Opinion

Roma fights for the Top 4 despite the high pre-season expectations

AS Roma's Norwegian forward Ola Solbakken (R) celebrates after opening the scoring during the Italian Serie A football match between AS Roma and Hellas Verona, on February 19, 2023 at the Olympic stadium in Rome. (Photo by Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)
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Undoubtedly, Roma has gone into every match of Serie A with resilience and competitiveness. So far, the club has managed to climb up the table and claim third place, overtaking A.C. Milan. However, the table’s fluctuations make the top-4 battle challenging, as Napoli could be considered champions, being 15 points ahead of the second place.

The summer began with high expectations for the Seria A titles due to the completion of several transfers. However, the team underperformed and lost crucial points before the World Cup. Loma has been trying to maintain a winning streak, and the players are determined to fight for the top four, even as the season becomes more competitive. Here, we’ll discuss the summer transfers and the acclamations that went along, the team’s current form, and what needs to be done if Roma wants to grab a spot in the Serie A top four this season.

Summer transfers filled Roma fans with hopes

The summer transfer window saw new players join the team, giving Roma fans renewed hope of winning the title. One of those new players joining Morhino’s side was Dybala. Paulo Dybala joined Roma on a free transfer after finishing last season with Serie A rivals Juventus. The Argentine international forward received a warm welcome from over 10,000 Roma fans, who attended Fendi Headquarters to glorify their new hero.

Roma’s board of directors was determined to strengthen their squad, and they signed 3 huge names that would change the team’s current status. Gini Wijnaldum joined Roma on loan from PSG to give Mourihno several goals from the midfield position. Moreover, Nemanja Matic was acquired to assist in the build-up and possession, which are considered the appropriate way for a coach to configure his attacking plays. The news of the upcoming transfer of Andrea Belloti from Torino provoked an explosion of ambitions in Roma supporters, as the Italian forward is permanently among the first scorers in every Serie A Championship.

The signings mentioned above, combined with the experienced players Roma already had, such as Pellegrini and Abraham, summed up a roster full of quality and opportunities to reach the top level. However, the season started differently, and Roma has had poor results from the early matches.

Significant losses kept Jose Mourinho’s Roma in the 7th position for a while, exposing themselves to those who believed that that team could conquer their first Scudetto since 2000-2001. The defeat against Lazio and the draws with Torino and Sassuolo brought introversion into the team, and Roma seemed unable to recover even to get back into the game.

Roma’s players’ recent form heating Top-4 battle

Roma’s form after the World Cup switched to its very best, leading to the recent winning streaks we’ve seen. That fact urged many sports punters to search for reviewed football betting operators at NonGamstopSites and place their bets in favour of Roma making the top-4 position and wait for Mourihno’s players to do the credit to them.

Thankfully, the middle-season break was fruitful for Roma players, as they could find out why they underperformed and improve the team chemistry. Things began to take a turn for the better, and the results were outstanding. Roma won the last six out of ten- recent games in all competitions, which shot it up the table of Serie A.

In January, Roma lost only one game against the leaders of Serie A, Napoli, and gained 3 points against all Bologna, Fiorentina, Genoa and Spezia. Dybala’s contribution to the team’s attacking improvement was impressive, as the Argentinian star had 3 goals and 2 assists in his last five games. Mourinho sees the connection between Dybala and Abraham firmed up and has plenty of reasons to be satisfied.

The crucial victory against Verona lifted the team’s spirit and boosted the fans’ hope for a UCL ticket for the following year. The next fixture for Azzurri to face the bottom-seated Cremoneze, the team that threw them out of Coppa Di Italia, is a must-win game. Roma needs to tread the match carefully not to repeat the latest appearance that made them delete the Cup conquest from their season’s list.

However, the main goal is to reverse the defeat against Salzburg for Europa League to grab the ticket for the UEFA Europa League Round 16. The difficulty level of this game has increased due to the doubtfulness of Dybala and Abraham’s fitness, as they don’t seem 100% fit after their injuries.

What Roma needs to finish on top 4

With only three points behind Inter, a win in Roma’s next games might take them a step higher up the ladder. Roma faces Cremoneze, Juventus and Sassuolo before the clash against their fellow citizens, Lazio, on Sunday 19th of March.

Considering these games, Roma must grab all three points before the Lazio derby. The match against Juventus will be really challenging, despite their recent decline. Mourinho soldiers must step up and overperform in front of the high intensity that fans will produce. A possible victory versus the former champions would be the ideal motivation for the squad to prepare themselves confidently for Lazio’s derby and fight for the six-point win.

It is evident that Roma needs all its stars to assist in the team’s top-4 finish. Andrea Belloti has to find himself and score the goals for which the board signed him. At the same time, the January arrival, Ole Solbakken, needs to refute his coach and prove him wrong about his recent statement about the Norwegian debut. Finally, we all pray for Dybala and Abraham to get away from injuries and be available for selection in the upcoming games.

All in all, it won’t be easy to maintain a position in the top four, as that will heavily depend on the strength of the team’s lineup. Actually, it is a five-teams battle for two tickets ahead of UCL 2023-2024. Mourinho has to mentally prepare his players to face every game as a final. It’s the only way for fans to see glorious Champions League nights returning to Olimpico Stadium!

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