After Mouths without Italian football it is back as Serie A kicks off this coming weekend. AS Roma are coming off a 3rd place finish and a Champions League semi final. Roma having as new a look team having brought in 11 players and selling Alisson and Nainggolan. Roma brought in the likes of Bryan Cristante, Javier Pastore, Justin Kluivert, Robin Olsen, Antón Coric as well many others. This new look Roma team guided by Eusebio Di Francesco as Roma head out on the road the kick of the new season as they travel to Tuin to take on Torino on the opening weekend. Roma swept Torino in their season last season beating Torino 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico and 3-0 At the Stadio Grande Torino. Torino is coming off a 9th place finish and despite dropping both league games to Roma they knocked them out of the Coppa Itaila. Roma are massive favorites despite being away from home they are the best away team in Italy Roma are unbeaten in 26 of their last 27 games away from home. Roma will come into this game with great confidence that they can get the job done despite the changes being made with this team over the summer Roma are the strong favorites to win this match however Torino has the ability to steal it would be hard to see it but in football anything can happen hopefully it will be a great match that ends with three points gained for Roma.
Despite the changes Roma have made this season this side is much stronger then Torino they really shouldn’t have that much difficulty getting past Torino. Roma did lose some key players over the summer but the additions that have been made has made Roma a more dangerous team then they were a year ago. Eusebio Di Francesco mainly played out of the 4-3-3 last season I don’t see that changing even with this new look Roma squad it is likely to operate out of that formation. This team should be very attack oriented with the potential attack of the young Justin Kluivert who will likely be paried with Roma’s top scorer for last year with 24 goals Edin Dzeko who is looking for another successful campaign as he is viewed as Roma’s biggest weapon. Also in the attack we will likely see Roma’s breakout star for a year ago Cengiz Under who has the Abailty to double his score total. A dangerous attack this Roma team will make things very difficult for Torino to control. However as good as kluivert is and he has shown his Brilliance on the preseason tour I think Di Francesco in the opening game will go more for experience than Talent. Patrik Schick could possibly start up front with dzeko and under as opposed to kluivert who on a talent aspect is next level but given the fact that this is his first game in Italian football he may not start straight away. I think eventually he will take over as a starter but in the first game they may give Schick the start instead. I think either way it’s going to be a strong attack it just depends what Di Francesco is preference will be This excellent attack will go along with a much improved Midfield with the arrivals of Bryan Cristante and Javier Pastore to join daniele de Rossi in a likely three man Midfield. As We Know Roma’s defense is as good as anyone in Italy with the sort of abilities and weapons they have in their back four with players with attacking and defensive abilities that combine with each other very well. In this match we will see the debut of new goalkeeper who Roma recently bought from Copenhagen for 8.5 million Robin Olson who is in all likelihood will make his first appearance wearing the Roma colors. From top to bottom this Roma team has extreme quality with the Tactical advantage due to the Brilliance of their manager Eusebio di Francesco. However this is a very new team and haven’t played together all that much so we could see some of last year’s starters be put in the starting 11 due to experience. I think this team will mesh really well together straight out the gate it will be extremely difficult to handle the skill set and the talent of this team. I see Edin Dzeko starting this year’s campaign strong as one of the leaders of this team I fancy him to get a goal in the opening game. However for me personally the key player for Roma will be Bryan Cristante. The Midfield they brought in from Atlanta for 30 million is worth every penny they paid for him. He is very intelligent strong in the attack and has a excellent vision of finding teammates on the ball he is superb as well. He was one of the best midfielders in the league last season I think he will be really impactful from the jump of creating a fair amount of chances as well as providing key passes to push the Midfield forward when their in attacking positions. He has the complete package of what you need in a midfielder and even with the absence of Radja he can play that role helping get those key passes into the attack he will be vitally crucial in that first game. This Roma team if they play to their standard will be hard to deal with.
