MX23RW : Wednesday, April 14 04:42:43| >> :120:23486:23486:
Mar 7, 2021 at 11.30am UK at Stadio Olimpico
RomaRoma
1-0
GenoaGenoa
Mancini (24')
Mancini (65')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Masiello (42'), Destro (45+1'), Strootman (64'), Criscito (84')

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

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Roma and Genoa, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After bouncing back quickly from yet another defeat to a major rival last weekend, Roma host mid-table Genoa on Sunday afternoon at Stadio Olimpico.

While the fifth-placed Giallorossi continue to fight it out for a Champions League place following a midweek win, their much-improved visitors still need points to secure Serie A survival.


Match preview

Roma midfielder Amadou Diawara pictured in July 2019© Reuters

Having recently returned to first-team contention after a long spell out in the cold, Amadou Diawara's late goal sealed victory for Roma at Stadio Artemio Franchi on Wednesday. Their 2-1 win over floundering Fiorentina helped heal the hurt from a rare home defeat against Milan just three days before - the latest in a string of failures versus the big boys of Calcio.

Roma generally dominate more modest opposition, such as the Viola and this weekend's opponents Genoa, but tend to crumble when facing their closest rivals, such as Juventus, Atalanta and city rivals Lazio - each of whom they have lost to in the past few weeks. As a result, the Giallorossi have once more been thwarted in their quest to sustain a push for the Scudetto.

Confirming their reputation as 'flat-track bullies', Paulo Fonseca's men have won eight and drawn one of their last nine games against sides in 14th place or lower in the table - though Genoa currently sit 13th. They have also been particularly effective at their Stadio Olimpico home, losing only once there (to Milan) and averaging nearly 2.5 goals per game at their very own Roman fortress.

Currently embroiled in a hotly-contested seven-way battle for European places next term, Roma are now just three points above Napoli and four ahead of Lazio in the standings, so cannot afford to shed points against Serie A's also-rans.

Fonseca's attention will also be drawn towards their upcoming Europa League last-16 tie with his old club Shakhtar Donetsk, as the ever-demanding Roma hierarchy expect his team to contest for the one remaining prospect of silverware this season.

Davide Ballardini, now in charge of Genoa, pictured in January 2018© Reuters

Though their Derby della Lanterna head-to-head with Sampdoria in midweek ended all square, after a superb individual effort from wing-back Davide Zappacosta was cancelled out by Samp's late equaliser, Genoa continue to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with in Serie A.

Now that they have turned their once-dismal campaign around, the Grifone can even afford the luxury of feeling a little deflated not to have won in their last four league games - having recorded three draws and one defeat during that spell. Nonetheless, Davide Ballardini's well-oiled unit remain some seven points clear of the dreaded trapdoor to Serie B.

Since Ballardini re-joined the club, they have lost just two top-flight games in all - the second of which came at San Siro, against league leaders Inter last Sunday - and have tightened up their defence to an impressive extent. In fact, following that improvement, Genoa have now conceded 37 goals in total - one less than high-flying Roma.

After a prolific spell around the turn of the year, when his strike-rate matched that of Europe's finest marksmen, striker Mattia Destro has stopped finding the net, partly explaining why a run of wins have turned into a succession of draws for his side.

Upon his return to the Olimpico this Sunday, undoubtedly Destro would love nothing more than biting the hand that once fed him, at a club where he scored 24 times in 57 games. With the former Giallorossi forward's goalscoring input, Genoa could even dare to dream of a first win over their counterparts from the capital since 2014.

Roma Serie A form:
WLWDLW
Roma form (all competitions):
WWDWLW

Genoa Serie A form:
WWDDLD


Team News

Roger Ibanez in action for Roma on December 6, 2020© Reuters

Having signed a new long-term contract this week, centre-back Roger Ibanez is a doubt for Roma, who also have a number of other selection concerns ahead of Genoa's visit.

In midweek, top scorer and set-piece specialist Jordan Veretout pulled up in agony and was carried off, with subsequent reports suggesting he has sustained a serious thigh injury which could see the Frenchman miss at least the rest of the month. The match-winner in Florence, Amadou Diawara, should therefore replace Veretout in midfield, or Lorenzo Pellegrini could alternatively drop back from his more advanced position.

Striker Edin Dzeko is set to be sidelined again too, while defender Marash Kumbulla will be unavailable due to a suspension for accumulation of yellow cards and is set to be replaced by fit-again Chris Smalling in the back three. Forwards Stefan El Shaarawy and Pedro are also set for starts.

For the visitors, Luca Pellegrini, Davide Biraschi and Goran Pandev are all expected to miss the trip to Rome, with Davide Ballardini likely to name a full-strength side, having previously rested a substantial swathe of first-teamers in the loss to Inter last weekend.

However, goalkeeper Mattia Perin has also been ruled out in the build-up to the match, so Federico Marchetti will step in as the last line of defence. Meanwhile, Paolo Ghiglione features on the flank and Edoardo Goldaniga drops out of the XI.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Mancini, Cristante, Smalling; Karsdorp, Pellegrini, Diawara, Peres; El Shaarawy, Pedro; Mayoral

Genoa possible starting lineup:
Marchetti; Masiello, Radovanovic, Criscito; Zappacosta, Strootman, Badelj, Zajc, Ghiglione; Pjaca, Destro


SM words green background

We say: Roma 2-1 Genoa

It may be time for Genoa to start looking over their shoulders again, as the Ligurians' long-standing inability to turn over Roma is set to continue in Sunday's early kickoff.

The hosts are specialists at patiently passing their way through the defences of lower-ranked sides and can seemingly score from all quarters of the team, thereby covering for the absences of Dzeko and Veretout.


Top 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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter Milan30235269274274
2AC Milan30196557352263
3Juventus30188461273462
4Atalanta BCAtalanta30187571383361
5Napoli30192965343159
6Lazio2917484638855
7Roma30166854441054
8SassuoloSassuolo30111094948143
9Hellas VeronaHellas Verona30118113835341
10Sampdoria30106143945-636
11Bologna3097143946-734
12Udinese3089133240-833
13Genoa30711123244-1232
14SpeziaSpezia3088144055-1532
15Fiorentina3079143849-1130
16BeneventoBenevento3079143055-2530
17Torino29512124252-1027
18CagliariCagliari3057183151-2022
19Parma30311162959-3020
20Crotone3043233777-4015

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