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Aug 30, 2015 at 5pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
Pjanic (61'), Dzeko (79')
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Dybala (87')

Preview: Roma vs. Juventus

Sports Mole looks ahead to this weekend's Serie A match between title rivals Roma and Juventus at the Stadio Olimpico.

The first heavyweight clash of the Serie A season will take place this weekend, as Italian champions Juventus visit Roma at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Bianconeri suffered a shock defeat in their opening league match against Udinese, while Rudi Garcia's side came from behind to earn a draw at Hellas Verona.


AS Roma French coach Rudi Garcia gestures during their Italian Serie A football match against Sampdoria in Rome's Olympic stadium on February 16, 2014© Getty Images

Roma are seen by many as the biggest threat to Juventus's dominance over Italian football, but they cracked under the pressure last season and saw their hopes of winning the title fade before the end of January.

They managed to put together a strong run of four wins from six games in the final month of the campaign to seal a place in the Champions League, but there was still an air of disappointment around the Stadio Olimpico.

Rudi Garcia will be hoping that his team can get closer to Juventus this campaign, after finishing 17 points behind the Old Lady for the past two seasons, and he has made a number of new additions to his playing squad, with the likes of Edin Dzeko, Mohamed Salah and Iago Falque brought in to bolster their attack.

In the past 10 days the Giallorossi have also made a number of defensive signings, as Antonio Rudiger, Norbert Gyomber and Lucas Digne have all joined.

However, despite the changes made by the club, they started their season with a 1-1 draw at Verona. Bosko Jankovic had given the Gialloblu the lead, but five minutes later Alessandro Florenzi fired in to earn his side a point.

They created numerous chances to score a second late on, but despite having 20 efforts on goal, they could not force a late winner. It was a familiar result for supporters of the club, as their team drew 13 games in the league last season, which was the highest of any club in the top six.

Many of Roma's problems last term also came at home, as they went on a frustrating spell between December and March without winning any of their league games at the Stadio Olimpico.

Recent form: D


AC Milan's coach Massimiliano Allegri looks on during the Serie A football match between AC Milan and Atalanta at San Siro Stadium in Milan on January 6, 2014© Getty Images

Having romped to the Serie A title for the past four seasons, the major favourite to win the league this campaign is once again Juventus.

The Bianconeri brushed aside all of their rivals with ease last season on the way to a domestic double, and they also enjoyed a run to the Champions League final, which culminated in a defeat to Barcelona.

Despite losing key personnel over the summer, including Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, the general consensus is that the Scudetto is theirs to lose, and they opened their campaign last weekend with a clash against Udinese.

Things do not go according to plan, though, as a late strike from Cyril Thereau condemned them to a shock 1-0 defeat in Turin.

Massimiliano Allegri's side had gone the past two seasons without suffering a home league defeat, in a run that stretched to 47 games.

The result has left many of their rivals sensing that the title race could be a much more open affair this season, but Allegri has refused to panic and has said that he expects his team to bounce back quickly.

Recent form: L

Team News

Juventus' Spanish forward Alvaro Morata celebrates scoring during the Round of 16, second-leg UEFA Champions League football match against Borussia Dortmund on March 18, 2015© Getty Images

Roma will have Maicon available for this weekend's match after the Brazilian's return to training.

Florenzi, who has been covering at right-back, is expected to play in a more advanced role in support of Dzeko and Salah.

The club have also signed Digne from Paris Saint-Germain, but Vasilis Torosidis could keep his place at left-back.

Meanwhile, Juventus will welcome Alvaro Morata back to their starting lineup, after the striker missed last week's game against Udinese.

Alex Sandro is in contention to make his debut following his recent move from Porto, but Claudio Marchisio is still ruled out with a thigh injury.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Szczesny, Maicon, Manolas, Castan, Torosidis, Pjanic, De Rossi, Nainggolan, Salah, Florenzi, Dzeko

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Buffon, Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra, Sturaro, Pogba, Pereyra, Morata, Mandzukic

Head To Head

These teams last met in March when a late header from Seydou Keita cancelled out a Tevez free kick to earn Roma a 1-1 draw.

There was also plenty of excitement in the reverse fixture, as Leonardo Bonucci crashed in a late volley to give Juventus a 3-2 win under controversial circumstances in Turin.

Overall, it is Juventus who possess the better record between the teams, as they have lost just four of the past 21 meetings against their opponents.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Roma 1-1 Juventus

There has been a wealth of drama in recent meetings between these teams and it is expected to be another heated affair in Rome. Juventus will be under added pressure to get off the mark following their defeat last weekend, but Roma are also expected to perform this season and provide a genuine title threat. Although the Bianconeri have had a lot of joy at the Stadio Olimpico, we think that the match will end all square, with both teams claiming a point.

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Roma's forward Francesco Totti celebrates after scoring a goal during their Serie A football match Verona vs AS Roma at Bentegodi Stadium in Verona, on February 22, 2015
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United StatesUnited States14161141
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Great BritainGreat Britain58821
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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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