Roma Women v San Marino preview: Banusic to build after first goal

Roma Women play their third home game in a row on Saturday as they welcome San Marino to Stadio Tre Fontane.

Rarely faltering at home, Roma have won their last two matches and will be looking to make it three in a row.

This will be a big opportunity to do just that, as San Marino are one of the struggling sides in the division and are still without a win in 2021. Lingering above the relegation zone, they will bring their own motivation to the capital.

Roma will be without striker Paloma Lazaro for this encounter, meaning Marija Banusic may get the chance to start for the first time since joining the club. Her last substitute appearance showed her potential, as she scored a spectacular bicycle kick.

Captain Elisa Bartoli also remains absent, meaning Angelica Soffia and Kaja Erzen should continue in the full-back roles.

There may be a temptation for Betty Bavagnoli to rotate her squad somewhat, but the coach rarely chooses such an option and prefers to get the job done with a strong lineup, whoever the opponents are. And with no games for three weeks after this, there would be little purpose in resting players anyway.

If Bavagnoli sticks with a similar lineup to last week’s win over Inter, Vanessa Bernauer and Allyson Swaby could both make their 50th starts for the club – something only two other players have done before.

Roma will not move from fourth position whatever the result, with a healthy lead accumulating over the sides below them but also a nine-point gap still separating them from third. The only way to close it is to keep plugging away by winning games like this.

Kick-off is at 1:30pm UK time and the game will be available to watch live on Roma TV+.

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