Empoli v Roma preview: Chance for first away win since winter break

Roma are hoping for a first away win of 2022 when they visit Empoli for a Sunday evening Serie A fixture.

After getting back on track with home wins over Cagliari and Lecce in the league and Coppa Italia respectively, Roma are on the road again. This time, they are up against mid-table Empoli.

Led by former Roma coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, last season’s Serie B winners look generally comfortable back in the top flight. However, they are winless in their last five games across both competitions.

Roma won the reverse fixture 2-0, which was also the scoreline upon their last visit to Empoli back in 2018. In fact, Roma have scored twice in each of their last four meetings with the Azzurri.

Going into this game with the form in their favour, they will be aiming to repeat their recent successes.

Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Chris Smalling is available if required at centre-back, where he in fact has four options. The coach continues to praise Marash Kumbulla, who has won his trust recently and may be more likely to start than Smalling still.

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Further forward, Stephan El Shaarawy has returned to the squad, which is only missing the injured Leonardo Spinazzola and Lorenzo Pellegrini.

And up front, Tammy Abraham should be tasked with continuing his fine start to 2022; he has scored in all but one of Roma’s games so far since the winter break. Mourinho said at his pre-match press conference that although he is impressed, he still wants more from the English striker. So this could be an opportunity to add to his tally.

The game kicks off at 5pm UK time and will be live on BT Sport 1.

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