In what promises to be a captivating showdown, Roma is set to host Cagliari on Monday evening in a fixture that holds immense significance for both teams as they look to secure vital points for their respective Serie A objectives.
Sitting four points behind fourth-placed Atalanta, the Giallorossi have a chance to extend their winning streak to three since Daniele De Rossi’s appointment last month. The hosts will be eager for the points as they welcome a familiar face to the Stadio Olimpico in former manager and current Cagliari boss Claudio Ranieri.
It’ll be the second time De Rossi faces his former coach in his managerial career—the first occurring in January 2023 when Cagliari won 2-1 over Spal in Serie B.
Kick-off is scheduled for 20.45 CET at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Once again, Roma find themselves in another “must win” situation when they host Cagliari on Monday. They’re currently four points behind Atalanta and Bologna for the fourth and final Champions League place but face league leaders Inter next weekend in Rome.
Recent transfer arrivals Angelino and Tommaso Baldanzi are both expected to make their debuts against Cagliari as De Rossi admitted both players have fit-in seamlessly.
“I think one word best sums up what they can bring to the team: quality,” De Rossi during his pre-match press conference.
“They’ve got quality – in possession, out of possession, in choosing the right pass, and in their overall footballing ability. They’re two top players and I’m happy that they’ve joined Roma. In terms of them bedding-in and gelling with the team, it’s what you’d expect after three days. From what I’ve seen of them with their teammates I think they seem pretty switched on and have settled in as well as you can in such a short period of time.”
He’s expected to throw Angelino immediately into his starting eleven due to the ongoing struggles at the left back position. Meanwhile, Leandro Paredes is back from suspension and favored anchor the midfield with Lorenzo Pellegrini and Bryan Cristante beside him. Finally, the attack will be led by a trio of Paulo Dybala, Romelu Lukaku, and Stephan El Shaarawy.
Cagliari will be desperate for points against the capital club as they’re just barely above the relegation zone thanks to their head-to-head record against Hellas Verona.
They’ve won only 2 of their last 10 games and are coming off a brutal 2-1 home defeat to Torino. Despite this, Claudio Ranieri urged his squad to play fearlessly against his former side.
“Compared to the first match we will face a different team that has changed coach and system of play: there will be Pellegrini who gives a lot of quality to the play,” Ranieri stated before kick-off.
“In order to face Roma in the best possible way we’ll need the right attitude from the start of the match: we’ll need to play from the kick-off without fear, with the right desire that often characterises us in the second half. We need points to continue to try to stay in Serie A together. I have a good team and I’m positive: it will be tough, but I’m convinced we’ll make it”.
Recent transfer arrivals Gianluca Gaetano and Yerry Mina have been called-up for the game but aren’t expected to start.
ROMA (4-3-3): Rui Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Llorente, Angeliño; Pellegrini, Paredes, Cristante; Dybala, Lukaku, El Shaarawy
Unavailable: Tammy Abraham, Evan Ndicka, Leonardo Spinazzola, Chris Smalling, Sardar Azmoun
CAGLIARI (4-3-2-1): Scuffet; Zappa, Dossena, Wieteska, Augello; Makoumbou, Prati, Jankto; Nandez; Viola; Petagna
Unavailable: Marko Rog, Eldor Shomurodov, Gaetano Oristanio, Marco Mancosu, Ibrahim Sulemana