Udinese and Roma don't look like contenders for the Scudetto in Serie A, but they're certainly in the race for third place and a spot in the UEFA Champions League. The Zebrette are adjusting to life without three of their stars from the previous couple of years, while Roma are a new-look side, slowly but surely integrating new signings and a new system.
It's been a rocky start for Roma manager Luis Enrique, who joined from Spanish Segunda champions Barcelona B, but things appear to be coming together. They've won their last two matches in a row and Argentinian starlet Erik Lamela is on his way to becoming the first name on the team sheet in a world where Francesco Totti is past his prime. Along with Miralem Pjanic and Fernando Gago, Lamela makes up a group of fantastic passers in the Roma midfield. With Totti out, Lamela will almost certainly be the centerpiece of the side against Udinese.
The Zebrette have a fully fit side and have yet to lose this season at home. They were extremely disappointing last weekend in their 2-0 loss to Parma, but they will be expected to rebound with a much better performance at home, even against a side with the talent of Roma. Antonio Floro Flores and Antonio Di Natale both started against Parma, but expect Gabriel Torje to reclaim his starting spot from Flores. Udinese will continue to be a slightly imbalanced, right-leaning side, with natural right wingback Mauricio Isla in midfield, inside of Dusan Basta, who will occupy the true wingback role.
Udinese Vs. Roma
Game Date/Time: Friday, November 25, 2:45 pm ET, 8:45 pm local
Venue: Estadio Fruili
TV: FOX Soccer Channel (USA), FOX Sports World (Canada)
Online: ESPN3 (USA)