Roma vs Salernitana: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Jose Mourinho’s third season at Roma begins against Salernitana, the same as last year. The only difference is that I Giallorssi will enjoy the home comforts of the iconic Stadio Olimpico this time. The hosts wouldn’t mind replicating last season’s opening-day 1-0 win on Sunday.

Despite kicking things off in 2022/23 with a victory in Salerno, Roma fell short of their seasonal goals. In anticipation of a second consecutive European success, Mourinho sacrificed Serie A for the Europa League, only to suffer a gut-wrenching penalties loss to Sevilla in the final. 

Mourinho’s decision to put all his chips on the continental front backfired on Roma, as they had to settle for an underwhelming sixth-place finish. Without the incentive of Champions League football, the former Conference League champions couldn’t make the most out of the summer transfer window. 

Houssem Aouar, Evan Ndicka, Rasmus Kristensen, Leonardo Paredes, Renato Sanches, and Diego Llorente have linked up with Roma. However, the bitter loss of Nemanja Matic to Rennes, compounded by Tammy Abraham’s long-term injury, doesn’t make for good reading. Mourinho’s bid to land another prolific marksman has yet to bear fruit. 

Salernitana could take advantage of Roma’s well-documented scoring woes to stage an upset on the opening weekend. The visitors haven’t been as nearly as active as their hosts in their summer dealings despite finishing 15th in Serie A last term. 

To be precise, apart from redeeming the permanent contracts of Boulaye Dia, Lorenzo Pirola, and Antonio Candreva, they couldn’t make any other high-profile acquisition. With that in mind, survival for another season remains high on Paulo Sousa’s list of priorities. 

But even with their limited budget, Salernitana finished 11 points clear of the relegation line last season. And with marquee striker Dia bracing himself for another Serie A campaign, a slight doze of optimism may be streaming through I Granata’s veins. 

Match Preview


With Abraham facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Mourinho must pull a rabbit out of his hat to solve his team’s scoring problems. Roma lamented only the division’s ninth-best 50-goal haul last season. But if it’s any consolation, a slight majority (56%) of their Serie A total came on home turf (28/50).

Against this low-scoring backdrop, Roma have developed a habit of packing a punch against Salernitana at home. They have netted at least twice in all three previous H2Hs at the Stadio Olimpico en route to posting two wins and a draw. Yet, it’s also worth mentioning they failed to keep a clean sheet in those matches.

Player to Watch: Andrea Belotti

It has to be him. Without Paulo Dybala and Abraham, Andrea Belotti must lace up his scoring boots. He couldn’t find the net in Serie A last season. Given the emergency situation in the capital, this could be a perfect time to rediscover his ‘killer instincts.’


As it’s often the case with the sides hoping to avoid relegation, picking up points at home is a priority. Salernitana strictly lived up to this premise toward the end of last season, going winless on nine consecutive Serie A travels down the final stretch (D6, L3). Overall, Sousa’s team only won twice in 19 away league games in 2022/23 (D9, L8).

Salernitana’s form issues away from home are too grave to be overlooked. Therefore, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the pessimism regarding another losing league start has crept in. After all, their two previous Serie A campaigns in the 21st century have commenced with single-goal margin defeats. 

Player to Watch: Boulaye Dia

Dia’s scoring exploits last season made him one of the most wanted players in Italy this summer. The Senegalese netted 16 league goals to carry Salernitana to a coveted top-flight survival almost single-handedly. Roma got to witness his scoring prowess first-hand in a 2-2 draw in this corresponding fixture last May.

Team News

Roma will start the new season without captain Lorenzo Pellegrini and star forward Dybala. Both players are out with suspensions lingering over from last season. In addition to the abovementioned Abraham, Marash Kumbulla is the only remaining injured player in Mourinho’s camp.

As for Salernitana, defensive cornerstone Flavius Daniliuc is still in the treatment room with a long-term injury. However, the Austrian is the only notable absentee from the traveling squad. Matteo Lovato has a question mark over his head, but there’s a feeling he’ll make the cut.

Roma vs Salernitana Potential Lineups

Roma (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Evan Ndicka; Rasmus Kristensen, Leandro Paredes, Bryan Cristante, Leonardo Spinazzola; Houssem Aouar, Stephan El Shaarawy; Andrea Belotti.

Salernitana (3-4-2-1): Gulliermo Ochoa; Norbert Gyomber, Federico Fazio, Lorenzo Pirola; Pasquale Mazzocchi, Lassana Coulibaly, Giulio Maggiore, Domagoj Bradaric; Antonio Candreva, Grigoris Kastanos; Boulaye Dia.

Roma vs Salernitana Prediction 

Despite being favored by the bookies, this injury-crippled Roma side could be in for a long Sunday evening. Salernitana’s defensive solidity and discipline will probably frustrate Mourinho’s mixed lineup. As such, we expect a share of the spoils.

Prediction: Draw

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