Following three consecutive losses against bologna, Sassuolo, and the last week against Atalanta. Roma have struggled to get out of this funk that they have been in since the start of the new year. Having lost twice as many games since January then the months before. Roma do not have the momentum and confidence right now but they need to find it and soon. It is knockout football as their eyes redirect to the Europa League with a chance to win their first trophy at the club since 2007 as well as potentially being the best path to Champions League football next season. Roma will host Gent on Thursday night at the stadio olimpico with the hope of gaining a lead in a huge match in Europe. Gent currently are in 2nd place in the Belgium league and won their group in Europe. Despite that the last time these two teams played it did not go kindly for them the Belgium side ended up losing 7-1 in the Europa League many years ago. Even if they are stacked against them Roma cannot underestimate the team that will sit in front of them on Thursday night it is really important that Roma get a results and avoid the visitors getting any away goals. Roma will go into this game as heavy favourites and should be able to handle with the job against a team with minimal Starpower. Will Roma defend the stadio olimpico and take an advantage in this cup tie or Will Gent Supply more misery on a Roma team that lacks confidence. We will find all that and more when a Gent and Roma go head-to-head at the stadio olimpico on Thursday night welcome back to knock out football.
A.S Roma 5th in Serie A
Ahead of this much important match I still think there’s a possibility that Paulo Fonseca changes his formation into the 4-1-4-1. However with that being said I thought he would have done that last week so it’s still likely that his team will line up out of the 4-2-3-1 formation again. In goal for Roma we should see no change whatsoever with Pau Lopez between posts. We are likely to see some changes to Roma’s backline. At left-back it should be Alex Kolarov. Beside him the potential center-back partnership of Chris Smalling & Federico Fazio. Then patrolling right back should be Leonardo spinazzola. In front of the Roma back line the defensive Midfield duo of Gianluca Mancini and Bryan cristante who is returning from suspension for this game. His return it to the defensive Midfield will push Lorenzo Pellegrini back into the central part of the Midfield after playing a more defensive role last weekend. With Lorenzo Pellegrini controlling the center we should see the potential of Justin kluivert and Carles Perez on the wings as they provide some explosiveness that they will need in a knockout football match. Then Upfront as the main Striker none other than edin dzeko. Roma will have options on the bench with Gonzalo Villar, Diego perotti, and Hendrick mkhitaryan available.
Gent 2nd In Belgiem Pro League
Gent in the Europa League ended up winning a group that featured Wolfsburg Saint Etienne & Oleksandriya the Belgian side ended up going unbeaten in that group with 12 points from a possible 18 with three wind and three draws. Gent made The Knockout stage of the Europa League in 2017 and 2019 both times making the round of 16. Gent has only made it out of the group stage a couple of times and historically has struggled in Europe. Their best finish was in 1992 when they made the quarter-finals. As I mentioned their worst ever lost in the history of the competition was against Roma in a 7-1 Annihilation back in 2009. Gent is second place in the Belgium League with a small cushion in front a third place while being nine points from the top of the table. This is team that is lead by their forwards that will be the difference in how they perform in this matchup. Gent typically lineup in the 4-1-3-2 formation in goal we should expect to see Kaminski. Their back line consists of Lustig, Plastun, Ngadeu & Mohammadi. They play with one defensive midfielder as Owusu plays that role for the team. In the central Midfield we should expect to see the star power from Jonathan David the team’s leading scorer with 19 goals this season. Beside him on the wings we should see Kums & Odjidja. then up front as the strikers we should see Depoitre & Roman Yaremchuck who has scored 17 goals this season. The key player for this team is Jonathan David who is the creator and has the ability to score goals the Roma defense will have to try to keep him and Roman in check to break their losing streak.
Roma are dealing with an undesirable situation as they are struggling for points in the league and their Champions League Ambitions it seems to be slipping through their fingers. The club has lost three consecutive games and needs a performance to rejuvenate the confidence of the team. In the Europa League in a knockout stage matchup this may be the best time for them to show everyone what they’re made of. Paulo Fonseca historically has done well and knockout competitions he will have his team ready for the challenge that lies ahead. This team has Ambitions to win the Europa League. There’s still a lot of football to be played but as it stands it seems like it could be their best route to get to Champions League football next season. Roma certainly have the squad and the talent to win it. They need to use this match on Thursday night to prove that they are still one of the favorites for the trophy. They didn’t fare as well as they would have liked in the group stage but a match like this can Define their season. They have more experience in competitions like this which should give them a huge advantage in this matchup. Roma has made the Europa League quarter-finals on three occasions in 1983 and 1993 and 1996. Back when it was referred to as the UEFA cup. Past performances isn’t going to help them in this Europa League but it gives them a psychological advantage against a club that has very little experience in European football. It is really important that Roma start strong and stay consistent throughout this campaign the Roma supporters deserve a trophy I’m not saying it’s going to happen but they have to play for the city for the fans because they have been in drought this is their only chance to win a trophy this season. Roma go into this match as slight favorites and have weapons that can be very dangerous in this matchup. It’s hard to say because of the inconsistency of this team however they have all the tools to get the job done. You take Roma Striker Edin Dzeko who has been as consistent as any player in Europe’s top five leagues in his career. Last time he was in the Europa League he was the leading top scorer and let’s not forget he was the driving force behind Roma’s Champions League ride to the semi-final a few years ago. He has experience and has delivered on the big stage has he will be so important in this match he is definitely the one to watch for Roma however you take that along with the explosiveness that Roma could have on the outside with Justin kluivert and Carles Perez two incredibly young players that can make a mark in this cup tie. It won’t happen in the first game but if Roma could get back Diawara for the return leg it could be really important he has been the best player on this team this season and has been slowed down because of injuries if he’s able to return this season he will play a big role. Tomorrow night it’s all about the what they can do right now Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante could be really important in supplying the attack through the Midfield. However that’s easier said than done on paper Roma should be able to get this done quite easily. However the defense needs to be at their highest level because Jonathan David and Roman Have combined for 47 goals in all competitions even though they only have six in the Europa League it’s really important for Roma to do everything they can to try to pull out the stops to slow them down. These pair are as dangerous as any that Rome will see in Europe. If they have space and time to operate and the defense makes mistakes Roma could be in some trouble. Roma need to come together and do everything they can to slow them down surrendering an away goal could be really dangerous. It will be a tough match I actually think Roma will win this 3-1 the away-goal will keep the Belgium side in it but I think Roma have to respond to the way they have played so far this season anything less than three points would be unacceptable all the chips are in the middle of the table Roma must go all out for the Europa League Thursday night will be a test that Roma can deal with.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Pau Lopez
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Chris Smalling, Gianluca Mancini, Leo Spinazzola
DEF MID: Gianluca Mancini, Bryan Cristante
ATT MID: Justin Kluivert, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Carles Perez
Striker: Edin Dzeko
Manager: Paulo Fonseca
Gent’s Projected starting XI 4-1-3-2
DEF: Lustig,Plastun,Ngadeu, Mohammadi
DEF MID: Owusu
ATT MID: David,Kums,Odjidja
Strikers: Depoitre,Roman Yaremchuck
Manager: Jess Thorup
Players to Watch
Jonathan David & Edin Dzeko
Date: Thursday, February 20th, 2020
Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Italy
Kickoff: 2:00PM (USA) 8:00PM (ENG), 9:00PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, Fubotv