Juventus make the trip to the capital on Sunday evening as AS Roma play host to the Bianconeri.
Juve were successful on their first outing in Rome this season as they beat Lazio 2-0 at the Olimpico back in November. They also edged the Giallorossi in the reverse fixture by a 1-0 scoreline as Moise Kean grabbed an inadvertent winner.
However, they head into Sunday’s bout with teething regret lingering from Thursday’s result against a depleted Napoli. Juve produced a mixed bag of a performance and drew 1-1 with the Neapolitans, but it’ll feel like two points dropped for Massimiliano Allegri considering the visitors’ availability crisis.
Still, there were positives to take moving forward and they have a chance to make the most of a vulnerable Roma this weekend. Jose Mourinho’s Giallorossi produced a statement victory away at Atalanta before the winter break, but their ‘recent’ form otherwise has been indifferent at best.
In their opening game of 2022, their inferiority complex reared its ugly head once more as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat to an AC Milan side missing several key players. Roma started and ended the game horrifically, with two defenders earning red cards late on in proceedings. It was an absolute mess and fears are slowly starting to emerge in the capital that Mourinho’s tenure may already be unravelling.
The Roma boss desperately needs a result against old foe Allegri on Sunday, and here’s our preview of the contest.
How to watch AS Roma vs Juventus
When is kick-off? Sunday 9 January
What time is kick-off? 17:30 (BST)
Where is it played? Stadio Olimpico
TV channel/live stream? BT Sport 1 (UK), Paramount+ (US)
AS Roma Team News
Defensive duo Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini miss out due to suspension. The pair were sent off in Roma’s 3-1 defeat at Milan on Thursday evening. Marash Kumbulla should deputise for Mancini, while Stephan El Shaarawy could fill in for Karsdorp at right wing-back.
Elsewhere, Borja Mayoral is an injury doubt with Leonardo Spinazzola a long-term absentee. Amadou Diawara and Ebrima Darboe are away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations.
Juventus Team News
Juventus announced on Friday that Giorgio Chiellini has recovered from COVID-19 after he missed Thursday’s game against Napoli. Despite Daniele Rugani’s stout recent showing, Chiellini is expected to come straight back into the XI and partner Matthijs de Ligt.
Luca Pellegrini and Kaio Jorge have also recovered from their respective illnesses and the pair should make Sunday’s matchday squad. The former is likely to replace the injured Alex Sandro in Allegri’s team.
The manager hinted that Paulo Dybala isn’t quite at 100% despite earning minutes off the bench against Napoli. Thus, it’d be a surprise to see La Joya in the starting XI on Sunday with the Supercoppa on the horizon. Allegri may also seek to manage the minutes of Federico Chiesa this weekend.
Danilo remains out for Juventus, but his return is imminent.
AS Roma vs Juventus Predicted Lineups
AS Roma: Patricio; Kumbulla, Smalling, Ibanez; El Shaarawy, Veretout, Cristante, Pellegrini, Vina; Abraham, Zaniolo.
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Chiellini, Pellegrini; Locatelli, McKennie, Bentancur; Bernardeschi, Morata, Chiesa.
AS Roma’s Recent Form
AC Milan 3-1 AS Roma (06/12) – Serie A
AS Roma 1-1 Sampdoria (22/12) – Serie A
Atalanta 1-4 AS Roma (18/12) – Serie A
AS Roma 2-0 Spezia (13/12) – Serie A
CSKA Sofia 2-3 AS Roma (09/12) – Europa Conference League
Juventus’ Recent Form
Juventus 1-1 Napoli (06/01) – Serie A
Juventus 2-0 Cagliari (21/12) – Serie A
Bologna 0-2 Juventus (18/12) – Serie A
Venezia 1-1 Juventus (11/12) – Serie A
Juventus 1-0 Malmo (08/12) – Champions League
Mourinho’s switch to a 3-5-2 has failed to paper over Roma’s flaws. On Thursday, they were overwhelmed by Milan’s superb press with their disconnect in possession proving detrimental. They looked like a side that weren’t ready to play against an exuberant Rossoneri.
This Giallorossi side aren’t awful, but they so often disappoint on the big stage. That’s a trend they’ll be hoping to reverse this weekend against a beatable Bianconeri outfit. Juve’s display against Napoli was fine in patches, but much of their good work wasn’t sustained. Neither side were able to seize control and the result, in the end, was just.
In the reverse fixture back in October, Allegri frustrated Roma by deploying a well-drilled low 4-4-2 block. However, that was dependent on Juve grabbing an early goal. On Sunday, I expect more of the pressing we saw in the opening exchanges against Napoli to exploit where the hosts are most vulnerable (in their build-up). Milan scored off the back of a high turnover on Thursday.
Despite this, I envisage this game being one that neither manager will want to lose. It could go either way, but I fancy a draw.
Prediction: AS Roma 1-1 Juventus