Manuel Veth –
Roma vs Gladbach – Thursday, October 23, 17:55BST/18:55CEST – Stadio Olimpico, Roma, Italy
Roma are heading into the match on Thursday with a three-point lead over Borussia Mönchengladbach. But domestically, it has not always been easy for new head coach Paulo Fonseca.
Signed from Shakhtar Donetsk this summer, the Portuguese head coach was brought in as the great reformer. Fonseca has done fantastic work in the three years in charge of the Ukrainian serial champions.
Fonseca’s football at Shakhtar was breathless at times. But in 9 games in charge, Fonseca has averaged 1.78 points, down from 2.38 points he averaged at Shakhtar. The drop in points was expected as Fonseca moved to a bigger and more competitive league.
The biggest problem for Fonseca has been translating his attacking game to Italy. Roma have conceded ten goals in the first 8 Serie A games but managed a 0-0 draw against Sampdoria.
Meanwhile, Marco Rose’s project at Gladbach has progressed a bit faster. The head coach joined Gladbach from Red Bull Salzburg this summer and plays fast attacking football that has led the club to first place in the Bundesliga, although his club did lose against Borussia Dortmund on Saturday.
“For the second time in a row, we showed that we are pulling in the right direction,” Marco Rose said on Saturday. “We showed guts and forced Dortmund into playing defensive football.”
At the same time, Rose’s football is not without risk as to the Europa League matchday 1, 4-0 defeat to Austrian side Wolfsberger AC highlighted. That result was perhaps the only major negative but highlighted to Roma that Gladbach, despite a decisive run, can be vulnerable.
Roma vs Gladbach – Players to look out for:
Nicolò Zaniolo #22 – Roma
Nicolò Zaniolo is Roma’s most prominent talent. The 20-year-old attacking midfielder burst on the scene last season but has been kept off the scoreboard this season in Serie A. But the attacking midfielder scored once in two Europa League games and will be the player to watch against Gladbach.
Marcus Thuram #10 – Borussia Mönchengladbach
The son of famous Lilian Thuram, Marcus has had a great start to life in Germany. In the absence of the injured Alassane Plea, Thuram will be the key player for Gladbach. Tall but at the same time quick on his feet, the winger has scored three goals and two assists in 11 games across all competitions.
Roma vs Gladbach – Match Stats
- The two teams have never met one another, but both teams have plenty of experience against teams from their opponents’ country.
- This is Roma’s 27th fixture against German opposition. They have won ten of the previous 26 (D2 L14), eight at home.
- Mönchengladbach have won more games than they have lost against Italian sides (W5 D7 L4)
Futbolgrad Network Prediction: Roma vs Gladbach – 1-1
Roma vs Gladbach – Lineups
Lopez – Kolarov, Fazio, Mancini, Spinazzola – Veretout, Riccardi – Kluivert, Zaniolo, Perotti – Dzeko
Head Coach: Paulo Fonseca
Sommer – Wendt, Elvedi, Jantschke, Lainer – Zakaria, Kramer – Benes – Herrmann, Embolo, Thuram
Head Coach: Marco Rose
Manuel Veth is the owner and Editor in Chief of the Futbolgrad Network. He also works as a freelance journalist and among others, contributes to Forbes.com and Pro Soccer USA. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in History from King’s College London, and his thesis is titled: “Selling the People’s Game: Football’s transition from Communism to Capitalism in the Soviet Union and its Successor States,” which is available HERE. Manuel has lived in Amsterdam, Kyiv, Moscow, Tbilisi, London, and currently splits his time between Victoria, BC, and Munich, Germany. Follow Manuel on Twitter @ManuelVeth.