After a decisive 2-0 win over Sporting Braga in the midweek Europa League match, the Giallorossi return to Italy to take on 15th-place Benevento. Although this match doesn’t have the pizzazz of a battle of the titans, Filippo Inzaghi’s men have enough fight in them to be outside of the relegation zone to date. Add in the fact that Roma’s defense is really down to bare bones, and this match isn’t a guaranteed laugher in the same way a match against Crotone might be.
October 18, 2020: Roma 5, Benevento 2
The first go-around at this matchup was probably the most entertaining Roma match I’ve watched all season. Although goals from Gianluca Caprari and Gianluca Lapadula made the score level after 55 minutes, the Giallorossi found a can of NOS and left their opponents in the dust with goals from Pedro, Edin Džeko (twice!), Jordan Veretout, and Carles Perez. If Roma can avoid a hangover from their midweek match and dispatch Benevento with ease, we could be in for a fun Sunday.
Benevento vs. Roma: February 21st. 20:45 CET/2:45 EST. Stadio Vigorito, Benevento
What To Watch For
The Return of Captain Caveman?
As mentioned earlier, the Giallorossi are practically down to their last options in defense, with Chris Smalling, Max Kumbulla, Davide Santon and Riccardo Calafiori all out of commission. This means that Federico Fazio might actually get to see the pitch again for Roma, which isn’t necessarily an expected development given his advancing age and Paulo Fonseca’s decision to drop him a few months ago.
The former Argentine international is one the Giallorossi’s longest-tenured players at this point, having moved to Rome from Tottenham Hotspur in 2016. He’s been a good servant to the club, but it’s almost certain that this season will be his last in Rome. Roma basically already have a next-generation, arguably better version of Fazio in their ranks with Kumbulla, so once the injury crisis is over, it’ll be back to the pine for Federico. If you’re on the fence about watching this one, I’d recommend it just for the sentimentality of what might be Captain Caveman’s last match in a Roma kit.
Play The Kids?
Look, I’ll level with you: even with Roma’s injury issues in defense, this should be an easy win for I Lupi. Paulo Fonseca’s Roma has developed enough that I can feel comfortable saying that without needing to rub my lucky rabbit’s foot and knock on wood. That’s incredibly great news, and a testament to the work Fonseca’s been able to do to date.
Given that, I would love to see some Primavera kids get a chance against Benevento. The usual disclaimers apply, of course: the Giallorossi are in a tight race for the Champions League right now, so it would be a mistake for Fonseca to just throw in the B Team regardless of the score. Still, if the senior squad can put this match away quickly, we’ve seen that the players from Alberto De Rossi’s Primavera side have some potential, so what’s the harm in giving them a taste of Serie A action? Players like Tommaso Milanese have really impressed when given the chance this season, so if the score gets up to 3-0 or higher, bringing in Primavera star Amir Feratovic could set the Giallorossi up with yet another exciting defensive prospect. Given the injury crisis at hand, that’d be more than welcome.
This poll is closed