Juventus’ defence of their Serie A title reaches its second game on Sunday at 7:45pm as the Old Lady travel to face Roma.
Now led by former midfielder Andrea Pirlo, Juventus got the 2020/21 campaign off to a winning start last weekend, beating Sampdoria 3-0 thanks to goals from Dejan Kulusevski, Leonardo Bonucci and Cristiano Ronaldo. That quickly removed any doubts surrounding Pirlo’s capabilities as manager, having replaced Maurizio Sarri in the summer without any experience. But Sunday represents a different challenge.
Roma, who finished fifth in Serie A last season, will be looking to get their season back on track after an early setback. The Giallorossi had drawn 0-0 with Hellas Verona in their opening game of the season, but the result was later switched to a 3-0 defeat for Roma.
The forfeit from Roma came due to an administrative error regarding Amadou Diawara, who started the game. Rather than registering Diawara in their 25-man squad for Serie A, Roma had mistakenly kept him in the under-22 section, for which he was ineligible after turning 23 in July.
Roma have announced their intention to appeal the ruling, but they must now keep their focus on the pitch against a Juventus side that will be looking to grow under Pirlo.
Where to watch Roma vs Juventus on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
Where to live stream Roma vs Juventus:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Roma vs Juventus live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
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Roma & Juventus’ previous line-ups:
- Roma (vs Hellas Verona): Mirante; Mancini, Cristante*, Ibanez; Karsdorp*, Diawara*, Veretout, Spinazzola; Pedro, Mkhitaryan, Pellegrini.
- Juventus (vs Sampdoria): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini; Cuadrado, Rabiot, McKennie, Frabotta; Ramsey; Kulusevski, Ronaldo.
Roma manager Paulo Fonseca has already informed the media of his starting XI for Sunday’s game, barring any late absentees. Edin Dzeko is set to return to the attack, joined in the XI by Davide Santon and new signing Marash Kumbulla. Amadou Diawara, who has officially been registered to the squad, has dropped out of the XI alongside Bryan Cristante and Rick Karsdorp.
Meanwhile Juventus could remain unchanged from the side that beat Sampdoria last weekend, with Alex Sandro and Matthijs de Ligt both ruled out, but Paulo Dybala could be in contention for a return.
Players to watch:
Roma: Edin Dzeko. The reason why Dzeko started last weekend’s game on the bench was due to the uncertainty surrounding his future. According to reports in Italy, the Bosnian did not want to risk a potential move falling through due to injury. But that move did ultimately fall through and Dzeko should get his first start of the season against Juventus. Oh, did we mention Juventus were the team he was meant to be joining? How football loves its stories. Dzeko has been an excellent striker for Roma since joining from Manchester City permanently in 2016, scoring 106 goals in 222 games across all competitions. Although the Roma captain has slowed down slightly in terms of scoring, he still managed to net 16 in the league last season, seven more than he had managed in 2018/19. Roma were toothless in front of goal without Dzeko last time out, even before the 3-0 win was awarded to Verona, and could really do with the Bosnian showing Juventus what they are missing out on.
Juventus: Dejan Kulusevski. Last weekend’s 3-0 win over Sampdoria saw Kulusevski make his Juventus debut, almost nine months after he signed for the club, and what a start it was. The Swedish winger was one of the most exciting players in Serie A last season at Parma, whom he represented on loan first from Atalanta and then Juventus. In 36 Serie A games for Parma last season, Kulusevski was directly involved in 18 goals, scoring 10 and recording eight assists. It took him just 13 minutes to get off the mark for Juventus last time out, playing alongside Ronaldo up front, and the Swede will be looking to prove he can continue to play there.