The spectre of Max Allegri looms large on Paulo Fonseca and the under-pressure Roma boss must oversee a positive scoreline when Serie A opponents Verona visit the capital. The Giallorossi may sit in third, but tension continues to mount after the Coppa Italia debacle against Spezia. Elsewhere, Ivan Juric’s troops have fared tremendously well again after another year of player ins and outs.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico, Rome – 31 January, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Roma vs. Verona: Premier Sports 2
Last time: Edin Dzeko got the winner after earlier efforts from Matteo Pessina and Jordan Veretout.
Roma v Verona Predictions and Preview
The Giallorossi are expected to be without captain Dzeko. The Bosnian’s relationship with Fonseca has hit rock bottom and the former Manchester City ace could have played his last game for the club.
The fallout has been well documented and the first cracks in their relationship emerged last summer when the former Shakhtar Donetsk manager sanctioned the sale of the fan favourite with Arek Milik lined up as a replacement. Dzeko also questioned the Maputo native after Roma’s elimination from last season’s Europa League and the Roma number 9 has not featured since criticising the decision to fire team manager Gianluca Gomber.
Dzeko has already rejected transfers to West Ham and Everton, and is determined to hold out for either Juventus or Inter, if either outfit can stump up the required fee. On the pitch, deputy Borja Mayoral has been a stellar acquisition, contributing eight strikes and two assists from his first appearances.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Roma to win 2-1||15/2||Offer|
|Veretout to score last||6/1||Offer|
|Over 2.5 goals||8/13||Offer|
The Spaniard is 9/2 to open proceedings and his loan spell from Real Madrid is likely to be made permanent at the end of the campaign. Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been one of the standout performers in Serie A this term and is 13/8 to bag anytime. The ex-Arsenal and Manchester United man has 16 goal involvements in 2020-21 and has filled the void left by starlet Nicolò Zaniolo. Roma are 3/5 to get the better of Verona and a stalemate is 16/5.
Juric could hand a debut to Kevin Lasagna. The Italy international signed from Udinese and is 13/5 to register first, while fellow striker Nikola Kalinic can be found at 9/4. Adventurous wing-back Davide Faraoni is 5/1 to score anytime and Federico Dimarco is an attractive 40/1 to break the deadlock.
Only Mattia Zaccagni and Antonin Barak have netted more for Verona than the Inter owned defender and his duel with Rick Karsdorp will be one of the key battles on the day. The Gialloblu are 17/4 to come away with the spoils.
One to watch for Roma: Lorenzo Pellegrini is playing in a more advanced position and was the stoppage time hero on Matchday 19. The stand in skipper is 12/5 to notch anytime.
One to watch for Verona: Zaccagni’s agent has already confirmed the Italian is leaving the Gialloblu in June with Napoli, Inter, Lazio and this weekend’s hosts all keen on snapping up the talented youth product. The 25-year-old is a mightily attractive 14/1 to break the deadlock.
Long shot: Outside of the champions, Milan and Antonio Conte’s squad, Verona are probably the last team Fonseca wants to face with his job on the line. The Gialloblu have the joint best defensive record in the division, but have also improved going forward and already beaten Atalanta, Lazio and Napoli. A 2-0 outcome in favour of the away dressing room is 40/1.