Roma is coming off a huge win in the Champions League in the round of 16 against FC Porto behind of the brilliance of Roma teenager Nicolo Zaniolo. Roma prepares for their second consecutive win in the league after beating Chievo Verona last week. Roma is set to host Bologna at the Stadio Olimpico for the second time this season. In the first meeting that was a shocking result as bologna found a way to beat Roma who at the time had not yet scored this season. It was a time there is a season where Roma had some of their worst inconsistencies. However, we are at a different point in the season and Roma are starting to pick up some momentum. With Atlanta and Lazio losing this week with a win Roma can create separation from two other teams who are chasing the fourth spot as the gap cab close on AC Milan and Inter Milan. Bologna has a new coach and has played well under him but Roma will go into this game as heavy favorites expecting to dispatch this bologna team without too much trouble. They will welcome bologna to Stadio Olimpico on an edition of Monday Night Football. Roma has a momentous opportunity and they will do everything in their power to create separation from the teams for chasing them. At the Stadio Olimpico Roma have been close to spotless this season and I only see it continuing. However, with the inconsistencies, this team has this play this season there’s always a chance at an upset. It should be a thrilling affair Rome in a Monday night clash between two teams on the opposite sides of the table.
According to various reports Robin Olsen should be returning from injury as he’s ready to retake the goalkeeper spot that has been occupied by his backup. In addition to that Cengiz Under remains out with a muscular problem and Rick Karsdorp also has not recovered in time to return for bologna. I suspect that Roma will operate out of the 4-3-3 formation after the last two games have played out of that set up at this points I find it unlikely that they will go back to what they were using before but then again I’ve been wrong about that before. Defensively I don’t believe they’ll be any change within the team from this week against Porto. The second leg of the champions leagues more than a week away so I don’t expect Eusebio di Francesco to make any changes due to rest. In a Roma’s attacking Midfield we could see a trio of Daniele de Rossi Lorenzo Pellegrini and Steven Nzonzi. This is really difficult to speculate because Bryan Cristante also has been playing well and could make a start in this spot. In Romans attack, I don’t think we will see any differences to what we have seen over the last two games. In Roma’s three-headed monster we are likely to see Edin Dzeko as the main striker and Stephan El Shaarawy and Nicolo Zaniolo on the outside as the wings. The key player of the match for Roma has to be Nicolo Zaniolo he is playing to the best of his ability and after his loyalty comments this week I think he’s going to give the fans at the Stadio Olimpico a show against a relegation-threatened team.
Bologna has been an absolute disaster this season. Despite the glimpse of positivity over the last two games they have been atrocious and continue to be in a survival fight in Italian football. Despite that over the last two games they have shown something different. Since Bologna changed their manager they have gotten some pretty decent results over the last two weeks. Bologna beat Inter Milan at the San Siro which was a huge result for their chance of staying alive in the League this season. It was a dysfunctional Inter Milan team but at the San Siro to beat them they put together an unbelievable performance. Then last week they got a draw with Genoa which is a very decent team that beat Lazio this morning. They got a little bit of confidence and some momentum behind them but they are against a team that is a mountain to climb. Due to the inconsistencies of Roma, it is very possible they could pull this off given the last two weeks how they have performed. However, it is going to take a lot to beat a Roma at the Stadio Olimpico bologna will have to put their absolute best team together stop them. This will truly test this team in ways that have not been tested. The fact of the matter is if they are unable to get a result it could make things difficult. Going to the Stadio Olimpico is a very difficult place to play. If they’re going to have any hope pulling off this upset it is going to revolve around their goalkeeper Łukasz Skorupski he needs to be at his very best for there to be a chance of an upset.
The opportunity’s too great for Roma not to take advantage of it. The top 4 race in Italian football has been a battle between AC Milan Inter Milan Lazio and Atalanta. If Roma can find a way through this game as they should they can potentially eliminate Lazio and Atalanta from this battle. Roma have the easiest schedule over the next two weeks it is so incredibly important that they are able to pick up maximum points this week and next week before the derby on the 3rd of March. From a tactical standpoint Roma will attack as frequently as they can and like I say on an almost regular basis getting Roma out on the counter-attack can it be incredibly deadly with the intelligent passing ability of Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini and the wicked pace of Stephan El Shaarawy. Roma will try to control the game through the Midfield and try to infiltrate the defense by having Daniele de Rossi and Lorenzo Pellegrini pull the strings in Roma’s Midfield. If Roma can find a way to give service to Edin Dzeko in dangerous situations Roma can get off to a hot start early and continue the attacking a minded approach. Nicolo Zaniolo will be incredibly important he’s playing out of his mind right now and after an unbelievable Champions League performance is up for yet another challenge. Top to bottom Roma is a much stronger more efficient team then it bologna that does not mean they cannot be stopped but based on what they can do coming forward it is going to be incredibly difficult to the opposition. It is going to be in attack fueled Roma team that is the best way to make bologna uncomfortable almost forcing themselves into defensive tactics. Even though bologna may be able to get a goal I feel they will try to park the bus and play defensively as long as possible eventually they would become a point where they can no longer do that. Bologna need points and even though a point against Roma would be a great result they do want to get out of the relegation Zone as soon as possible and like I said they beat Inter Milan so there might be a turning point in the game where they almost feel like they need to attack Roma a little more aggressively. When that happens they could leave some areas exposed and that is when Roma will pounce on them. Roma should cruise to Victory without too many problems but given the defensive issues, Roma has there’s always a chance for an upset given their inconsistencies. Despite that this is too of an opportunity for Roma to waste Roma should get the job done everything is in their advantage and teams don’t typically come to the Stadio Olimpico and get points if Roma plays to their game plan three points will surely be collected from the Romans as they will create separation from Lazio and Atalanta as a win here would make it a three-team race for Champions League football.
Roma’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi
MID: Lorenzo Pellegrini, Steven Nzonzi, Bryan Cristante
Front Three: Nicolo Zaniolo, Edin Dzeko , El Shaarawy
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Bologna’s Projected starting 11 4-3-3
DEF: Gonzalaz,Calabresi,Danilo, De Maio
MID: Dijks,Dzemaili, Mattieello
Front Three: Poli,Okwonwo, Destro
Manager: Siniša Mihajlović
Players to watch
Date: Monday February 18th, 2019
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kickoff: 1:30AM (USA) 7:30PM (ENG), 8:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+