Roma vs Udinese
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Saturday, 20 August 2016,
Kick-Off: 17:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio Olimpico (Rome).

The 2016/17 season of Italian Serie A kicks-off when Roma and Udinese roll the football at the Stadio Olimpico on Saturday evening.

AS Roma finished third in the Serie A standings after engaging in a neck-to-neck battle with Napoli for the second place. With Luciano Spalleti at the helm for a full season, the will be aiming to challenge Juventus for the title. There are still in with a chance of qualifying for the Champions League after a 1-1 away draw against FC Porto last Wednesday. This could be a tricky fixture for them as much of the focus will be on the return leg against the Portuguese giants next week.

Udinese are a side that shocked Juventus on the matchday 1 of 2015/16 season by grabbing a 1-0 win at Turin. But by the end of the season they narrowly escaped relegation by finishing 1 point above Carpi. They have a new coach in Giuseppe Iachini and he had an unbeaten pre-season with 4 wins and 2 draws. However it is the same old story in the first competitive match of the season as they were eliminated from Copa Italia after losing 2-3 at home to Serie B side Spezia.

Roma: Team News

The center defender Antonio Rudiger and left back Mario Rui are injured and will miss the season opener against Udinese.

Thomas Vermaelen is expected to parter Kostas Manolas in defense despite his red card against Porto in the mid-week Champions League qualifier.

Roma: Expected Starting Line-up (4-3-3)

Szczesny – Jesus, Vermaelen, Manolas, Florenzi – Nainggolan, Rossi, Strootman – Shaarawy, Salah, Dzeko.

Udinese: Team News

Cyril Thereau is the only player missing for Udinese in the trip to Rome. The French forward is linked with a move away from the club this summer, but at the moment he is carrying a two match suspension.

Udinese: Expected Starting Line-up (3-5-2)

Karnezis – Felipe, Danilo, Heurtaux – Widmer, Paul, Fofana, Badu, Willians – Ryder, Zapata.

Roma vs Udinese: Head-to-Head Stats

Roma are unbeaten in the last seven league games against Udinese with 6 wins and a draw.

The last time Roma were defeated by Udinese was at home on October 2012.

Four of the last five games between these two sides have seen over 2.5 goals, with both teams scoring at least one goal.

Roma vs Udinese: Prediction

Roma will certainly go into the game as clear favourites, thanks to their good pre-season form and strong home record. They were defeated only once at home last season with 13 wins and 4 draws from their 18 games.

While Udinese are hardly coming off as a team and this was evident in their lacklustre display in the 2-3 home defeat against Spezia. Moreover they are a poor side in away games and are still searching for their first away win in 10 games in the league.

The Champions League play-off tie against FC Porto will be in the minds of Roma players, but they have got what it take to extend their unbeaten streak over Udinese to eight games. With the quality of fire-power in the attack of both teams, this match could see both teams scoring and over 2.5 goals.

Roma vs Udinese: Tips

  1. Both teams to Score and Roma to win.
  2. Over 2.5 goals.