Coming off one of the best performances of the season in a 3-1 win at the Stadio Olimpico against Sassuolo. Roma travel on the road To face recently promoted Parma. These two teams have not played in many years. Following Parma’s liquidation many years ago the club went through a complete overhaul eventually gaining three consecutive promotions to return to the top of Italian football. However the two clubs are somewhat linked to each other. When Roma secured the title in 2001 Parma stood in their way having to beat them on the last match day of the season to confirm Roma’s first title since 1983. They also will meet up with a familiar Striker Gervinho who spent three seasons in the red and yellow of Rome before ultimately departing. Parma has been significantly the best team among those who were promoted this season. They had a surprisingly hot start to the season and have done extremely well given what the club has gone through. They currently find themselves in 12th with 25 points which is quite an incredible feat. Meanwhile Roma has been inconsistent this season as they attempt to crawl back into the Champions League places this season. They are only a few points out and with one game remaining to end the year the Romans want to get a little closer to that much important 4th position. Roma have won two out of their last three and all of a sudden are getting healthier with Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti returning over the last week. Will Parma present a big challenge or will the Romans continue to roll. We will find out on a Sunday afternoon fixture between two iconic Italian football clubs.
Everything worked last week for Roma it was their best performance of the season. I would be surprised if there’s many changes in terms of the lineup and the formation because of how well things went on Wednesday I would be hesitant to make too many drastic adjustments. This Roma team is getting healthier by the day as more Roma players are looking for early returns in 2019 which would give Roma biggest boost also displaying a different dimension it could become a very dangerous team in the new year. Roma’s backline and goalkeeper should remain unchanged as I expect them to operate out of the 4-2-3-1 formation once again in fact a lot will probably stay the same the only difference could be an approach. The defensive Midfield Duo Steven Nzonzi and Bryan Cristante has continuously worked well as cohesively they have improved through each match. However we could see a chance made in Roma’s attacking Midfield. An essential position I expect to see Nicolo Zaniolo get another start after scoring an absolutely outrageous goal last week. Given the fact that Diego Perotti is not at full strength I find it unlikely he will get a back-to-back start. Once he is completely healthy we can see him starting on a more regular basis but we just want to be careful. I find a likely the Justin Kluivert and Cengiz Under will occupy the wing positions. Upfront DiFrancesco has confirmed that Edin Dzeko has an opportunity to start. Despite the fact that Patrik Schick did score in his last game. If Edin Dzeko is ready you got to give him the green light. Roma have missed the physical presence of the Bosnian bomber up front in Roma’s attack he is absolutely essential to the club’s offense even though Roma have a Europe’s best 16 different goal scorers Roma want their Superstar to return to the lineup as soon as possible because of the size of he possesses but if he’s not ready to go Patrick Schick will be ready to go and perform yet again. Both Lorenzo Pellegrini and Stephan El Shaarawy have returned from their injuries but are still not at full health so their involvement could be very limited but Diego Perotti is someone I think is likely to come off the bench even if he’s not a hundred percent he certainly capable of giving Roma important minutes. The key player the match for me is Nicolo Zaniolo after that performance last week he will be in an incredibly confident mood and ready for the challenge that lies ahead.
Parma is back in Italian football after such a long time and it’s team that is a lot stronger then anyone expected. Over the last 5 games this team that has struggled with inconsistency has been their downfall over the last month with only one win in their last five. However with that being said this team is not without quality they have the resources available to them to turn this season around. Even if Parma finish mid-table it is such a tremendous overachievement. The majority of the newly-promoted team this season are all in the relegation Zone except for Parma they went about their business this summer in the right way securing players who have helped them through some really tough opposition this season. Lupe Sepe a tremendous goalkeeper who even made it in my top performers of the week once this season. But this team is operated and fueled by their two Strikers Roberto inglese on a loan deal from Napoli. And perhaps the most explosive player in Italian football former Roma Striker gervinho. Defensively they have their problems just as much as it’s not more than Roma but they have the resources in their attacks to create things. Roma will be a tough task the question becomes will they be up for it. They’ll be at home which will give them the advantage it has been a tough place to play but they are not invincible which is why they need to be at their very best. He is the key player for Parma giving his speed and the clinical finishing ability for a Parma team looking for a huge upset.
It will come down to a few variables that could determine the results of the match. Roma’s approach and this match will be different because of the weapons they do have. It will not be a full force attack from start to finish like they played in midweek. This game will be largely controlled by the Roma midfield and trying to seal chances. Going all out and forward could leave them exposed which would give Gervinho a chance on a break. Both of these teams need to limit the chances counter attacks. Of course you always want to limit that but both these teams have incredibly fast players who can be antagonizing on the break. With the likes of Parma’s Gervinho and Roma’s Justin kluivert and Cengiz Under if any of these players have space to operate going forward on a counter-attack they will punish you. Defensively Roman needs to be mistake-free they have a significant advantage in the Midfield and will try to use that to fuel scoring opportunities. The only way Parma really breaks through is on a counter attack by Gervinho as Roma find a way to eliminate that it gives them a great chance for another three points. Roma has been inconsistent this season but through each match over the last few weeks they have improved. They’re really starting to pick up some momentum and are very confident team at the moment they are getting healthier which is going to be a huge problem for Parma because theoretically speaking Lorenzo Pellegrini and Stephan El Shaarawy could appear in this match. Roma might be young but they’re extremely talented. Where Parma have experience that is the point of attack they will try to infiltrate. If Roma are mistake 3 defensively I think they will have no problem winning this game. But make no mistake this is going to be a difficult task especially way from home with gervinho and Roberto Inglesse two players who are capable goal scorers. The biggest challenge for Parma perspectives Roma have 16 at different goal scorers this season you just don’t know who is going to be the Difference Maker. And if Dzeko is able to play this game it creates a whole different monster especially if he’s given service from the midfield. If Bryan cristante and Steven nzonzi can hold the line the wings can get out on the break and Dzeko can get service it will be very hard for Parma to compete. However the counter-attack could punish them. Roma plan is to get a lead early and pounce on it. If Roma find a way to break through and pressurize the defense Roma can get just a little bit closer to a top-four position. Parma will prove to be a challenge but for the first time this season Roma have serious momentum and are actually in really good form and with the depth they now have with many players returning from injuries this could be a nightmare to deal with. Gervinho and Roberto Inglesse will have their moments but in the end I believe Rome will take advantage of the opportunities and secure three points going into the new year.
Manager: Eusebio DiFrancesco
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-3-2-1
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex, Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alessandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Steven Nzonzi
ATT MID: Cengiz Under, Nicolo Zaniolo, Justin Kluivert
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Roberto D’Aversa
Parma’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
Front Three: Siligardi,Inglese,Gervinho
Players To Keep your Eye On
Roma’s Nicolo Zanilio
Date: Saturday December 29th, 2018
Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma
Kickoff: 9:00AM (USA) 3:00PM (ENG), 4:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN