Roma finally pulled off an important win against a big side in a hostile environment on Saturday at the San Siro against Inter Milan. In that match, all four of our picks to click played a big part in the victory.
Things won’t be any easier for the Giallorossi today when Spanish side Real Betis comes to town in what could be the pivotal match in Roma’s Europa League group stage adventure. A win puts Roma in a strong position to advance and potentially win the group. Meanwhile, a loss really complicates matters.
With that in mind, we bring you our picks to click when Betis visits the Olimpico. And we’re going bold this time with a few names you may not expect.
Picks to Click: Roma vs Real Betis
Belotti’s started the last two Europa League matches, contributing his only Roma goal last time out against HJK. Sitting in with Jose Mourinho during yesterday's press conference seems to indicate Belotti will start again today against Betis. Whether it’ll be as the lone striker or in tandem with Tammy Abraham remains to be seen. No matter the formation, Roma needs production from their strikers, so a goal from Belotti would not only boost his confidence, it would go a long way in delivering a victory for Roma—and it may just push Abraham to rediscover his 2021-22 form.
These types of matches are why you sign experienced players like Matic. I don’t know if any of us envisioned the veteran playing quite so many minutes this early in his Roma tenure, but injuries have forced Mourinho’s hand a bit. Don’t expect Matic to turn up on the scoresheet, but he could have a big hand in keeping Betis off it. The Matic-Cristante pairing has drawn plenty of criticism, but the Serbian will have a big say in who wins the midfield battle by providing a line of defense in front of Roma’s three center backs.
Zalewski could spell Leo Spinazzola on the left tomorrow and then move back to the right wing against Lecce to spell Zeki Celik this weekend. With his opportunities slightly more limited this season due to Spinazzola's return, Zalewski should be hungry enough to make an impact against Betis. If he starts, expect Zalewski to push far up the left wing when Roma are in possession. Knowing that he’s got Roger Ibanez protecting his side of the pitch should give Zalewski the peace of mind to bomb down the left flank.
Zaniolo has started to show flashes of the player that he was prior to his second ACL surgery, but the end product has been lacking. Last season, Zaniolo scored some of the Giallorossi’s biggest goals in their run to the Conference League title. At the very least, making himself a thorn in the side of Betis’ D would be helpful. But opening his 2022-23 account with one at the Olimpico could set Roma up for a successful Europa League campaign.
Who is your pick to click against Real Betis?
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