from entering the Stadio Olimpico with knives. Unbelievable, but true apparently.

Let us hope both games pass-off without too much trouble and that the emperor that is 'Ferguson the merciless' has cause to say that this was another of his greatest victories.

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