Roma v Genoa preview: Old faces aiming to inspire new start as season begins

Paulo Fonseca takes charge of his first Serie A match as Roma coach on Sunday, as the new season gets underway with a home match against Genoa.

Pre-season has been mainly positive for Roma, who have not tasted defeat despite some tough clashes against the likes of Lille, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid – against whom a penalty shootout victory earned them the Mabel Green Cup.

Fonseca will now be hoping his side can translate that form into the season, starting with his first competitive match at Stadio Olimpico.

It has been a summer of change, including the appointment of the new coach, but few of the new signings will be on show on Sunday. Pau Lopez will take his place in goal, but Leonardo Spinazzola is ruled out with injury, while Jordan Veretout did not feature at all in pre-season and only has a space on the bench.

Centre-back Gianluca Mancini suffered a couple of knocks in recent friendlies, with Fonseca confirming at his press conference that Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus would be the starting duo in the position.

In terms of the other new arrivals, that leaves Amadou Diawara, who is not likely to be picked ahead of Bryan Cristante – who Fonseca has been impressed with so far – or Lorenzo Pellegrini at this stage, and Mert Cetin and Davide Zappacosta have likely arrived too late to be involved.

Hence, there will be a strong element of familiarity to the Roma side that take to the pitch tomorrow, but even though the group of players did not achieve much last season, Fonseca will be hoping to inspire a new dawn.

The hunger is there. It’s time for the wolf to join the chasing pack.

Expected lineup: Lopez; Florenzi, Fazio, Jesus, Kolarov; Cristante, Pellegrini; Under, Zaniolo, Kluivert; Dzeko

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