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Roma v Juventus Match Preview and Scouting

May 13, 2017

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AS Roma v Juventus

Serie A Week 36 –  Sunday, 14th May – 19:45 GMT – Stadio Olimpico


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Juventus

Mission accomplished: on Tuesday, Juventus resisted Monaco’s early attacks and punished them twice in the first half taking advantage of the prairies they left in the back because of their new but still unbalanced scheme. Dani Alves once again delivered magic with that beautiful lob to set up Mario Mandzukic for the first goal and then putting the ball in the net himself with a stunner. The Brazilian fullback has been much maligned by the fans when he first came because of his tactical anarchy, but boy oh boy, has he shown up in the final stages of Champions League.

In the Turin derby, Juventus were pretty lucky to escape with a point: The Granata wanted it more as the Bianconeri were distracted by the two Monaco tilts. The 33 home game winning streak came to an end, but at least Gonzalo Higuain has carried on the exquisite tradition of scoring heart-breaking goals extremely late in the derby. Roma won on Sunday night, so we would have not celebrated the Scudetto anyway.

The party will inevitably arrive, but it would be neat if we wrapped things up this Sunday at Olimpico against the Giallorossi. Juventus simply need to avoid losing, something they have managed to do in their last 16 Serie A matches. The perils are obvious: the opponent is tough and motivated, we come from a very draining game and on Wednesday we face Lazio with the Coppa Italia on the line. The squad has the chance to complete two parts of the treble within four days: the trifecta would be incredible, but I think I speak for most Juventini when I say that winning the Champions League is what truly matters.

Inevitably there will be some rotation. Sami Khedira left the Monaco bout early, but luckily escaped major muscular problems: he has a pulled hamstring and will not be available for a while, the hope is to have him for a game or two before the Cardiff final. Miralem Pjanic is suspended for the Lazio game, so he will start in this one. Claudio Marchisio surprisingly made the squad list despite dealing with some muscle fatigue: anyway he is very unlikely to play in this one and fielding him four times in two weeks did not look particularly adequate. Hopefully he can recover by Wednesday. Tomas Rincon or Mario Lemina will be in the starting lineup.

In the defence, Giorgio Chiellini is playing at an incredible level and I think he will be spared for Wednesday, with Medhi Benatia taking his place, fresh off the club picking up the option to acquire him. Leonardo Bonucci can take playing a few times in a row and unfortunately Daniele Rugani is injured: let’s see how the coaching handles him. There should be the usual rotation on the right flank, with Stephan Lichtsteiner and Juan Cuadrado returning to the XI and Andrea Barzagli and Alves on the bench, but Big Game Dani could be an interesting option for the attack. Kwadwo Asamoah has a chance to supplant Alex Sandro, but that duel is tight.

As for the offensive line, Mario Mandzukic could be due for some rest as both Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala got some time off in the last two games: Stefano Sturaro would take his place, or maybe the coach, who has hinted at resting one of the big four, will use both Asamoah and Sandro at the same time.

4-2-3-1: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Bonucci, Asamoah; Rincon, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain. 

Injuries: 

Khedira (hamstring), Rugani (tibia), Pjaca (knee). 

Suspensions:

None.

 

 

 

Roma

Roma are having an excellent season, yet there is a cloud of sadness and disappointment hovering on their heads. The biggest problem is that once again they will not win anything: the nine-year drought is starting to weigh on them. They were eliminated in the Champions League playoffs and that ruined the whole season. Furthermore, Luciano Spalletti is a goner and has lived the whole year as a lame duck with contradicting and increasingly sibylline remarks. Finally, the management has basically forced Francesco Totti to retire: it was time, but they probably should have let the captain announce it on his terms.

They are fighting with Napoli for the second place, which would grant direct access to the group stage of the main European competition for the club. The only ray of sunshine for some in what is an inexplicably gloomy scenario is the arrival of the sporting director Monchi from Sevilla. A terrific hire, but when the dust settled and the smoke cleared, they did not achieve much the last time they treated an executive, who is now coordinating Inter and Jiangsu, like a superstar.

