Coming off wins against Chievo Verona, FC Porto in the champions league and an ugly 2-1 win against Bologna last week. Roma head on the road the battle 19th place Frosinone. It will be the second meeting between these two teams in a run of matches of must-win games for Roma playing the bottom half of the table. In the first meeting, Roma annihilated them in a 4-0 demolition of a team who has struggled since promotion this summer. A game that could be about Pride for Frosinone who has a very limited chance of survival nonetheless are fighting for a chance to get out of the relegation Zone. Meanwhile, Roma is looking for their third consecutive win as they continue to chase Champions League football. The Romans only sit one point behind AC Milan and have another great opportunity to push themselves on the Forefront in Champions League football while continuing to try and create separation from Lazio who they play next week in the derby. Roma will be heavy favorites for this match so like we saw a week ago some of the lesser teams can make things tough Roma have struggled the bottom half of the table this season it could be an opportunity for Frosinone to cash in as they try to orchestrate an upset. It will be a big-time match on Saturday evening in the Primetime slot of Italian football in a match that could greatly affect both sides of the table.
Roma gets some great news that they had been waiting for weeks now. Roma’s most explosive player Cengiz Under will return from his thigh injury right in time for the biggest stretch of their season. Roma has struggled with injuries all season now finally they’re starting to get healthy again which could be incredibly dangerous. Even though Eusebio DiFrancesco has rotated formations in the past this season I suspect that he will stay with the 4-3-3 formation as it has been successful and there’s no real reason to change it now. The Derby is next week which is really important and maybe in past years Roma would feel comfortable resting players but because of the inconsistency issues, Roma has faced this season Roma should play a relatively strong team even though they’re playing a team that’s in 19th place. The defensive players ended up being the important parts of the victory last week with both Federico Fazio and Alex Kolarov scoring goals. The starting defense should stay the same even though Roma has had defensive problems this season I don’t think it would be smart to make adjustments defensively because Roma needs to be at their best even against a team like this. Even though Roma shouldn’t rest too many players I would give rest to Roma Captain Daniele De Rossi because of his age I’d keep them rested for the important match against Lazio. In Roma midfield, I would like to see the trio of Steven Nzonzi Lorenzo Pellegrini and Nicolo Zaniolo holding up the Midfield. In the Roma’s attack, I assume Edin Dzeko will operate as Roma’s main Striker. However, the wings could be a little complicated if Cengiz Under is 100% and ready to go then they should start him if he’s not 100% then you might switch things around. Based on the information I’ve been given I’m told he is 100% so I suspect he will start on the wing. Then as always on the other one, we should see Stephan El Shaarawy on the other wing who has just been spectacular this season. Off the Bench, Roma will have depth with Bryan Cristante Daniele de Rossi and Justin Kluivert for reassurance. The key player for this matchup Stephan El Shaarawy I have a feeling he is going to be the difference-maker given his speed and athleticism that the defense may not be able to deal with.
I do not believe that Frosinone beat Roma but with that being said they are playing their best football of the season. They have won two of their last five games after only one win in their first 20 games. They even had a shocking upset against Sampdoria who is largely considered a quality team. At home, I don’t know if they’ll feel confident about winning the game but they’re feeling the best they have this season. Relegation is probably going to happen but if they continue to play in the way they have they got at least a chance no to lose it is a remote possibility that maybe they can grab the point even though it’s unlikely. I think it’s highly improbable they will but I don’t think they’re going to be rolled over like they were in the first meeting. Defensively it will be so important that they perform. That is why the key player for this match for Frosinone is their center-back Lorenzo Ariaudo he needs to have an incredibly strong performance given the attacking options at Roma have.
Just like I said last week against Bologna this is a game Roma cannot afford to lose. Roma has an unbelievable opportunity to make up some ground in the Champions League race as well as removing Lazio from it. If they win tomorrow night and then they win next weekend against Lazio we could be talking about a potential six-point gap between the Rome clubs. Frosinone has been playing their best football the season but quite honestly I don’t think it’s going to be enough. I do think it will be tough and could make things difficult at times for Roma’s But ultimately the Romans will prevail because of the ability that they have throughout their team to take advantage of it. The difference in quality is so large and Roma have weapons that Frosinone defense does not have the resources to stop. I believe it will be close at times during this game but in a few areas, Roma has too much of a significant advantage not to Coast to a victory. Last week we saw a Robin Olsen turn into Superman against the bologna. It’s unclear what kind of game it will be tomorrow but bologna has a more fluid and aggressive attack then Frosinone does meaning the chances could be limited for them and even if it isn’t the Swedish goalkeeper are more than prepared to deal with it. Frosinone might stack the box and try to make things as difficult as they can on Roma to score goals. However, that tactic can be infiltrated with the speed on the outside from Stephan El Shaarawy he can create space because of his unbelievable pace to leave them exposed in defensive situations. Not to mention the size is against them in the scenarios with 3 players on Roma towering over 6 foot 4. The wings especially can prove to be incredibly dangerous if Roma’s Wings can feed their big Striker Edin Dzeko and even though he’s not having a great season if given good service there’s no doubt in my mind he can find the back of the net. The issue is going to be what are they going to do with Nicolo Zaniolo. Roma’s youngster has incredible ability and is playing the best football of his life right now how do you stop a player in such good form. That’s not even to mention Lorenzo Pellegrini who is the best passer in Italian football and has earned a reputation as one of the best midfielders in the league. He has Intelligence that could confuse Frosinone’s approach and cause problems. They’re attacked doesn’t stop in the Midfield Alex Kolarov is the highest scoring defender in Europe and it’s capable of finding the back of the net as well Frosinone will have their hands full. The bottom line for Roma is this though Roma cannot make things easy on their opponent mistakes cannot happen especially in a game what points should just be a given. That is why I believe it will be close until the very end. Roma will pull away at the end and still probably win by two goals but based on what I’ve seen from these teams I would suspect Roma will get an early lead and sit on it until the very end. Frosinone will make things tough but Roma just has far too much even on the road for Frosinone to deal with. A result here will only continue to Hype up the Derby next week this is a must-win there is no way around it.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-3-3
GK: Robin Olsen
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi
MID: Steven Nzonzi, Danielle De Rossi, Lorenzo Pellegrini
Front Three: Cengiz Under, Edin Dzeko, Stephen El Shaarawy
Manager: Eusebio Di Francesco
Frosinone’s Projected starting XI 4-3-3
Front Three: Campell,Perica
Manager: Marco Baroni
Players to Watch
Stephen El Shaarawy
Date: Wednesday February 23rd, 2018
Venue: Stadio Benito Stirpe
Kickoff: 1:30PM (USA) 7:30PM (ENG),8:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+