March 9, 2013
Udinese v AS Roma: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.6||1.6|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.7|
|Last 5 home||W-W-W-W-D||W-L-W-D-D|
|Last 5 away||W-W-W-W-L||D-W-W-L-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Udinese | AS Roma|
|3/17||A: AS Roma||3/9||A: Napoli|
|3/23||H: Sassuolo||3/17||H: Udinese|
|3/27||A: Internazionale||3/22||A: Chievo Verona|
|3/31||H: Catania||3/25||H: Torino|
|4/6||A: Fiorentina||3/30||A: Sassuolo|
Third place is there for the taking, according to Roma forward Erik Lamela, as the resurgent Giallorossi look to seal a fourth consecutive Serie A win at the expense of Udinese tomorrow night.
A joyless six-week run saw Roma lose six games from eight, with Czech head coach Zdenek Zeman soon relieved of his duties, but his replacement Aurelio Andreazzoli has since overseen a remarkable turn-around.
Wins over Juventus, Atalanta and Genoa have dragged the capital club back into the race for Europe and third-placed AC Milan are just five points away going into the weekend's fixtures.
And Lamela, who has scored 11 league goals this season, told La Repubblica: "Third place is still there, it's still close, even though we have lost a lot of games.
"It all depends on us. Starting in Udine, let's see if we can win this game and go on a run.''
Roma reportedly rejected a 25million euro bid from a unnamed club for the Argentinian schemer in January and he insists he is happy in the Eternal City.
"I feel good here and the fans are showing me love, which is something that would make anyone happy,'' he added.
"I'm doing pretty well but I feel I can do even better with a little help from my team-mates.''
Midfielder Miralem Pjanic will miss the next four weeks with an ankle injury while Andreazzoli has doubts over Leandro Castan, Marquinhos and Mattia Destro, with Michael Bradley serving a one-match ban at the Stadio Friuli.
Udinese boss Francesco Guidolin, meanwhile, is allowing himself to look up the league table for the first time after the Bianconeri achieved his first target of collecting 40 points.
A 1-0 victory at Pescara gives Udinese a 19-point cushion on the bottom three, with Fiorentina and the European places just five points away.
Guidolin said: "Only those who are jealous and who choose to ignore the facts can fail to recognise the achievements of my team, who are on course to complete another extraordinary season.
"The vast majority of the fans recognise that fact and I take encouragement from that. Unfortunately too many people look at the glass as half empty.
"Let's look at who is immediately above us and take one step at a time. Europe is still far away.''
Mehdi Benatia, Giampiero Pinzi and Andrea Lazzari are sidelined through injury, with midfielder Giovanni Pasquale struggling to overcome a muscle complaint in time to face Roma.