They arrive at this encounter pretty banged up. The Serie A leading scorer Edin Dzeko, who bounced back in a tremendous way after a down year, is out because of calf strain. Kevin Strootman is suspended for the ludicrous dive in the derby. Radja Nainggolan, who is probably pound for pound their most precious contributor, is battling an edema in the same muscle, while Diego Perotti, who becomes ultra-important because he is the prime false-nine candidate, is dealing with a sore ankle. They will both reportedly gut it out, but the midfielder is slightly more at risk.

The absences leave Spalletti with little choices. He has used 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-2-1 this season: despite the absence of Dzeko, he should still deploy the first one. He still has some options concerning the defence and the flanks. Bruno Peres has dramatically fallen out of favour in the last few games: the coach even picked using Emerson Palmieri on the right and Juan Jesus as left fullback over fielding him in a key match like the Milan one. The Brazilian is best suited as a wing back and he would be the first alternative if one between Nainggolan and Perotti did not recover, prompting a tactical switch. Antonio Rudiger, Kostas Manolas, Federico Fazio and Emerson will form the back line.

Leandro Paredes has taken advantage of the recent playing time and has starting to show off his kicking skills, both from long range and set pieces. He will replace Strootman and partner with Daniele De Rossi. Mohamed Salah and Stephan El Shaarawy will start on the wings, with Nainggolan behind Perotti: they have used this exact scheme a lot last season when Dzeko was in a funk and the two Egyptians have thrived scoring wise and the Belgian ace emerged as an offensive weapon. It is a whole different challenge for the defence, because there is no reference point, they are extremely quick and have good chemistry. If something went wrong, El Shaarawy and Salah have both been used as false-nine, but they are not as effective as Perotti, who has great vision and passing skills. Clement Grenier has spent time as attacking midfielder. An out-of-the-box idea would be to start Francesco Totti in his last big game, but realistically the captain does not have more than a half in his legs.

Probable lineup: 

4-2-3-1: Szczesny; Rudiger, Manolas, Fazio, Emerson; Paredes, De Rossi; Salah, Nainggolan, El Shaarawy; Perotti.

Injuries: 

Dzeko (calf), Florenzi (knee). 

Suspensions:

Strootman.

 

 

Formation

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  • I cannot fully grasp why Sturaro, a born and bred box to box central midfielder continues to be considered solely for the LM spot to give Mario a break. This is the perfect opportunity to put him back to where he is at his best, alongside Pjanic at the base of midfield, we can stick sandro wide left and Asamoah at LB.

    It is a great opportunity to clinch the title and hopefully Roma will go on the offensive allowing us to pick them off on the break. Great chance also for Benatia to celebrate his full signing for the club.

    • Juventino Persa

      In the midfield of 3 you can spare one player just for the wrestling, but when we play with 2 midfielders, both should be able to participate in build-up of the game, and Stefano is not that type of player, to say least! That’s why Mister prefers Sami to Marchisio and Rincon to Sturaro.

      • I’ve seen Stefano perfectly fine in build up play in the past, at least it not more capable of team moves going forward as I have seen this far of Rincon. I think max is playing Rincon more in a,role both can play naturally as he knows Sturaro is staying, wants to see if Rincon is worth keeping…Sturaro of 15/16 was often involved high up the field.

        • E.Micallef

          Sturaro have suffered from the change in formation. Not only him. Lemina Rincon as well. Even Marchisio. The two best mid players we have are Pjanic and Khedira.

          We were caught with too many players in same position. This formation gave Manzu who is nowhere as a finisher as Gonzalo a role to shine which also meant to keep the dressing room compact and happy.

          Juventus will make considerations for next year. We will be focused on Europe on the years to come. Players must do the same. A player a true professional like Sturaro if he feels he is no longer happy at Juventus he will ask and will leave. I feel he will never be first chioce at Juventus.

        • Juventino Persa

          well, if you need more evidence this game was another example how bad is Sturaro, I don’t wanna see him ever in Juve color! and neighter Lamina, our midfield is sh*t against roma!

