AS Roma will be looking to bounce back after Sunday’s disappointment away in Verona with a better performance in front of the home fans on Thursday evening against Udinese.
The Undertaker streak to start the season is over after Sunday’s defeat away in Verona against a rejuvenated Hellas Verona side. Roma deserved nothing from that game, Hellas Verona deserved the three points with a fantastic display in front of their home fans.
Roma wasn’t at the races after a sluggish first half, only going into the halftime break ahead thanks to the Lorenzo Pellegrini wondergoal. Second half performance from the home side was full-on gung-ho and it caught Roma off guard. Igor Tudor did more in 3-4 days than Eusebio Di Francesco did in the previous 95 days at the club. This was the Verona side of old under Ivan Juric who is now at Torino, his Hellas Verona side used to cause the big 6 of Italian football a lot of problems under his reign and his Verona side used to bloody the noses of the top 6.
The over-reaction to the defeat on social media was a bit much, remember it’s only 4 Serie A games in. The first defeat of the season was bound to happen sooner or later. Relax take a drink or a walk, remember there are 34 Serie A games left of the season. The objection is always going to be the same and that’s to get into the top 4 and secure a spot in next season UCL.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (4-2-3-1)
Rui Patricio, Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Calafiori, Veretout, Cristante, Zaniolo, Pellegrini, El Shaarawy, Abraham.
Udinese have started the 2021/22 Serie A campaign strongly after the departures of key players. Both Rodrigo De Paul and Juan Musso the two key stand-out players of last season have departed for Atletico Madrid and Atalanta respectively. Udinese without them have started well in Serie A. Sitting in 9th position after 4 games, they were unbeaten in the first 3 games but were undone by Luciano Spalletti Napoli side 4-0 on Monday night.
Before the Napoli defeat on Monday evening, Udinese came back from 2-0 down on matchday 1 to draw 2-2 with Juventus. It could have been a different story as Juventus had a 95th-minute goal disallowed via VAR on a Cristiano Ronaldo header. That was followed up with back-to-back wins without conceding against Venezia (3-0) and an away win at Spezia (0-1). But the unbeaten Napoli side came to Udine to close matchday 4 and spoiled Udinese fine unbeaten start to the season.
I remember seeing people putting Udinese down for a relegation battle in their pre-season predictions, I know it’s early days and it’s a small sample size, but they are proving a lot of people wrong this early in the season.
Luca Gotti is the Udinese coach and has done a fine job at the helm in Udinese. Reluctantly took the job after Igor Tudor was fired in November 2019. Udinese convinced him to take the job permanently. This summer just gone, he agreed on a 1-year contract extension to June 2022. His Udinese sides are built to frustrate teams, he plays 3-5-2 with a low defensive block and try to hit you on the counterattack with quick dynamic forwards.
PREDICTED XI | UDINESE (3-5-2)
Silvestri, Becao, Nuytinck, Samir, Molina, Walace, Arslan, Pereyra, Stryger Larsen, Deulofeu, Pussetto.