Following a two-week winter break Italian football returns. League action Serie A is back as we prepare for the second half of the season. Roma finds themselves in fourth place after the break. Before the break, they pulverized Florentina as they ultimately led to the firing of Montella in Roma’s 4-1 victory in Florence. There has been a lot of positives with this Roma team as they very well could bargain their way into the title race. To kick off the new year Roma travel to the Stadio Grande Torino to Face a struggling Torino team who has not been able to recapture the magic they displayed last season where they were on the verge of getting into the Europa League. Last season Roma beat Torino in both meetings a stoppage-time winner from edin Dzeko on The Opening matchday of last season in a 1-0 victory and a 3-2 victory in their second meeting at home. Roma has proven to be a very good road team this season and will go into this match as the favorites. However, you never know what can happen it will be one of the better matches to start the new year with both teams having something to prove. Roma trying to prove they can be true title contenders or at least enter the conversation. Meanwhile, for Torino, they need to turn around the first part of the season to try to build off some of the momentum they displayed last season they have lost themselves slightly to start the new year against a tough team this will be a test that could help them. Will Roma go into the Stadio Grande Torino and pick up the three points were all expecting or do we have an upset on our hands? We will find all that out and more when Torino and Roma go to battle on a Sunday night in Turin.
A.S Roma: 4th
Paulo Fonseca and Roma should not make that many adjustments from the team they had to end in 2019. With several players recovering from injuries Roma could get their squad back very soon. However, given the status of the available players, it should look more or less the same as what we saw against Florentina. In goal as always would be the Spaniard Pau Lopez. Roma will likely put out their typical defensive structure and set up that we have seen so far this season. At left-back Alex Kolarov, beside him is likely to be the center-back partnership of Gianluca Mancini and Chris Smalling. Then at right-back, it will be either Alessandro Florenzi or Leonardo Spinazzola but in this case, I think Florenzi is more likely to get the start base don form. In front of the backline in the defensive Midfield should be the duo of Jordan Veretout and Diawara the pair has done really well together since the absence of a Bryan cristante with an injury. He should return to the team in the next few weeks as we are looking at a likely January 20th return. In Roma’s attacking Midfield Roma are likely to go with their best availability. Unfortunately, that does not include Cengiz Under who has been rumored for a move away from this January. In the center position, Roma is the most insistent player this season Lorenzo Pellegrini who has been on fire since returning from his injury. On the left-wing Justin kluivert who has since returned from injury and he’s healthy and ready to go. The Dutchman in all likelihood will return to the starting lineup. On the opposite side on the right-wing none other than Roma’s youngster Nicolo Zaniolo. Been upfront as Roma’s main Striker out of a 4-2-3-1 formation will surely be Edin Dzeko. Roma will also have some depth on the bench with Hendrick Mkhitaryan and Diego Perotti.
Even though Torino is in 10th Place they have significantly struggled this season compared to what they did last year. They don’t have the same Killer Instinct or strong defense that made them successful in the past. The last five games are split down the middle for the most part. But they have a beat in Genoa and Florentina even though I believe Florence is a better team. They are capable of getting points but as I said are not the same team anymore and have been pummeled by several teams this season. Torino typically operates out of the 3-4-2-1 formation. In goal as always arguably to Torino’s most important player will surely be Sirigu. Torino’s backline is likely to consist of Izzo Nkoulou and Lorenzo di Silvestri. In Torino’s lineup with a four-man Midfield. Which has been almost interchangeable I would be surprised if there’s an adjustment in that area. In the center, the position is likely to be Thomas Rincon and Lukic on the outside is expected to be Alina and ansaldi who is in terrific form this season has been one of the better players for this team during this campaign. In front of the Midfield in the attacking position operating beneath the striker. It is likely to be a Verdi and Simone ZaZa. Then upfront as always Torino’s main Striker should be Andrea Belotti. Torino’s defense has been abysmal this season so because of this Sirigiu is the key player for Torino if he has a great game and is able to perform at a high-level Torino may be able to hang in the game longer than many expect them to.
Roma has a tough schedule to start the new season and because of this the game actually has more importance than it might seem. Lazio still remains ahead of them in the standings and despite the fact that they have looked really good this season they are not a better team than Roma. As long as both of these teams are in Europe Roma should be trying to overtake them and get into the title race more so than they already have. Paulo Fonseca has changed their playing with momentum and confidence that we have not seen in the past. Even though they have struggled in Europe this season in the league they have been pretty consistent outside of a couple of fixtures. Meanwhile, Torino is in utter chaos. They have not been able to live up to the expectations and the strong defense that they had last season has evaporated. They are getting pummeled more often then they should this game will be a tough battle for both teams but because of the defensive issues that Torino have, it’s going to make things sway in Roma’s Direction. With Lorenzo Pellegrini and a Roma attack that features young talents like Justin kluivert and Nicolo zaniolo as well as in edin Dzeko who can score a goal, it’s going to be difficult. Andrea Belotti can turn it on when he wants to and when it’s required. However, in the past, that has not proven to be enough. A problem with Torino is they do not have enough offensive Firepower and in addition to that their defense is so leaky. the reason for Torino will have a problem in this game is because of those two components. Meanwhile, Roma has one of the best defenses in the entire League. Roma plays mistake-free they will find a way through and break this game open. I think on paper this looks like it’s going to be a very tough and close game but in reality, Roma has the potential to run through them. Florentina is a better team than Torino and Roma just went up to Florence a few weeks ago and crushed them. With the speed and Pace on the outside that they have with Justin kluivert coming back into the team and the passing efficiency that Lorenzo Pellegrini has displayed every single week, it’s going to be a problem. There will be times throughout the match where it will appear to be close but in the end, Roma have the momentum even though they’re playing away from home they have beaten Torino twice last season and because of their decline, they’re going to have issues keeping up with the attacking football that Paulo Fonseca that his Roma team plays. There will be a moment where Roma pull away and punish Torino at home.
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: Justin kluivert, Lorenzo Pellagrini,Nicolo Zaniolo
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Paulo Fonseca
Torino’s Projected starting XI 3-4-2-1
DEF: Izzo,Nkoulou, Di Silversi
Manager: Walter Mazzarri
Players to Watch
Silvester Sirigu & Lorenzo Pellegrini
Date: Sunday January 5th
Venue: Stadio Grande Torino
Kickoff: 1:45AM (USA) 7:45PM (ENG), 8:45PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+