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Serie A preview: Roma look to cement title credentials at Juventus in weekend of huge clashes

It promises to be a huge weekend for Jose Mourinho’s Roma as they look to cement their Serie A title at Juventus despite being so early in the season.

Roma are heralded as potential title contenders this season in a wide-open race for the Scudetto, with Juve, Inter Milan and AC Milan also vying to become champions.

Players like Napoli, Atalanta and Lazio will also hope to propel themselves into the mix without a real standout favorite to be crowned champions this campaign.

We’re only two games into the 2022-23 Serie A season, but the table could take shape this weekend, with some crunches between the rumored title contenders ahead.

Mourinho and his Roma squad leave for Juventus on Saturday, while Lazio will host Inter Milan on Friday night in a fascinating few days in Italy’s top flight.

Sports post takes a closer look at both races and what they can mean for the title race.

Jose Mourinho's Roma will look to bolster their title credentials as they travel to Juventus

Jose Mourinho’s Roma will look to bolster their title credentials as they travel to Juventus

JUVENTUS VS ROMA

Jose Mourinho’s side have made a perfect start to the new season, with victories and clean sheets in 1-0 wins over Salerntina and Cremonese, putting them third in the league behind Napoli and Inter Milan – who are also unbeaten.

The former Chelsea manager is spoiled for choice with attacking options and has used all four Tammy Abraham, Paulo Dybala, Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini in the first two weeks of the season.

However, Zaniolo’s misfortune struck again when the 23-year-old was forced out with a dislocated shoulder against Cremonese.

Jose Mourinho's team has started the new Serie A season undefeated after two games

Jose Mourinho's team has started the new Serie A season undefeated after two games

Jose Mourinho’s team has started the new Serie A season undefeated after two games

Preparations for the huge test have been far from ideal as midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum also has to sit on the sidelines for several months after breaking his leg in training.

The Holland international had only signed for Mourinho’s team from Paris Saint-Germain this summer, but it looks like he will now miss at least the first half of the season.

Wijnaldum, 31, made his debut for Roma in their narrow win over Salernitana on August 14, but then suffered a serious setback in training.

Not only did his injury come as a major blow to Mourinho, but the Giallorossi boss also had to denounce rumors that young Felix Afena-Gyan was responsible for it.

But Nicolo Zaniolo has suffered another injury after dislocating his shoulder

But Nicolo Zaniolo has suffered another injury after dislocating his shoulder

But Nicolo Zaniolo has suffered another injury after dislocating his shoulder

And Georginio Wijnaldum has suffered a broken leg because he only joined the club this summer

And Georginio Wijnaldum has suffered a broken leg because he only joined the club this summer

And Georginio Wijnaldum has suffered a broken leg because he only joined the club this summer

After adding Dybala, Nemanja Matic, Zeki Celik and Wijnaldum over the summer, Roma have been touted as dark horses in the title race this season, but the latter’s broken leg and another injury for Zaniolo have thrown a spanner in the works.

Nevertheless, Saturday’s trip to Turin offers an excellent opportunity to make a statement at the Serie A summit and prove that they are staying in the race.

Dybala returns to a squad he knows very well and is eager to remind Juventus of his abilities after leaving the club to join AS Roma this summer.

It’s still early days, but their opponents haven’t done enough to impress under Massimiliano Allegri lately and would come under a lot of pressure if they broke loose here.

Dybala also returns on Saturday to confront his old employers after swapping Juve for Roma

Dybala also returns on Saturday to confront his old employers after swapping Juve for Roma

Dybala also returns on Saturday to confront his old employers after swapping Juve for Roma

Juve under Massimiliano Allegri's management have not done enough to impress so far

Juve under Massimiliano Allegri's management have not done enough to impress so far

Juve under Massimiliano Allegri’s management have not done enough to impress so far

There is enough talent in the squad to dominate Serie A, and the return of stars like Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria will certainly help with that, but there are big question marks on Allegri’s side at the moment.

Especially considering that in their last game they could only muster a 0-0 draw against Sampdoria – meaning Juve have taken just four points out of a possible six, despite many expecting them to take six.

Saturday’s game is therefore an important one for both sides as Juve do not want to give away home advantage and will lose ground early in the title race, while Roma can continue to prove they have what it takes to become champions this season.

THE STATISTICS

Head-to-head (last five games)

Juventus: 3 wins

Roma: 1 win

Pulls: 1

Current form

Juventus: DW

Roma: WW

injuries

Juventus: Paul Pogba, Federico Chiesa, Kaio Jorge.

Roma: Georgino Wijnaldum, Nicolo Zaniolo, Ebrima Darboe.

Juventus have enjoyed the head-to-head clash between the teams in their last five games

Juventus have enjoyed the head-to-head clash between the teams in their last five games

Juventus have enjoyed the head-to-head clash between the teams in their last five games

LAZIO VERSUS INTER MILAN

Inter Milan are currently second in the Serie A standings and have been impressive under Simone Inzaghi over the past year.

The Nerazzurri passed Spezia comfortably 3-0 down in their previous game and will aim for a similar result this week.

Lazio, on the other hand, is currently in eighth place and has yet to hit the ground running this season.

The Biancocelesti were held in a 0-0 stalemate by Torino last week and will step up their game in this match.

Inter Milan brought striker Romelu Lukaku back on loan from Chelsea to help their title fight

Inter Milan brought striker Romelu Lukaku back on loan from Chelsea to help their title fight

Inter Milan brought striker Romelu Lukaku back on loan from Chelsea to help their title fight

Both teams have impressive squads at their disposal and will want to use this Friday night game as an opportunity to get some early season dynamism.

Inter failed to retain the league title last season as rivals AC Milan were crowned champions, but they now plan to take the crown back.

The club have managed to get Romelu Lukaku back on loan from Chelsea despite selling him to the Blues for just £97million last summer after starring in their title win.

Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have immediately revived their successful partnership up front by already scoring two goals between them this season, meaning Inter are expected to compete for silverware again.

This match could be important if Roma and Juventus also go head-to-head as at least one of the aforementioned pairs will slip and may have to give ground to Inter.

However, Lazio will try to get upset and go undefeated to secure their surprise pack status in Serie A.

Lazio will try to upset Inter Milan to remain surprise package

Lazio will try to upset Inter Milan to remain surprise package

Lazio will try to upset Inter Milan to remain surprise package

THE STATISTICS

Head-to-head (last five games)

Lazio: 2

Inter Milan: 2

Pulls: 1

Current form

Lazio: DW

Inter Milan: WW

injuries

Lazio: None

Inter Milan: Henrikh Mkhitaryan

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