Serie A Stalemate For Roma At Udinese
Udinese v Roma
Udinese entertain title-chasers Roma on Tuesday as Serie A returns to action following the winter hiatus in the Italian top flight.
Udinese came away from their last game with a point after picking up a creditable 2-2 draw at Sampdoria just before Christmas although it means they’ve now earned only one win in their last eight league games and are now only in the top half by a solitary point. Their home record remains decent if unspectacular this season – they’ve lost just two of eight outings on their own patch although both of those defeats came in their last three home league games and Andrea Stramaccioni’s side have also failed to win any of those.
Club legend Antonio Di Natale is once again the club’s top scorer this season with eight Serie A goals for the 37-year-old, only two behind leader Carlos Tevez.
With only one victory in their last four games following a dull scoreless draw with Milan in their final game before the break, Roma will have to pick up the pace if they are to keep up with leaders Juventus although they remain just three points adrift of the reigning champions after 16 games.
Their recent sequence of results has also seen Rudi Garcia’s side lose their Champions League status following a home defeat to Manchester City despite being their only defeat in their last eight matches overall. They’ve kept clean sheets in each of their last two but scored only once in their past three games and a measly eight times in their seven Serie A games away from the Italian capital to date this season.
Adem Ljajic is the club’s top scorer this term with six Serie A goals to his name although the Serbian attacker has failed to register in any of his past three outings.
Udinese have doubts over Guilherme and Ivan Pris, although the latter is expected to be fit enough to take some part in the game. Midfielder Thomas Heurteaux is suspended following his dismissal against Sampdoria in their last outing forward Luis Muriel is expected to miss out once more.
Forward Gervinho is doubtful for Roma after being replaced with an ankle injury during their draw with Milan. Leandro Castan and Federico Balzaretti remain long-term injury victims while Salih Ucan is also out for the foreseeable future but Davide Astori and Miralem Pjanic are both available once more after serving suspensions.
Head to Head
Roma completed the double over these opponents last season on their way to a second-placed finish in the table with USA skipper Michael Bradley scoring the only goal of the game in their last clash at the Stadio Friuli.
The men form the capital have won seven of the past 11 overall and there’s only been one draw in the past 12 encounters between these clubs.
A Roma win doesn’t hold much appeal here at odds on of 20/21 while the home side’s difficulties in picking up three points would make me wary of them even at juicy 11/4 odds, so the draw looks the pick of the match betting bets by default at 5/2. Both teams have scored in seven of the last eight games involving Udinese and four of the last five between these teams and that’s a trend that should be backed to continue here at 4/5. Ljajic and Di Natale look the standout picks in the goalscorers market at 13/8 and 6/4 respectively to score anytime.