Two teams go into this clash in completely opposite moods. On one side we have AS Roma, the team with a perfect record. Eight for eight so far for Rudi Garcia's boys, and with their form, combined with their upcoming schedule, who knows when they will stop. On the other side, Udinese's start to the season has been anything but great. Just two wins from eight -- not what the friulani expected before the season started.
Udinese and Roma have played 39 times at the Stadio Friuli and have 14 wins each, with 11 draws. Roma is the favorite this time, despite being without Francesco Totti and Gervinho. And the reason for that isn't just the number of points. Roma, unlike Udinese, seems like a compact team that knows what they want at all times. Francesco Guidolin still haven't managed to make the zebrette play their famous quick counter attacking football, at least not as well as they have got us used to in previous seasons.
Udinese are, at least, in almost perfect health. They will only miss Maurizio Domizzi in the defense. Guidolin will finally have his first choice goalie, Serbian international Zeljko Brkic, fit, but it's still not certain whether he will start over Ivan Kelava. Another dilemma for Guidolin is whether to play Luis Muriel, who still hasn't shown his worth despite enormous talent, or Roberto Pereyra behind the lone striker Antonio Di Natale.
Rudi Garcia will have to make do without Totti and Gervinho. They have both been in great form so far this season, so replacing them won't be easy. It will be up to talented Adem Ljajic and experienced (though not that talented) Marco Borriello to fill their shoes. Another potential problem for the giallorossi is that Mattia Destro still isn't fit, leaving them without attacking alternatives if something goes wrong . The only offensive player they will have on the bench is the young Gianluca Caprari, a product of Roma's academy who played for Pescara last season.
Udinese injuries and suspensions
Maurizio Domizzi (injured)
Roma injuries and suspensions
Francesco Totti, Gervinho, Mattia Destro (injured)
Projected line ups
Sunday, October 27, 3 p.m. local, 10 a.m. ET
Stadio Friuli, Udine
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