UCL Match Preview : AS Roma Vs Atletico de Madrid
After a year absent for the Champions League Roma are back in the big time with a massive match up to kick off this years competition as Roma Host Champions League Semi Finalists Atletico Madrid in the opening game of their Champions League Campaign in Group C which also features Premier League Champions Chelsea and Qarabağ the competition’s first Azerbaijan’s side in history.
Roma are finally back where they belong after failing to get through the Champions League qualifying last season being knocked out by Porto. Last season Roma participated in the Europa league getting to the round of 16 but failing to get past Lyon Overall Roma did well with Dzeko as one of the standout players in the tournament. Last season in the league Roma did the dirty work to get back here by getting second in the league last season in a very memorable league campaign earning their champions league qualification in a very dramatic way.
The Italians would earn champions league football on the last game of the season in the last minute of their final match of the season on Roma Legend Francesco Totti’s last game. Roma had one of the best seasons in recent memory Roma had a record breaking year despite not winning the league the team broke several records and some personal records set by Dzeko as the Bosnian won the golden boot with 29 goals in the league and scored the most goals in a season by a Roma player with 39. Its a very different team with several key players leaving but they have replaced a great deal of them so they should be ready for this Champions league magic. They will host one of the strongest team in this competition over the last few seasons last year’s semi finalist Atletico Madrid who are a different kind of team in the champions league having made the final twice in the last few years and typically at least making the Last 8. They are without a doubt the favorites of the group they haven’t been all that great to start the season in La Liga but they just aren’t the same team in Europe they are much stronger.
Across the board the Spaniards are better however where Roma will have the advantage is they have rest on their side. Roma’s game on Saturday against Sampdoria was canceled to due Nasty Weather as they were expecting Thunderstorms so they have some extra rest also it is beneficial because Roma’s new record signing Patrik Schick picked up a minor injury with a thigh strain so it give him a chance to recover but still might miss the game however Florezni will be back an available who could be a game changer if he plays. Not to mention this team still has the likes of Dzeko, Nainggolan, Strootman and De Rossi. Roma still have a very strong team and a extremely strong midfield maybe even best in the group. Are Roma better than Atletico? No their not but if we see Roma at their very best they could pull off the upset. The key for Roma is their defense they need to be at their best if they going to stop the scoring options that Atletico has.
The anchor of that defense will be Aleksandar Kolarov has been one of Roma’s best players this season he will affect Roma massively in the attack and defense as he showed last week over international break scoring the winning goal for Serbia against Ireland to top their World Cup qualifying group. On the Atletico side of things everything will run through Antonio Griezmann if he is at his best he will make it very difficult on Roma they definitely are the favorites in this game with a strong core and one of the best coaches in Europe in Diego Simone.
The Madrid side aren’t one dimensional either they have a very strong midfield and strike force and defense they are strong in most areas. They will be looking to win the champions league they have so much experience they tend to be an extremely strong team in the champions league and when they are at their best they fear no one. Roma have the home advantage but I think Atletico will make a very tough match for EDF and the Romans I think it will personally this game will be very tight the rest will benefit Roma but this could go either way Atletico know how to handle their business a very tough match for both teams we should be in for an wild match up.
Projected Starting 11 4-3-3
DEF: Kostas Manolas, Juan Jesus, Florezni and Kolarov
MID: Danielle De Rossi, Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan
Front Three: Edin Dzeko, Stephen El Shaarawy, Diego Perotti
Roma OUT: Bruno Peres (Doubtful) , Emerson(OUT), Abdullahi Nura(OUT), Patrik Schick (Questionable)
Atletico projected starting 11 4-4-2
ST: Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres
MID: Carrasco, Gabi, Koke, Niguez
DEF: Godin, Juanfran,Luiz, Savic
Atletico Madrid OUT: None
Date: Saturday, 12th September 2017
Venue: Stadio Olimpico
Kickoff: 1:45 PM (USA), 7:45PM (ENG), 8:45 (ITA)
TV Broadcast: Sky Italia,ESPN