The Coppa Italia’s second-most successful club start their quest for another cup success when Roma host Spezia on Tuesday night (8:15pm kick-off UK time).
Only Juventus (13) have won the Coppa Italia more times than Roma’s nine, but the Giallorossi are now 12-and-a-half years without glory since their 2008 win, also their last trophy.
Where to watch Roma v Spezia on TV:
- UK: BT Sport ESPN
- US: ESPN+
How to live stream Roma v Spezia online:
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Scoreline prediction: Roma 3-2 Spezia
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Roma vs Spezia build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Roma have not had much luck in the Coppa Italia in recent years, losing three of their past five games in the competition. Entering at the last-16 of the competition, a benefit of finishing high up in Serie A, Roma have made it to the quarter-finals in each of the past two years before being knocked out (in other words, one win each).
Paulo Fonseca’s team go into this game without a win in two, drawing 2-2 with Inter Milan before a humiliating 3-0 defeat at the hands of bitter rivals Lazio on Friday. Tuesday’s match is just the second meeting between these two sides but starts a Roma-Spezia double-header with the pair set to face off in the league at the weekend.
Unlike Roma, Spezia have already played twice in the Coppa Italia this season, entering at the third round with the lower 12 top-flight sides, having been promoted at the start of the campaign. Serie B side Cittadella were the first to fall, before Serie A’s Bologna were dispatched after extra-time in the fourth round.
Spezia are also in decent form going into the game, unbeaten in three matches, including a 2-1 win over Napoli which moved them out of the relegation zone. The tightness of Serie A right now means Spezia cannot exactly breathe easily, but they may look to a good cup run to add some momentum in the final half of the season.
- Roma (vs Lazio): Lopez; Ibanez, Smalling, Mancini; Karsdorp, Veretout, Villar, Spinazzola; Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko.
- Spezia (vs Torino): Provodel; Vignali, Terzi, Chabot, Marchizza; Pobega, Agoume, Maggiore; Gyasi, Piccoli, Farias
With so many games coming up, both sides may be tempted to rest players ahead of their league meeting, but with Gianluca Mancini suspended next weekend he is likely to start. The same will go for Luca Vignali, who was sent off at the weekend, though the suspensions are not fulfilled in the cup.
However, Antonio Mirante, Nicolo Zaniolo, Riccardo Calafiori, Federico Fazio and Davide Santone are out for Roma, while Andrej Galabinov, Simone Bastoni, Federico Mattiello and Jeroen Zoet look set to miss out for Spezia.
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Players to watch:
- Roma: As rotation is likely, Borja Mayoral could be among those making a start for Roma, and the Spaniard has been good when called upon. Signing on loan from Real Madrid at the start of the season, Mayoral has mostly been restricted to substitute appearances in the league for Roma, with six of his nine starts coming in the the Europa League. In those six games, Mayoral scored three goals and recorded one assist, adding to three goals and three assists in his feeling Serie A moments. And Tuesday’s game will also be an opportunity for Mayoral to show Real Madrid what they are missing, with Los Blancos now a striker short, and Roma having an option to purchase the Spaniard at the end of his deal.
- Spezia: Should he start, Emmanuel Gyasi is likely to be Spezia’s best chance of breaking through Roma’s defence. The Ghanaian winger leads Spezia for assists in Serie A this season, setting up four goals for his teammates so far, while also adding one for himself. His contribution will be even more important with Spezia still missing their league top scorer M’Bala Nzola, who has been directly involved in just under half of the club’s goals in Serie A.
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