Roma’s Recent Good Form

Roma has had a recent upturn in form. After a dismal December, the Giallosossi have advanced to the quarterfinals of the Champions League for the first time in a decade and hold a five-point point lead over rivals Inter Milan and Lazio for third. Cengiz Under has been a revelation with six goals in his last nine games while Radja Nainggollan has started to regain the form he had under Spalletti last season.

What has caused this change in form? It all starts with Di Francesco. His change in formations from the 4-3-3 to the 4-2-3-1 has allowed Nainggollan to push up higher and influence the final third more than when he was a midifielder in the 4-3-3. Even when Di Francesco plays the team in a 4-3-3, Nainggollan still plays more advanced than he did earlier in the season. Unlike earlier in the season, Di Francesco has been quicker to make in-game changes rather than waiting until the sixtieth minute to find a solution. It also seems as though Di Francesco has finally figured out his starting eleven as well. After the myriad of right wingers that were used at the beginning of the season, he has finally settled on Under as the starter. Under has proven to be a goal scoring threat from out wide and compliments both Perrotti and Dzeko in the eleven.

Unlike his predecessors, Di Francesco has actually relied on rotating his squad. Squad players and youngsters such as Juan Jesus and Gerson have gotten substantial playing time and have impressed whenever given the chance. According to Transfermarkt, the two have played 2196 and 491 minutes last season under Spalletti compared to the 1688 and 924 minutes they have played halfway through the season. This has seen him get the most potential out of his squad without burning out his starters and setting up players for the next season. In such a crucial moment of the season, having all his starters well-rested and ready to finish the season will surely pay off as the Giallorossi hope to finish the season strong and qualify for the Champions League.