While it doesn't have quite the same robust feel as Roma's Supercoppa semifinal against Juventus last week, the Giallorosse continue their 2021 Coppa Italia campaign against city rivals Roma CF, giving them another opportunity to lay claim to the first trophy in the club’s brief two and a half year existence. Currently mired in last place in Serie B, Roma CF aren't likely to present much of a challenge to AS Roma, but since this is only the club's second match in the past month, there may be some residual rust plaguing Roma, particularly since Betty Bavagnoli is likely to rotate her squad rather heavily.
Roma CF vs. AS Roma: January 13th. 19:00 CET/1:00 EDT. Centro Certosa, Roma.
With that in mind, let's take a quick look at today's Coppa Italia Fixture.
Match Facts & Background
Currently bringing up the bottom of Serie B, Roma CF—who don’t have an affiliation with AS Roma despite sharing a color scheme, nickname, and similar badges—have run out to a 1-0-5 (W-D-L) record thus far and sport a -10 goal differential and are currently nine points from safety in Serie B.
Even by Serie B standards, Roma CF, who feature former Roma keeper Valentia Casaroli, have struggled mightily and will likely need a miracle to remain in Italy's second tier of female football. They did, however, win their first Coppa fixture against Tavagnacco 2-0 way back in September.
Our Roma also began their 2021 Coppa quest against Tavagnacco back in November, trouncing them in a 5-0 laugher on the road. Thanks to those dual defeats over Tavagnacco, Roma and Roma CF share the group H lead on three points—the women's Coppa Italia features eight groups of three at this stage in the competition—making today’s match essentially a play-off for Group H honors.
While league officials have done a remarkable job maintaining a normal league schedule in the face of the pandemic, the same cannot be said for the Coppa Italia. Originally slated for November 1st, this match went through three pandemic-induced postponements before today's kick-off, effectively putting the Coppa Italia on ice for nearly three months, as the tournament as a whole has been delayed waiting for this fixture to take place.
Injuries, Probable Lineups & Future Fixtures
In addition to the club's pending addition of star defender Elena Linari, the other big news of the week was the loss of midfielder Andrine Hegerberg, who tore the ACL in her left knee during a training session last Friday, stripping Betty Bavagnoli of one of her most important players. Telca Pettenuzzo, Agnese Bonfantini, and Maria Zecca will also miss this match due to injury.
Thanks to those injuries, and due to the tremendous gulf in class between the two Romas, Betty Bavagnoli will likely rotate a substantial portion of her starting eleven today. Look for Rachele Baldi to start in goal, while young players like forwards Serena Landa and Alice Corelli, defender Heden Corrado and the seldom-seen Osinachi Ohale should each get the nod in this match, though Bavagnoli will likely round out her XI with regulars like Manuela Giugliano, Elisa Bartoli, and Andressa Alves.
Whoever Bavagnoli selects, she'll have to keep an eye on the weekend as the Giallorosse resume league play when they host 12th place Napoli at the Tre Fontane on Sunday.