Roma must avoid slipping into

    • 122 posts
    April 25, 2018 11:07 PM EDT

    Two problems dominate all others before Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final at Anfield – at least in determining how the game will be won. Can Roma stop Mohamed Salah and can Liverpool defend set plays? Youth Adidas Winnipeg Jets #19 Nic Petan Premier Green Salute to Service NHL JerseyA key factor in Roma’s success against Barcelona was Eusebio Di Francesco’s switch to a 3-5-2, having fielded a 4-3-3 in every other game bar one this season. It not only wrong-footed Barcelona but meant Roma had three against two at the back and in midfield, something that was possible because the two wing-backs, Alessandro Florenzi and Aleksandar Kolarov, had the energy to drive back Barça’s wide men, Sergi Roberto and Andrés Iniesta. It forced them to defend rather than tucking in to offer support to the two central midfielders, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. That had two principal benefits. First it meant Juan Jesus could step with confidence from the backline to deal with Lionel Messi, knowing he always had two players behind him who had just one central forward, Luis Suárez, to contain. It also meant that at the back of midfield Daniele De Rossi, protected by Kevin Strootman and Radja Nainggolan, had time and space to make the play. And that is why this match will be so different from Roma’s task against Barça. Quite apart from anything else there is no chance that De Rossi will have as much time on the ball as he had then. The sight of him measuring his pass over the defence for Edin Dzeko in the second minute as no one closed him down should shame Barça. Whether that was a facet of their attitude or a conscious decision to release Suárez and Messi from defensive responsibility, it allowed Roma’s creative fulcrum to go about his business unchallenged. Roberto Firmino will not allow it. Liverpool will be aggressive, fearsomely so, in their press and how Roma handle that will go a long way to determining whether they have a chance in the game. The worry for Di Francesco must be the way Tottenham – after their dozy 10 minutes in Turin and before their dozy 10 minutes at Wembley – were able almost to bully Juventus in their last-16 meeting, something that St. Louis Blues Jersey confirmed the impression the Premier League is a George Gervin Womens Jersey different level from Serie A in terms of pace and power. Even more concerning must be the fact that, aggressively as Spurs press, Liverpool are far more ferocious. As well as everything else this will be a serious physical examination. As for shape, there would seem little obvious benefit for Di Francesco in opting for a back three again. It might conceivably offer greater defensive cover and, appealing as the thought of having Juan Jesus on the left of three central defenders to block Salah’s incursions from the Liverpool right may be, it causes far more problems elsewhere. Firmino’s habit of dropping deep means that having two players to pick him up is probably one and a half too many, while Sadio Mané’s pace makes him ideally suited to exploiting the space behind a wing-back. To play a back three would be to risk the wing-backs being driven back and it becoming a back Authentic Laurent Duvernay-Tardif Jersey five, which in turn would essentially surrender the flanks to Liverpool’s attack-minded full-backs, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson. And that would make certain a disparity that already seems likely in midfield, where Roma’s obvious quality risks being overrun by the greater pace and energy of whichever trio Jürgen Klopp selects. Di Francesco is more likely to opt for his familiar 4-3-3, sitting the back seven relatively deep to frustrate Liverpool. Dzeko, who has been in fine form, is the outlet, operating in a role in which he thrives as the roving lone front man, although Liverpool have been less vulnerable in the air since the arrival of Virgil van Dijk. Saturday’s draw against West Brom, albeit with a much-changed backline, demonstrated that foible has not entirely gone away. With Dzeko and Kostas Manolas on hand Roma have the aerial power to trouble Liverpool from set plays. cheap jerseyswholesale nfl jerseys wholesale jerseys cheap jerseys free shipping wholesale jerseys

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