Roma travel to Emilia-Romagna this weekend to face Bologna in a pivotal Serie A showdown with Champions League place implications. As it stands, Roma currently occupy the third place in the Serie A table with 59 points while Inter, who have a match in hand, have 55 points with Lazio just behind at 54 points. Given that the latter two have relatively easy match ups this weekend, against Verona and Benevento respectively, the Giallorossi find themselves in a must-win situation against the Rossoblu.
Bologna are in decent form as they’ve won two of their previous five matches and are coming off a good result against Lazio, who they drew 1-1 at the Stadio Olimpico before the international break. Roma, meanwhile, have won four of their previous five away matches in Serie A and find themselves in the midst of arguably their best form of the entire season.
However, with next week’s Champions League showdown against Barcelona on the horizon, Roma find themselves with a prototypical “trap” match at their feet as Bologna could potentially nab points off the Giallorossi should they overlook Roberto Donadoni’s side.
Bologna’s weakest area of the pitch is undoubtedly their midfield. Roberto Donadoni does not have much individual quality at his disposal for the middle of the pitch; however, as a unit they tend to make up for each other’s individual deficiencies.
Roma’s midfield, though, has been on fire as of late and has been one of the main reasons for their recent successes. One of the standouts over the course of the last month has been captain Daniele De Rossi. Danielino has rolled back the clock and has been, perhaps, the best performer for the Giallorossi recently. He will likely find himself up against Bologna’s Andrea Poli in the middle of the pitch and will be tasked with trying to cut off the supply to Rossoblu’s attack.
The Giallorossi will also have to be stout in defence, particularly on the flanks. Bologna right winger Simone Verdi has been in great form all season as he’s the top scorer for the mid-table side. His performances have even caught the interest of several big clubs across Europe, including Roma and Napoli. Verdi will undoubtedly prove to be the greatest scoring threat to the Giallorossi, so left back Aleksandar Kolarov, who isn’t shy of venturing forward in attack, will have to be attentive in defence and cannot afford to be caught out of position.
Roma (4-2-3-1): Alisson; Florenzi, Manolas, Fazio, Kolarov; De Rossi, Strootman; Perotti, Nainggolan, El Shaarawy; Dzeko
Bologna (4-3-3): Santurro; Torosidis, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Poli, Pulgar, Dzemaili; Verdi, Destro, Palacio
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