Following Roma’s best performance in months against Florentina in which they came back twice to draw 2-2 at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on Wednesday night. Roma look to strengthen their slim possibility of European football and possibly Champions League. It is an absolute dogfight not only for the champions league but for the Europa League places. There is just a 7-point difference between 9th Place and 5th Place which is why at this point in the season every point they can possibly get is essential. Roma will have a must-win match as they travel to Genoa to take on Sampdoria for the second time this season. Earlier this season at the Stadio Olimpico Roma downed Sampdoria 4-1 in what was one of the most dominant displays of the season. Roma sits in 7th with 48 points looking to try to move up the table to at least fight for Champions League football. Meanwhile, Sampdoria is not that far behind as they find themselves in 9th with 45 points. This seems like a must-win for both teams a loss could derail either season. Roma has struggled on the road but still remain slight favorites as they got some momentum and confidence back with their performance on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, Sampdoria lost a big game against Torino. It should be an absolute battle when these two teams face off on Saturday night. The question is can Ranieri’s Roma repeat the strong performance they showed against Florentina and pick up what would be three massive points. Or will the league top scorer Fabio Quagliarella pull off the upset as they still have their sights on European football. We will find out all that and more when Roma travel to Genoa to take on Sampdoria in what will be an Incredibly important match on Saturday night.
A.S Roma 7th 13-8-9 48Pts
The big news for Roma is Stephan El Shaarawy returned to training this week and will be available for the match against Sampdoria. I find it unlikely that he will start the match so he could be a good option coming off the bench. We have to get him ready as soon as possible because as I have mentioned many times this season he has been the best player this season. On Wednesday Antonio Mirante started in goal instead of Robin Olsen. He should start on Saturday again Robin Olsen has had countless opportunities to prove himself and honestly has been unable to live up to the expectations. From a defensive perspective, I suspect that Kostas Manolas will return to the starting lineup. It is unclear who will come in at right-back as always we will see Alex Kolarov and Federico Fazio. I’m assuming he is going to stick with the 4-2-3-1 formation. In Roma’s defensive Midfield I think we will see the pairing of Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante. Lorenzo Pellegrini may not be at 100% so as he is unable to start the game or Raneri decides not to risk him we will probably see either Daniele de Rossi or Steven Nzonzi take up that spot. In the attacking Midfield, we should see a very similar team to what we saw last time. In the middle, we should see it Nicolo Zaniolo with Justin Kluivert and Diego Perotti on the outside. Cengiz Under might get the start however given how are the three of them performed last week I think Raneri is likely to start them together again. Then up front should it be Edin Dzeko unless Ranieri tries something orthodox there should be no change in Roma’s Striker position. My key player for Roma is Diego Perotti he has scored in three consecutive games and is playing the best football of his season see him being a big factor.
Sampdoria 9th 13-6-11 45Pts
Sampdoria typically plays with a 4-2 1-2 formation I don’t see any reason why they would change that ahead of this game. Losing to Torino wasn’t based on the tactics used by Sampdoria. They just bumped into a team that wanted it just a little bit more with a star player who had his moment. They shouldn’t make a knee-jerk reaction to a less-than-stellar performance. They have quality throughout their squad maybe not to the same extent of Roma with some really good players within the Sampdoria side. Just like Roma, their defense is not the best but they are capable of Performing when necessary. Their backline shouldn’t make too many adjustments they have to trust what they have to their disposal even though it might not be the best from a defensive perspective they have an incredibly skilled Defender who can lead their back line at to a successful performance. Joachim Anderson is one of the best at his position in Italian football and is wanted by a good portion of Europe he could be incredibly important on how this team performs defensively. There are three men Midfield can be very antagonizing with Dennis Praet Ronaldo Vieira and Linetty. A very formidable Trio when they are at their best. In front of the Midfield will be the center forward Gaston Ramirez can upfront as the strikers I likely to be Defrel playing alongside the League’s top scorer Fabio quagliarella. This is a very strong team maybe not to the level of Roma but they can do damage they have enough quality in there to pull off an upset. There’s a lot of good players in here but there’s one in particular that Roma should worry about that is Fabio quagliarella. At 36 years old he is the top scorer in Italian football and you can make the argument about penalties but outside of that, he has scored on a somewhat regular basis. 21 goals and seven assists this season that is absolutely staggering for players his age. He is going to be incredibly important without question the key player for Sampdoria ahead of this important match.
This is a hugely important game for both teams I don’t think anyone’s going to deny that. Both of these teams are On The Fringe of Europe obviously for Sampdoria and Roma the expectations are completely different. Roma still has an outside chance of Champions League football. While Sampdoria is fighting for one of the remaining Europa League spots. This seems like a must-win for both teams dropping points really isn’t an option. Against Florentina, the scenario and the situation were completely different Roma had not played a good match of football in a while and it was more about the performance than the results. A loss doesn’t mathematically kick them out of the race in Europe but it will damage their chances. From a tactical perspective, it’s very simple what needs to be done from both counterparts. Sampdoria is a strong team but they do not have speed and athleticism within their lineup it is heavenly reliant on Fabio quagliarella to score goals. Stopping him is going to be an issue for Roma because of how bad they have been defensively this season. However, Sampdoria is lacking certain components in their lineup. Roma has a lot of players that have extraordinary pace and athleticism. The likes of Justin Kluivert Nicolo Zaniolo Stephan El Shaarawy and others. They have Pace all over the place. That is how you counter Sampdoria because they’re lacking in those it Roma can use the wings to get into free space to put themselves into opportunities to score goals. If Roma gets on the counter-attack it is going to be incredibly difficult to stop because of at the speed of Justin Kluivert. Sampdoria is in much better form but Roma rocked them last time out and a big reason why was because of their athleticism. Even though this season has not gone the way they would like their pace has not disappeared from their side. You add that with Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti two players who are capable of causing serious problems when they’re at their best. Diego Perotti is playing as good as anyone on Roma over the last month he looks incredibly strong and is playing with confidence this could be a problem because he has the momentum and he’s pretty quick. For Roma, the job is very simple used their pace and athleticism and try to neutralize Sampdoria Striker. If they’re able to do that even though they’re going to be away from home it gives them a huge advantage. On the other end of the coins even though Sampdoria are lacking speed they are very intelligent teams who can adapt to circumstances. They are hard-working and very physical. Physically if they have can slow down Roma it could create issues. Their job is to feed their Striker if they’re going to win this game they’re going to have to make Fabio Quagliarella a big part of it. On paper this match is very balanced it will be tough but Roma is playing with confidence and momentum for the first time in months that is why I give them the slight advantage. If Roma can get forward and use their pace and athleticism to their advantage Roma will eventually pull away and what should be a very tough match but in the end I think they get the job done mostly because they don’t have a choice this is one game they cannot afford to let get away from them it is a critical all three points are collected.
Roma’s Projected starting XI 4-2-3-1
GK: Antonio Mirante
DEF: Alex Kolarov, Federico Fazio, Kostas Manolas, Rick Karsdorp
DEF MID: Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellagrini
Front Three: Diego Perotti, Nicolo Zaniolo, Justin Kluivert
Striker: Patrik Schick
Manager: Claudio Raneri
Sampdoria ’s Projected starting XI 4-3-1-2
Central Forward: Ramirez
Manager: Marco Giampaolo
Players to watch
Diego Perotti & Fabio Quagliarella
Date: Saturday April 6th, 2019
Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa
Kickoff: 1:30PM (USA) 7:30PM (ENG), 8:30PM (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia, ESPN+