Roma vs Spezia: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Demoralized after a Europa League heartbreak, Roma return to the final Serie A weekend to entertain relegation-battling Spezia at the Stadio Olimpico. Sunday’s clash in Rome is a textbook definition of a high-stakes encounter, with both sides coming into proceedings in desperate need of points. 

Despite taking a first-half lead through Paulo Dybala, Roma fell short of Europa League glory on Wednesday as Sevilla battled back to secure a penalty shoot-out. Jose Mourinho’s team failed to show composure in the series, wasting a golden opportunity to ensure the greatest European success in the club’s history.  

But this isn’t a time for tears, as Roma could miss out on Europa League qualification despite commencing the final Serie A round in sixth. Only one point clear of seventh-placed Juventus, the Giallorossi cannot afford a slip-up on home turf if they’re to qualify for Europe’s second-tier competition. Yet a quick look at their domestic form strikes fears into the home supporters’ hearts.

Winless in their last seven straight Serie A matches (D4, L3), Roma must be aware their bid to oust 17th-placed Spezia is not a foregone conclusion. Adding to this sentiment, the visitors take this trip fighting for their lives as they head into the season finale level on points with 18th-placed Hellas Verona. However, given a superior head-to-head record, they don’t necessarily need to win in Rome.

With Verona playing Milan on the road, not even a defeat at Roma may be enough to sink Spezia to Serie B. Though there’s no doubt Leonardo Semplici’s men are keen to hold up their end of the bargain and get the best result they can, a 4-0 home romping to Torino in the previous round can hardly give the visitors much reason for enthusiasm. 

Match Preview


Roma boast a flawless H2H record against Spezia in Serie A, having won five of their previous six meetings in the competition (D1), keeping a clean sheet in the last three in a row. Indeed, they’ve won both top-flight home encounters against the Aquilotti at the Stadio Olimpico by an aggregate score of 6-3, opening the scoring within 20 minutes of play on each occasion. 

While their scoring record against Spezia looks impressive, finding the net has been a problem for Roma this term. Going into the final day of the 2022/23 season, they’ve netted just 48 Serie A goals. It means the Giallorossi could complete a top-flight campaign without reaching a 50-goal milestone for the first time since 1950/51. On a more positive note, they’ve won on the final day in six of their last seven Serie A seasons.

Player to Watch: Stephan El Shaarawy

Though you’d expect Paulo Dybala or Tammy Abraham to earn a place in this section, El Shaarawy could be Mourinho’s best asset on Sunday. The versatile forward has scored in his last three Serie A starts, soaking up the limelight as Roma’s danger man.


Each of Spezia’s five previous visits to the Stadio Olimpico to take on either Roma or Lazio has yielded a defeat. If that’s not enough to make manager Semplici worried ahead of this trip, his men have gone winless on nine consecutive Serie A travels (D5, L4) since a 2-1 win at Verona in mid-January. 

Slow starts have been a common theme in Spezia’s league matches this season. They’ve opened the scoring in a league-low nine Serie A games, casting further doubt on their faint hopes of upsetting the apple cart. What’s more concerning for the visitors, they’ve failed to get on the scoresheet in their last two away league outings (D1, L1). 

Player to Watch: M’Bala Nzola

Probably the only shining light in an otherwise abysmal season for Sppezia, Nzola is the only Aquilotti player to have hit double digits in Serie A this term, racking up 13 goals. 

Team News

Rick Karsdorp and Marash Kumbulla are the sole confirmed absentees, but there could be additional players who withdraw from the Roma squad following the disappointment on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Emil Holm, Joao Moutinho, and Petar Zovko have all been sidelined for a considerable period and continue to be Spezia’s only injury worries.

Roma vs Spezia Potential Lineups

Roma (3-4-3): Mile Svilar; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Zeki Celik, Georginio Wijnaldum, Bryan Cristante, Nicola Zalewski; Stephan El Shaarawy, Andrea Belotti, Lorenzo Pellegrini. 

Spezia (3-5-2): Bartlomiej Dragowski; Przemyslaw Wisniewski, Ethan Ampadu, Dimitrios Nikolaou; Kelvin Amian, Albin Ekdal, Esposito, Mehdi Bourabia, Arkadiusz Reca; Emmanuel Gyasi, M’Bala Nzola. 

Roma vs Spezia Prediction

In spite of Roma’s European heartache, Mourinho should inspire his players for a final push in possibly his last game in charge. Spezia’s performance in 2023 has been abysmal, and they are fortunate that Verona’s form has been equally dismal, increasing the chances of a relegation playout for both teams.

Prediction: Roma Win

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