Hernanes, De Rossi, Mexes, Zarate: AS Roma – SS Lazio key battles

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  • Hernanes, De Rossi, Mexes, Zarate: AS Roma – SS Lazio key battles

Hernanes, De Rossi, Mexes, Zarate: AS Roma – SS Lazio key battles

Hernanes vs. Daniele De Rossi

This is bound to be the most intriguing battle on the pitch. Fireworks are likely to erupt when the supremely talented Brazilian takes on the Roman stalwart, Daniele De Rossi – mouth watering indeed.

Hernanes was simply unstoppable in the first half of the season but his form has dipped following the winter break. The same can also be said about the entire Aquile team but Hernanes remains their most creative player, envisaging Brazilian vision and European physique.

Hernanes has scored 7 Serie A goals this season while directly assisting 5 others. Needless to say, along with his superb passing, the Brazilian has a keen eye for goal.

Daniele De Rossi will come into this game with tremendous pressure on his shoulder as he is facing disciplinary action after his blatant elbow on Darijo Srna in the UEFA Champions League. Il Capitano Futuro was donning the captain’s armband and such behaviour is completely intolerable.

De Rossi will look to exorcise the Champions League demons with a leader’s performance in the middle of the park and the player possesses the ability to do so.

Marco Cassetti vs. Mauro Zarate

This is a battle between the mercurial Argentine, albeit with plenty of unfulfilled potential, and the ageing Cassetti. Will youth and skill take over or will experience prevail? We get the answer tonight.

Zarate burst into the scene in 2008 after wowing the Calcio fans but he has failed to hit the same heights ever since. Naturally a striker, Zarate is often deployed as a winger by Eduardo Reja, thus, providing him with the space to run. Also deployable at the flanks, Zarate can cut inside and leash right footed rockets that have troubled many a goalkeepers.

Marco Cassetti will be given the arduous task of shackling the Argentine firewall. The veteran defender has retained his first team spot under the interim coach, Vincenzo Montella, and will be expected to play a decisive role in this derby.

Cassetti will have to restrict Zarate from cutting inside, not an easy task by any means but one that has to be accomplished if the Giallorossi hope of taking the three points.

Sergio Floccari vs. Philippe Mexes

Sergio Floccari will play the lone striker’s role in Reja’s 4-3-2-1 formation. Tipped as the poor man’s David Villa in the past, the Italian forward boasts supreme penalty box intelligence and deadly finishing ability when presented with the opportunity.

However, having said that, Floccari’s form has left a lot to be desired this season since the forward has managed a measly 6 league goals from 21 appearances. A goal or two in the derby, though, will make the fans forget the player’s shortcomings for some time.

Standing in Floccari’s way will be Philippe Mexes. The Frenchman, underperforming for the past two seasons has raised his game this season. So much so that he has displaced Nicolas Burdisso in the starting eleven. On his day, Mexes remains unbeatable, both, in the air and on the ground. However, Mexes is nothing short of a liability on his off days, evident from the 3-0 humbling that Shakhtar Donetsk handed Roma in the Champions League.


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