Roma vs Empoli Preview and Expected Lineups – Serie A Round 7

Seeking redemption following last weekend’s 3-2 Derby della Capitale reverse against Lazio, Roma play host to promoted Empoli at the Stadio Olimpico. Though it may come as some surprise, only three points separate the sides ahead of the kick-off, meaning the visitors could take the Rome club’s place in the Serie A standings with a win here.

Roma cruised past Ukrainian outfit Zorya 3-0 in the Europa Conference League in midweek, but they will need another convincing performance to make their supporters overcome last weekend’s derby disappointment. Meanwhile, relieved of non-league distractions, Empoli have had almost an entire week to prepare for this fixture.

Roma vs Empoli Head-to-Head

Since suffering a narrow 1-0 away defeat in February 2007, Roma have gone unbeaten in their subsequent ten Serie A meetings with Empoli (W7, D3). It’s worth noting that the Giallorossi netted 2+ goals seven times during that ten-match sequence, showing they’ve seemingly had their visitors’ number recently.

Additionally, Roma have never lost a Serie A match-up against Empoli at the Stadio Olimpico, winning 11 of their 13 such encounters while drawing the other two. Among sides they have faced at least ten times in Serie A home fixtures, their 85% win ratio against Empoli is their highest in the top-flight. 

Roma nave netted an average of 2.00 goals per match across that 13-game sequence, scoring 2+ goals in each of the last three in a row. So their status of pre-match favorites is understandable. 

Roma Form Preview

It’s been ‘all or nothing’ for fourth-placed Roma this season. The Giallorossi have won eight of their ten matches in all competitions while losing the other two. In Serie A alone, they have won four out of six fixtures under new manager Jose Mourinho, with each of the last four games won/lost in that run yielding a full-time margin of a single goal. 

Mourinho’s Roma have been a force to be reckoned with on home turf this season, winning all five competitive outings at the Stadio Olimpico, including three in Serie A. Bringing the 2020/21 season into the equation, the Giallorossi have racked up a five-match winning home streak in Italy’s top-flight. They could make it six wins on the trot for the first time since putting together 15 straight such triumphs under Luciano Spalletti in February 2017.

Mourinho himself is enjoying an impressive 41-match unbeaten home streak in Serie A, the joint-longest such run in the competition by a manager during a three-point-per-win era, alongside Massimiliano Allegri in 2017. With Fiorentina, who are level on points with Roma ahead of this round, taking on Napoli, a victory here would help the Rome-based side consolidate their top-four status.

Player to watch: Jordan Veretout

Veretout has hit the ground running in Serie A this season, clocking up four goals and a pair of assists, more than any other midfielder in the competition. His eye-catching showings have earned him a national team call-up in September, and he is likely to feature for France in the upcoming international window.

Empoli Form Preview

Empoli have experienced mixed fortunes in Serie A this season, winning three of their inaugural six league matches while losing the other three. While each of those three defeats saw Gli Azzurri concede 2+ goals, all of their three triumphs in that sequence came ‘to nil.’ 

Aurelio Andreazzoli’s men have defied their relegation status early in the season, picking up nine points to equal their best-ever six-game start to a new top-flight campaign. More importantly, six of those nine points have come away from home, as Empoli outmuscled Cagliari and Juventus without conceding. 

Equally impressive up top, they have scored nine goals in six league matches, more than they ever had at this stage of a new Serie A campaign beforehand. Two of their three goals netted on the road this season have come before half-time. So we could be in for action-packed first-half football.

Player to watch: Andrea Pinamonti 

Pinamonti broke his Serie A duck last time out, having found the net in Empoli’s 4-2 home drubbing of Bologna. Though Nedim Bajrami soaked up the limelight as Empoli’s top goalscorer this season with two strikes, the Inter loanee could be a danger man here.

Pinamonti has scored twice in his last three top-flight appearances against Roma and will require special attention.

Roma vs Empoli Predicted Line-ups

Roma (4-2-3-1): Rui Patricio; Rick Karsdorp, Gianluca Mancini, Roger Ibanez, Ricardo Califiori; Bryan Cristante, Jordan Veretout; Nicolo Zaniolo, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Carles Perez; Tammy Abraham.

Empoli (4-3-1-2): Guglielmo Vicario; Petar Stojanovic, Simone Romagnoli, Mattia Viti, Riccardo Marchizza; Szymon Zurkowski, Samuele Ricci, Liam Henderson; Nedim Bajrami; Federico Di Francesco, Andrea Pinamonti.