The Champions League it’s finally back four months removed from Real Madrid winning an historic 3-peat in the Champions League after beating Liverpool in Kiev. A lot has changed since then with several players having moved to different teams coaching changes for all 32 teams of this competition. For Roma they’re prepared for what will be the toughest task in this competition last year’s Champions League Dark Horse are in group G with defending Champions Real Madrid Russia’s cska Moscow and the Czech Republic’s Victoria Plzen. During last year’s competition Roma defied the odds making it to the Champions League semifinals for the first time in over 30 years. That included in historic comeback against Barcelona again this Roma team will be overlooked and at the moment for good reason. Roma have been in abysmal form since the start of the season only registering Five Points out of a possible 12 with a win two drawers and a loss start season one of their worst start to the campaign in many years. They’re coming off a 2-2 draw against Chevio in which they led the game 2-0 at the halfway point. Despite that I fully believe and Di Francesco and what he can do to this team once again. Roma will face the biggest challenge of them all as the team travels to Madrid as the defending Champions Real Madrid will be waiting for them as Roma are sets to battle the 12 time defending champions at the historic football Cathedral the Santiago Bernabeu. Roma have to find a way to forget about their league form and concentrate on what lies ahead against the great white sharks of the European football.
As I mentioned Roma are not playing very well this season their hasn’t been a real convincing performance as of yet. This is the opportunity for Roma to turn their fortunes around. Last season Eusebio di Francesco got them further than they had been in three decades. His team has the potential and the willingness to fight for this again. This is a very winnable group in which Roma just fine no problems getting out of. That is easier said than done Roma must be prepared for everything and anything Real Madrid will throw their way. Even a point at the Santiago Bernabeu would be massive for Roma. I think it is unlikely we will see any formational changes for Roma against this Real Madrid game. They want to perform at their highest level possible out of the gates you don’t want to take too many risks. There could be some changes with how Roma does things as this competition goes on but against Real Madrid Di Francesco needs to do what he does in the 4-3-3 formation to break down opponents. While that has not worked this season it is not the fault of the formation or the players this is a different Roma team than the one we saw last it’s taking them a while to get on the same page but once they do this will be a dangerous team again. There could be some changes defensively because Roma’s defense has not look good this year. But for certain Alexandro Florenzi will be a big part of it he is been on one of Roma few consistent players this season. I think it would be wise to keep Roma’s Midfield as last week’s Roma’s Midfield is incredibly strong. With the three-man Midfield of Steven Nzonzi Bryan Cristante and Lorenzo Pellegrini I wouldn’t start De Rossi until he reaches full fitness. No matter who they go with the Roma’s midfield is incredibly strong will be imposing experience of Steven nzonzi and some of the young Firepower they have around us. In the attack we could see Perotti make and appearance with regulars Edin Dzeko and under however I believe Stephan El Shaarawy will make the start . In an attacking sense this weekend they had no issues so I don’t think you want to change too much Roma’s key player for this much important match at the Santiago Bernabeu is Edin Dzeko. One of Roma’s highest scorers in history scored in each round of the Champions League last season as well as important goals in important stages. Like I say practically every week when given service you can find the back of the neck and he’s going to need to be at his absolute best for Roma to shock the world’s against Real Madrid.
Real Madrid will be one of the favorites to win the Champions League again with their tradition and consistently over the year. However this is a different Real Madrid for a particular reason the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus and the resignation of Zinedine Zidane as manager. There is a little less fear in this team. Don’t get me wrong they are team to be feared but Cristiano Ronaldo has over 300 goals for Real Madrid and was unplayable in Europe over his time in Spain. His absence from the Real Madrid team will be crucial even though Real Madrid are staffed at every position losing an imposing figure like Cristiano Ronaldo is very impactful. Real Madrid’s biggest asset is there Midfield they can control the game with Toni Kroos and Luka Modric. Defensively speaking even though they are good they’re not a Stonewall defense. Last season in La Liga they conceded 44 goals. Barcelona Atletico Madrid Valencia and Getafe all had less goals conceded last season. Luckily for Real Madrid midfield is so strong that it may not even matter. Although there’s attack is a little weakened by the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. In goal Real Madrid has Courtois a goalkeeper Roma put 7 passed into game Real Madrid are heavy favorites and no question about it they should win the game the key player for Real Madrid has to be Gareth Bale he has been absolutely Sensational since Ronaldo’s departure and I expect him to be at his best.
Roma at the moment are not a confident bunch. Coming off a game against a relegation teams in which they could not hold a two-goal lead is concerning. It is not the type of momentum you would like coming into a game against Real Madrid. From a tactical standpoint I believe Di Francesco is a better manager then Lopetegui. However Real Madrid have more depth and a better players throughout the team. The Midfield battle will be crucial between both teams because both teams have players in those positions that can be influential on the match. Roma would has to play their absolute best football of the season to get something from this game The Santiago Bernabeu is not an easy place to play. Real Madrid top-to-bottom is a much better team than Roma and they are in a more confidence space right now despite recently dropping point. Roma are looking to get their confidence back finding a way to get points out of this game would be extremely tough but it’s not impossible and the reason I say that is this last season Roma were coming off a loss when they overturned the Barcelona miracle. Also if Courtois is in goal given the experience they have against him could benefit Roma. Edin Dzeko will be incredibly important if he can get a goal for confidence maybe Roma have a chance. On the other hand Luka Modric has been the best player in the world for the last 6-7 months he is the rightful winner of the Ballon d’Or if she can play the way he did during the World Cup it will be incredibly difficult for Roma to get something out of this game. I don’t see a Luka Modric as the most important player in this match I believe that to be Gareth Bale but if the two of them are at their best it’s impossible to think they won’t win this game. This is a group that both teams to get out of so this first match up isn’t going to be costly but yet is still important. I think Roma will be inspired to play at their absolute best after having a poor start to the season confidence this is what they need and I believe we will see it however Real Madrid just have far too much for them to pull off the upset Roma will try to hold on as long as possible but eventually Real Madrid will find a way to win.
Roma’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio,Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi
MID: Lorenzo Pellagrini, Steven Nzonzi, Bryan Cristante
Front Three: Cengiz Under, Edin Dzeko , El Shaarawy
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Injuries: Javier Pastore (Doubtful), Patrik Schick (Questionable)
Real Madrid’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
MID: Kroos,Casemiro, Modric
Front Three: Asensio, Benzema,Bale
Manager: Julen Lopetegui
Roma’s Edin Dzeko
Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale
Date: Sunday September 16th, 2018
Venue: Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid
Kickoff: 2:00AM (USA) 8:00PM (ENG), 9:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Itaila, FOX