Roma score 5 goals in 2 games amidst controversial encounter with Serie A leaders Milan

The week started in the Europa League for Roma as they took on Young Boys of Switzerland and won their Group A clash 2-1. It was the first game of the competition for the Giallorossi who found themselves 1-0 down early on courtesy of a Jean-Pierre Nsame penalty.

It wasn’t until the 2nd half that Roma got to grips with the game and the equaliser came from an unlikely hero in Bruno Peres. Five minutes later Marash Kumbulla made it 2-1 for the visitors as the Italians took hold of the game. The win will be welcomed as Roma try and negotiate a way out of the group stages.

It was an emotional winner from Kumbulla who went on to dedicate his goal to the club and all the help they have given his career. Coach Paolo Fonseca said: ”It was not an easy game, as let’s not forget that even Juventus lost here a few years ago and Young Boys won 15 home matches in a row. It was important to get the win and we did well. There’s still a long way to go in the group and the season. We rested a few players and can now focus on Milan in Serie A.”

And the Milan game was something in itself. The match finished 3-3 which was a positive for Roma as Milan lost their 100% start to the league but the game was marred in controversy of two penalties which looked like soft ones and naturally changed the nature of the game.

Referrer Pierre Giacomelli and VAR assistant Luigi Nasca are being reported to have been suspended for one month. This news hasn’t been confirmed but if true then Italian football is taking the right approach on the mistakes that were made in the game. Time and again odd decisions around Europe are being made even with the technology of VAR which is sometimes not even being used and when it is a decision that everyone thinks will go one way goes another. This is a welcome call and many more suspensions need to be served out across other leagues.

The first error of judgement came when Ismael Bennacer and Pedro simply collided as they both went for a loose ball and yet Pedro was adjudged to have been fouled but it just seemed like a normal clash between players, Milan were obviously furious and Roma scored from the penalty awarded.

Then after it felt as if the officials needed to level up the mistake and gave Milan a penalty after Hakan Calhanoglu was adjudged to have been fouled, Both seemed like weak decisions which seems to have been confirmed now by the Italian FA.

Roma’s next two games will begin later today on October 29th when they return to play in the Europa League against CSKA Sofia and they will be the favourites to win that one and keep their 100% record in Europe. At the weekend the club will play Fiorentina at home and in fact this is a moment that Fonseca’s side will want to take full advantage of the fact that they remain at home for their next three games in a row.

As for the fantasy points with another goal for Jordan Veretout he continues to have the most points for Roma and heads into another week with 19 so far.

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Giallorossi

Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Six – Top Matches

INTER-PARMA

Inter: Romelu Lukaku suffered a thigh injury that will cost him at least one game and the Nerazzurri will have to make up for the loss of their target man, something that rarely happened last year. Alexis Sanchez is dealing with a small problem as well, therefore Lautaro Martinez, who has slowed down after opening the campaign with three straight goals, will have to shoulder the attack, then they will hope Andrea Pinamonti can be decent right away. They also briefly used Ivan Perisic as second-striker in the last game. Stefano Sensi is back on the shelf with his customary muscular problems: Christian Eriksen had some flashes last week, but so far him and Marcelo Brozovic have produced nothing too exciting. Their best midfielder has been Nicolò Barella (two assists), while Arturo Vidal has mostly taken care of the dirty work. At some point Radja Nainggolan will get in on the action, but it has not happened yet. Fortunately, Achraf Hakimi (one goal, two assists) was a false positive and he will resume plowing the flank from the start here, while Ashley Young has shaken off the virus and will challenge Ivan Perisic, who has been solid (two assists) but has not really taken off. Their back-line has improved with Alessandro Bastoni back in the fold.

Recommended picks: Martinez, Perisic, Hakimi.  Continue reading

AC Milan 3-3 Roma: Rossoneri fail to secure win as horrible refereeing taints frustrating affair

Milan continued their unbeaten run this evening, taking the tally up to 22 games, but will be frustrated not to have secured the win. Roma came back from behind three times and the game was ultimately tainted by horrible refereeing, with two non-existent penalties awarded to change the course of the game. 

Stefano Pioli’s men started the game in the best way possible as Rafael Leao gound Zlatan Ibrahimovic with a lovely pass. The Swede got there before Antonio Mirante and didn’t need another touch to score the goal, giving his side the lead after less than two minutes played.  Continue reading

AC Milan vs. Roma: Serie A Round 5 – Team news, stats and prediction

Having won all of their league games thus far this season, Milan will be looking to claim yet another three points as Roma will visit San Siro tomorrow evening. Although the Giallorossi are five points behind in the standings, it won’t be an easy game for Stefano Pioli’s men. 

