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Serie A | Gameweek 33
Apr 22, 2024 at 5.30pm UK
Stadio Olimpico

1 - 3

Azmoun (55')
Paredes (6'), Angelino (13'), Pellegrini (33'), El Shaarawy (40'), Freuler (63')
FT(HT: 0-2)
El Azzouzi (14'), Zirkzee (45'), Saelemaekers (65')
Zirkzee (6'), Llorente (63')

Preview: Roma vs. Bologna - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Roma vs. Bologna - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Monday's Serie A clash between Roma and Bologna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

On track for another European final and in contention for a return to the Champions League, in-form Roma welcome top-five rivals Bologna to Stadio Olimpico on Monday.

Ahead of a crucial clash between two teams vying for a seat at Europe's top table, the hosts have recorded three big wins on the spin, while their visitors have proven one of the toughest sides to beat throughout Serie A.

Match preview

Despite being reduced to 10 men during their second-leg clash in the Europa League quarter-finals, Roma ultimately saw off AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico, building on a slim lead from the first leg of an intriguing all-Italian contest.

Milan had won both league meetings this season, but the Giallorossi went 2-0 up on aggregate when Gianluca Mancini scored his second goal of the tie, before Paulo Dybala provided a further cushion by curling home a typically eye-catching finish.

Though Zeki Celik was subsequently sent off, the capital club's 3-1 success over both legs set up a semi-final meeting with new German champions Bayer Leverkusen, taking them one step closer to a third straight UEFA final.

Scorer of the lone goal in Roma's recent Derby della Capitale win over Lazio, Italy defender Mancini has been enjoying a purple patch in front of goal, and several players have reached new heights under returning hero Daniele De Rossi, who took over as head coach in January and last week agreed to extend his stay beyond the end of the season.

Sitting fifth in Serie A, De Rossi's side are targeting Champions League football for next term - due to Italy's place in UEFA's rankings, a top-five finish will be enough to achieve that goal - and they could also secure a spot in Europe's top club competition by lifting the Europa League trophy in Dublin.

Such ambitions took a back seat last week, though, as their game against Udinese was abandoned when Evan Ndicka dramatically fell to the ground midway through the second half - he was later found to have suffered a collapsed lung - and the conclusion to that fixture must be played at a later date.

Ahead of their encounter with Bologna - who they trail by four points, but with one game in hand - Roma have won 11 of 16 home fixtures in Serie A this term, which is already as many wins as throughout the whole of last season.

Also unbeaten in eight of their last nine home matches against their Emilian counterparts, keeping six clean sheets in the process, recent history suggests they should start favourites at the Olimpico.

Fourth-placed Bologna have other ideas, of course, and after a 2-0 victory in December's reverse fixture, they could now do the double over Roma in Serie A for the first time since 1967.

They have also restricted the Giallorossi to just one goal in the teams' last five league meetings, and given their recent resilience, few would bet against the Rossoblu recording three consecutive clean sheets against their capital-city hosts for the first time in over 50 years.

Under the watch of much-admired coach Thiago Motta, Bologna have not conceded a single goal in their last four Serie A matches - equalling the club's best such run this century - as they edge ever closer to an unexpected Champions League debut.

Having been frustrated by mid-table Monza last time out, Motta's men may have posted back-to-back 0-0 draws, but with only one loss in their last 12 league games - to champions-elect Inter Milan last month - they remain one of Italy's most durable teams.

Of late, Motta has been tipped to fill one of several major vacancies around Europe, and his side have built their success on a formidable home record at Stadio Dall'Ara; however, Bologna have registered just four league wins on the road ahead of their trip south to the Eternal City.

Roma Serie A form:

Roma form (all competitions):

Bologna Serie A form:

Team News

Roma will be without Romelu Lukaku on Monday evening, as the Belgian striker was forced off by a muscular injury in the win over Milan, after setting up Paulo Dybala's goal - the latter should start, having previously scored seven times against Bologna in Serie A.

Midfield mainstay Bryan Cristante is back at Daniele De Rossi's disposal, though, after Edoardo Bove deputised in the Europa League while the Italy international served a suspension; Tammy Abraham could make his first start since a long layoff, replacing Lukaku up front.

Evan Ndicka's setback means that either Diego Llorente or Chris Smalling should partner Gianluca Mancini in central defence, although Dean Huijsen is also available again - the Juventus loanee was not included on Roma's UEFA list.

Meanwhile, the absence of captain Lewis Ferguson - victim of an ACL injury last week - will require a reshuffle in Bologna's starting XI at the Olimpico; Thiago Motta is set to pair Giovanni Fabbian and Michel Aebischer in midfield, as the Scottish star begins his long road to recovery.

As Alexis Saelemaekers returns from a one-match ban, there could also be a change in the Rossoblu's forward line, with Kacper Urbanski's spot on the left wing particularly vulnerable.

Elsewhere, Adama Soumaoro (knee) and Jens Odgaard (thigh) are still sidelined by injury.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Svilar; Celik, Mancini, Llorente, Angelino; Cristante, Paredes, Pellegrini; Dybala, Abraham, El Shaarawy

Bologna possible starting lineup:
Skorupski; Posch, Lucumi, Calafiori, Kristiansen; Freuler, Aebischer; Orsolini, Fabbian, Saelemaekers; Zirkzee

We say: Roma 1-0 Bologna

Roma have had less chance to rest and recover, but they have recently shown an ability to grind out results rather than simply playing on the front foot under Daniele De Rossi. Bologna (seven) are one of only two teams to have scored more goals in second-half stoppage time than the Giallorossi (five) in Serie A this season, so this contest could go right to the wire.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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