Coming off a hard-fought point against Inter Milan at the San Siro. Roma continues to battle Milan and Atalanta for the final Champions League spot. Roma’s most difficult challenge is out of the way as the rest of their schedule appears to be very winnable. However, it will continue to be a test as Roma will have to display their best form of the season. They returned all the Stadio Olimpico as of a host Cagliari the second meeting between the two teams. It was a complete horror show when Roma traveled to face them earlier this season. Roma had the game in firm control before Cagliari got back into it with a goal. Even so, they blew a two-goal lead in the most embarrassing way possible. Cagliari had two players sent off with 60 seconds to go. Even with all the advantages in Roma’s favor, they allowed a late goal in what was the most embarrassing display of the entire season. Roma is going to look to try to avenge that because to this day I’m sure that has not forgotten as that must have been a very painful experience. They will have that chance with everything on the line when these two teams battle at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. The Champions League race at stake but also the desire to avenge what happened the last time these two teams faced. Will Roma taste the bittersweet Revenge that they are looking for Or will we have an upset on our hands. We will find that out and more as Cagliari and Roma battle on a Saturday afternoon in the capital.
Claudio Ranieri will have his 4-2-3-1 formation ready for this game. He has used this formation and this formation alone on a Roma’s run of good form. I would be shocked if he makes any sort of adjustment to that because of the success it has given Roma over the last four games. Roma captain and Daniele de Rossi will remain OUT for the res of the season. Other than that Roma are more or less injury free. Kostas Manolas may be questionable for the match as he picked up a prematch injury in the Inter game. I have not heard or been given any information regarding his status for this game but assuming he has recovered he will likely start the game along with Roma’s somewhat regular starting defense. The defensive Midfield will likely be made up of Bryan Cristante and Steven Nzonzi once again. In Roma’s attacking Midfield it is possible we could see a slight adjustment. Nicolo Zaniolo or Lorenzo Pellegrini could come off the bench with the other starting. The reason that makes sense is because of the pace Roma will have on the outside as Stephan El Shaarawy and possibly Justin Kluivert can add speed and Pace down the wings. The question remains which one will get the start even though I do not feel very comfortable when Lorenzo Pellegrini is not in the starting eleven I think Nicolo Zaniolo is the right move in central Midfield. Lorenzo Pellegrini is more capable of making and impactful presence Off the Bench then Roma’s youngster because of this Nicolo Zaniolo should get the start with Lorenzo Pellegrini very capable of making an impact From the Bench. Upfront will be between either Edin Dzeko or Patrik Schick. Even though I have lost faith in Patrik Schick he does seem to be an efficient option in this situation. Edin Dzeko could be really dangerous coming off the bench and if Roma gets in trouble they’re going to need a spark like that. That is why Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Dzeko starting the game on the bench makes a lot of sense, especially against a defensive setup. my key player for Roma is Bryan Cristante not only can he control the midfield he’s capable of getting into spaces and becoming Dangerous as well I think the way he plays can completely dictate how the match goes because of his importance in the defensive Midfield he has been incredibly consistent this season and that is why he is Roma’s most dangerous player.
Even though Cagliari will probably attack at certain points this season it will be a defensive lineup probably similar ones what they have used at many points this season. The 3-5-2 formation is something the team has used in the past three seasons almost to a constant level. Even though they will try to get as much out of this game as possible and they do have the ability to attack because of their personnel going forward and some weapons they have in the Midfield despite all of that I see a very defensive approach especially away from home they’ll be in the studio Olimpico at home the way they play would be very different. They are very dangerous at home but away from that, they’re not the same team they do not provide the same Spark. They have struggles in almost every area when they’re not in their own backyard. This is why the defensive approach makes the most sense for them because they don’t want to risk leaving themselves open especially against a team that has firepower all over the place. They have to allow their defensive approach to try to dictate the match. With defensive tactics in addition to playing long ball football trying to get one chance so they can put away. They will try to park the bus if they have momentum or a lead. One thing, in particular, can break Roma open if Nicolo Barella is at his absolute best and he’s able to create opportunities from the Midfield it could create some problems for Roma. Leonardo Pavarotti provided he is capable of putting away chances so if they are created from the Midfield Nicolo Barella has all abilities in the world to create that. He is My key player for this matchup he cannot afford to have another poor display against this team it isn’t solely on his shoulders but he will carry a majority of that weight.
The bottom line is this-this is a game Roma cannot afford to lose. They are in a very competitive Champions League race and they cannot afford to slip out of it especially to a team closer to the bottom of the table. I do not believe Cagliari is in a relegation battle they are closer to the bottom of the table than the top but even so, they don’t have a lot to play for. Roma could come out with a vengeance trying to get revenge of the absolute horror show they witnessed last time against them. However with all that being said it is incredibly difficult to play these teams at the bottom of the table because every match means so much for their status in the league. Even though all I do not believe they will be relegated there still in a survival situation mindset. Top to bottom Roma are the better team and they’re playing at the Stadio Olimpico a place they have been dangerous at many times this season. Roma have everything on the line here and I doubt they will take this lightly they know what they need to do and they must find a way to get through the rough parts and secure the points they need. Roma will have to counteract Cagliari ‘s defensive style using pace from El Shaarawy & Justin Kluivert to keep them off balance and cause them to be disoriented. The one thing that’s different since the last time is Antonio’s Mirante is in goal he has been an upgrade to Robin Olson and has barely conceded very many goals since he’s taking over the job. His experience will certainly show and make things very difficult. From the attacking perspective, they will use a smart intelligent passing, especially through the defensive Midfield to create serious problems. If they’re able to find the space and get El Shaarawy in dangerous situations eventually they will convert. That goes along with a young Justin Kluivert who is capable of getting through a past anyone with his ridiculous Pace off the ball if service is given not to mention the depths with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Edin Dzeko Rome will have Off the Bench they should Coast to a victory it will be a battle no question in my mind Roma must win this game. However, even though Cagliari will be heavy underdogs in the match especially in Rome they have the firepower to get the job done if necessary. This match will come down to desire because both teams are capable of coming out of this match. Roma has more to play for the Champions League race is incredibly tight. I think they fight off a resilient team to secure a win as I see them getting revenge on the collapse that occurred earlier this season.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Antonio Mirante
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Alexandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Stephen Nzonzi
ATT MID: Nicolo Zaniolo, Nicolo Zaniolo, Justin Kluivert
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Claudio Raneri
Cagliari’s Projected starting XI 3-5-2
Cagliari Manger: Rolando Maran
Bryan Cristante & Nicolo Barella
Date: Saturday April 27th, 2019
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Kickoff: 11:00AM (USA) 5:00PM (ENG), 6:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+