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Tuesday April 20 2021
Roma risk it all in Europe

All of La Lupa’s eggs are in the Europa League basket ahead of Thursday’s trip to Manchester, and Owen Diana fears that a rough recent run in Serie A could harm preparations for that massive match.

Can the Giallorossi separate their domestic difficulties from their European exploits? That is the major question heading into the capital club’s date with destiny at the Theatre of Dreams, which comes off the back of a series of poor Serie A showings. Those struggles have stripped the sheen off an impressive quarterfinal triumph over Ajax, and the stakes could not be higher now for Paulo Fonseca and company.

The chances of a top-four finish were already remote before the Giallorossi travelled to Turin less than a fortnight ago, but they are completely gone now after a trio of lacklustre displays. Even a spot in next season’s Europa League looks unlikely, with 6th-placed Lazio holding a six-point advantage over their archrival.

La Lupa have now gone four games without a win in all competitions, but there are mitigating factors for their recent problems on the Peninsula. Torino and Cagliari are both desperately fighting to stave off relegation, while Atalanta are in the thick of a thrilling Champions League chase. Meanwhile, Fonseca chose to rest key starters in Turin and Sardinia.

However, the Portuguese did pick a nearly full-strength lineup against Atalanta. La Dea dominated proceedings throughout, and they should have been home and hosed well before Robin Gosens received his marching orders midway through the second stanza.

A rickety rearguard must be tightened up before visiting Old Trafford, and Fonseca will hope that the returning Chris Smalling can shore things up in that department. The former Manchester United man made a first start since March 7th against Gli Isolani, and he could well be included from the first whistle on Thursday.

The Englishman has suffered a stop-start second season in the Eternal City, but his future in the red half of Rome looks far more secure than his coach’s. It seemed that only the Europa League title would keep Fonseca in a job for a while, but it now appears that even a historic continental conquest wouldn’t be enough.

Maurizio Sarri is set to take over next term, and it remains to be seen how that news affects a group of players who backed their boss through the turbulent period that followed January’s Coppa Italia elimination. The Friedkin’s cannot be faulted for chasing Sarri’s signature, especially after his sustained success at Napoli. However, their search for a new head coach threatens to destabilize the dressing room at a crucial stage of the campaign.

Fonseca is a dead man walking, and that fact cannot help his credibility within the squad. Such turmoil in the technical area is an unwanted distraction ahead of a duel with the Red Devils, who have lost only once since the beginning of February.

Contrasting fortunes over the last few months makes the English giants the clear favourite to advance to Gdansk, but Roma can spring a surprise. Nevertheless, their prospects would look a lot better if there was some sense of positive momentum.

Have your say...
2. Compared to the EPL, have bang average players in most of the teams,simply cause there is no money to buy the champions, the stadiums as we all know are a joke, with the exception of a few, and lets face it, with the exception of one or two, the managers arent at top standard either, they are mostly in England, managing top clubs, with top players, with the top infrastructure such as training grounds and stadiums. I have to admit it but SerieA's a laughing stock of a league compared to EPL
on the 30th April, 2021 at 2:57pm
1. I have been a serieA fan for 30 years so it pains me to say this but SerieA is so far behind the EPL its not even funny. How did such a glorious league turn to sh*t the way it has. Since around 2010, i have waited and waited and waited to see improvement in the serieA league teams as a whole and every year its the same, italian teams crash and burn and embarass themselves in Europe.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 2:54pm
I came here just to say eff you roma! You've killed me over the years, you are so disgusting!!! Crazy loss to Bayern, crazy losses to Man U. You have no guts! NONE!! I hate you soo much I dont want anything to do with this loser club. Just blow it up. You are disgusting and should be ashamed.
on the 30th April, 2021 at 12:53pm
Please stop playing with 3 defenders unless you have the talent.....
on the 30th April, 2021 at 10:45am
I "predicted" anogher embarrassment, I mean doesn't take a football expert you just have to open your eyes to see that was going to happen. I don't know how many times we need to go over this Serie A needs to change the fact we were all there pinning hope on Roma tells you the state of Italian football. I am not here to trash talk serie A I want Italian football back at the top but I will not let reality be masked by fantasy. Anyone who thought Roma a chance WAS living in a fantasy world!
on the 30th April, 2021 at 5:44am
Seria A has become a laughing stock since Milan last won the Champions League 2000 years ago by soccer standards. Obsolete stadiums, poor training techniques clearly are an issue after the injuries, they do play far more games in the EPL, horrible tactics and just a lack of a winning attitude. I do concede the officiating is not consistent when Italian clubs are playing but OMG it would best for ITA clubs to just stop playing in these competitions as they are embarrassing the league. #SHAME
on the 30th April, 2021 at 3:07am
looks like an all english CL and or Europa league final... again italian fail embarrassingly, absent again from europes top stage, and football world for fans to see.

juve was a total joke this season, even with the goat. who lets not forget his impact was for all of Serie A.
on the 29th April, 2021 at 10:15pm
Daje Riomma, never fail to disappoint.
on the 29th April, 2021 at 9:39pm
Very sad as Italian teams are merely competing and not even thinking about wining we are so far behind ! All of the league teams cannot compete and I hope the manager Merry go round stops as this is a farse clear and simple diabolical
on the 29th April, 2021 at 8:54pm
Juric for Roma.
on the 29th April, 2021 at 3:46pm
roma deserves a great manager....
on the 28th April, 2021 at 5:36pm
As for the game, hopefully Roma don't do "a Roma" and collapse. MU are decent but overrated, and they were second-best to Milan's reserves a few rounds ago.

Mancini being out could be a big loss, especially if Fazio or Juan somehow find themselves playing.

An away goal or two will help.
on the 28th April, 2021 at 12:27pm
It'd be nice to see this ridiculous Serie A merry-go-round of coaches cease

If true, is Sarri going to be much better than Fonseca? Why is Allegri now suitable for Juve, but wasn't 2 years ago?

Pioli was great 4 months ago, now he'll probably be gone if Milan miss the top 4. Gattuso going too?

Is any other country this farcical when it comes to coaches?

Look at some of the lesser teams in the past - some have had 5 or 6 managers in the same season - often the same guy hired multiple times!
on the 28th April, 2021 at 12:24pm

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