          • Dar Black

            He’s had some very good games too, so saying he is bad is harsh. A lot of players who have not had many starts or game time struggle to put in a performance when they do get a chance. Remember, Khedeira had some shockers earlier in the season.

          • I’d rather judge him when playing as a fill-in for the a team, than against our major rivals as part of the b team…I’m not seeking evidence. He may not be up to the standard we now require but the fact remains he has not been played in his natural role this season which is a box to box midfielder generally in the Vidal position mcr.

      • Dar Black

        Rincon was a waste of money for me. I would have kept Hernanes, much better distribution and football brain, and have Sturaro primed for grinta duty. Lemina is the guy with a ‘for sale’ sign on his head.

        • I suspect they may have been hoping mandragora was fitter than he was, and rather than risk him, they plumped for another lump of muscle. Very much hope to see Rolando feature in the final serie a flurry, after Rome.

  • B1anconer0

    Possible historic day today! Let’s do this!!

  • B1anconer0

    Un-fucking-believable.. are they waiting untill the last day to wrap it up?!

    • E.Micallef

      Aint aure what i saw today. On the first goal (roma) sad thoughts went through my mind. Today Buffon 3. Terrible.Did not see a performance like this for a while from him.

  • Juventino Persa

    Disgraceful performance, 3 serie a games and just 2 points out of 9!!! and after 3-1 Juve couldn’t even attack really! This team think seri a is finished already! Roma at -4! shameful!

    • B1anconer0

      I hope they don’t screw up against crotone who are playing good these last couple of games

  • E.Micallef

    Two decisive matches coming up against lazio and crotone to wrap up then we will think of RM.

  • ho Hi

    Heads up! They are only human beings. CL was hard,barca and monaco were tough and powerful matches. But tell me,a win against Crotone and we have the scudetto?

    • B1anconer0

      Yes. If we win against crotone and roma wins too it would mean we’d be 4 points ahead with just one game to go

      • ho Hi

        Thank you. We all see,Allegri was right,we havent won nothing yet. Lazio will go full power on wednesday.
        Important is nobody is injured.

      • Jas

        Conceding 3 goals, are you f***** kidding me? What a disgrace, I’m sorry but this goes to show that majority of the bench players are subpar. Time to exodus…

        • ho Hi

          Calma,calma. We havent lost anything. Still on three fucking frontlines. And lets be honest most important is the 3rd June.
          And for historic facts the scudetto.

          • DutchJuventus

            Exactly. One loss. Sure conceding 3 goals is bad but how many times have we done this and how many more times will we do this in the near future? Against Lazio and Real we’ll be top notch.

          • ho Hi

            we will

  • Papilaya(John)™★★★

    I hate losing to roma. Its one of the worst feeling in the world, but this is their cl final and we had a b team out. Still expected more, but this shows that theres still a need for much improvement and the work is not yet concluded.

    After the work in the Cl, i guess the players needed a breather, especially with the coppa final coming along. Thats the only reasonable excuse id give the players for not showing up today.

    • Peter

      I don’t really care about Roma to be honest. If we keep winning the league while they’re beating us on these one or two games, I don’t mind.

      • DutchJuventus

        If we keep winning the league with two wins over Inter is even better.

        • Peter

          Oh, absolutely. They are a different matter. Fuck Inter.

  • BelgianJuventino

    Are we seriously being linked with Nainggolan again? If there is anyone that no Juventino wants, it must be him. Not to mind that he doesnt want to join Juve at all either.

    Fuck him

    • Xx RForcE xX

      lol take it easy Belgian, we all know it is just stupid bullshit.Media have nothing to write about so they come up with such crap.Juve is not interested in this twat at all.He can such Tottis dick for the rest of his life.

      • BelgianJuventino

        It is recycling time for the media I guess eh, how long has Nainggolan been linked to the club by now, 4 years?

        • Xx RForcE xX

          from time to time stupid rumour has appeared, nothing else.But he was heavily linked with us before he joined Roma from Cagliari.Thats it, end of story.Lets enjoy tonight’ final.Fingers crossed.