Following a dramatic Victory against Sampdoria, thanks to Roma Captain Daniele De Rossi’s late goal has brought Roma back into the Champions League race. After falling out of it about a week ago Roma is just one point out of 4th Place. Whether or not they deserve it is up for debate but the decline of AC Milan has brought that life back for Roma. This makes the remainder of their schedule incredibly important. There are only seven games left this season with five teams in the race for Champions League football next season. Roma starts their rough stretch with a team despite the record that could give them problems. Udinese comes to the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday in what will be a crucial match. Not only for Roma’s Champions League Ambitions but for Udinese survival fight. It will be 6th Place Roma against 16th Place Udinese in what is a crucial matchup for both teams. There is nothing more difficult than playing a team fighting for their lives late in the season Roma lost to the earlier meeting 1-0 will Udinese pull off another upset or will the Romans get a little closer to Champions League football we will find all that out and more at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in the back nine of the season in which the stakes could not be any higher.
A.S Roma 6th 14-9-8 51Pts (1Pts From Champions League)
Roma will have Stephan El Shaarawy back and available along with potentially Alexandro Florenzi who will be a game-time decision for Roma. As far as the formation goes I would not be surprised if Claudia Ranieri goes back to the 4-3-3 formation but even so, I suspect they will stay in the 4-2-3-1 setup just because it has been relatively successful over the last two matches. In goal, I doubt we will see any changes as I suspect Antonia Mirante will remain the starter for the remainder of the season. It is possible that Romans backline will be almost to full fitness if Florenzi is able to return my guess is he won’t so because of that Juan Jueus will be forced to play right back. Outside of that all the rest of the regular starters should be there. In Roma’s defensive Midfield I don’t see them making any changes. Bryan Cristante has been as consistent as anyone this season for Roma he’s likely to be paired along with Roma captain Daniele de Rossi. The only change I can maybe see is sticking Lorenzo Pellegrini in a more defensive role but if that doesn’t happen it should remain unchanged. In Roma’s attacking Midfield we should see Lorenzo Pellegrini occupying the central position. Meanwhile having Nicolo Zaniolo and Justin Kluivert on the outside. It is just a gut feeling. El Shaarawy may be healthy but I doubt the manager will risk Roma’s most important player. Cengiz Under could start but he has been available the last two weeks and has used him is very inconsistently meanwhile he is a big fan of the Speedy nineteen-year-old Justin Kluivert I assume he will get the nod yet again although I disagree. Upfront it could be Edin Dzeko or Patrik Schick but given the importance of this game, I think it’s very likely Edin Dzeko will get the start. Roma will have options on the bench as well. In what will be a tough match my key player for Roma is Bryan Cristante he has been incredibly consistent for this club and could be the unsung hero in an important result.
Udinesse 15th 8-8-14 32Pts (4 Points from Relegation)
Udinese typically plays a very defensive formation as they operate out of the 3-5-2 I suspect that will not change. That might come across as very negative but at this point in the season that is their approach. That’s not to say this team will not attack you or don’t have good players but they are trying to accommodate as many points as possible before the end of the season the sooner they confirm safety in the league the better. Right now their sole purpose is to get points and even though a formation like that that is stacking the Midfield is very defensive it is their most logical Approach at the moment. They will likely use their five-man Midfield to dictate the pace of play. They did beat Roma the first time and they used at the attacking mentality. However, we are at a different place in the season and with a defensive formation like this one it could be dangerous to do that. However, this team is not without star players the attack is something I would focus on. Kevin lasagna is very capable of scoring goals and if you get service it could cause some issues for Roma. However, when you look at this team there is one name in particular that stands out and that will be a huge factor in this game regardless of the results. Rodrigo de Paul is one of the most underrated players in Italian football. In fact, it is a player that I suspect Roma are very interested in. This is probably his last season at this club as he has earned a move to a top team in Italy. He is going to be the biggest Difference Maker in this match. He has nine goals and four assists to his name this season he can play a big role in facilitating service to the striker also capable of scoring on his own. He is My key player for them. Make no mistakes this is a very good team and they are playing really well lately but everything flows through Rodrigo de Paul he is so important.
This is as hard to predict as any match this weekend. I’ve been saying this for weeks teams in relegation battles are the worst teams to play at this juncture of the Season. They give everything they have they take risks they consider things they wouldn’t even think about it months ago. For one very simple reason, these teams are going to work incredibly hard to stay in the league which is not given for this team. In fact of all the teams on the cusp of relegation Udinese is probably the most dangerous. Both teams have exactly the same form over the last 5 games. Udinese much like Roma over the last matches they have shown their progress. A 1-1 draw with AC Milan and a tough 3:2 win over fellow battlers Empoli. They will use pieces of a five-man Midfield to try to pressurize Roma in hopes of winning the season series. Roma’s Champions League Ambitions hang in the balance I do realize it is only one point but a loss could be severe. Udinese responsibility it’s to keep Rodrigo de Paul very involved throughout the match they cannot allow Roma to neutralize him. They can use his attacking ability to try to break down a very exposable Roma defense. They will make it as difficult as they possibly can on Roma even a point would mean so much for their Ambitions to stay in this league. From Roma’s perspectives, you have to stop Rodrigo de Paul maybe not completely but you have to make things difficult on him if you’re able to do that the game May open up. There are two players in particular that will be incredibly important Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante. If Roma opts for the 4-2-3-1 formation they will be in central roles of the defensive and attacking Midfield. They are highly intelligent footballers with Incredible defensive and passing abilities. They will have pace on the outside regardless of line up. Roma’s Speedy players are as fast as anyone collectively. Whether it’s Justin Kluivert Stephan El Shaarawy or Cengiz Under you could almost certain that we will see some of them in action. What Roma have to do is use Cristante and Pellegrini to keep the team off balance. Roma must find a way to get on counter attacks and be as effective coming forward as possible it is a huge responsibility given the fact of their defense is not particularly strong. However, if Florenzi can return it will give them a huge Advantage. This is an incredibly difficult game to call it is terrifying from both perspectives. Udinese can be incredibly dangerous Roma have to find a way to slow them down or their Champions League Ambitions can fade away. Both teams have picked up a little bit of steam over their last two matches this is very important on paper they are not an even matchup. Given the players that Roma have, they are far superior in that area. However, it’s about consistency something Roma have failed to do on a somewhat regular basis this season. This is why Cristante and Pellegrini are so important to this team. If Stephan El Shaarawy is able to start the game I think they’re in trouble. However, the fact that he is not on 100% and he has to come off the bench gives them a great opportunity to take back the game. It is going to be so difficult on both ends and I think we are going to see a very tough match yet again. However, given the fact that they’ve collectively come together over the last two matches, I think Roma fight off incredible resistance and secure a very narrow victory. the results of this match could largely impact both clubs in their Ambitions this season. Roma must find a way fight off they’re demons this I’m afraid is a must-win with Inter Milan coming up next week Roma have no choice but to get the job done at the Stadio Olimpico against a team that will give everything.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Antonio Mirante
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Juan Jesus
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Daniele De Rossi
ATT MID: Nicolo Zaniolo, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Justin Kluivert
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Claudio Raneri
Udinesse projected starting XI 3-5-2
DEF MID: Mandragora,De Paul,Larsen,Fofana,Wague
ATT MID: Okaka,Lasagna
Manager: igor Tudor
Players to Watch
Bryan Cristante & Rodrigo DePaul
Date: Saturday April13th, 2019
Venue: Stadio Olimpico,Rome
Kickoff: 11:00AM (USA) 5:00PM (ENG), 6:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+