The games are coming thick and fast before the March international break, Roma will face Vitesse in the second leg of the last 16 Europa Conference league on Thursday with a slender 1-0 lead.
Roma followed up a 1-0 win played on an awful pitch in Arnhem with a disappointing display away in Udine against Gabriele Cioffi Udinese side.
Roma never really got going and struggled for form and consistency in the game against Udinese. Was it a European hangover or was it poor mentality from the players going ahead into this game on Thursday and the big Derby Della Capitale game on Sunday evening on the horizon. Take each game as it comes should be the motto.
Roma was handed a lifeline in stoppage time with a handball which was given in the Udinese penalty area. Lorenzo Pellegrini stepped up after some mind games from Udinese defender Rodrigo Becao and calmly slotted the penalty into the bottom corner to salvage a late point.
A lot of credit in the game in Udine should go to Rui Patricio. He proved his worth in the draw with some brilliant saves which kept Roma in the game. The crucial save before Roma equaliser was outstanding and he deserves all the plaudits.
Roma will be without the suspended duo of Gianluca Mancini and Sergio Oliviera with the latter getting sent off in the second half in Holland. Gianluca Mancini picked up a booking in the dying embers of the game for dissent and will miss the return leg.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (3-5-2)
Rui Patricio, Ibanez, Smalling, Kumbulla, Maitland-Niles, Veretout, Cristante, Mkhitaryan, El Shaarawy, Zaniolo, Abraham
Vitesse travel to Rome looking to cause an upset with a positive display after a 1-0 defeat in Arnhem last Thursday. A strong first-half display at home was not followed up in the second half, Thomas Letsch’s side created a lot of chances in the first half but were very wasteful. The Lois Openda miss from close range after Rui Patricio’s poor back pass was the turning point in the game. The pitch played its part in the miss as there was a tiny bobble when Openda fired over from close range.
Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie are in the sixth position on forty-one points from twenty-five league games played so far this season. They are a whopping ten points behind both Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar who both have fifty-one points and occupy third and forth in the league table. But they do have a game in hand.
At the weekend Vitesse travelled to Almelo to take on Heracles and the game ended in a stalemate in a 0-0 draw. A result which does no favours as Heracles are in eleventh and Vitesse stay sixth a point ahead of FC Utrecht in seventh.
Vitesse will be without Dominik Oroz who is suspended for the second leg after picking up a yellow card in the first leg.
PREDICTED XI | VITESSE (5-3-2)
Houwen, Dasa, Doehki, Hajek, Rasmussen, Wittek, Bero, Domgjoni, Tronstad, Openda, Frederiksen