Roma desperately need to find some consistency if they are to realize their potential this season, and a third successive victory would certainly be a step in the right direction. Udinese beat Pescara at home last weekend, but them lost to Young Boys in midweek, and now face a very difficult task at Olimpico.
Great comeback at Luigi Ferraris
Club chiefs have invested piles of cash in the summer to finally build a squad that can mix it up with the best of them in Italy, and they seem to have succeeded in their quest. Zdenek Zeman’s side did experience some problems in the early changes, but everybody could see the Giallorossi have enough quality to mount a serious challenge for a top 3 place. The inconsistency was clearly the main issue at the start of the league campaign, but Roma seem to have finally stabilized their form, with back to back wins over Atalanta and Genoa the perfect proof. Having produced a stunning performance to come from two goals down and record a 4-2 win at Luigi Ferraris, the visitors will have plenty of reason for optimism ahead of the clash with Udinese, even if they will be missing quite a few players through injury.
Francesco Totti and Alessandro Florenzi have resumed full training, while Mattia Destro is also available. Federico Balzaretti, Taddei and Bogdan Lobont are sidelined through injury, while Dodo is doubtful.
Hectic schedule taking its toll on Udinese
Udinese have faced unexpected problems at the start of the season as the new signings brought to replace Asamoah, Isla and Handanovic have failed to prove their worth at Friuli. Seeing that his side were nowhere near as good as the one from last season, boss Francesco Guidolin admitted the Zebrette could even enter the relegation fight this season. With a small squad of quality players at his disposal, Guidolin had no choice but to rest some of his starters in Europa League games, but not even that approach helped the team keep the results at a respectable level. Udinese now sit in 10th place, with just 2 wins from 8 games, while the latest defeat to Young Boys was seen as a major blow to team’s European hopes. Francesco Guidolin surprisingly used quite a few first team regulars in midweek, so they could now struggle to give their best in the very important match against Roma.
Danilo misses out through suspension, while Mehdi Benatia and Giampiero Pinzi have joined the lengthy injury list that already contained the likes of Dusan Basta, Luis Muriel and Giovanni Pasquale.
Roma have finally started playing to their potential and it is highly unlikely that injury-plagued Udinese will be able to end their winning run. The visitors will be waiting for their chance on the break and they could even score past Roma’s shaky defence, but I doubt that will be enough to avoid defeat at Olimpico.
Top pick: Home win 1.62 (8/13) @ Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.57 (4/7) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Roma with -1 European handicap 2.40 (7/5) @ Sportingbet