AS Roma will be keen to keep within touching distance of the top six as they aim for a home win against AC Monza.

AS Roma have not had the best of starts to the 2023/24 season and will hope to secure a much-needed win when they take on Monza in the Serie A on Sunday.

Jose Mourinho’s men saw a promising campaign fizzle out last season, and it can be argued that they have failed to rekindle their lost flame. With just three wins from their first eight games, the Romans are actually closer to the bottom of the table than to the top.

Unless they secure three points on the night, Mourinho’s men will drift further away from a European spot for next season. The 60-year-old is expected to leave the club at the end of the season and will want to end his stint on a high.

Monza continue to show that their performances last season was no fluke and are within touching distance of the fifth spot. They can close the gap to defending champions SSC Napoli in fifth to a mere two points if they come away from the Stadio Olimpico with all three points to their name.

Roma went into the October international break following consecutive wins and will be keen to keep that run going. Mourinho’s men picked up four points from the two games against Monza last season in Serie A. They will be keen to repeat that trick this season as well. The Hard Tackle looks at how both sides could line up on Sunday and what tactics they might employ.

Team News & Tactics

AS Roma

Jose Mourinho’s men are slowly finding their stride and will hope that the international break has not curtailed his side’s momentum. With games set to come thick and fast, they cannot afford to drop any points cheaply.

Monza might be new to Serie A but have adapted well to the Italian top flight and surprised several better sides last season. They continue to thrill fans and will prove to be dogged contenders to Roma on the night.

Roma will be without their skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini as he continues to recover from a hip injury. Star attacker Paulo Dybala is also unavailable but the home side looks set to welcome back Chris Smalling into the fold. Whether the Englishman will be risked this weekend or will be saved for the clash against Inter Milan remains to be seen.

Mourinho is likely to retain his 3-5-2 formation with Rui Patricio in goal. He will be protected by the back three of Gianluca Mancini, Bryan Cristante and Evan Ndicka.

Leandro Paredes will be expected to hold the firm in midfield, giving Houssem Aouar and Edoardo Bove the freedom to push forward. Leonardo Spinazzola and Rick Karsdorp will be expected to provide the width on the flanks. Romelu Lukaku continues to impress and will retain his spot upfront alongside Andrea Bellotti.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Patricio; Mancini, Cristante, Ndicka; Karsdorp, Aouar, Paredes, Bove, Spinazzola; Belotti, Lukaku

AS Roma vs Monza Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

AC Monza

Monza have scored just eight goals in eight Serie A games. But their stint defence has limited opposition teams to just seven strikes in that time. Raffaele Palladino’s men have been as stingy as they can be and their defensive discipline is something Mourinho would approve of.

First-choice goalkeeper Michele Di Gregorio boasts the best save percentage in the top five European leagues this term and is an extremely reliable last line of defence. The visitors will be keen to limit Roma’s attack and then hit their more accomplished opponents on the counter.

Papu Gomez is unavailable after being banned, while Gianluca Caprari is recovering from an ACL injury. Armando Izzo is another player who is a doubt for the game and it remains to be seen if he will be deemed fit to start.

A 3-4-2-1 formation appears to be in order with the impressive Di Gregorio in goal. He will be protected by the back three of Danilo D’Ambrosio, Pablo Mari and Luca Caldirola. Roberto Gagliardini and Matteo Pessina form a formidable central midfield pairing, giving Patrick Ciurria and Pedro Pereira the freedom to push forward.

Andrea Colpani and Samuele Vignato found the back of the net against Salernitana last time around and will occupy the dual number ten roles on the night. Lorenzo Colombo should start upfront, providing the visitors with a focal point in the attack.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Di Gregorio; D’Ambrosio, Mari, Caldirola; Pereira, Pessina, Gagliardini, Ciurria; Colpani, Vignato; Colombo

AS Roma vs AC Monza Preview: Probable Lineups, Prediction, Tactics, Team News & Key Stats.

Key Stats

  • Only Barcelona have managed to keep more clean sheets at home in the league than AS Roma in 2023.
  • AS Roma have faced the second lowest shots this season in Serie A, only behind defending champions SSC Napoli.
  • Monza have not conceded in 348 minutes going into the game, the longest active run of any side in Europe’s top five leagues.
  • A win on the night will see AS Roma secure three consecutive wins for the second time this year.
  • A clean sheet on Sunday will see Monza keep four straight clean sheets for the first time in Serie A history.

Player to Watch

Romelu Lukaku

AS Roma will be keen to keep within touching distance of the top six as they aim for a home win against Monza.
Romelu Lukkau is AS Roma’s most dangerous attacker. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Belgian ace has re-ignited his career at Roma and is among one of Serie A’s best strikers today. With seven goals in eight matches across all competitions, the 30-year-old is going to be the home side’s most dangerous attacker for Monza.

Strong in the air and capable of holding up the ball efficiently, Lukaku is a physically dominant player who will take some stopping. Monza will need to keep the veteran quiet if they are to extend their streak of clean sheets.


AS Roma 1-1 AC Monza

Monza have struggled to score away from home, and in Jose Mourinho they will have an opponent who knows full well how to take advantage of it. However, the visitors have shown plenty of fight this season and will be aware that Roma have a soft underbelly that can be exploited if pressured. There is every reason to believe the spoils will be shared on Sunday.

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