It’s the final round of action in Serie A and Paulo Fonseca’s final match in charge of Roma, he takes his bow away in La Spezia in Liguria against Spezia.
It was a fond farewell to Roma home campaign last Saturday evening and it was the perfect goodbye present to Paulo Fonseca. A 2-0 home win in the Derby Della Capitale against the fiercest rivals Lazio. A first win all season against a top 7 club in Serie A, his first Rome derby success in his 4th attempt in his two-year tenure at the club.
It was a fitting tribute to end the home season on a high with a fantastic derby win over Lazio. Playing for pride and a top 7th place in Serie A and a place in the UEFA Europa Conference League, Roma produced a strong home performance to defeat their rivals.
As I have stated in the past few weeks, the change of shape to a 4-2-3-1 has worked wonders at the back end of the season. The change has significantly helped Roma going forward. The last few weeks have been enjoyable to watch. Hopefully, we will see the tactical setup with a few tweaks for next season when Mister Jose Mourinho comes to Rome.
Again, the standout for me in the Derby Della Capitale was 19-year-old midfielder Ebrima Darboe, who controlled the midfield in his first Rome derby. It has been a stellar rise in the first team in the last month for the Gambian midfielder.
We also saw the potential farewell of Edin Dzeko when he was substituted in the final moments of the game on Saturday evening. His goalscoring records are outstanding for Roma, 118 in 256 in all competitions and 85 in 196 in Serie A. The standout was the 2016-17 season where Dzeko netted 29 in 37 Serie A games and 39 in 51 in all competitions. He copes a lot of unfair stick on social media but he always delivers the goods for Roma, just look at his records for the club. Grazie Edin Dzeko.
PREDICTED XI | ROMA (4-2-3-1)
Fuzato, Karsdorp, Mancini, Kumbulla, Bruno Peres, Cristante, Darboe, Pedro, Villar, Mkhitaryan. Borja Mayoral.
Spezia are 15th in the Serie A standings with 38 points from 37 games and secured Serie A status last weekend with an emphatic 4-1 home win over Torino. A wonderful achievement by Vincenzo Italiano‘s side and staff, credit to his backroom staff and players for achieving Serie A status for next season. The odds were firmly stacked upon them this season but Italiano and his players have been magnificent all season.
Vincenzo Italiano has been the coach for Spezia since July 2019 and the German-born Italian coach has taken this club to the next level in his tenure. Promoted to Serie A in his first season after a Serie B playoff win over Frosinone. Now this season, Italiano achieved a brilliant first season in Serie A by securing safety with one game to go. Italiano likes to play football the right way playing an attack-minded 4-3-3 that has caused the big boys in Serie A a few problems.
The last 6 games for Spezia have been very inconsistent, they saved the best to last. 1 win 3 draws and 2 defeats have seen Spezia climb to safety in Serie A. The three draws came against Inter Milan (1-1) Hellas Verona (1-1) and Sampdoria (2-2). The two defeats were against Genoa (2-0) and at home to Napoli (4-1). The sole win in six was that emphatic 4-1 home win over Torino where Angolan international M’Bala Nzola was the hero with 2 goals.
The key player to watch out for in the Spezia side:
Angolan international M’Bala Nzola is the club’s top goalscorer in Serie A this season with 11 and 1 assist in 24 Serie A appearances. An incredibly good debut that saw him score 9 goals in his first 16 games this season. But has found from very tough in the latter half of the 2020/21 season. Started 2021 with a bang with 2 goals in 2 games but picked up an ankle injury and was sidelined for the next 6 games. His 2 goals against Torino on the 15th of May were his first in 10 games.
PREDICTED XI | SPEZIA (4-3-3)
Provedel, Ferrer, Capradossi, Terzi, Marchizza, Estevez, Maggiore, Leo Sena, Verde, Saponara, Nzola.