AS Roma begin their 2020-21 Serie A campaign with a tricky visit to the Stadio Bentegodi to take on Hellas Verona. The home side surprised much of Italy with their ninth-place finish last season, despite being one of the newly promoted sides. Roma, on the other hand, faltered regularly as they finished a distant fifth to the UEFA Champions League qualification spots.
Verona's dogged performances under manager Ivan Juric saw them initially compete for the European spots but dismal results after the resumption of football following the COVID-19 lockdown meant they ended the season in ninth.
It placed a spotlight on many of their players with the departure of Sofyan Amrabat in particular, likely to hurt. Pre-season results haven't been the best either, with Hellas Verona going into the game against Roma on the back of a 0-1 defeat to Cremonese.
As for Roma, it's been off-field matters at the forefront of the fans' thoughts as the Friedkin Group finally completed their takeover of the club. Dreams of massive spending were swiftly extinguished as Pedro arrived from Chelsea on a free transfer while Henrikh Mkhitaryan's loan was made permanent with Arsenal waiving a transfer fee. Alexander Kolarov and Nikola Kalinic have moved on for small amounts, with concerns over departures of other key players.
Paulo Fonseca has overseen a fairly promising pre-season with large victories over Frosinone and Sambenedettese, but the most recent 2-2 draw to Cagliari raised concerns.
Hellas Verona vs AS Roma Head-to-Head
In the last 10 games between the two teams, Verona have never managed to win a single game, only registering three draws against the Giallorossi. Roma, on the other hand, have won seven of the last 10, including the most recent four. The two sides last met in July, with Roma holding on for a narrow 2-1 win at the Olimpico.
Hellas Verona form guide: D-L-W-L-W
AS Roma form guide: : W-L-W-W-D
Hellas Verona vs AS Roma News
Hellas Verona have seen plenty of their first team leave for pastures anew, with Fabio Borini, Sofyan Amrabat and Matteo Pessina departing. A further departure was announced as Marash Kumbulla left for their opponents this week, and indeed could be lining up for the Romans. Verona did receive three players on two-year loans from Roma, with Mert Cetin likely to go straight into the starting lineup
Ivan Juric has a few selection issues that may necessitate a change from his usual 3-4-2-1 formation. Centre-back Magnani is out injured while Darko Lazovic is a doubt but could still feature.
Injuries: Giangiacomo Magnani
Doubtful: Darko Lazovic
AS Roma have plenty of walking wounded, although the greatest loss is undoubtedly that of Nicolo Zaniolo, with the talismanic youngster suffering another ACL injury while on international duty with Italy. He is set to miss much of the season, with Diego Perotti also out injured. Bruno Peres was quarantined with coronavirus concerns but may yet make the matchday squad.
Injuries: Nicolo Zaniolo, Diego Perotti
Doubtful: Bruno Peres
Hellas Verona vs AS Roma Predicted Lineups
Hellas Verona predicted XI (4-3-3): Marco Silvestri (GK); Davide Faraoni, Mert Cetin, Koray Gunter, Federico Dimarco; Adrien Tameze, Miguel Veloso, Marco Benassi; Mariusz Stepinski, Samuel Di Carmine, Darko Lazovic
Torino predicted XI (4-3-3): Pau Lopez (GK); Bruno Peres, Gianluca Mancini, Marash Kumbulla, Leonardo Spinazzola; Bryan Cristante, Amadou Diawara, Lorenzo Pellegrini; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Edin Dzeko, Pedro
Hellas Verona vs AS Roma Prediction
Verona were a tough side to beat at home last year, but with plenty of departures forcing a rethink from Ivan Juric, they are unlikely to beat a Roma side with plenty to prove.
Edin Dzeko may want to leave on a high note, while newcomer Pedro will no doubt be keen to score on debut. We can expect the away side to open their Serie A campaign with a comfortable victory.
Prediction: Hellas Verona 1-3 AS RomaPublished 17 Sep 2020, 22:18 IST