Can Di Francesco Create a Strategy That is Tailored to Cancel Mohamed Salah?


It’s 34 years because Roma reached a European Cup semi-final. And they are beaten by just 1 month less than that because of Liverpool in the closing on penalties. Older fans wince at the memory, Stadio Olimpico that is hardly surprising when you consider it took place. Times change, however, and this two-leg tie has a rather different context. Roma didn’t expect to come this way. Such self-doubt might eventually have been blown away with a sensational quarter-final win over Barcelona. Yet Roma put a foot wrong in the contest of this year at the Camp Nou until their defeat. They finished top of a group featuring Chelsea and Atlético Madrid, and haven’t conceded a goal.

Their supervisor, Eusebio Di Francesco, has demonstrated a knack for drawing the most out of his teams on the big occasions. His turn off guard captured the leaders of La Liga to an untested formation in the second leg against Barcelona and enabled the midfield to be swamped by Roma, privileging Radja Nainggolan, De Rossi, and Kevin Strootman’s physicality. Liverpool shouldn’t necessarily expect to find the exact same thing. Roma has played the season the formation, in a 4-3-3 that Di Francesco employed for the majority of his career. “You struggle to indicate your competitor’s playmaker.”

Can Di Francesco create a strategy that is tailored to cancel Mohamed Salah? Many of the Roma players might have their own opinions about the best way best to manage theirs. The manager is familiar, having taken over in the summertime. Di Francesco’s first term was combined: success in Europe deflecting from an up-and-down season. They track the league leaders Juventus by 21 points although Roma is third. The absence of a workable alternative to Edin Dzeko in center-forward has been glaring with Patrik Schick, acquired from Sampdoria in the summer, at times in the Coppa Italia.

Where a signing has been proven by Aleksandar Kolarov, the Giallorossi are strong at the back, also.

Brazil’s No 1 was back-up to Wojciech Szczesny last season but has emerged as one of Serie A’s best, a genuine sweeper-keeper mopping up issues supporting his defense and launch attacks with his toes, and of course, leaving more than 1 attacker sprawling in the dirt with a feint or dummy. He returned on Saturday from injury and looked rusty. His return to fitness is a welcome one if he could replicate the form he showed earlier in the season – but Bruno needs to work out how to unite his captain. The Dutchman was at it again on Saturday, scoring and setting up a target, but there are concerns about how the pair will perform together given that both appear to only be at their best as the only focus of the attack. Marseille have a, so they have to receive their tactics, although the place is Lyon’s to lose.

After Samuel Grandsir opened the scoring in the first minute with a bullet header, things looked to be going seriously for Marseille. Adil Rami is back from injury; they have a draw against RB Salzburg from the Europa League semi-finals; and have five games left in the league where they can secure a spot in next season’s Champions League. Troyes’ defeat to Marseille and Lille’s draw against Guingamp have contributed a shred of hope to Metz. Nolan Roux was the hero for Metz this weekend – his brace in their 2-1 win at Rennes means he now has 14 goals this season – but the group as a whole played. Their fixtures are more than this an excellent escape may be possible, although they are bottom of the table, five points in the place.

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