Serie A basement club Benevento visit the capital to take on fifth place Roma on Sunday evening.
Eusebio Di Francesco’s men have stumbled of late and need the win to keep pace with bitter foes Lazio and Inter in the battle for the final two Champions League berths.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico – 11 February, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Roma vs Benevento: BT Sport, William Hill live streaming
Last time: This will be Le Streghe’s first ever league trip to the Eternal City.
Roma v Benevento Predictions and Preview
After a six game winless run, the Lupi’s hard fought 1-0 win against Verona was just what Di Francesco needed. Roma had to navigate most of the second-half win ten men following Lorenzo Pellegrini’s unfair dismissal and the collective team spirit will have impressed the tactician. Confidence in the camp should be restored and Roma are expected to regain their early season form.
Another positive for the 48-year-old is the end of the Edin Dzeko saga. The striker was strongly linked with English club Chelsea but the move never materialised and Roma plus player can now refocus on the remainder of the campaign. Dzeko is the Giallorossi’s talisman and without him, there would be little chance of playing in next season’s elite European competition. The home side are clear favourites to take the three points at 1/8 while the Bosnian is 7/1 to bag himself an 11th league goal.
Opponents Benevento are 13 points adrift of safety but haven’t given up hope of pulling off a miracle. The Witches’ feel good factor remains intact despite six months of heavy losses and this is to be admired. Roberto De Zerbi bolstered the ranks in January with the morale boosting signings of Sandro and Bacary Sagna, two players of genuine quality. The pair have played at the very top for a number of years and the defender, in particular, will be an asset going forward. The former Arsenal man possesses a wicket right foot and was one of the most consistent performers in England.
The relegation threatened outfit have this week been linked with out of contract duo Alex Song and Samir Nasri and even if it’s a short term move, it would be truly memorable for the club and fans to pull of such a coup. Benevento recently gave leaders Napoli a scare and this should offer encouragement as they come up against another good team. Le Streghe are priced at 20/1 to claim their third success of the campaign.
One to watch for Roma: Radja Nainggolan is playing in a more advanced role and will be encouraged to support Dzeko in attack. The Belgian is 6/1 to score the game’s first goal.
One to watch for Benevento: Massimo Coda has three strikes to his name this campaign and is a willing runner for the team. The journeyman forward is 25/1 to notch any time during the 90.
Long shot: Benevento may be rooted to the bottom of the division but have given a good account of themselves in recent weeks and their performances have unquestionably improved. A memorable 3-2 triumph for the strugglers is priced at 100/1 and would be De Zerbi’s biggest scalp yet.