Serie A football returns following an international break as League action resumes. We prepare for match day 12 of this Italian football season. Roma are coming off a sensational 4-1 victory at the stadio olimpico against sampdoria. The best performance of the season for the Romans as they have lacked consistency and momentum something they restored prior to the International break. After being home last time Roma travel to NorthEast Italy to take on Udinesse at the stadio Friuli as a 6th place Roma try to make it two wins in a row. As they continue to try to get back into top 4 contention the Champions League next season being a must for the Roma’s. Last season Roma won the season series and have handled themselves quite well against u d i n e s e in their last seven matches Romo has only dropped one point against them. The two teams find themselves on opposite sides of the table. Udinesse find themselves near the bottom of the table drastically underperforming what I thought their expectations could have been. Udinesse are in miserable form having lost four of their last five games without a win since September 23rd. They are in grave danger of relegation as they sit in 17th. Although Roma have been inconsistent at times this season. Against a Udinesse side that has struggled to pick up results Roma should find a way to secure the three points. In what will be and exciting Saturday afternoon Clash in udine. Roma are without a doubt the favorites in this match but did International break take away some momentum? Or can the Romans continue on the positives they took against sampdoria.
Roma captain Daniele De Rossi is probable for the match with an opportunity to return from injury but I find that unlikely as DiFrancesco will likely save him for Real Madrid on Tuesday. Kostas Manolas and Javier Pastore will also both miss out with their injuries. Roma play Real Madrid midweek so I expect DiFrancesco to rest at least some of his key players for that much important match. A win or a draw against Real Madrid will qualify them for The Knockout stage in the Champions League so he wants to keep his players fresh and ready for that much important game. In addition to Kostas Manolas I think it’s possible we see Alex Kolarov given the day off as Luca Pellegrini would likely replace him in Roma’s defense. I also see Juan Jesus getting another start for the injured Kostas Manolas. Other than that I think everything else will practically stay the same. Roma’s defensive Midfield who should keep the same shape with Bryan Crisante and Steven Nzonzi who had another special game together against sampdoria. Roma’s attacking Midfield should make no changes to the team they played against sampdoria. I expect Lorenzo Pellegrini controlling the Middle with Stephan El Shaarawy and Justin Kluivert on the wings. Up front I would give a Patrik Schick another start for Edin dzeko who should be fresh and ready for the big match against Madrid. Roma will have good options Off the Bench with Cengiz Under and others in case they get in trouble but I think DiFrancesco should rest at least part of his team because they want to come out as strong as possible on Tuesday. Roma has been very inconsistent this season but they have enough quality in their side to get the job done against a team threatened by relegation. Stephan El Shaarawy is my key player-of-the-match for Roma. He is Roma’s top scorer in the league with five goals and completely stole the show against sampdoria without question Roma’s best player this season he has just been phenomenal and against udin I think he should have no problem making a huge impact. He scored two goals against them last season in the first meeting he has done well against them and I see that continuing especially using his speed and intelligence he can break them down and make them pay.
Udinese is not in particular good form and I don’t think it’s going to change here. We know Roma inconsistent but they have the tools and means to score goals. Udinese is without a proven goalscorer who can consistently play to the level we expect from them. Even though they are at home it’s going to be incredibly tough defensively they have to be at their absolute best. They have lost four of five games and don’t have much to hang their hat on in the last few weeks. Kevin lasagna is the best chance at them scoring a goal but in order to push him forward defensively they’re going to have to attack Roma. They don’t have much to sacrifice and exposing the defense is the quickest way to allow Roma’s weapons to hunt them down and kill them. This Roma team is quick and fast strong their best option to try to defend. If their defence is superb they maybe can grab a point. They are a point at a point in the season in which just they need to create a little bit more separation from the bottom of the table if they want to remain in Italy’s top-flight. Even a point against a team as good as Roma would be a positive result. Meaning defensively they can’t have defensive mishaps or errors which is a lot to ask given with their defense isn’t that strong. However they do have a playmaker in Rodrigo de Paul he is absolutely Sensational and he needs to be at his best for them to have a chance. Defensively it’s very important that they play to their best but they need points and even though a draw would be satisfying .If Rodrigo de Paul has one of those days they maybe have a small chance for an upset. If they catch Roma on a bad day maybe just maybe there’s a chance it is highly unlikely they’ll be able to pull it off but if they do it’s going to come down to Rodrigo de Paul and the defense he is without a doubt the most important player in this match because if their defense plays well DePaul is going to need to deliver both things have to happen or they won’t win.
The bottom line is this Roma’s weapons are just too strong for Udinese to handle. It won’t be a fully strength Roma as some players will be rested ahead of the match on Wednesday but none-the-less this team is from top to bottom filled with quality players. While they do have their issues with some inconsistent play if they find good momentum and form in the game that they felt going into the international break they could make easy work of it. Roma’s Midfield will be important especially in the attacking sense Pellegrini El Shaarawy and Kluivert are all fast and intelligent and with the passes that Pellegrini has in his locker he can create counter-attacks. If Roma gets forward on the counter-attack it is good night. Justin Kluivert and Stephan El Shaarawy have incredible pace speed and athleticism if they have space to operate they will get tons of chances. Udinesse needs to try to control them defensively as they’re unable to do that it’s going to be a very hard. They have Rodrigo de Paul who has some Supreme quality in him especially in his ability to find the pass to teammates they are very limited in their options in which they can attack Robin Olsen and the Roma defense. Robin Olsen is one of the best goalkeepers in the league and it’s going to be hard to get one passed him anyways but it is doable. Rodrigo de Paul is the only chance at finding the back of the net on Saturday. Roma will likely rest at least two quality players that would start regularly if they get in troubl they can bring them on it can change the entire outlook to the game. In the defensive Midfield with Bryan Crisante and Steven Nzonzi it’s going to be really difficult to try to break through this defense on a consistent basis they hold the line of play and can be very influential in the attack. The bottom line is this they cannot allow Roma to get forward if Roma get on the counter attack it’s going to be a long day.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Luca Pellegrini, Federico Fazio, Juan Jesus, Alexandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Steven Nzonzi
Front Three: Stephen El Shaarawy, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Justin Kluivert
Striker: Patrik Schick
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Udinesse projected starting 11 3-1-4-2
DEF: Samir,Troost,Ekong,Ter Averst
DEF MID: Mandragora
ATT MID: De Paul,Larsen,Fofana,Wague
Manager: Davide Nicola
Stephan El Shaarawy
Rodrigo De Paul
Date: Sunday November 24th, 2018
Venue: Stadio Friuli,Udinese
Kickoff: 8:00AM (USA) 2:00PM (ENG), 3:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, Fox Sports