Roma - Bologna prediction and analysis
The Stadio Olimpico is where Roma and Bologna face each other in their first Serie A match of 2023.
The Wolves remained winless in 2 consecutive matches against the Greyhounds .
As their home run last season ended in a lackluster goalless draw.
Worrying for the home side's hopes is that they have scored just once in their last 3 home league games.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrea Belotti have not yet recovered from their injuries.
But barring them, Roma coach Mourinho could call up his entire first-team squad for this match.
All eyes, however, will be on Paulo Dybala.
Yes, he played a minor role in Argentina's World Cup title-winning squad in Qatar.
But Dybala has been crucial for Roma so far this season with 5 goals and 2 assists from 9 Serie A appearances.
On the other hand, Bologna will be without defender Kevin Bonifazzi and forward Joshua Zirkzee.
Still, coach Motta should have the rest of his squad available, including Marko Arnautovic .
The veteran striker has been nothing short of impressive in the 2022/23 season.
Hogging the limelight as one of Serie A 's deadliest strikers .
As only Viktor Osimhen (9) scored more goals for Napoli than him (8).
However, Bologna's revival under Thiago Motta will be severely tested.
Because Roma are desperately looking for points to revive their hopes for the top 4 .
Mourinho's men can no longer make mistakes if they want to stay one step away from the Champions League quotas.
And the Wolves will need to get back to winning ways in the new year.
But I don't think that will happen until the second half of this game.
Roma - statistics and info
It's fair to say that the mid-season break saved Jose Mourinho.
As his players had gone on a nasty 3-match league winless streak (D2 L1) before the World Cup.
Poor form has dropped Roma out of Serie A's top four for the first time this season.
As the Giallorossi enter the renewal of the Calcio three points behind fourth-placed Lazio.
Mourinho had plenty of time to reassess his options and strategies.
With the goal now to rebuild his team as a contender for the Champions League zone.
Roma have recorded mixed results in their mid-season friendlies.
But he still recorded 2 clear victories in the last two of them – against the Portuguese Casa Pia and against the Dutch Waalwijk.
Bologna - statistics and info
Like their hosts, visitors Bologna stepped up during the World Cup break.
Winning all three of their friendlies by a combined score of 12-1.
As the loudest victory was against low-ranked Austrian Kapfenberg.
Inspired by new head coach Thiago Motta, the Rossoblu enjoyed a major renaissance.
Before the international break halted their momentum.
Accumulating 4 wins from their last 5 matches in Serie A.
But away games are not their strength - 5 losses in their previous 7 championship visits (1-1-5).
With a comfortable lead of 12 points over the 18th Cremonese, the guests have created comfort and peace.
And they can enter the new calendar year without the pressure of being drawn back into a dreaded relegation battle.
As it was last year.
Squads and injured footballers
Lineups: Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez; Celik, Kristante, Kamara, Zalevski; Zaniolo, Pellegrini; Abraham
Injured: Wijnaldum, Belotti
Sent off: Karsdorp
Lineups: Skorupski; Posh, Soumaoro, Lukumi, Likogiannis; Medell, Dominguez; Ebischer, Ferguson, Soriano; Arnautovic
Injured: Zirkzee, Boniface
Ranking and Form in the league