MX23RW : Sunday, November 28 00:39:27| >> :120:18785:18785:
Oct 18, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
RomaRoma
5-2
BeneventoBenevento
Pedro (31'), Dzeko (35', 77'), Veretout (69' pen.), Perez (89')
Ibanez (33'), Veretout (53'), Santon (65')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Caprari (5'), Lapadula (55')
Caprari (32'), Foulon (82')

Preview: Roma vs. Benevento - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday evening's Serie A clash between Roma and Benevento, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Promoted Benevento's thus far impressive adaptation to life in the Italian top flight will be put to the test, as Pippo Inzaghi's men visit the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday evening to take on Roma.

The capital club will, nonetheless, consider this fixture a must-win if they are to achieve their optimistic ambition of challenging for the scudetto. They will surely be banking on securing all three points at home against one of the league's minnows.


Match preview

Filippo Inzaghi pictured in charge of Bologna in December 2018© Reuters

Few would have predicted that unfancied visitors Benevento would sit above their Roman counterparts when the teams met in Week 4 of the Serie A season. However, former AC Milan and Bologna head coach Inzaghi has worked wonders at the club from Campania.

Sound buys in the summer transfer market, such as Monaco's experienced Polish centre-half Kamil Glik and Gianluca Lapadula - last season at relegated Lecce - have enabled Gli Stregoni to win two of their first three games since promotion as Serie B champions.

Last time out, they toppled Bologna, with ex-Roma man Iago Falque making his debut and Lapadula springing from the bench to replace injured Gabriele Moncini and score his first goal for the club.

Due to the disparity in the size and status of the clubs, there have been only two previous league meetings between them. In the 2017-18 season Roma rattled in nine goals during their two games.

Paulo Fonseca pictured as Roma boss in August 2019© Reuters

Roma will expect to take the initiative in Sunday's game too, but are unlikely to demonstrate such absolute dominance this time. Their win, before the international break, against Udinese was far from convincing and relied on a wonder-strike from experienced recruit Pedro.

That followed on the heels of a strangely disappointing 2-2 draw with 10-man Juventus, as the Roman side failed to see off their greatest nemesis once again.

The Giallorossi have since been bolstered by the belated return of Manchester United outcast Chris Smalling, now on a permanent deal. Their retention, too, of much-desired forward Edin Dzeko has been a major relief for coach Paulo Fonseca.

Benevento did ship five goals against Inter last month, so are by no means impenetrable. Therefore, this game should offer Roma a good springboard for an intense period of fixtures, continuing next week with the start of their Europa League campaign, away at Swiss champions Young Boys.

Roma Serie A form: DDW

Benevento Serie A form: WLW


Team News

Roma midfielder Amadou Diawara pictured in July 2019© Reuters

The home side have Javier Pastore, Rick Karsdorp and Nicolo Zaniolo (long term) missing in addition to Amadou Diawara, who tested positive for COVID-19 after his return from international duty with Guinea.

Otherwise, the side looks relatively settled. Antonio Mirante starts in goal after keeping Udinese at bay with some excellent saves last time out, while either Marash Kumbulla or Roger Ibanez should form the central defensive pairing with Smalling.

Pedro again joins Henrikh Mkhitaryan in support of attacking totem Dzeko.

For Inzaghi's side, Moncini's muscular injury against Bologna means that Lapadula will make a first start for the club up front, supported by fellow summer signings Falque and Gianluca Caprari.

Glik and ex-Bundesliga stalwart Luca Caldirola will helm the visitors' defence during what could be a 90-minute-long rearguard action.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Mirante; Mancini, Smalling, Ibanez, Santon; Pellegrini, Veretout, Spinazzola; Pedro, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko

Benevento possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Foulon, Caldirola, Glik, Letizia; Dabo, Schiattarella, Ionita; Falque, Lapadula, Caprari


SM words green background

We say: Roma 3-1 Benevento

Roma's greater firepower should prove enough for them to see off the plucky Serie B champions on Sunday evening.

Despite failing to consistently convince yet under coach Paulo Fonseca, their mix of experience and guile should prove enough. Established talents such as Pedro, Mkhitaryan and Jordan Veretout are all capable of capitalising on any drop in Benevento's momentum caused by the international break.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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Chris Smalling in action for Roma in November 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Napoli1310212671932
2AC Milan13102129151432
3Inter Milan1494134151931
4Atalanta BCAtalanta1484228171128
5Roma137152315822
6Lazio136342521421
7Fiorentina147072119221
8Juventus146351816221
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona145452825319
10Empoli146172126-519
11Bologna135351924-518
12Torino135261713417
13SassuoloSassuolo134361920-115
14Sampdoria144372026-615
15VeneziaVenezia144371221-915
16Udinese133551620-414
17SpeziaSpezia133281531-1611
18Genoa131661726-99
19CagliariCagliari141581629-138
20Salernitana1422101129-188

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