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2023/24 Italian Serie A
Roma v Udinese
Sunday, 26 November 2023
Kick-off is at 19h00
Roma will be looking to put pressure on the top four when they host draw specialists Udinese at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday, November 26.
The Giallorossi (7th) sit three points outside the UEFA Champions League places after drawing 0-0 with fierce neighbours Lazio in the Derby della Capitale on November 12.
Jose Mourinho's side have slowly been climbing up the table in recent weeks, winning three of their last five games after making an underwhelming start to the campaign.
They are just two points behind Fiorentina (6th) and Atalanta (5th), while Napoli are within touching distance in fourth position after suffering a surprise 1-0 defeat to Empoli on matchday 12.
The Little Zebras (16th) find themselves two points clear of the relegation zone despite winning just once in 12 matches this term.
A 1-0 victory over AC Milan on November 4 brought an end to their winless start to proceedings and a 1-1 draw with Atalanta eight days later extended their unbeaten run to six games.
Gabriele Cioffi's side have now drawn eight times in the league - more than any other team - which has helped to keep them out of the bottom three. Salernitana (20th), Verona (19th) and Cagliari (18th) all failed to pick up wins last time out.
Mourinho seems to be getting the best out of Romelu Lukaku once more after he flourished under the Portuguese tactician initially during their time together at Manchester United. The on-loan Chelsea striker has bagged six goals in 10 top-flight appearances this season and the signs of making his move permanent next summer appear promising.
Alamy Stock Photo
Part of the problem for Udinese not converting those draws into wins is a lack of goals as they're the joint-third-lowest scorers in the league (8). Isaac Success has led the line on 11 occasions, but has yet to get off the mark in 2023-24 and the Nigerian striker crucially missed a penalty against La Dea.
Mourinho lauded the Roma fans after the derby draw with the Biancocelesti for the "incredible" atmosphere they provided throughout the clash, having chanted from start to finish.
"Roma fans are incredible," he told Roma TV. "There are clubs where you play for yourself, for your professionalism, out of a sense of duty. They pay you to do your job and you do it to the fullest.
"Then, there are other clubs that are different, and Roma is one of them, where you play for the people. Knowing that beyond the importance of points won or lost, there is an emotional side to this match.
"I saw several fathers on the street with children on their shoulders... these things are pure genetics and we who were not born here and don't have it genetically, have it emotionally because of what they do for us. They make you feel part of it."
This will be Cioffi's fourth match in charge of Udinese after he returned to the helm on October 25 following the dismissal of Andrea Sottil and he has backed Success to come good despite his struggles in front of goal.
"Isaac will score 8-10 goals," he told SOS Fanta. "Like [Lorenzo] Lucca he will come close, like Florian [Thauvin], like [Simone] Pafundi who I don't know how much space he will have.
"Playing well, they are playing games at the highest level, they won't break the deadlock, we will find the goal in another way."
Head-to-Head (Last Five Serie A Meetings)
Matches - 5
Roma - 3
Udinese - 1
Draws - 1
Serie A Matchday 13 fixtures:
Saturday, November 25
16h00: Salernitana v Lazio
19h00: Atalanta v Napoli
21h45: AC Milan v Fiorentina
Sunday, November 26
13h30: Cagliari v Monza
16h00: Empoli v Sassuolo
16h00: Frosinone v Genoa
19h00: Roma v Udinese
21h45: Juventus v Inter Milan
Monday, November 27
19h30: Verona v Lecce
21h45: Bologna v Torino
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