Udinese v Roma preview: Chance for first win of season

Roma will be hoping to return with their first win of the season after they visit Udinese on Saturday evening.

Paulo Fonseca’s side remain without a win after their first two games of the season, although they ran Juventus close in a 2-2 draw last week.

Now, they face another team wearing black-and-white, although this time, it should be an easier challenge on paper.

Roma travel to face Udinese, who have lost both their games this season so far. The Giallorossi will be looking for revenge for the 2-0 defeat they suffered in July when they last met.

To get the result, Fonseca is likely to use a similar lineup to the one that faced Juventus. The back three should stay the same after Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus were left out of the squad again and Chris Smalling’s permanent move remained a wish rather than reality.

Davide Santon may start at right wing-back again, after Fonseca confirmed Bruno Peres was not yet ready to start. However, the coach did not reveal who his first-choice will be when all are fit.

Lorenzo Pellegrini could keep his place alongside Jordan Veretout in a deeper midfield role, despite the controversial pleas of Amadou Diawara’s agent for more gametime for his client.

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New signing Borja Mayoral is travelling with the squad, but is not available for selection. Therefore, Edin Dzeko will lead the line again, looking for his first goal of the season.

The squad does feature an unexpected call-up for goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who spent last season out on loan after failing to live up to expectations. He is unlikely to play, though, with Antonio Mirante set to keep his place.

For the opponents, a familiar face could feature up front, with former Roma player Stefano Okaka having started both their matches so far. Rodrigo De Paul remains their most important player in midfield despite links with a move to Leeds United, while Roberto Pereyra recently rejoined the club from Watford.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time and will be available to watch live on Premier Sports 2.


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