AS Roma are looking for two wins in five days in two different competitions as they entertain Lecce from Serie B in the round of 16 of the Coppa Italia on Thursday night.
Roma got a reaction with the win on Sunday evening in Serie A against a depleted Cagliari side who were hit by COVID-19 cases a day before kick-off. That was to add to the injuries and previous COVID-19 cases they had previously.
It was not pretty at times, but it was effective. Fair play to Cagliari they defended well and shunted Roma attack well in the second half. But for one opportunity in the second half from Joao Pedro really did not offer anything going forward.
The only thing that let Roma down especially in the second half was the finishing, the team in the final third lacked a cutting edge. Created the chances against a tiring backline but the end product and the decision making in the final thirds was not up to scratch.
I was really impressed with the Portuguese debutant Sergio Oliveira, he added a lot of composure and calmness to the Roma midfield and kept possession well. It was a nice touch from Jordan Veretout to give him the ball after the Roma penalty was given. Classy touch from Veretout who had missed his previous two penalties for Roma.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (4-2-3-1)
Rui Patricio, Maitland-Niles, Ibanez, Kumbulla, Vina, Cristante, Oliveira, Carles Perez, Zaniolo, El Shaarawy, Abraham.
Lecce are the visitors to the Stadio Olimpico for the last 16 clash in the Coppa Italia. Coached by Marco Baroni, Lecce find themselves in fifth place in Serie B after nineteen games with thirty-four points, Just four points behind Serie B league leaders Pisa. It is congested at the top of the Serie B table with five points separating Lecce in fifth and Pisa at the top.
In the previous two rounds of the Coppa Italia, Lecce have defeated Parma in round one on the 15th of August. Lecce travelled to Parma and won 3-1 thanks to a double from Massimo Coda. In round two, Lecce were on the road again this time to Serie A side Spezia managed by Thiago Motta. The game was played nine days before Christmas, Lecce won the game 2-0 and caused a bit of an upset with a Serie B side winning away at a Serie A side. Arturo Calabresi, who is ex-Roma, scored the winner with Polish winger Marcin Listkowski opening the scoring.
In Serie B, Lecce have lost just two games all season and the first was on the opening day of the season 3-0 away at Cremonese. The last was the week before the winter break, as two rounds of action got postponed due to COVID-19. That second defeat was against league leaders Pisa. In between the two defeats, Lecce went on a fifteen-game unbeaten run. The most impressive result from the unbeaten run was a 4-0 home demolition of Parma on matchday 12. Massimo Coda netting a hat-trick and Gabriel Strefezza with the other. Coda now has five goals against Parma this season in two different competitions.
In the latest Serie B round of action, Lecce won 1-0 away at Pordenone Calcio thanks to a third goal of the season from Mario Gargiulo. After the Roma Coppa Italia game on Thursday night, Lecce’s next game in Serie B is an important clash at the top of the table as they take on 4th place Cremonese.
PREDICTED XI | LECCE (4-3-3)
Gabriel, Calabresi, Lucioni, Dermaku, Barreca, Majer, Hjulmand, Gargiulo, Strefezza Oliveri, Rodriguez.