After a struggle on the pitch, AS Roma have bounced back to winning ways with two wins in 4 days in the Europa League and Serie A.
On Thursday evening in the nation’s capital, Roma will be hoping to make it 3 wins in 7 days and secure passage to Europa League Semi-final.
I am not going to lie or beat around the bush but the first half against Bologna was a real struggle to watch. Bologna were much the better side against a rotated AS Roma side with the Thursday game in mind.
Borja Mayoral scored the goal which turned out to be the winner and it was for me result over performance. The three points was all that mattered after the decline in form which has seen the club drop from 4th to 7th.
Sunday win over Bologna was massive and gives the club and Paulo Fonseca so much confidence going into the game against Ajax at home. This side before the first leg were so out of tune and out of focus, but the performance in Amsterdam changed that.
In a different era under a different coach, Roma would have folded and succumbed in Holland. But not this side, it showed a strong backbone which has gone missing from time to time this season, but it was great to see it in Holland. A great turnaround and hopefully will be the turning point for Roma to kick on in the final part of this weird and truncated 2020/21 season.
Roma will be without Bruno Peres who picked up a yellow card in Holland and will miss the game through suspension. Stephan El Shaarawy and Leonardo Spinazzola will miss the game through injury. Henrikh Mkhitaryan made a cameo appearance for Roma against Bologna and will be itching for a return to the starting line-up.
PREDICTED STARTING XI | AS ROMA (3-4-2-1)
Pau Lopez, Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez, Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Calafiori, Pellegrini, Pedro, Dzeko.
Ajax lost their unbeaten run of 24 games on Thursday night in Amsterdam thanks to Roger Ibanez‘s fantastic close-range finish. But they bounced back with a 1-0 win away at RKC Waalwijk thanks to a goal from January transfer signing Sebastian Haller. That was Haller’s 8th goal for Ajax in just in 13th appearance for the club. If it were not for an administrative error, he would have been playing against Roma. What is Ajax loss is AS Roma gain.
With that win over RKC Waalwijk at the weekend, Ajax are still top of the Dutch Eredivisie table with 72 points from 28 games and a whopping 11 points clear of both PSV Eindhoven and AZ Alkmaar. Ajax are now 17 Eredivisie games unbeaten and cruising to another league title.
Ajax are still without Daley Blind who suffered a nasty ankle ligament injury during Holland World Cup qualifiers. Andre Onana is still sidelined with 10 months left to go on his doping ban for a banned diuretic. Noussair Mazraoui is back training after getting hit in the eye during a game and missed the last two months of action. Erik ten Hag is hopeful to have Maarten Stekelenburg back from a niggling knee injury.
PREDICTED STARTING XI |AJAX (4-2-3-1)
Scherpen, Rensch, Timber, Martinez, Tagliafico, Martinez, Gravenberch, Klaassen, Antony, Tadic, Neres.
Another massive game for AS Roma in this crazy hectic end to a season, with the two away goals scored in Holland. It is crucial that Roma start the game strongly against an Ajax side who will be seeking revenge after Roma ended the unbeaten streak. This will be a brilliant game to watch on Thursday night, definitely a game not to be missed.