Saturday January 19 2013
Zeman's Roma-Inter repeat duel

Zdenek Zeman shelves his three-man defence experiment as Roma begin their mini-season against Inter, facing them in Serie A tomorrow and the Coppa Italia next week.

Roma were suffering from an injury and suspension crisis on Wednesday night, so moved to a 3-4-3 system for their Coppa Italia quarter-final win at Fiorentina in extra time.

“That was an emergency solution and we used it. In the first half we did well, in the second we were under too much pressure,” said the 4-3-3 prophet in his Press conference.

“I have always maintained that teams who made football history proposed their own style of playing, like Barcelona, Real Madrid or Ajax in the golden age. I would like my team to learn its own specific playing style.

“The problems are tactical. A player must understand what he’s doing and why he is doing it. That doesn’t always happen quickly.”

Roma take on Inter on Sunday evening, but do so again in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday, so the next two matches could decide the Giallorossi’s ambitions for this season.

“Will it be decisive? We get asked that every week. There are 18 rounds left and we will try to take them one at a time, getting closer, but it could turn out that the opening weekend was the decisive one.”

Roma conquered San Siro 3-1 in Week 2 and hope to make it a Serie A double.

“We won with two clear goals, but it was not our best performance. I hope we will do better tomorrow,” shrugged Zeman.

Francesco Totti and Miralem Pjanic are included despite suffering from muscular and flu problems respectively. Marquinho also returns after he was frozen out for “disciplinary measures” for reacting angrily to a substitution.

“I called Marquinho and I think this should make him reflect on his situation. If the lad is at our disposal, then I have no problems.”

Veteran Zeman was asked about his opponents, including 39-year-old captain Javier Zanetti and young Coach Andrea Stramaccioni.

“When I was at Lazio, we did consider working together, but then Zanetti became the symbol of Inter. He is a player who is morally and physically an example for all the others, even for Totti considering he’s a few years older.

“Stramaccioni came out of the Roma academy and I heard everyone here speak very highly of him. I believe in giving youth a chance in management as well as on the field, although Inter’s project might’ve turned out better if they had more young players.”

The Coppa Italia second leg has been moved to April after a complaint from Cagliari over the fixture list.

“It actually suits us, as in April the weather will be better and the pitches more suited to getting a spectacular game,” concluded Zeman.

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