AS Roma will look to remain in the Serie A title hunt when they travel to struggling Benevento on Sunday at 7:45pm (UK time).
The Giallorossi sit third in the table ahead of this weekend’s fixtures, just seven points adrift of leaders Inter Milan. Benevento, meanwhile, are down in 16th, although they do have a nine-point cushion between themselves and Cagliari in the final relegation spot, with a game in hand.
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Where to watch Benevento vs Roma on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Scoreline prediction: Benevento 1-3 Roma
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Benevento vs Roma build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Although they’re comfortably clear of the relegation zone, Benevento need to dig themselves out of their current rut quickly to avoid being dragged into a dog-fight. Filippo Inzaghi’s men have taken just three points from their last six games, drawing three and losing three, conceding a massive 16 goals in the process. Their last win came against 18th-placed Cagliari at the start of January, while their 5-2 defeat to Roma in the last meeting between these two will hardly fill the Sorcerers with confidence.
Paulo Fonseca’s men need the points just as much as Benevento, although for very different reasons. Sitting third in the table, Roma are just a single point clear of Juventus in fifth, while sitting seven points adrift of leaders Inter. Indeed, if Roma want to return to the Champions League next season, or win their first Scudetto since 2001, only a win will do here. Fonseca can only hope their midweek Europa League exploits — where Roma beat Braga 2-0 away from home — don’t catch up with his side here.
- Benevento (vs Roma): Montipo; Depaoli, Tuia, Glik, Barba; Hetemaj, Schiattarella, Nicolas Viola; Falque, Caprari; Lapadula.
- Roma (vs Braga): Lopez; Mancini, Cristante, Ibanez*; Karsdorp, Diawara, Veretout, Spinazzola; Pedro, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko.
Riccardo Improta and Artur Ionita return from suspension for the hosts but Gaetano Letizia is still injured.
Bryan Cristante, Chris Smalling, Ibanez, Marash Kumbulla and Davide Santon are all sidelined for Roma, leaving Fonseca with a real defensive selection headache this weekend.
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Player to watch: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Roma have been superb going forward this season but there’s no doubting their edge would be considerably blunted if not for the efforts of Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The Former Arsenal and Man Utd man has been absolutely superb in the final third for Roma, creating and scoring goals in equal measure. Mkhitaryan already has nine goals and eight assists in Serie A play alone this season and even when he’s not contributing directly to goals, he’s having a huge influence over his teammates, for example, completing six dribbles while simultaneously making four tackles during his last Serie A outing against Udinese.
Mkhitaryan grabbed two assists the last time Roma faced Benevento, and this weekend’s hosts will be having nightmares about the Armenian ahead of this Sunday’s clash.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- Benevento: DDLDL
- Roma: WLWWL
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