Having failed to keep up with Juventus last season, AS Roma will be very motivated to prove they are good enough to match the Serie A holders. Meanwhile, the Bianconeri also have something to prove having kicked off the new campaign with a disappointing home loss to Udinese.
AS Roma had a pretty impressive start to the previous league campaign, but things started taking the wrong turn after the 3-2 controversial defeat to Juventus. And while the Giallorossi were able to keep up with their title rivals for a little while, they ended up finishing 17 points behind their more illustrious opponents, and just one point above local rivals Lazio. Sporting director Walter Sabatini was once again eager to shake up the playing squad, meaning Rudi Garcia will again be forced to rebuild his side, almost from scratch. Roma did manage to recruit some quality players during close season, but they will obviously need time to gel, although the Giallorossi did produce a very good showing in the 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona, dominating the match from start to finish. Nevertheless, they will have much bigger fish to fry this weekend and the hosts will have to work hard if they want to get something from this match. In Dzeko, Salah and Gervinho, Roma have a pretty formidable front line that has the potential to hurt even the strongest defences, but the trio will need some more time to develop an understanding required to get the maximum out of them. The good news is that Rudi Garcia has no major selection worries, although Antonio Rudiger and Kevin Strootman are out injured.
Juventus won their fourth consecutive league title in style last term and they also went one step further having made it to the Champions League final. In spite of the promising performance, the Bianconeri were unable to prevent Barcelona from claiming the trophy and they now enter the new season with similar ambitions. The departure of Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal, Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente marks an end of a very successful era for the club, but Juventus officials did well to sign them proper replacements. Juventus splashed out on Dybala, Mandzukic, Zaza and Alex Sandro, whilst Sami Khedira and Juan Cuadrado came free of charge. But, while the Bianconeri outplayed Lazio to claim the Italian Super Cup trophy, they suffered a shock defeat to Udinese in their opening Serie A fixture and are now in a difficult situation ahead of the derby clash with AS Roma. Injuries to Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and Kwadwo Asamoah are creating additional problems, although Max Allegri does have big enough squad to cope. Knowing all too well that the Giallorossi will adopt a positive approach, Juventus will be perfectly happy to sit back and wait for their chance on the break.
AS Roma appear to be in decent form at the start of the new campaign, but it is Juventus who has a psychological advantage having dominated the Serie A for the past four years. And with the Bianconeri not exactly at their best at the moment, we should see a close game, where the teams could cancel each other out.
Best Odds: 11/5
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