AS Roma (11-6-5) vs Bologna (8-6-8)
Serie A: Friday, February 7, 2020 at 2:45 pm ET (Stadio Olimpico)
Line and Odds: Roma -155/ Bologna +415 — Over -112/ Under +101
FREE SOCCER Pick AS Roma vs Bologna
Victory for Roma will see them move into top four
Bologna travel to Rome on Matchday 23 of the Serie A on Friday. In what has been an entertaining season of football so far in the Italian top-flight so far, with four points separating the top three and just two standing between sixth and eleventh place, every point will matter come the end of the season. Roma are favorites, but they will know they simply cannot underestimate the visitors or any other team in what promises to be a fascinating second-half of the season.
The hosts come into this match after a series of inconsistent performances. Roma have won two, lost two and drawn one match of their last five, leaving manager Paulo Fonseca with plenty to think about ahead of this clash. Add to this a strange January transfer window and the club seem to be in a position of weakness at the moment. The Giallorossi’s run began with a routine 2-0 victory at Parma in a Round of 16 clash in the Coppa Italia. They then comfortably saw off Genoa 3-1 in the league, but saw their mini-streak end with Juventus handing them a defeat by the same score-line to send Roma crashing out of the Coppa Italia in the quarterfinals. Fonseca’s men did come up with an improved performance to draw 1-1 with third-place Lazio in the league but another sub-standard showing saw them suffer a shocking 4-2 loss to Sassuolo, who lie 13th in the league table. Another outfit from the bottom-half of the table beckon on Friday at home and Roma will hope a positive result is in the works. A win here will see them break into the top four and move within eight points of Lazio, though Atalanta who currently sit fourth, will have a game in hand.
The Rossoblu too visit the Stadio Olimpico after a rather lean run that has seen them collect two wins, two draws and a loss in their last five outings. Bologna began their run with a 1-1 draw at home to Fiorentina, more a case of two points dropped than one point gained. They then proceeded to lose by a goal to none at Torino and drew 1-1 at home again, this time to Verona. However, they did turn the tide around a shade with consecutive victories over relegation-threatened outfits, SPAL (1-3) and Brescia (2-1). The wins should give Siniša Mihajlović’s men much-needed confidence coming into this game and win could see them jump five spots and provisionally move up to sixth in the table.
Cover The Spread 365 Soccer Betting Trends
– Roma are 6-3-1 ATS in their last 10 Serie A matches.
– Roma are 6-5-1 ATS at home in the Serie A this season.
– Roma are 10-9-3 O/U in the Serie A this season.
– Bologna are 4-4-2 ATS in their last 10 Serie A matches.
– Bologna are 5-4-1 ATS away from home in the Serie A this season.
– Bologna are 11-7-4 O/U in the Serie A this season.
FREE SOCCER Prediction Bologna vs AS Roma
Last Time Out
Roma edged a tight contest with a last-gasp winner when the two sides met at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara in September 2019. Aleksandar Kolarov opened the scoring for the visitors with a delightfully struck free-kick into the top-corner four minutes after the restart. Kolarov then went from hero to zero in less than five minutes when he fouled Roberto Soriano in the box. Nicola Sansone levelled the arrears from the penalty spot. There was added impetus in Bologna’s push for a home victory when Gianluca Mancini was sent off for the visitors after his second bookable offence. However, the hosts’s surge for victory was brought to nought when Edin Dzeko headed in from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time to hand the Giallorossi a much-needed three points.
Edin Dzeko will be Roma’s focal point in attack and their biggest threat. The Bosnian has recorded 10 league goals this season and set up another three. Dzeko’s importance for this team is best seen when he isn’t in action – Roma clearly struggle and seem to lack ideas upfront without him. Bologna will put up a fight and their preferred system with two midfielders shielding the back four will be tough to break, but the Giallorossi will hope Dzeko can find a way and put them on the path to the Champions League spots.
Cengiz Under will also be crucial if Roma are to come away with all three points. The Turkish international has been limited to just six appearances this term, a period in which he has scored two goals. Under’s creativity and ability to move into spaces will be crucial for Roma against a talented Bologna side and he will also be required to track back and shield the Giallorossi’s right side of defense.
Riccardo Orsolini will be the Rossoblu’s most important player at Rome. The highly-rated youngster has recorded six goals and four assists in 20 league games this season and has been brilliant in an attacking midfield position. Orsolini is good with the ball at his feet and also has the potential to set-off attacks, be it through possession or on the counter. A solid performance from the 23-year-old will definitely give Bologna hopes of securing an away win on Friday.
Rodrigo Palacio is the other player the Giallorossi will have to keep an eye on. The Argentine veteran has five goals and three assists this term and with Nicola Sansone a doubt for this fixture, much of the attacking burden will fall on the 38-year-old’s shoulders. Palacio will need all his experience and guile to guide Bologna to sixth place at the end of what promises to be 90 gruelling minutes at the Stadio Olimpico.
Nicolo Zaniolo, Davide Zappacosta and Amadou Diaware are all out injured while Lorenzo Pellegrini is suspended after getting himself sent off last week.
Predicted Line-up: Lopez; Spinazzola, Smalling, Mancini, Santon; Veretout, Cristante; Kluivert, Perotti, Under; Dzeko.
Gary Medel, Mitchell Dijks and Ladislav Krejci are still recovering from their respective injuries and are not expected to play any role in this clash. Andrea Poli is suspended for this clash, while there is doubt over the availability of Nicola Sansone and Federico Santander as well. However, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Stefano Denswil are likely to return to the squad ahead of the match in Rome.
Predicted Line-up: Skorupski; Denswil, Bani, Danilo, Tomiyasu; Schouten, Dominguez; Barrow, Soriano, Orsolini; Palacio.