AS Roma are back to home comforts this weekend after a mixed bag of football played in the last 7 days in Serie A.
After last Sunday evening defeat to AC Milan, the fortunes were turned in Florence in midweek with a 2-1 away win against a struggling Fiorentina side.
Roma goes into Sunday clash with Genoa with confidence flowing after Amadou Diawara dramatic late winner in Florence. Roma struggled for consistency in the game against Fiorentina, for large parts of the game they found it hard to break down the Fiorentina defence.
Roma’s passing game was off and they struggled for creativity and lacked the cutting edge in the final third as Fiorentina changed the shape to a 4-5-1 from the 3-5-2. Fiorentina dropped deeper and deeper into the own half, it became a lot easier for Roma to get on the ball and find their passing rhythm as they did in the latter part of the game and made Fiorentina pay.
Paulo Fonseca should get credit because he made important changes in the second half and one substitute delivered for him in the final minutes. Rick Karsdorp who replaced Bruno Peres late in the second half, played the telling cross in for Amadou Diawara to ghost in unmarked and score from close range.
Losing Jordan Veretout to a muscle injury is a big blow, it looks like he will miss up to a month of action and this comes at an important time of the season for Roma. 5 games in the 3 weeks before the final international break, losing Veretout for those games will be a massive blow for Paulo Fonseca plans for the next month.
It is time for Amadou Diawara to step in a play a role in the Roma midfield, he has got back to his best in the last few games and showed his qualities in a strong performance midweek against Fiorentina and proved to be the match-winner. That was Amadou Diawara’s second start this season in Serie A, he has found it tough to break into the starting XI this season in Serie A with poor form, injury, and COVID19.
Genoa are the visitors to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon and are in 13th position in the Serie A standings with 27 points from 25 games. Davide Ballardini is in charge of Genoa and this is his 4th stint in the dugout after Rolando Maran was fired on the 21st December, 4 months into a two-year contract.
Davide Ballardini has come in and changed the fortunes for Genoa on the pitch, in the 12 games in charge Genoa have picked up 20 points. 5 wins 5 draws and just 2 defeats have seen Genoa risen from the second bottom to as high as 11th in the Serie A standings in just over two months.
One defeat in the last 9 games, but Genoa are winless in the last 4 games picking up just 3 points from 12 points available. Draws against Torino, Hellas Verona, and in midweek against Sampdoria in the Derby Della Lanterna has seen Genoa stumble for form in this packed schedule in recent weeks.
The defeat away to Inter Milan was the last defeat in the last 9 games, a 3-0 defeat in the San Siro. A game where Genoa conceded in the opening minute and Inter Milan sealed the win in the space of 7 second-half minutes thanks to a double from Alexis Sanchez.
Davide Ballardini has stuck with a 3-5-2 formation since his arrival before Christmas for his 4th stint as coach for Genoa. Averaging 1.67 points per game and has made Genoa hard to beat, only Sassuolo and Inter Milan have defeat Genoa in his tenure in Serie A. Atalanta, Lazio, and Napoli have all struggled to take maximum points of Genoa under Ballardini tenure.
The key players to watch out for in the Genoa side:
Former AS Roma striker Mattia Destro is having a renaissance of a 2020/21 season with Genoa. 9 goals and 1 assist in 20 league appearances this season and has put the past few seasons of bad form behind him. Destro is 1 goal away from equalling the scoring tally combined over the last 3 seasons combined at Bologna and Genoa.
Goalless in the entirety of the 2019-20 season, in 2017-18 Destro scored 6 and in 2018-19 he scored 4. This season in Genoa he has found his scoring boots, Destro was in a purple patch from matchday 12 to match 20 with 8 goals in 8 games including two doubles against AC Milan and Crotone. He will be coming back to Rome to prove a point against his former employees.
The second and final player to watch out for in the Genoa side is Gianluca Scamacca, 2 goals in 16 games for Genoa this season in Serie A. But has found form in the Coppa Italia with 4 goals in 3 games for Genoa in the cup competition.
The on-loan Sassuolo striker has been getting rave reviews from fans and pundits this season for his displays while out on loan for Genoa. His stats may not show it in Serie A but he is an important player for Genoa this season. Scamacca has proved to be the perfect foil for Genoa attack with his target man stature. Scammaca has proven to be a hit with the Genoa fans by scoring three goals this season against local rivals Sampdoria in the league and in the Coppa Italia.
PREDICTED XI | AS ROMA (3-4-2-1)
Pau Lopez, Mancini, Cristante, Smalling, Karsdorp, Villar, Diawara, Spinazzola, Pedro, El Shaarawy, Borja Mayoral.
PREDICTED XI |GENOA (3-5-2)
Perin, Masiello, Radovanovic, Criscito, Zappacosta, Zajc, Badelj, Strootman, Czyborra, Scamacca, Destro.
This is another important game for AS Roma and in the race for 4th place, with Juventus vs Lazio and Inter Milan vs Atalanta this weekend it is important for Roma to make it two wins in the space of 4 days and put pressure on the sides above them in the Serie A standings.