Roma v Benevento preview: Will impressive record against promoted sides continue?

Roma return from the international break on Sunday with a match against newly promoted side Benevento.

Roma’s form in the first few weeks of the season was mixed – and being punished with a 3-0 walkover defeat against Verona did not help. However, an exciting weekend in Serie A which has seen last season’s top four of Juventus, Inter, Atalanta and Lazio all drop points gives the Giallorossi chance to catch up in the formative table.

Tonight’s opponents, though, have started their first season back in Serie A well. Apart from a 5-2 loss to title challengers Inter, they have won both their other games – against Sampdoria and Bologna.

There are a couple of familiar faces among the Benevento ranks. Both Iago Falque and Gianluca Caprari used to play for Roma – although neither of them made too significant an impact – but now line up for the team known as the ‘Sorcerers’.

For the current Roma side, there is a first call-up for recent signing Borja Mayoral. Coach Paulo Fonseca does not expect to start the former Real Madrid striker alongside Edin Dzeko, but there could be an opportunity for him to play some part.

One signing who will not feature, though, is Chris Smalling. The English defender returned to the club on a permanent basis late in the transfer window, but has picked up a slight injury in training.

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Therefore, the back three of Gianluca Mancini, Roger Ibanez and Marash Kumbulla could all keep their places. Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus – who missed out on moves away during the summer – are also among the squad.

Further forward, there is no place for either Amadou Diawara or Riccardo Calafiori, because both have tested positive for Covid-19. Rick Karsdorp, Javier Pastore and Nicolo Zaniolo remain out with injury.

There are also call-ups for Nicola Zalewski and Ebrima Darboe, both of whom scored for the Primavera on Saturday.

There is not much history between the two sides, with Roma comfortably winning their two previous meetings in Serie A. But across the wider context of playing promoted teams, Roma are on a streak of 23 wins in a row.

They will be looking to continue that positive record as they search for a first home win of the season.

The game kicks off at 7:45pm UK time and Premier Sports 1 will be showing it live on TV.


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