Roma is coming off an impressive victory against SPAL largely contributed by the second-half display that propelled them back into the top four. It is the final matchday before the two-week Christmas break that will take place following Roma’s match on Friday. It will certainly be an important one as that they prepare to take on a tough of Florentina team that recently just earned a hard-fought point with Inter Milan one of the title favorites. This is a team that Roma can handle but they have the ability to give them some trouble. Last season they split the season series with a point spared in both matches. This is a different Roma but equally, it is a different Florentina. Will Roma go on the road and beat Florence? Or will Florentina find a way to defend bare ground for the second consecutive week? In terms of quality, the match favors Roma as the Romans look to end the year on a high note but it’s easier said than done. What will unravel we will find out on a Friday night in Florence.
A.S Roma 9-5-2 4th 32Pts
Roma in all likelihood will not make too many changes ahead of this match. It is important that Roma put and a really strong performance as Florentina is a quality side at least on paper. Despite that this Roma team has dealt with so many injuries this season it’s not worth putting too many things at risk. I expect Roma to come out of the 4-2-3-1 formation as they always do. In goal, as we typically see will be the Spaniard Pau Lopez. The backline should look relatively similar with only one change that I can see happening. At left-back as always should be Alex Kolarov. Beside him should be the center-back partnership Gianluca Mancini and Federico Fazio. Mancini is coming off suspension and should return to the starting lineup. Chris Smalling might be able to play on Friday but I would not risk it especially given how important he has been to Roma’s backline. Then at right-back, we should see Alessandro florenzi once again even though he has not been that consistent this season a promising performance last weekend should justify an opportunity to win his place back with Paulo Fonseca. In front of the backline should be the defensive Midfield Duo of Jordan veretout and Adamu Diawara. Bryan cristante could be coming back soon as the timetable for his return is mid-January but the duo so far this season when playing together has done really well. It doesn’t make much sense to make a change in the attacking Midfield at this point. In the central position as always one of the best midfielders in Italian football Lorenzo Pellegrini. On the left-wing coming off two back-to-back tremendous performances Diego Perotti. Then on the opposite side on the right-wing should be Roma youngster Nicolo Zaniolo. Justin kluivert should be fit enough to play on Friday. However, the Dutch youngster will be really important for Roma during the second half of the season and because of this, he should start on the bench to avoid aggravating an injury that just has recently healed. However, I would not be surprised if Justin kluivert gets a start on Friday. Then upfront as the main Striker as always should be Edin Dzeko. A really strong lineup the one to watch in this match will be Jordan Veretout since the very beginning of the season he has played more minutes than practically anyone on this team he has been as consistent as anyone this season not to mention this will give him a chance against his former side.
Florentina 4-5-7 14th 17Pts
Florentina has been mixing and marching formations. A large part of this is because what they are doing is not working. Florentina has the talent and the youth but they are having issue scoring goals especially in important games. However, on this occasion, I think it is important that Florentina maintain their 3-5-2 formation. A big reason why is it will give them several defensive midfielders to operate in front of a Florentina backline that isn’t scaring anyone. As always in goal is expected to be a Dragowski who is a really young talented goalkeeper with the ability to reach a top-level. His backline is likely to consist of Milankovitch at right-back. Martín Cáceres at left-back and Pezzella in the center back position. In this formation, Florentina has five midfielders in front of the backline. Two of them will operate in an attacking position while three of them will have defensive assignments. Right in front of the left-back should be Lirola next to him will be Erick Pulgar who will be one of the attacking midfielders in this setup. Beside him in a defensive position is likely to be Badelj. Beside him will be the youngster the sensation Castrovilli also in an attacking position. Then on the opposite side sitting in front of the left-back will be Chagas Estevso. Upfront as Florentina’s attackers will be Federico Chiesa and Vlahovic. The key player for Florentina is without question Federico Chiesa when he is at his best he is as talented and skilled as any player at his age in all of Italian football. If Florentine and get the best out of Federico Chiesa in this game they might have a chance otherwise it’s going to be very difficult.
Roma is the significantly the better team in this matchup however it is going to be a lot tougher then it might seem. Florentina is on the verge of desperation there were a lot of expectations of what this team could possibly be this season and they have failed to live up to it. Montella is on the brink of losing his job. Florentina has lost four of their last five games however as I mentioned the draw that they got was against the best team in the league this season Inter Milan. This may seem odd given the form of each team but this could be an incredibly tough match on Roma. Last season in two games Roma failed to beat them despite having a team with more Talent. This is a different Roma and Florentina that will be realized early. Paulo Fonseca is a genius of attacking football and has a team that can rip any team apart. However, the talents on Florentina is undeniable. Back to the front, they have players that from a talent standpoint are outrageous. Vladovic Federico Chiesa and Castrovilli one of the best youngsters this season. This is one of the main reasons why Florentina has a chance in this game. This will be toughly contested for 90 minutes. This will give Roma more problems then one might expect. However, despite that, the expectations should still be a Roma victory. There will be moments in which Things become difficult but equally, Roma can cause so many problems on Florentina. Roma’s defense is solid especially if Chris Smalling does play. Even with Gianluca Mancini alone in the center back position, it will make things really difficult on Florentina. The way Roma wins this game is through the defensive Midfield. We know how they can attack with Lorenzo Pellegrini who has incredible passing Vision as well as the explosiveness of Nicolo zaniolo Diego Perotti and the goal-scoring threat of Edin Dzeko. The two players that Florentina will need to pay the most attention to are Adamo Diawara who has progressed massively since the beginning of the season as well as Jordan veretout. A player that they are familiar with having played with Florentina the last several seasons. These two players dictate everything if they are able to find space to push the ball forward Roma could be incredibly antagonizing on the counter. That’s not to mention they had defensive abilities to stop attacks from happening on the other end. Florentina’s biggest job is trying to find the gaps in the middle and the problem is Roma’s Duo can fill those gaps and make things improbable. The talent Florentina has is not debatable they have talented players all over the place Florentina even has an opportunity to grab some momentum especially playing at home. However, in what I expect to be a tightly-contested game Roma has too much firepower. They will pressurize Roma and have a game plan prepared but unfortunately because all of the athleticism intelligence and the ability to come forward on the counter it won’t be enough to stop the Romans. Roma can score goals from multiple places Florentina Even though they could catch Roma on a bad day they don’t have enough to overcome that in a tough game.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Pau Lopez
DEF:Alex Kolarov ,Gianluca Mancini ,Fedrico Fazio, Alessandro Florenzi
DEF MID: Jordan Veretout, Adamou Diawara
ATT MID: Diego Perotti, Lorenzo Pellagrini,Nicolo Zaniolo
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Paulo Fonseca
Florentina’s Projected starting XI 3-5-2
DEF: Cáceres ,Pezzella, Milankovitch
MID: Lirola,Erick Pulgar,Badelj,Castrovilli,Chagas Estevso
Striker: Federico Chiesa and Vlahovic.
Manager: Vincenzo Montella
Players to Watch
Roma’s Jordan Veretout & Florentina’s Federico Chiesa
Date: Sunday December 20th
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi
Kickoff: 1:45AM (USA) 7:45PM (ENG), 8:45PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+