The Rossoneri are currently on a 21-game unbeaten run and have been praised for their approach at the start of this season. The exciting football we saw in the post-lockdown period of last season wasn’t a fluke, as proved by the players, and this has certainly increased the hype around the club.  Continue reading

Roma crush Benevento to head back into the top 10 in Serie A

After back to back wins Roma are now in the top 10 in Serie A after an initial slow start and after four games played are 8th and just five points behind current league leaders AC Milan.

Roma were widely expected to beat Benevento and let no one down as they powered through to a 5-2 win at Stadio Olimpico. But the visitors were not just going to roll over and gave Fillipo Inzaghi’s side a few scares.

Indeed in just the fifth minute Benevento took the lead through Gianlula Caprari’s shot which actually took quite a deflection before looping in and beating the goalkeeper for a freak goal.

From then on the game was predictable as Roma had the lions share of possession and made some good attacks although it took until just after the half hour stage to see Roma equalise through Pedro and bad defending.

Roma then took the lead just four minutes later through Edin Dzeko who after good work simply had to tap it in against a naive Benevento defence which were being torn apart by the pace of the home side. Soon after Roma thought they had a third goal but this was rightly ruled out for offside by VAR. The first half ended 2-1 to Roma and the second half seemed like it would be a formality.

However against the odds Benvento would be the next team to score and pull the game back to 2-2 after the 55th minute through Gianluca Lapadula. Jordan Veretout who is having a solid start to the season gave away a penalty after some confusion in their own box and Lapadula then missed the spot kick but got the rebound and suddenly we were in for a shock result.

However in the 69th minute Veretout made amends when Roma were awarded their own penalty when the goalkeeper fouled Pedro. Veretout stood up and made no mistakes to give Roma the lead once more.

Eight minutes later the game was effectively wrapped up as Dzeko struck again and again it was a simple tap in after good build up play where he couldn’t really miss. By this point Benevento who had worked hard throughout the match had given up the ghost and with just one minute left of the game Roma got their 5th.

It came through Carles Perez who may have scored the contender for goal of the season. Starting in his own half he beat 3 players before confidently smashing the ball home. Had Lionel Messi did that over the weekend the headlines would surely be tripping over themselves. It was a great win for Roma and their next game will be away to leaders AC Milan it what should be a mouthwatering encounter.

Top Roma performers in fantasy league so far:

1. Jordan Veretout 15pts

2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan 10pts

3. Antonio Mirante 10pts

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Serie A Fantasy Preview – Round Four – Top Matches

NAPOLI-ATALANTA

Napoli: they did not get to play the third game because of well-known reasons, but the first two were pretty indicative. Victor Osimhen has yet to score, but he has had a major impact anyway and he is bound to break through soon. In the meantime, Dries Mertens has led the charge (two goals, two assists), helped by the resurgent Hirving Lozano, who has kept up the momentum from the restart. The injury to Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski and Elijf Elmas getting COVID might slow down the deployment 4-2-3-1 in full force, but that should be the way forward and the arrival of Tiemoué Bakayoko cements it. The absences could give Matteo Politano and/or Stanislav Lobotka a bigger role than usual and the former scored in the Genoa romp. If Atalanta do not adjust the way they defend, they could make some sweet music on counters.

Continue reading

Dzeko could sign new contract with Roma as club prepares for the return of Serie A

Only a couple of weeks ago it seemed certain that Roma striker Edin Dzeko was heading out of the club to join champions Juventus. However a last minute deal fell through and instead Dzeko will stay at Roma, but now there are reports that instead of just staying for this season and then looking at his options the 34 year old could sign a new contract.

Dzeko’s current contract doesn’t end until 2022 when he will be 36, and yet reports from Italy suggest an extension on top of that might be imminent. This latest contract doesn’t mean that Dzeko won’t be sold though and could just be put in place to put a higher leaving fee on the player. Otherwise it would seem odd that Roma would want to keep a striker on their books until he was 37 plus years age. At the same time Dzeko has been a hit for the club scoring 106 goals since his move in 2015 which is almost a scoring ratio of 1 in 2.

Coronavirus update and testing on players

With so many players testing positive for Covid-19 and the latest news breaking that Cristiano Ronaldo also has the virus, testing of course is of extreme importance. The latest batch of tests have revealed just one positive. Amadou Diawara will now self isolate but did confirm that he was feeling well. Every other player has tested negative.

