After overturning the deficit and progressing through to the Round of 16 of the Europa League, Serie A action returns for Roma as they visit rock-bottom Cremonese today at the Giovanni Zini Stadium.
Roma will aim to stretch their winning run in all competitions to three games in a row when they round up against a winless Cremonese side. Manager Jose Mourinho knows that securing the three points today would be massive in cementing their top-four hopes while being tied with Inter and Milan in second place on 47 points.
The Giallorossi were bamboozled in the 88th minute of the first leg of the Europa League playoffs when Salzburg’s Nicolas Capaldo snatched a goal. However, Roma held onto their composure and mentality as they comfortably toppled the deficit and wrapped up the game with two goals from Andrea Belotti and Paulo Dybala in the second leg.
Mourinho’s side are boasting of having the third-best defensive record with only 19 goals conceded, only league leaders Napoli and Juventus have conceded less. Roma already faced a shock defeat to Cremonese earlier this month which saw them bow out of the Coppa Italia. The players will hope to not let that loss take over their mentalities and will aim to stave off the 20th-placed side to grab the win.
Meanwhile, Cremonese remain one of the worst-performing top-flight sides currently in Europe. They are winless since the start of the season and have only managed nine draws to gain the points.
The Cremona-based side fought hard and secured a draw in their previous league encounter which was against Torino. Though they took the lead in the 74th minute through Emanuele Valeri, it was soon cancelled out by the hosts’ Wilfried Singo.
Despite their dilapidated form in the league, Cremonese have come out as the dark horses in the Coppa Italia after beating Napoli and Roma before progressing to the semi-finals.
Results from their last five matches in all competitions
D L L W L
W W L D W
A number of changes are expected to be made by Jose Mourinho as Roma have had a quick run of games recently.
Paulo Dybala is expected to be rested and either Tammy Abraham or Andrea Belotti is predicted to take over.
Defender Chris Smalling is out with a suspension and Marash Kumbulla is expected to deputize for the Englishman.
As for Cremonese, Frank Tsadjout and David Okereke are tilted to start upfront due to recent form.
Former Spurs defender Vlad Chiriches is set to be sidelined with a long-term injury.
Cremonese (3-5-2): Carnesecchi; Ferrari, Bianchetti, Vasquez; Sernicola, Benassi, Pickel, Meite, Valeri; Tsadjout, Okereke
Roma (3-4-2-1): Patricio; Mancini, Kumbulla, Ibanez; Karsdorp, Wijnaldum, Cristante, Zalewski; Pellegrini, El Shaarawy; Abraham
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN