Juventus take on AS Roma in the sides’ first game back after the international break as the Old Lady looks to rectify what has been a stuttering start to the 2021-22 season. Massimiliano Allegri’s return to Turin has not gone as planned with his side seventh in the table while Jose Mourinho’s Serie-A act two has shown promise with Roma fourth in the standings.
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 14, 2021
The Italian giants clash in Turin looking to make a statement – Juve to prove their early season form is merely a blip and Roma to show that they are serious title challengers. Juventus have won their last three matches in the league after a winless opening four games and will be hoping their streak continues.
Roma beat Empoli 2-0 at home comfortably in the last match before the break, a good response after their 3-2 defeat to Lazio in the Rome derby. A win on Sunday could see them finish the week just three points off the top if other results go their way.
Allegri will be without the services of striker Alvaro Morata who is out with a hamstring injury. Paulo Dybala may give Juventus a boost though as he could return to the side after missing three matches following a knock against Sampdoria last month.
Adrien Rabiot will miss the match as well as he tested positive for Covid-19 on international duty while Aaron Ramsey is sidelined for the long-term.
Juventus Predicted Lineup: Szczesny; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Bentancur, McKennie, Locatelli; Kulusevski, Bernardeschi, Chiesa
The big concern for Mourinho will be the status of his star striker Tammy Abraham who sprained his ankle on international duty with England and is a major doubt. Lorenzo Pellegrini missed training and is a doubt as well.
Chris Smalling also reportedly picked up an injury in training and could miss the match. Fellow centre back Federico Fazio is suspended along with Alessio Ricardi while Leonardo Spinazzola is unlikely to feature this calendar year.
Roma Predicted Lineup: Patricio; Karsdorp, Mancini, Ibanez, Vina; Veretout, Cristante; Zaniolo, Mkhitaryan, Il Faraone; Mayoral
Juventus have struggled for goals so far in the Serie A this season, having scored just 11 goals in their seven matches so far. They will be without Morata and most of the creative and goalscoring burden will fall on the shoulders of Federico Chiesa.
Gazzetta says Federico Chiesa is worth €100M and the most valuable Italian 🇮🇹
In 12 months he made his Champions League debut, won the EUROs, and won over Juventus ⚪️⚫️🏷 pic.twitter.com/mksXECVIXr
— Italian Football TV (@IFTVofficial) October 14, 2021
The attacker was in fine form over the international break and will be looking to carry on his good run for the Black and White. AS Roma’s full backs are perhaps their weak spot and Chiesa should be able to make good use of this given his tendency to drift out wide, especially to the left hand side.
For Roma, Henrikh Mkhitaryan holds the key to success. The presence of Abraham is crucial to the way Mourinho wants his Roma side to play and given his likely absence, they will look to Mkhitaryan to break down the Juve defence.
🟨 @DigitalBitsOrg 𝗠𝗢𝗧𝗠 🗳🟥
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) October 3, 2021
The Armenian attacking midfielder has started the season well with two goals and two assists in seven appearances so far. He will be the link between midfield and attack and look for spaces between a Juventus midfield that isn’t quite settled yet.
The match is set to be a fierce one given what is at stake. Both sides have their share of injury problems to deal with and neither side has a sense of surety about them. It is likely to be a cagey affair with chances few and far between and FootTheBall predicts it will end Juventus 1-1 Roma.