Looking ahead to the weekend

Roma will play their 4th game of the season on Sunday when they will host Benevento. Paulo Fonseca’s team will be the odds on favourites to win the match and should, in theory, have little trouble against the visitors.

Although hold caution to the wind given that Benevento have started the season well with 2 wins from three games and are in 7th place. Benevento have beaten Bologna and Sampdoria although they did lose 5-2 at home against Inter. Roma come into this game in 10th place with one win, one draw and one defeat although a win here would see them leap frog Benevento.

Sad news for Roma legend Francesco Totti

There was terrible news for Francesco Totti, the Roma legend’s father passed away due to complications from Covid-19 highlighting how dangerous the pandemic is. Enzo Totti was 76 and had been in ill health recently as he had suffered a heart attack a few years ago. This will come as devastating news for the many fans and followers of Roma.

Top 3 best Roma players in fantasy football heading into Matchday 4

How many Roma players do you have in your fantasy football team? Do you have the right ones? Let’s check out the top 3 players that have accumulated the most points since the beginning of the season, and use the links to check out their value and stats.

1. Jordan Veretout- 12pts

2. Antonio Mirante-  12pts

3. Ibanez -                9pts

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Pedro helps Roma to their first win of the season but club post record debts

Roma’s new signing Pedro scored his 1st goal for the club as they beat Udinese away 1-0 and that resulted in their first win of the season.

It’s been a slow start for Roma who have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 1 but the victory at the weekend took the club up to 10th place and they are 5 points behind the current leaders Atalanta.

Pedro took his goal well and ran with the ball before unleashing a 25 yard screamer that was unstoppable. It was a magic moment in a game that lacked real quality from both sets of teams.

It was an important result for the Giallorossi as going to Udinese is never an easy task. After the game Roma coach Paulo Fonseca had this to say: “In the first half we continually played in Udinese’s final third, but they were dangerous when breaking on the counter. We weren’t aggressive enough when we lost possession, but still created good situations. After the break we managed to get the goal and the team remained united to bring home the result, which was the most important thing. Roma are a very attack-minded team, but Udinese’s style in the closing stages forced us to sit deeper. The team is playing well with Lorenzo Pellegrini in his current midfield position and we’ll see in future whether he remains there.”

El Shaarawy deals falls through but Smalling is back

Stephan El Shaarawy almost rejoined Roma on transfer deadline day but the move collapsed at the final hurdle with El Shaarawy claiming that the blame did not lie with him. The Italian left Roma to join Chinese side Shanghai Shenhua last season where he has scored just once in 16 games. With the Chinese league suspended until February it was thought that he could re join Roma up until then but that won’t happen now.

Still there was some good news as Chris Smalling completed a permanent transfer to the club after his successful loan period last season. Such was that news that fans even went to the airport to greet Smalling who has now officially left Manchester United.

New Balance and record losses

Roma reported the 2nd biggest lost in Italian football over a season as they came up short by 204m euros. Only Inter Milan a decade before reported higher losses. The club though have been busy looking for new sponsors and it appears that New Balance will take over from Nike, though this has yet to be confirmed.

When the league returns Roma will  be at home to Benevento where they will be the huge favourites to win that and hopefully move up the table and get their season fully on track.

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Five low-cost Fantasy Serie A options

The new Fantasy Serie A season is in full swing after three action-packed match-days and will soon return following the international break. As is the case every year, there are a few players that have flown under the radar and are available cheaply. Keep these bargains in mind ahead of the next gameweek!

Without further ado, here are five low-cost options that could take your Fantasy Serie A team to the next level:

1) Achraf Hakimi (Inter) 4.5 million euros.

The Moroccan international has hit the ground running since making the switch to Italy, registering one goal and two assists in his first two games. Hakimi is a match-made in heaven for Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 and should only improve as the season wears on. The former Borussia Dortmund man is available for a mere 4.5 million euros and should feature on any fantacalcio side. Considering he’s listed as a defender, Hakimi will even earn you points for clean sheets.

2) Edin Dzeko (Roma) 5.37 million euros. 

The Roma man looked set to leave the capital-based club this summer but ultimately remained with Paulo Fonseca’s men. Dzeko hasn’t gotten off to the best start to the new season, spurning easy chances against Juventus and failing to find the back of the net in Roma’s last game. Regardless, the towering striker is always good value for money and should find himself back on the scoresheet sooner rather than later. At 5.37M, Dzeko represents great value and could give you the flexibility to bolster your side elsewhere.

