Like most Americans this time of year, my stomach is a bit heavier and my wallet a bit lighter. Nothing embodies the bipolar nature of the American body politic quite like the Thanksgiving weekend. From the outpouring of goodwill and charity in the days building up to Thanksgiving to the annual stampedes at Toys R Us, the entirety of the American experience unfolds in just 48 short hours. I’m not too proud to admit that I fell prey to both ends of that spectrum this weekend, bleeding my wallet dry on a cadre of items, some necessary, some not, so you’ll have to forgive the brief preview this week.
In case your head is still swimming from the holiday, let me refresh your Roma memory. Despite the poor performance against Atletico Madrid at the Wanda on Wednesday, Roma are still riding high, winners of five straight domestic matches, a streak that has propelled Roma to fourth place, five points adrift of league leading Napoli, with that still precious game in hand to be played.
Genoa v. Roma: November 26, 15:00 CET/9:00 EST. Luigi Ferraris, Genoa.
So, all in all, Roma are in fantastic shape despite Antoine Griezmann’s heroics midweek, but will Roma rebound in time to dust off Genoa or will that disappointment linger into Sunday?
Fortunately for the Giallorossi, the Genoa Cricket and Football Club is currently mired in 19th place, losers of three of their past four matches and generally speaking one of the league’s worst sides, as they sport a -8 goal differential thanks to their anemic attack, which has only mustered 11 goals this season.
But, and this is extremely important, Genoa is replete with former Roma players, a prospect that is always a cause for concern. Ervin Zukanovic, Andrea Bertolacci, Aleandro Rosi and Nicolas Spolli are perhaps the best collection of mediocre footballing talent this side of the Mississippi, and are sure to punch above their weight against their former employer.
As far as Roma are concerned, it’s business as usual. For 70 minutes on Wednesday, Roma was doing just enough to earn the draw against Atletico it need to advance in the Champions League. So while the loss was gutting, it wasn’t a referendum on Eusebio Di Francesco or any of the men wearing that lovely shade of brown/black that evening.
With the usual suspects sidelined (Patrik Schick and Rick Karsdorp), it’s nearly all hands on deck for EDF (Alessandro Florenzi remains doubtful), so Roma should be well equipped to brush off the Griffins on Sunday. Look for EDFs standard XI against Genoa, though obviously any injury to Florenzi will require some shuffling, most likely a Juan Jesus start, but Roma has no excuses ahead of this one.
Roma was right on track for two-thirds of their match on Wednesday, dominating the left flank, making timely tackles and keeping a good shape, in order to avoid a similar blanking on the other end, Roma MUST make better use of Edin Dzeko Sunday. The Bosnian Batistuta was sort of a forgotten man against Atletico, and given how integral he is to all things Roma, the absence was profound.
Juventus, Inter Milan and Napoli all have virtual gimmes this week, so it’s imperative that Roma makes short work of Genoa tomorrow.