Serie A Matchday 35: Roma – Crotone Match Preview

Injury-crippled Roma entertain basement boys Crotone at the Stadio Olimpico in a must-win Serie A fixture on Sunday evening. A string of disappointing results in Italy and Europe saw manager Paulo Fonseca part company with the Giallorossi earlier this week.

Fonseca won’t be in the dugout next season as Roma appointed former Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho head coach heading into the 2021/22 season. However, the ex-Shakhtar Donetsk boss will remain at the helm until the end of the current campaign.

Meanwhile, Crotone will go back to Serie B following an utterly underwhelming top-flight season just a year after earning Serie A promotion.

Roma vs. Crotone Head-To-Head

The Giallorossi boast a 100% Serie A record against Crotone, having won each of their five top-flight meetings by an aggregate score of 12-1. The only time the Pitagorici managed to score against Roma in Serie A was in a 3-1 defeat in the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Alongside Napoli, Roma remain the only team in the top-flight history to beat Crotone in each Serie A encounter.

A trip to the capital may stir some painful memories for the Calabrian minnows, who have lost both of their previous league matches at the Stadio Olimpico without scoring. Juventus and Palermo are the only remaining sides to shut out Crotone in all Serie A meetings away from home.

Teams Recent Forms

Coming into this matchday, the Giallorossi have suffered three defeats in their last four Serie A matches (D1), conceding an average of 2.66 goals per loss. Roma’s downfall has seen them slip to seventh in the league table as they face the risk of missing out on European football next season.

Additionally, this season’s Europa League semi-finalists have picked up only one win in their last eight Serie A games, which is a fourth-worst return in the league during that span. 

Fonseca’s men have succumbed to two losses in their last five home Serie A fixtures (W2, D1), having avoided defeat in their first 12 top-division matches at the Stadio Olimpico beforehand (W9, D3). Curiously, each encounter won/lost in the abovementioned five-game sequence saw the victor get on the scoresheet first.

On the other hand, Crotone have suffered seven losses in their last eight Serie A outings, barring a 4-3 win against Parma in their most recent league trip. A genuine lack of defensive quality saw the Pitagorici concede an average of 2.57 goals per defeat during that stretch of games.

Before outscoring Parma, the visitors had gone winless in 16 away Serie A fixtures on the bounce (D2, L14). Again, Crotone’s defensive leaks have come back to haunt them as they’ve let in a staggering 51 away goals this league campaign, at least 11 more than any other side on the road.

Serse Cosmi’s men have shipped a league-high 26 first-half goals away from home this term. It doesn’t get better in the second half either, with Crotone conceding the joint-high 44 goals after the interval so far.

Predicted Line-ups

Roma (4-2-3-1): Antonio Mirante; Rick Karsdorp, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez, Bruno Peres; Bryan Cristante, Gianluca Mancini; Pedro, Davide Santon, Henrikh Mkhitaryan; Borja Mayoral

Crotone (3-5-2): Alex Cordaz; Koffi Djidji, Vladimir Golemić, Lisandro Magallán; Salvatore Molina, Junior Messias, Luca Cigarini, Ahmad Benali, Arkadiusz Reca; Adam Ounas, Simeon Tochukwu Nwankwo