Roma vs Real Madrid (By: Stanioooo)
Roma will face Real Madrid in the 5th round of CL in Rome.
Both clubs are one step away from securing their place in the CL 1/8 finals after they have 9 points till now, while the 3rd in the group with very little chances to progress are CSKA Moscow wtih 4 points. They need to win against Plzen and Real Madrid and also Real to fail today against Roma to take RM place in the next round, something which is absolutely excluded as an opportunity. You have to be crazy to think Real will lose at home against CSKA in the last round. Even in such a shaky form, Real can win with classical result against the Russians in Madrid.
So, let's concentrate only on this game between Roma and Real Madrid. I didn't post it yesterday with the other CL picks, because I was waiting for news and when I was online they were still not published and confirmed. Now everything is clear- Kostas Manolas(vital as importance centre back) is in the group for the match and will have a late fitness test. The Greek will start almost for sure from the beginning of the game, while Edin Dzeko was in the same position, questionable for this game, but he is also included and is almost 100% guaranteed he will be amongst the starting 11. That was the news I was waiting for. Without them everything could drastically change as a pick from me, but with them in the squad and starting line-up I feel much more confident about the prediction.
Roma are 7th in Serie A, very close to the 4th seeded Lazio. Inter, Napoli and Juve are so much ahead of the others, so there are no signs any of the other clubs will fight for these top 3 places. Not so much as points advantage, but as performance till the start of the season. Some of Roma's players confirmed they have little problems in the domestic league finding difficulties to mix successfully both CL and Serie A games, together with international breaks. They lose points as the other teams close to them in the ranking which is normal for Serie A, but in CL their performance is way much better. Kolarov said in the press-conference the team was not well-prepared for their first CL game and for their bad luck it was against Real Madrid playing as visitors. They lost it 3:0 after brilliant performance by most of RM players, especially Isco and Marcelo. After that Roma earned 3 wins against Plzen and CSKA including two home wins against them with 5:0 and 3:0. Dzeko was in superb form in these games and is expected to contribute a lot tonight against RM, which are obviously not in their best form.
Real Madrid are 6th in La Liga, 6 points behind the leaders Sevilla. I was thinking the performance of the club is finally balanced with Solari ahead, but that was such a bad mistake. During the weekend they lost against Eibar with 3:0 and there was only one word which described them the best- miserable. All of the players without any exclusion played way much under their normal level and the result was absolutely deserved. I am Real Madrid supporter, but the team is obviously full of problems during this season. Not only the poor start in La Liga. Really don't know if I can point all of them, but the most significant are the miss of Ronaldo and Zidane, the coach change during the season with Solari taking the place of Lopetegui, fans are totally against the president of the club Florentino Perez, because he is looking to destroy a team which lifted 3 times in a row the CL trophy. Also after France and Croatia performed brilliant during the WC, now players like Varane and Modric looked totally out of condition. Varane is obviously out of any form and makes silly mistakes, while all the speculations about Modric and the Ballon d'Or doesn't have a good influence on him. Isco and Asensio have such a less time on the pitch together with Vasquez, while the peak of everything was the news we understood in a couple of days before that Ramos failed the CL drug test in the CL final. This influenced also on him during the weekend against Eibar and he is expected not to be on his best tonight. To make the things even worse Casemiro is out of the squad, so Real will have to play without a real defensive midfielder.
Roma will miss only Pellegrini, De Rossi, Pastore and Perotti for this game as Manolas and Dzeko are back in action, while Real will be without Navas, Vallejo, Odriozola, Nacho and Casemiro.
Two years ago they faced each other in CL 1/8 finals and Real won both games with 2:0, but Ronaldo was the man who made the difference. Real also entered in both games as huge favourite. Now the situation changed drastically and Real are not trustable team for sure. It's silly RM to rely on Bale and Benzema to earn them points and achievements. They are out of form for such a long time and Ronaldo was the man who pushed the team forward when they needed to..without him I can't see them achieving anything during this season. They are not favourites in CL, also in La Liga. First they have to fix the problems in the club with the coach as Solari is not a permanent option for sure, then with Perez and finally to freshen the team with a few quality players. This season will be the transition for sure!
I expect both clubs to play open football, but with so many players in RM who are out of form, especially both centre backs and with the fact Roma can rely on almost their best squad, I will pick 1X in this game. Really can't see how Real Madrid will take the max points against Roma in such a condition. It was hard to make it even when they were in superb form with Ronaldo and Zidane in the team, while now..Don't forget what happened last season in the match Roma-Barcelona. The Italians know how to beat the best at home ground. Double chance on Roma!
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Roma vs Real Madrid prediction
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