Juventus - AS Roma: Preview

After Conte's sudden departure in pre-season, the appointment of former AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri raised some eyebrows amongst Juventus fans. He won the Serie A title in his first season in charge at the San Siro back in 2011, but since the Italian giants have been on a rapid decline, placed in 11th when Allegri got the sack. In 178 games in charge, the Italian won 91, drew 49 and lost 38. However, following the assignment, Allegri has only lost 1 game in all competitions, that coming against La Liga holding champions, Atletico Madrid. What's even more impressive is that the Old Lady has only conceded 1 goal in all 7 games. However, in gameweek 6 of the Italian first division, Juventus will host AS Roma, who go into the game unbeaten also. 

Conte's Juventus won both games last season. The first fixture was at the Stadio Olympico, and was an extremely tight game, with a late goal from former Roma striker Pablo Osvaldo seperating the two teams. The reverse fixture in Turin saw Juventus take a comfortable 3-0 win, with Vidal, Bonucci and Vucinic (pen) on the scoresheet. Juventus look to have the edge due to home advantage, as Roma haven't won away against Juventus for almost 5 years. Their last victory came back in early 2010, courtesy of a late goal from John Arne Riise, and a week later, Juventus sacked coach Ciro Ferrara. 

Team News: 

Andrea Barzagli is the home team's only major absentee, although Caceres has covered the veteran admirably during his injury spell. New signing Alvaro Morata is unlikely to feature after picking up a slight knock midweek, but should return for their clash against bottom of the table, Sassuolo. Romulo and Marrone are both suffering from serious injuries, and are certaintly out this Sunday. 

Looking at Roma's injury woes, it's almost a miracle they're unbeaten in the domestic league. Roma are missing influencial figures in midfield, with De Rossi and Strootman both remaining out of action after suffering long term injuries. Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa will keep his place alongside Kostas Manolas in defence due to injuries for Leandro Castan and Davide Astori. Young keeper Lukasz Skorupski will cover first choice keeper De Sanctis after he picked up an injury last week. Balzaretti is still recovering from his ACL injury last season. 

Predicted Line-ups:

Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Chiellini, Bonucci, Cacares; Evra, Pogba, Marchisio, Vidal, Lichsteiner; Tevez, Llorente.

AS Roma (4-3-3): Skorupski; Cole, Yanga-Mbiwa, Manolas, Maicon; Nainggolan, Keita, Pjanic; Iturbe, Totti, Gervinho.