Roma is coming off a 1-1 draw against AC Milan in a match they quite honestly could have won. After a rough week the week before Roma finally gets some confidence and momentum under them. On Friday night Roma travels to Verona to face Chievo Verona at the Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi for their second meeting of the season. During their first meeting in Rome it turned out to be one of the more disappointing matches this year for Roma. Roma squandered a 2-0 lead to just earning a point against the team that is in last place. The Champions League race in Italy is so close net that Roma needs to pick up as many points as they possibly can. Roma Lazio and Atlanta all I have 35 points while AC Milan is just one point ahead so theoretically speaking a win for Roma could take them into the top four. This team cannot afford a slip-up at this juncture of the season. Roma will go into this game as heavy favorites. Verona still stands in last place in the league despite picking up some points over the last few games Verona still lack so much in their team. Just last week they threw away a two-goal lead against 19th Place Frosinone. With everything being said Roma have thrown away several leads this season and have lost points against bottom opposition. Roma should have no problem securing the three points but an upset isn’t out of the question. This is a game Roma should walkthrough was no issue. We will find out if that will be the case or is an upset brewing in what will be an exciting Friday night football match in Verona.
Roma made some interesting adjustments last week in what was at the time a must-win game for Roma. With the future of Eusebio di Francesco in the balance. The Roma manager is not out of the dark completely but picking up big points against Milan has helped his case. The situation forced him into making a few changes last week. I’m unsure whether he will do the same again but I would not be totally against it. Last week he put Patrik Schick on the wing which I thought was interesting because that is not his natural position serious I suspect Roma still keep their formation intact as Roma has somewhat stuck with the 4-2-3-1 over the last few months. Last week’s defensively Roma were a lot sharper than usual so I would personally start the same for that played against Milan. In the defensive Midfield, I would make a minor change with Lorenzo Pellegrini out haven’t received a one-game suspension for accumulating too many yellow cards it opens up the gates for Bryan Cristante to regain his starting spot at least temporarily. I suspect Roma Captain Daniele de Rossi will play alongside him. In a Roma Central Midfield, Nicolo Zaniolo will control the middle. With the likes of Stephan El Shaarawy and Justin Kluivert on the wing. I think this approach makes the most sense because of the speed on the outside. Then in the striker position, Edin Dzeko is likely to get another start. He needs to get back on form and start scoring goals on a more regular basis so I believe he needs more game time in order to do that. The key player in this match will be Nicolo Zaniolo he is just playing so well right now that I see him being the biggest Factor especially in his ability to get in position to score as well as facilitating opportunities for teammates.
Chievo Verona despite earning a point against Rome earlier this season is not in the best shape in the league table. With only nine points in 22 games including just one win this season they are in serious threat of relegation. There have been times this season in which they have shown something getting points in crucial games. Much like their 1-1 draw with Inter Milan in December. However, this team has a lot of holes in it they will find it quite difficult to carve open Roma or even prevent the inevitable. Their leading scorer this season only has four goals and that looks like it’s going to be a big problem. Verona has conceded 44 goals this season while only scoring 19 this is going to be a huge problem down the road this season especially in a game like this. Parking the bus might be their best approach at their best. Giving everything I’ve mentioned the key player of this match for of Verona is Sorrentino he needs to have an absolutely fabulous performance in goal for them to have a chance. They do not have the resources to create a serious attack of their own so all their morals rely on the 39-year-old goalkeeper to keep them in the game.
It comes down to a few variables in this match. Roma and in a very tight race for Champions League and they cannot afford to lose games or drop points against teams so far on the bottom. Despite being without Cengiz Under and Lorenzo Pellegrini Roma have speed on the outside and the key to attacking it’s to try to get on the counter-attack as much as possible. Given the speed of Stephan El Shaarawy and Justin Kluivert, they can rip through anything if they’re given space to operate. Also with Daniele de Rossi back being paired with Bryan Cristante as the holding Midfield pair they can control and dictate the pace of the game basically allowing the game to come into their hands. That’s not to mention The depth that Roma have off the bench that can create Mayhem. In terms of point of attack feeding Edin Dzeko in the middle might be the way to break them down early. From Roma’s respective you want to get a big lead as soon as possible. You don’t want it to be in a situation where Verona feel they can come back in the game. Roma should try to kill off the game as soon as possible with the speed they have on the outside and the attack that have to their disposal Roma have all the tools necessary to get a big lead early. This kind of could be a statement game I know it’s just the Verona but Roma have struggled with some of these lesser teams this season Roma need to give the away support a convincing performance this game should be quite easy for Roma they have all the tools necessary to rip through this team over and over again. If this stays close it would be a concern but Roma needs to finish the job in that situation. They need to put in their best foot forward and try to dominate this game from start to finish. From top to bottom Roma have a much better team and should have no issues breaking down a Verona team who has let in 44 goals this season. From Verona’s perspective, it’s simple to try to hold Roma as long as I possibly can. That might be stacking the box with defensive midfielders. The more bodies they have around the defense the harder it is going to be for Roma to breakthrough. The defense and goalkeeper must be at their very best. They are not out of the dark yet but they can potentially start to move away from the relegation Zone they have a lot of ground to make-up but getting points against big teams are how they’re going to do it. Simply put they’re going to try to park the bus and just hope for a draw they will have their work cut out for them because of the difference in quality but I believe that will be their approach as it should be noted going forward and trying to attack Roma will leave them exposed at the back which will cause the game to be over before it really is. They need to hold firm and try to hold them off but ultimately Roma is just going to have too much. I’m going to go on a limb here and say that Roma wins this game easily. The defensive midfield, could control everything and allowing Roma to get on the break as soon as possible that will be the key for Roma if they are able to do that with success early they should find no problems getting an important three points. The Champions League race in Italy is so tight right now there’s no excuse for not being able to win this game and I think Roma will respond to critics again and deliver an excellent performance is will only enhance their chances to make the Champions League next season.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-3-2-1
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex, Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Rich Karsdorp
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Danielle De Rossi
ATT MID: Stephen El Shaarawy, Nicolo Zaniolo, Justin Kluivert
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Chevio’s Projected starting XI 4-3-3
DEF: Barba,Bani,Rossettini, Tomovic
MID: Obi,Radovanovic, Rigoni
Front Three: Djordjevic, Stepinski,Birsa
Manager: Domenico Di Carlo
Players to Watch
Date: Friday,Febuary 8th, 2019
Venue: Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi
Kickoff: 1:30PM (USA) 7:30PM (ENG), 8:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+