Roma are looking to rebound from a midweek loss to Real Madrid in the Champions League with a home game against Palermo in Serie A.
In spite of losing in midweek, the Rome side were able to put up a spirited performance which allowed them to head into the weekend with a reasonable feeling of momentum and good spirit.
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The home side have put together a run of four straight wins in Serie A and have a good chance of increasing that to five on Sunday. Roma are fifth in the table while Palermo currently sit ten places lower in fifteenth. Palermo’s recent run of inconsistent form has been widely attributed to their changes in manager.
As this situation has now stabilized, it is felt that Palermo pose more of a threat than their league position and recent run of form would suggest.
It remains to be seen whether Roma will need to rotate some of their players following the fatigue incurred by playing against Real in the middle of the week.
In all probability the home side will line up in their customary 4-2-3-1 formation, with Edin Dzeko spearheading the attack.
Boss Spalletti is unlikely to risk rushing Daniele De Rossi back into the side as the player has had a lingering injury which has kept him out of the side as of late. Long term injured player Kevin Strootman will also play no role on Sunday.
It is likely that Spalletti will ask his players to push through any fatigue in order to remain in contention for a spot in next year’s Champions League.
Palermo are likely to turn to their eighteen year old prodigy Fabrizio Alastra to play goalkeeper due to the injury of usual first choice Stefano Sorrentino. Giuseppe Iachini is back in charge of the Serie A side after their frequent hirings and firings of managers this season. Iachini is expected to be a stabilizing force for Palermo and is likely to field a 4-3-3 formation.
As well as the absence of Sorrentino, Edoardo Goldaniga will not play a part in the match due to an ongoing injury concern.
Alastra will look to restore Palermo’s winning ways, after failing to chalk up a victory since their earlier 4-1 victory against Udinese.
A large factor in the outcome of this contest will be whether Roma are demoralized after losing to Madrid or able to focus on the positives of their performance and carry some momentum into this domestic fixture. Palermo will look to exploit any tiredness and get a result to show their latest managerial appointment is the right one.