Preview: Hellas Verona vs. Roma – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Serie A clash between Hellas Verona and Roma, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After rescuing a point last week, Roma seek their first Serie A win of the season on Saturday, when they visit Hellas Verona at Stadio Bentegodi.

While the Giallorossi required a late leveller to secure a home draw on the opening day, Hellas got off the mark with maximum points at the first time of asking.

Match preview

 AS Roma's Andrea Belotti in action with Hellas Verona's Lorenzo Montipo on February 19, 2023© Reuters

Although they were forced to settle for a single point at home to Salernitana, the source of Roma’s goals in their season-opening draw may have a particularly positive impact in the longer term.

Already far from fluent in the opposition area, having also lost Tammy Abraham to long-term injury and failed to replace him, the Giallorossi were thankful to Andrea Belotti‘s brace for avoiding a first-day defeat at Stadio Olimpico.

After the ex-Torino forward went goalless throughout the whole 2022-23 league campaign, his 82nd-minute strike saved Roma’s blushes against an away team that managed only three shots on goal.

In their previous two seasons under Jose Mourinho, the Eternal City club had always won their first two Serie A matches; so as they aim to crack the top four this term – following successive sixth-placed finishes – a slow start would be far from ideal.

Having narrowly failed to lift back-to-back European trophies in June, Mourinho has since welcomed signings such as Renato Sanches, Leandro Paredes and Houssem Aouar to Stadio Olimpico, and the veteran coach will be eagerly awaiting next week’s draw for the Europa League group stage.

Few pundits expect Roma to contend for the Scudetto, though, as inconsistency on the road has been their Achilles’ heel: they won just seven away fixtures in Serie A last season, and none of the last four.

Lecce coach Marco Baroni reacts on April 7, 2023© Reuters

Beaten 1-0 in Rome when these two sides last met in February, ahead of this week’s encounter Verona have also lost three of their last five home matches against the Giallorossi.

In all, they have lost just over half of their Serie A matches versus Roma to date, winning only 11, so the record books provide precious little encouragement for the hosts heading into Saturday’s late kickoff.

Thankfully for the Scaligeri’s long-suffering fans – who endured a tense playoff for top-flight survival at the end of last term – Marco Baroni‘s men have started the 2023-24 campaign more brightly: after dispatching Ascoli from the Coppa Italia earlier this month, they went on to win last week’s league opener.

With a second-half striker from Federico Bonazzoli at Stadio Castellani, Verona took all three points back home after beating Empoli – one of their likely relegation rivals.

This weekend, then, the Gialloblu will be aiming to win their first two matches of a Serie A season for just the third time in club history.

Hellas Verona Serie A form:

Hellas Verona form (all competitions):

Roma Serie A form:

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Team News

Lorenzo Pellegrini in action for Roma on November 3, 2022© Reuters

Both back in the fold following suspension, Roma will welcome the return of star man Paulo Dybala and captain Lorenzo Pellegrini for their first away game of the new season.

Tammy Abraham remains on the road to recovery from an ACL injury, so Andrea Belotti should again lead the line up front, hoping to build on last week’s goals.

With Pellegrini and Dybala set to resume their roles in the starting XI, Edoardo Bove and Stephan El Shaarawy could drop to the bench; midfield duo Leandro Paredes and Renato Sanches – both recently arrived in Rome – may join them.

The hosts, meanwhile, have skipper Marco Faraoni and Swedish defender Isak Hien back from bans, but Darko Lazovic and Jayden Braaf remain unavailable due to injury, in addition to long-term absentee Thomas Henry.

After Napoli loanee Michael Folorunsho was preferred in Empoli, Federico Bonazzoli will now be vying for a start in attack following his scrambled winner at Stadio Castellani.

Scoring even once against Roma would see the latter equal his total haul from 24 league appearances for Salernitana last term; however, in six Serie A matches against the Giallorossi to date he has not been involved in a single goal.

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Magnani, Hien, Coppola; Faraoni, Hongla, Duda, Doig; Ngonge, Mboula; Bonazzoli

Roma possible starting lineup:
Patricio; Mancini, Smalling, Llorente; Kristensen, Cristante, Pellegrini, Spinazzola; Aouar, Dybala; Belotti

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We say: Hellas Verona 0-1 Roma

Roma do not tend to win that often on the road, but welcoming back key men and visiting a Verona side that may struggle for survival should certainly help their cause. They can scrap out a one-goal victory over the Scaligeri, who may find their forwards cancelled out.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

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