Bologna will be paid a visit by Roma on Saturday. In a showdown between father and son, Eusebio and Federico, Bologna face a very tough challenge. However, the home side performed very well in the last game before the international break against Lazio, and can with a similar performance cause trouble for Roma.
Going into the match, Bologna can take a lot of positives from the last game against Lazio. Three at the back functioned very well, despite Sempre Bologna having criticized it for the last month or so. It has been working against a well-functioning attack, but against Lazio the formation was all about togetherness and denying Lazio space. The side from the capital did not find much room in Bologna’s half, something which was very much thanks to three at the back and a midfield that worked very hard.
Additionally, the attack was more fluid and creative than what has been the case in the games before Lazio. With Simone Verdi and Rodrigo Palacio up front, Lazio had to be on alert throughout the game, something which hampered their attacking power. The duo is expected to start against Roma as well, regardless of what formation Roberto Donadoni chooses.
The team that started against Lazio had some alterations from the previous games. Even though Donadoni stuck with three at the back, he made some interesting alterations. Vasilis Torosidis came in for Federico Di Francesco at right wing back, a change which was very important. Di Francesco is a very talented player, but his talent has been wasted in that position after Donadoni made the change to three at the back. The winger loves to cut inside, he thrives in the centre of the field, and that has left Bologna very narrow on the right hand side. With Torosidis, Bologna kept their width and stretched Lazio.
Antonio Mirante picked up his fifth yellow card of the season versus Lazio (something which is troubling because a goal keeper really should not pick up that many yellow cards) and will have to watch the game from the stands. Angelo da Costa has been out injured for some time, but there are still some concerns regarding the Brazilian’s fitness, which could mean that we’ll see Antonio Santurro in goal for the first time. Having never played a Serie A or Serie B game before, to do so against Roma will be a big challenge for him.
Andrea Poli has returned to training and will probably be included in the line-up, whilst Riccardo Orsolini is still out injured. Emil Krafth picked up an injury on international duty and will therefore not be available for selection.
Formation-wise it is a safe bet to say that Donadoni will probably continue with three at the back. It worked well against Lazio before the international break, as the team was very compact and denied the opposition space. With Palacio and Verdi up front, it should cause some problems for Roma.
However, the last couple of days there have been some rumours saying that Donadoni is considering a switch back to 4-3-3. This would be a welcomed change, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to do it now, against Roma, with the 3-5-1-1 having worked quite well against Lazio. If the coach decides to change it up, that means one more attacking player in the line-up. Two of the three positions up top will be filled by Verdi and Palacio, whilst the last one is up or grabs between Mattia Destro and Di Francesco, although it is the latter who is most likely to start, meaning that Palacio will be the one to play in the centre.
Bologna (3-5-1-1): Santurro; Gonzalez, Roamgnoli, De Maio; Torosidis, Poli, Pulgar, Dzemaili, Masina; Verdi; Palacio
The tough challenges are coming thick and fast for Donadoni’s men. Before the break, Bologna faced a tough game against Lazio, but surprised with a very good performance and got the draw. Now, they face off against Roma and a similar performance is needed to get a positive result.
Photo: Bologna FC