Thursday, October 28, 2021
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Preview: Juventus vs AS Roma



Juventus face AS Roma in the teams’ first game after the international break, as the Old Lady seeks to rectify what has been a stuttering start to the 2021-22 season. Massimiliano Allegri’s return to Turin has not gone as planned with his team seventh in the table, while José Mourinho’s second act of Serie A has shown promise with Roma fourth in the standings.

The Italian giants face off in Turin looking to make a statement: Juve to prove their start-to-season form is simply trouble and Roma to prove they are serious title contenders. Juventus have won their last three league games after first four winless games and expect their streak to continue.

Roma comfortably beat Empoli 2-0 at home in the last game before half-time, a good response after their 3-2 loss to Lazio in the Rome derby. A win on Sunday could see them finish the week just three points off the top if other results go well.

TEAM NEWS

Allegri will be left without the services of forward Álvaro Morata, who is out due to a hamstring injury. However, Paulo Dybala can give Juventus a boost as he could return to the side after missing three games following a hit against Sampdoria last month.

Adrien Rabiot will miss the match and tested positive for Covid-19 on international duty, while Aaron Ramsey will be out of the game for the long term.

Juventus planned lineup: Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Bentancur, McKennie, Locatelli; Kulusevski, Bernardeschi, Chiesa

Mourinho’s big concern will be the situation of his star forward Tammy Abraham, who Twisted his ankle in international service with England and it is a great doubt. Lorenzo Pellegrini missed training and it is also a doubt.

Chris Smalling was also injured in training and could miss the game. His central colleague Federico Fazio is suspended alongside Alessio Ricardi, while Leonardo Spinazzola is unlikely to appear this calendar year.

Rome planned lineup: Patrick; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibáñez, Vina; Veretout, Cristante; Zaniolo, Mkhitaryan, Il Faraone; Foreman

GAME CHANGERS

Juventus have battled for goals so far in Serie A this season, having scored just 11 goals in their seven games so far. They will be left without Morata and most of the creative and scoring burden will fall on the shoulders of Federico Chiesa.

The attacker was in good shape during the international break and will seek to continue his good streak for the black and white. AS Roma’s full-backs are perhaps his weak point and Chiesa should be able to make good use of this given his tendency to drift, especially to the left side.

For Roma, Henrikh Mkhitaryan holds the key to success. Abraham’s presence is crucial to the way Mourinho wants his Roma side to play and given his likely absence, they will be looking to Mkhitaryan to break up Juve’s defense.

The Armenian attacking midfielder has started the season well with two goals and two assists in seven appearances so far. It will be the link between the midfield and the attack and will look for spaces between a Juventus midfield that is not yet fully settled.

PREDICTIONS

The match is bound to be fierce given the stakes. Both parties have their share of injury issues to deal with and neither party has a sense of security about them. It is likely to be a cautious affair with few opportunities and distant from each other and FootTheBall predicts that he will finish Juventus 1-1 Roma.



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