Genoa v Roma preview: Mayoral to make first Serie A start

Roma travel to Genoa for their last game before the international break on Sunday.

The Giallorossi are in confident mood after Milan’s loss in Europe in midweek saw them overtake the Rossoneri as the Serie A team on the longest unbeaten run. Roma are without defeat since being punished with a 3-0 loss against Verona on the opening day due to fielding an ineligible player in the draw – the appeal of which will be heard on Monday.

Hence, they are looking to continue the momentum to head into the international break on a high note.

Their opponents Genoa are hovering just above the relegation zone after going winless in their last five Serie A games. They have only scored two goals in that time.

Roma, meanwhile, have three wins and two draws from their last five league games, scoring 13 goals in the process.

Their hopes of a high-scoring affair on Sunday will be affected by the absence of Edin Dzeko, who has Covid-19. Therefore, Borja Mayoral will lead the line.

It will be the first time the Spanish striker has started a league game for Roma since his summer arrival. However, he should be full of confidence after scoring twice in the Europa League win over CFR Cluj in midweek.

Behind him, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pedro are likely to continue, as Carles Perez is out of the squad.

Dzeko is not the only Roma player to be ruled out with a new case of Covid-19. Young goalkeeper Pietro Boer has also tested positive, which means his roommate Tommaso Milanese – who made his debut on Thursday – has to miss out as well, despite testing negative.

In goal, Antonio Mirante has started every league game so far this season, but Pau Lopez could replace him. Mirante has a small injury that puts him in doubt, potentially paving the way for Lopez to come back in.

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Genoa have four ex-Roma players among their ranks – two full-backs and two strikers. Davide Zappacosta spent last season on loan in the capital from Chelsea, who have since sent him to Genoa. They also have Luca Pellegrini, who made a clumsy error leading to goal when Roma beat the Cagliari side he was at last season.

Up front, Mattia Destro, who scored 29 goals for Roma, is another member of the Genoa squad. So is former academy product Gianluca Scamacca, who already has two goals from two Serie A starts this season.

Roma are on a run of three clean sheets in a row for the first time since the last three games of the 2017-18 season. If they keep a fourth by shutting out Genoa, it would be the first time that has happened since October 2017.

Roma have not lost to Genoa in their last 12 meetings – a spell which has included a memorable late win in Francesco Totti’s last game. Hence, they will be looking to continue their strong record against Il Grifone.

The game kicks off at 2pm UK time and will be available to watch live on Free Sports.

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