Serie A | Roma vs Juventus: 5 Talking Points Before Kick Off

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Juventus Primed for Success


Following their tumultuous start to life under Jose Mourinho before the mid-season break, Roma hoped for better when they returned to competitive action on Thursday, but were ultimately unpicked by Milan at San Siro. When top scorer Tammy Abraham used his arm to block a shot, resulting in a eighth-minute penalty for the Rossoneri, his former Chelsea teammate Olivier Giroud converted the spot-kick, and Roma never looked much like getting back into the game from thereon in.


Though Abraham netted just before the interval and Rui Patricio saved a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty, Mourinho’s men ultimately fell to a 3-1 defeat; ending the match with only nine players after both Rick Karsdorp and Gianluca Mancini were shown their marching orders late on. The capital club had won two of their last three games in 2021 to offer a glimmer of hope that some elusive fluency and consistency could be found, but their most recent setback represented a sixth loss from 10 attempts away from home in Serie A.


By contrast, before Juventus come to town on Sunday, Roma have won six of their 10 matches at the Olimpico this term – keeping five clean sheets in the process. Mourinho will be concerned, though, that his team have only managed two victories there from their six most recent outings, and they must now face opponents that have beaten them in both of the teams’ last two meetings – and five of the last nine in the league.


Having won five of their last six games in 2021, Juve welcomed Napoli to the Allianz Stadium in midweek, and came away with a hard-earned point against their southern counterparts, after Federico Chiesa drove home a deflected second-half equaliser. Recently returned from injury, Chiesa was one of few bright sparks for Max Allegri’s side on the resumption of a so-far underwhelming campaign, in which they have registered a relatively meagre 28 league goals – four fewer than Roma and the lowest tally in the top half of the table. Indeed, the last time their attack proved so ineffective in the first 20 matches of a Serie A season was as long ago as 1999-00.


Currently on 35 points, the last three times that Juventus collected that many or fewer at this stage, they finished the season down in seventh place – an unthinkable return for Allegri this year. Therefore, they must endeavour to continue a run of seven games without defeat this weekend, and maintain a defensive revival that has seen them concede just twice during that spell – even without their ageing defensive duo of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in situ.

DPP Verdict

There may not be many goals in this encounter at the Olimpico, as Juve are focusing on keeping things solid and hoping for inspiration to strike in this latest phase of Max Allegri’s management. A makeshift defence may creak here and there, but the visitors managed to hold Napoli to a draw in midweek and can go one better by beating Roma for the third time in succession.