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Empoli will visit the Estadio Olímpico de Roma as they gear up to face AS Roma in this Serie A showdown on Sunday night.
Roma will be disappointed with their start to the season and will look to secure their first win of the season and exit the relegation zone, particularly following their lacklustre performance in their 2-1 defeat against AC Milan prior to the international break.
Empoli have not fared any better in Serie A this season, as they are the only club in the division not to have secured any points this season or to have put the ball into the opposition goal. The Gil Azzurri will need to be at their best to get any result away in Rome this weekend, as Jose Mourinho will not accept anything less than a victory to course-correct his team’s season.
Roma vs. Empoli: Predicted Lineups and News
Roma is in desperate need of a victory to kickstart their challenge to secure a Champions League qualification place by the end of the season, and a win will help provide the side with confidence before they begin their Europa League campaign next week away in Moldova against FC Sheriff.
On the flip side, Empoli need to secure a win to ensure that, by the end of the season, the club will play Serie A football again next season. Paolo Zanetti will be comforted that it took seven games to secure their first win last campaign and they survived comfortably. Their slow start is not encouraging, but they will trust they can turn it around, starting with Sunday.
Team News: Roma
The Giallorossi are currently suffering from an injury crisis as they will be without long-term absentees Tammy Abraham and Marash Kumbulla, while they could potentially be without captain Lorenzo Pellegrini and potentially Gianluca Mancini and Renato Sanches on Sunday evening.
Both Pellegrini and Mancini were injured on international duty, so young Edoardo Bove could deputise in midfield alongside summer signing Evan Ndicka, who would make his first start should both injury doubts be confirmed.
Roma’s Predicted Lineup:
Rui Patrício, Evan Ndicka, Chris Smalling, Diego Llorente, Rasmus Kristensen, Edoardo Bove, Bryan Cristante, Houssem Aouar, Leonardo Spinazzola, Romelu Lukaku, and Stephan El Shaarawy
Team News: Empoli
Empoli travel to the eternal city with just one notable absentee, as Elia Caprile’s ankle injury is expected to rule the goalkeeper out for a further month.
However, Zanetti would be expected to mix up the attack to bring about the club’s first goal in Serie A this season, replacing Nicolo Cambiaghi, a player who has failed to score in his last six league games.
Empoli’s Predicted Lineup:
Etrit Berisha, Bartosz Bereszyński, Ardian Ismajli, Sebastiano Luperto, Giuseppe Pezzella, Youssef Maleh, Răzvan Marin, Viktor Kovalenko, Emmanuel Gyasi, Mattia Destro, Tommaso Baldanzi
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) September 15, 2023
Will Lukaku make his first start?
Lukaku debuted off the bench in their defeat to AC Milan, but his first start was delayed due to the international break. The Belgian is expected to start on Sunday due to the club’s injuries. Giallorossi fans will anticipate the debut of the 30-year-old.
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