Torino are coming off a pretty decent season despite the fact that their star striker didn’t show up for the majority of the season. Torino also lost a key part of the Midfield in Marco Benassi to Florentina this summer they have brought in a few good pieces but no one that will Set this world a light. This is a team that was swept by Roma last year as I mentioned and they haven’t really strengthened which is why I think they will struggle in the early part of the season. Tactically they will be at a disadvantage because they do not have the coach that Roma have. In their home opener they will have to heavily rely on ability of Andre Belotti who will be Torino’s key player in this game. If he doesn’t show up it will be costly to Torino’s chances of doing well despite the fact that Torino does have a pretty good defense and a safe pair of hands in goal given what they are going up against it is important that Belotti plays to the best of his ability. Just like Roma they are also expected to operate out of the 4-3-3 formation with the attack of Belotti Falque and Niang . All three of them are capable of scoring goals but their lack of ability in their Midfield could be a big issue. However from their perspective they might consider trying to just escape with a point given the fact that their options are limited against a team like this. From top to bottom they are a decent team but Torino will have to play to their highest Potential to pick up the three points. A pretty strong team but the question remains is there liability in their Midfield going to cost them. If Andrea Belotti plays like he did two years ago then maybe Torino will have a chance.
Last Meeting Roma 3-0
Roma will come into this match as heavy favorites expecting to pick up their first three points of the season. Their away form has been documented they are unbeaten in 26 of the last 27 away matches. It will be rather difficult for Torino to handle the type of players that Roma will have to their disposal. Roma’s job against Torino is quite simple to neutralize or normalize Torino’s Superstar Andrea Belotti. If Roma defensively can take him out of the game or make him irrelevant to the run of play it will make things very easy for them. Roma have one of the best defenses in the league and will have a game plan on stopping Torino’s the best player. Roma have an advantage in almost everywhere especially with an exceptional Midfield that will prove to be one of the best in the League this season. From Torino’s perspective there’s very little that I believe they can do to stop what’s in front of them. They’re going against a Roma team that has had success against them and from top to bottom have better players in every position. They’re going to need Andre Bellotti to be at his very best the entire team has to collectively play well that doesn’t necessarily mean they should park the bus but they collectively play smart football something they are capable of doing that has to be their strategy going into this game. The one thing to Torino does have going for them as many of the players from last season remain at the club meaning they have experience working with each other. Roma’s team has several new signings that could be integrated into the starting lineup players who may not have played together on this stage. Even though they are far more talented and more skilled than Torino the fact that they have not played together consistently will play a factor and what chance is Torino have in this game. It is the only hope I believe Torino have of getting a result in this game. The bottom line is this Roma team is too strong and will have too much for Torino to deal with not to mention they have one of the most in-depth squads in the entire League they have the resources and the talent to counter anything that is done against them in this Opening match. If Di Francesco brings one of these guys on when Roma have lost some momentum they can gain it back immediately because of who they have on the bench when you talk about the likes of Lorenzo Pellegrini El Shaarawy Perotti Coric and Kevin Strootman that’s always going to be difficult because of how deep this team is. even if Torino play at their very best I think ultimately Roma have far too much as I see them picking up the first three points of the season and what I believe will be a rather easy victory for the Romans.
Roma’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi
DEF: Danielle Javier Pasotre,Bryan Cristante, Danielle De Rossi
Front Three: Cengiz Under, Patrik Schick , Edin Dzeko
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Torino’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
DEF: De Silvesetri , N’Koulou, Burdisso, Ansaldi
ATT Midfield:Ljajic,Rincon, Acquah
Front Three: Belotti, Niang, Falque
Manager: Walter Mazzarri
Torino’s Andra Belotti
Roma’s Bryan Cristiane
Date: Sunday, May 20th, 2018
Venue: Mapei Stadium, Sassuolo
Kickoff: 11:00AM (USA) 5:00PM (ENG), 6:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Itaila