Roma are coming off an excellent come-from-behind Victory against Genoa last week. Where we saw a super star performance from Bryan Cristante and Justin Kluivert that were influential in Roma’s first League win since November. After a run of inconsistent football in which DiFrancesco job was under serious threat a win last week salvaged his position. Roma are going to try to use the confidence and momentum from last week’s match to take them forward the rest of the season however that is going to be easier said than done. Roma currently sits just three points out of the top four and have a real chance to try to climb up the table. However what awaits in this weekend is the biggest test in Italian football. The Romans will travel to Turin to face the defending Champions and the league leaders Juventus at the Allianz Stadium. Juventus won the season series last year beating Roma in a narrow 1-0 in Turin and a 0-0 draw in Rome that confirmed their championship. I have referred to as many years as the Italian El Clasico in the last 5-10Juve and Roma have been most consistently the top two teams in the league. Juventus ultimately have won most of those years but for some reason Roma always got second. In Serie A game of the week we see a battle between the Eternal City and Cristiano Ronaldo and the old lady. Juventus have lost only one home game since the Allianz opened. Its going to take absolutely everything for Roma have to find a way past a Juventus team that is on their hottest start in years. It will be a tense atmosphere when these two clubs meet up on Saturday night as two heavyweights clash in the Serie A game of the week .
A.S Roma 6th 6-6-4 24Pts
Roma will have a huge test and they will need to put out their best team possible. Unfortunately there has been no new information in regarding the injuries to Edin Dzeko Stephan El Shaarawy and Lorenzo Pellegrini. Daniele de Rossi may be available but I’m not sure if he will start the game. Last week Roma experimented with the 3-4-3 formation after heavily relying on the 4-2-3-1. I expect them to maintain the same formation we saw last week. Without a true Striker this is the most effective way Roma can lineup. Against a team like this Roma cannot afford to take risks I would expect that Roma’s back 3 will probably remain the same. With Alexandro Florenzi and Alex Kolarov to push up and play as the wing backs in what I expect to be a four-man Midfield. Once again I expect the pair of Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi in the central Midfield. We also could be see an identical front 3 with Justin Kluivert Cengiz Under and Nicolo Zaniolo. Creating the three-headed monster in the attack. I also think the bench of Roma could be really important in crucial parts of the game. With Javier Pastore and possibly Daniele de Rossi as options as they have to experience that the rest of the team just does not have. My key player for this match for Roma is Bryan Cristante he had a dominating performance in Romans Midfield last weekend if he can repeat that or recreate it will make Roma Midfield more dangerous than it might suggest.
Juventus 1st 14-1-0 46Pts
Juventus is RED HOT they have been won five consecutive games. This is one of the stronger sides we have seen in Italian football in many years. It’s not just star power of Cristiano Ronaldo it is everything they have in all the options. This team is on a mission after a disappointing last two weeks Juventus will be looking for a more complete performance. Eventually find themselves so far in front they are most likely going to lift the title at the end of the season. They will without question try to attack Roma’s questionable defense. Throughout this entire season Juventus have only dropped one point. They seem really don’t have any weakness they are teams that had made them struggle but when it’s winning time they’ve been able to deliver it is a quite concerning but they at home. They’re nearly perfect with or without Ronaldo this is a Juventus team that has been absolutely unbelievable record at home. Roma are inconsistent the season Juventus are quite the opposite they are extremely consistent they the depth they have is absolutely unbelievable. There could be a situation in which Pablo Dybala comes off the bench that is absolutely terrifying given all the quality throughout the team that you can put a player of that quality on the bench. Max Allegri will have a plan on how to attack Roma this is an inconsistent Roma team but still are going to give it everything against the heavy favorites. Juventus are finely tuned machine that will be prepared for whatever comes their way. The key player for Juve without a doubt is Cristiano Ronaldo. He has 11 goals and five assist in the League this season Big moments is something Ronaldo has made his career on. In the biggest moments he strives it is what makes him so special. He will be on a mission in big games against the likes of Florentina Napoli and Torino he has found his way through. He is the most important piece of this team and will cause a huge problem the Roma defense will have their hands full.
A big part of this game is going to be how Roma can defend. It has been known that the Roma defense has struggled especially late in games. Defensively Roma have cost themselves points Kostas Manolas just doesn’t seem to have the help defensively. It is something Juventus will try to exploit with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Pablo Dybala. The fact of the matter is nobody goes to the Allianz stadium in wins any result that Roma can get is a positive. Roma will heavily rely on their Midfield to feed their young attack. Despite the fact they might have inexperience they have youth athletic ability and speed in there three headed monster. Their front three are all 21 years old or younger. While it could be an advantage at some aspect none of them have really played in a game quite like this. Juventus has all the firepower in the world and from top to bottom are the best team in Italy by a country mile. Not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo is arguably the best player in the world. He is going to find his way in this game to make it as difficult as possible on the Roma defense. In the attacking point of view for Roma everything starts and ends with Bryan Cristante if he finds a way to perform at the level he played over the last few games Roma will have opportunities. the possession battle will go to Juventus and they will get a lot of higher power chances. Roma don’t nearly have the attack or the Midfield that their Juve have but they have some players who can make important plays in big moments. Where comes to it defensively Juventus have the best in the world. When Juve are at their best they’re not beatable and Roma are going to have to try to go to Turin and find a way through. Roma will not park the bus because it is not their identity but essentially they have to be in top shape. again if Roma can find a way to fuel light counter-attack they are incredibly dangerous the problem is it’s going to be hard to create that with the team that stands in front of them. I do not think Juventus will run through Roma I believe Roma will keep it close throughout the match but when it’s winning time Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus will deliver because it’s what they do.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 3-4-3
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Davie Santon
MID: Alex Kolarov,Bryan Cristante, Steven Nzonzi,Alessandro Florenzi
ATT : Cengiz Under, Nicolo Zaniolo, Justin Kluivert
Roma Manager: Eusebio DiFrancesco
Juventus’s Projected starting XI 4-3-3
ATT MID: Matuidi,Pjanic,Bernardeschi,
ATT MID: Ronaldo,Mandzukic,Dybala
Manager: Max Allegri
Players To Keep You Eyes On
Date: Sunday December 22nd, 2018
Venue: Allianz Stadium,Turin
Kickoff: 1:30PM (USA) 7:30PM (ENG), 8:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+