Following a very tough 1-1 draw away at the Stadio San Paolo in Naples to Napoli Roma try and kick-start campaign against a strong Florentina side who is also in need of point. Roma and Florentina are equal on 15 points with an opportunity to pick up a big win to help push the top four. Last season Roma and Florentina split the season series with both away teams winning in their 2 meetings. Historically Roma have had the advantage against Florentina but over the last few years Florentina has found ways to beat this Roma side in the past. Roma will travel to Florence for this much anticipated match against a strong team. Florentina had a hot start to the season but has hit a roadblock having only won one game in their last five matches. Meanwhile inconsistent Roma has at times failed to deliver on multiple consecutive occasions. However Roma have managed three wins in the last five matches. Against the strong teams this Roma side has performed to their best something we could certainly see on Saturday night. Coming off a big draw against Napoli the Romans will be confident enough to gather the three points but that is easier said than done the viola are a strong team that can punch you in the face if you give them the opportunity.
Roma will be without Captain Danielle De Rossi due to an injury he picked up in Naples. On the bright side Justin Kluivert,Javier Pastore and Kostas Manolas will all be back and available for this match. Although Kostas Manolas is the only one who will likely start the match while the other two will be used Off the Bench most likely. I think that Roma will for the most part keep the same team that they had against Napoli. Out of Roma’s 4-2-3-1 the only key change I believe that should be made is in the defensive Midfield in regards to the absence of Daniele De Rossi. Roma realistically have two options. The obvious choice is Bryan Cristante who came in for De Rossi late in the first half against Naples and did quite well. The alternative would be Javier Pastore if he’s willing to drop back a little in a more defensive role rather than being further up. Let’s be honest he is not taking Lorenzo Pellegrini spot in central Midfield. So if he starts the game it will be a defensive position. The attack for the most part I think should stay the same with Lorenzo Pellegrini Cengiz Under and Stephan El Shaarawy. Then as always Edin Dzeko as the team Striker. The team of played extremely effective against Napoli in many ways so I don’t think EDF will make any drastic changes to his side. The key play for this match someone I would keep your eyes on is Stephan El Shaarawy he has been Roma’s most consistent player over the last month his impact on the game is far more than goals and assists. Using his speed and his incredible movement without the ball he could cause major problems for at least Florentina defense. With his wicked pace he is a player that is incredibly hard to control and if he uses his speed well he can create opportunities not only for himself before his teammates. It should be a strong enough team for Roma to pick up the three points but something I would say is I would like to see it Justin kluivert come off the bench at some point in the match he needs to be a little bit more involved in this team because of his talent he just has to find his footing he will become something special.
Much like Roma Florentina is a team that has lacked some consistency we have seen them at their best and their worst. Top to bottom they are a very strong side with the quality to hurt Roma. However Florentina is hit or miss in terms of the quality they started the season so strong but have failed over the last 5 weeks only won one game in the last five they are in desperate need of points after a really hot start to the they have mutually ruined any chance of challenging for the title something that looked plausible at the beginning of the season. They have the quality and if they have any chance in this game they have to attack Roma as frequently as they possibly can because Roma is going to do the same to them. Trying to hold for a point is not a good strategy especially with qualities both these teams have. Florentina Midfield could play a big role in their creation of chances to try to break through a lonely defense that performed to superbly last week. Florentina have a familiar Roma face midfielder Gerson is on loan at Florentina he will be joined in the Midfield always explosive Federico Chiesa. He is one of the best young talents an Italian football this is a very strong team who will be at home and will do everything they can to protect it. The most dangerous player Florentina has is Giovanni Simeone one of the most underrated Strikers in Europe whose value only multiplies each year. He is incredibly physical with a powerful strike and as an absolute nightmare for any defense to face if he’s given time and space to operate it could be big trouble. Florentina has big job unleashing him allowing him to play his game because if he’s neutralized it only makes it more difficult. Florentina will play into his strength to try to get him as many opportunities as possible. Roma have the personnel from top to bottom so it is hugely important for this Florentina side that Giovanni Simeone gets his opportunities.
We could potentially see a shootout between two excellent teams who are in need of points. Both Roma and Florentina are level on 15 points each. They are on the outside looking in at the moment and they want to get into the European places as soon as possible. Both teams will understand the importance and value of this match this is hugely important a loss for either team and make it even more difficult to try to fulfill their top 4 Ambitions this season. However after Roma’s 1-1 draw with high-flying Napoli last weekend it gives the Romans a slight advantage despite being away from home. Stadio Olimpico has not been kind to them this season and being away from home will give them the slight Edge. We saw how well they played in Naples if they can repeat that performance it will make it really tough for Florentina. However on the other hand being at home could help Florentina END their streak rather than going into hostile territory. I believe the deciding factor of the game will be whoever wins the Midfield battle. Florentina have a lot of weapons in that area and have all the resources and tools to hurt a Roma on a consistent basis. However the Midfield Trio of Under Pellegrini and El Shaarawy play right into Florentina’s weaknesses. A collection of fast and intelligent players will catch them off guard and force them to defend if they come forward with numbers especially on the counter I see a big game from El Shaarawy who has been playing out of his mind lately this goes along with the passing ability of Lorenzo Pellegrini who can create many opportunities. That’s not to mention Roma’s a big man upfront Edin Dzeko who when given service is almost unplayable using his size and athleticism and power making him incredibly difficult to deal with When he has space to create and set up for opportunities. On the other hand Florentina have Giovanni Simeone an absolute strong physical striker in their own right. With the likes of Federico Chiesa who is an absolute a dime in the Midfield it is a tough battle. However don’t be surprised if this game is determined by the defense and the goalkeeper Robin Olsen has a huge advantage in that area as he is proving to be one of the best goalkeepers in Italy. If he do does perform the way he did against Napoli Florentina’s chance could be slightly damaged. This one is incredibly hard to call but I give Roma a slight Advantage because they have the momentum and the confidence that it does not exist in this Florentina team.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi (C)
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante , Steven Nzonzi
Front Three: Cengiz Under, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Stephen El Shaarawy
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Florentina’s Projected starting XI 4-3-3
DEF:Milenkovic , Pezzella , Franchescoli de Souza, Biraghi
MID: Benassi ,Gerson,Veretout,
Front Three: Cheisa,Simeone,Pjaca
Manager: Stefano Poli
Players to Watch Out For
Stephen El Shaarawy
Date: Saturday November 3rd, 2018
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
Kickoff: 12:00PM (USA) 6:00PM (ENG), 7:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Itaila, ESPN+