Match preview: Roma – Bologna

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A clash between father and son in Roma, with Federico and Eusebio going head to head Saturday evening.

The games are coming thick and fast for Bologna, and it’s another strong opponent for Bologna to deal with tonight. Roma, under new coach Eusebio Di Francesco, have looked strong so far this season. Currently in 5th place, only four points behind Lazio in 4th with a game in hand, Roma are once again challenging in the top of the Serie A.

Before the season started, many people questioned the new Roma coach and his lack of experience at a top club. Several clubs had ambitions before the season to qualify for the Champions League, and many therefore questioned if Di Francesco and Roma would be able to achieve it. So far it has looked good for Roma, and their defending has been impeccable. With only five conceded goals thus far, they are currently the team with the fewest goals conceded. In addition to this has Edin Dzeko continued his form from last year, already having scored seven goals in the league.

The game tonight will undoubtedly be a tough one. We have struggled this season with scoring goals, and against a great defensive team like Roma will it take quite a lot to break through their defence. However, our second half against Lazio on Wednesday gives me hope that we can achieve something in this game. We just have to forget about the first half, but at the same time learn from the mistakes. We can achieve a positive result against Roma if we are able to keep hold of the ball, concentrate throughout the ninety minutes, and most importantly, score some goals.

After the Lazio game there have been some news regarding injuries. Rodrigo Palacio, Cheick Keita, Ibrahima M’baye and Saphir Taïder are all still out. As mentioned in yesterday’s post, Antonio Mirante has also been injured, and he will be out for around 2-3 weeks. This is a big loss going into a tough Roma game, but hopefully Da Costa will perform well.

The team for Roma will most likely be roughly the same as against Lazio, with the exception of Da Costa in for the injured Mirante. We have a big squad, and it is possible that Di Francesco comes into the team again, replacing Krejci. Another possible change is Adam Nagy on for Crisetig, and it is also expected that Andrea Poli will return to the lineup. We have great depth in every position, which makes it hard to guess who’s going to start each game, but it’s a great problem to have. To be able to rotate the team without sacrificing quality is very nice. When there are periods of the season like now, when there are few rest-days between the games, it is essential to rotate the players, something Roberto Donadoni touched upon in his press-conference:

We’re doing well in terms of fitness and we’ve recovered after Wednesday evening. We must now react after our last two results.

Good to hear that the team is recovering after Lazio. Two losses on the bounce now could be damaging for the morale of the team, but it seems like they’ve gotten the losses right out of their minds. Donadoni also talked about the significance of an eventual good result against a strong opponent:

To get a result against a strong team would give us an enormous boost in terms of self-esteem.

Overall, a really tough game is upon us, but if we perform like we all know we’re capable of, a positive result can be achieved tonight. Fingers crossed!

Expected lineups:

Roma: Allison; Peres, Fazio, Moreno, Kolarov; Nainggolan, Gonalons, Strootman; Gerson, Dzeko, Perotti

Bologna: Da Costa; Krafth, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Poli, Nagy, Pulgar; Verdi, Destro, Di Francesco

That’s all for today, I’ll be back here tomorrow with a review of the Roma game!


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