In a season of firsts, Betty Bavagnoli’s Giallorosse side is faced with yet another new experience, the Coppa Italia. While Roma lost to league leading AC Milan last weekend, spirits remain high, as the ragazze went toe to toe with the toughest side in the league and nearly came out on top. Fortunately for Roma, their Coppa quest starts off with a soft one, lowly Orobica Bergamo, a side they waxed 3-0 in early November.
However, since this is a Roma side we’re talking about, things aren’t nearly that simple. Much like their male counterparts, the women of Rome have suddenly been beset by injuries, making this would be cake walk fraught with uncertainty. Among the potentially missing tomorrow are club stalwarts Federica Di Criscio, Agnese Bonfantini, Giada Greggi, and Vanessa Bernauer; that’s four starters and four of the club’s best players, two of whom (Bonfantini and Di Criscio) scored against Orobica in November.
Orobica vs. Roma: December 8th. 14:30 CET/8:30 EST. Campo Sportivo, Bergamo.
In spite of those odds, Bavagnoli remains optimistic:
Once again we have a few injury issues, a few players out, so it’s not the ideal scenario – but this means it is also a chance for some of our other players to come in.
It’s a great opportunity to see how they are doing, how they compare and play in the place of some of our usual players. So we will go into the game with our approach, our focus, but definitely making a few changes too.
Fortunately for Bavagnoli, her hand was similarly forced last time they played Orobica, though not nearly to the same extent.
Without Bonfantini, Greggi and Bernauer, the forward two-thirds of Roma’s attack has been literally cut in half. In their stead, look for Claudia Ciccotti and possibly Flaminia Simonetti to fill the gaps in the midfield, while Bonfantini will likely be spelled by Luisa Pugnali (who also played in that November match) or Maria Zecca.
While this isn’t the same competition, this is nevertheless an important step for Roma in their maiden Serie A voyage. After ripping off a five-match unbeaten streak, Roma’s hopes were dashed last week at the Tre Fontane, making this the first serious test of their mettle; will they let that disappointment derail all the progress they’ve made, or will they press on?
Working in their favor is Orobica’s general lack of quality—four points through nine matches—and the fact that they already walloped them while missing a few key parts. With a ten point gap behind league leading Milan, hope for the Scudetto is probably dashed—though European qualification remains in the cards—making the Coppa Italia Roma’s best bet to make a name for themselves in their inaugural season.
Even without Greggi, Bonfantini and Bernauer in tow, Roma has more than enough weapons to obliterate Orobica once more.