3) Jeremie Boga (Sassuolo) 4.5 million euros.

The Ivorian winger has missed Sassuolo’s first two games through injury but should return to action shortly. The international break helps Boga in this respect, affording him a further two weeks to return to full fitness and should allow him to pick up from where he left off last season. Few wingers are as dangerous as Boga in Italy, as the Sassuolo man is regularly looking to take on his man. Factor in the deadly Domenico Berardi and Francesco Caputo and Boga should find assists easy to come by. It may be worth adding him to your bench temporarily, as his price will skyrocket once he’s back in the lineup.

4) Simon Kjaer (Milan) 4.5 million euros.

The former Palermo man has since established himself as one of Stefano Pioli’s pillars at the back, stepping up admirably in Alessio Romagnoli’s absence. Milan has picked up clean sheets in their first three games with Kjaer emerging as one of their leaders at the back. As Romagnoli nears his return to the pitch, Milan’s rearguard will only get better and allow Kjaer to play a complementary role once more. At 4.5 million euros, you would be foolish not to add the Danish international to your side.

5) Jose Callejon (Fiorentina) 4.5 million euros. 

The veteran winger recently joined Fiorentina as a free agent and should slot in seamlessly from on the right-wing for the departed Federico Chiesa. Callejon will be raring to go after being released by Napoli and has demonstrated a keen eye for goal over his career. It hasn’t quite worked out for Beppe Iachini since assuming the reigns, but a front three of Franck Ribery, Christian Kouame, and Callejon, backed by Castrovilli, Pulgar, and Amrabat should be able to open up any side. Another 4.5 million euros bargain.

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Andrea Pirlo learns tough lesson in first test against Roma

Andrea Pirlo’s managerial career has gotten off to an impressive start, opening the season with a convincing win against Sampdoria. Most recently, Juventus came from behind twice to draw Roma, doing so with a man down for the better part of the second half. While four points out of a possible six is a good start for the rookie tactician, Juve’s draw against Roma demonstrated Pirlo still has a lot to learn on the touchline.

The former midfielder deployed an unconventional formation, starting Juan Cuadrado at left wingback and Dejan Kulusevski on the opposite wing. Alvaro Morata joined Cristiano Ronaldo up front with Aaron Ramsey roaming dangerously behind them. Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot were tasked once more with dictating the tempo and breaking up play, and both largely struggled.

In many ways, Pirlo got it wrong. His decision to shift Kulusevski wide and field Morata from the start simply did not work, and the Spaniard struggled to impose himself. Kulusevski’s influence in the final third was reduced from the wide position and needs to play more centrally; be it alongside Ronaldo or in Ramsey’s free-roaming role.

Beyond getting the front two wrong, fielding Cuadrado at left wingback was an odd choice altogether. The Colombian international has rarely featured on the left and looked out of place for the most part of the game. Last week, Cuadrado did not have his best game, but still filtered in dangerous crosses from the familiar right side. Moving forward, Pirlo will need to find an answer in Alex Sandro’s absence. Whether it’s Mattia De Sciglio or Gianluca Fabrotta remains to be seen, but Cuadrado simply isn’t the solution.

Ultimately, the biggest difference was the midfield battle. The duo of McKennie and Rabiot were excellent against Sampdoria but were largely left to fend for themselves against Roma. As a result, Juve’s backline was exposed on many occasions on the break. The Giallorossi bypassed them with ease throughout the ninety minutes, passing through the double pivot at will.

Pirlo persisted with both McKennie and Rabiot regardless, with the latter eventually picking up his second yellow. The decision to keep Rabiot on the pitch despite his yellow and overall poor performance highlighted Pirlo’s inexperience and is a lesson that will serve him well in the future.

As a whole, the Juventus manager will be happy with his side’s first two games. Pirlo has them learning a new system, alternating freely between a back three and four and for the first time in two seasons, they are committing many men forward. There will undoubtedly be growing pains with this new system but at the very least, the early signs are encouraging.

It won’t get any easier for Juventus next week as they take on Gennaro Gattuso’s high-flying Napoli. The Partenopei have gotten off to a phenomenal start to the season and are as good a test as any for Pirlo’s new-look Juventus. It may be early days, but Juventus are heading in a clear direction under Pirlo – even if the Azzurri legend will make mistakes along the way.

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