Roma have had a mixed time of things since returning to action and are nine points off fourth, while Udinese are three points above the dropzone following back-to-back defeats.
After seeing off Sampdoria 2-1 in their first game back thanks to Edin Dzeko's second-half brace, Roma simply did not turn up in their big clash with AC Milan last weekend.
That brought an end to a three-match winning streak for Roma in the Italian top flight, either side of the three-month hiatus, and could well prove to be a costly defeat.
Atalanta BC won for a sixth league game in a row later on Sunday and are now nine points better off than the Giallorossi in the race for the final Champions League qualifying spot.
Roma are nine points clear of Parma in eight, meanwhile, so it is looking increasingly likely as though Fonseca's men will be contesting in the Europa League next season - unless they go all the way in this season's competition.
A positive set of midweek results could change all that, however, and this is a fixture that Roma certainly tend to do well in.
They boast a 100% record against Udinese in their last six home league meetings and have scored in each of their last 13 such encounters, netting 33 times in total.
Udinese are also winless in five league matches, losing three of those. Indeed, no team has won fewer games on their travels this term in Serie A than the Bianconeri.
Luca Gotti's men have lost to Torino and Atalanta in their first two games back following the three-month layoff, making it nine games without a win in the league.
They now have only a three-point buffer on Lecce in 18th place and still have Roma, Lazio, Napoli and Juventus to face in their final 10 matches.
Given that they are winless in their last five away games against opponents starting the day in the top five, it looks like things will get worse before they get any better.
Roma's Serie A form: LLWWWL
Roma's form (all competitions): WWDWWL
Udinese's Serie A form: DDDDLL
Roma midfielder Diego Perotti has scored four goals in eight games against Udinese - more than against any other opponent in Serie A - and will be hopeful of starting this one.
As for Udinese, Rolando Mandragora is their only confirmed injury absentee after leaving the field early in the recent defeat to Torino.
Stefano Okaka will be looking to make a positive impression against his former club, having scored only two goals in 34 league appearances for Roma across several spells with the club between 2004 and 2011.
Roma possible starting lineup:
Mirante; Peres, Mancini, Smalling, Kolarov; Cristante, Villar; Under, Pastore, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko
Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Maio, Nuytinck, Samir; Larsen, De Paul, Walace, Fofana, Sema; Lasagna, Okaka
We say: Roma 2-0 Udinese
Roma looked poor against Milan last time out and their top-four hopes are now hanging by a thread. Udinese have not picked up a victory in any competition since the first half of January, though, and it is unlikely that they will end that run in the Italian capital on Thursday.
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