Salernitana vs Roma Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 1

Stadio Arechi is the venue as last season’s miracle workers Salernitana take on defending Europa Conference League winners Roma. Sunday’s exciting Serie A clash offers both teams a chance for a fresh start as each aim to better their 2021/22 final ranks. 

Though many had seen them as the hottest candidates to drop straight back to Serie B midway through last season, Salernitana picked themselves up from a poor start. Davide Nicola, the mastermind behind his side’s resurrection in the second half of the 2021/22 campaign, turned a rock-bottom Serie A team into one of the most delightful sides to watch in Italy at the tail-end of last season. 

Even a 4-0 demolition in a crucial last-day fixture against Udinese proved insufficient to drop Salernitana to Italy’s second tier. Nicola’s work at Stadio Arechi was a piece of art. His side extended their top-flight status despite spending 33 matchdays in the relegation zone, something many cannot remember any side did before them.

What to say about Roma? Years of waiting paid off as they took home the first-ever piece of European silverware under the tutelage of non-other than Jose Mourinho. Following a stunning Europa Conference League success last season, the Giallorossi have performed well in the transfer window. 

Paulo Dybala, Nemanja Matic, Zeki Celik, and Georginio Wijnaldum have joined the club in the past couple of months. Inspired by a raft of eye-catching summer signings, Roma head coach Mourinho comes into the new season with high expectations. 

Match Preview


Salernitana lost both league matches against Roma last season. Following an embarrassing 4-0 defeat in this corresponding fixture in the first half of the previous campaign, they turned a 1-0 halftime lead into a 2-1 loss at the Stadio Olimpico. The Campanians have now lost five of their six all-time Serie A meetings with Roma. 

If they are to fight back, Salernitana will have to defy their traditionally slow Serie A starts. Since beating Lazio in their first-ever top-flight outing in 1947, they have lost both subsequent seasonal openers in Italy’s top flight, including a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Roma in 1998. On top of that, head coach Nicola has lost all three Serie A openers as a manager without scoring.

Former Bodo/Glimt talisman Erik Botheim could be the catalyst to turn Salernitana’s fortunes around this term. The Norwegian prodigy tallied 15 league goals last season to become the youngest player to score 10+ goals in the Norwegian Eliteserien. Moreover, he racked up two goals and three assists in Bodo’s 6-1 romping of Roma in last season’s Europa Conference League.


Despite their illustrious run to the Europa Conference League trophy, Roma had to settle for an underwhelming six-place finish in Serie A last season. The Giallorossi were never part of the top-four frame in 2021/22, something Mourinho is desperate to change this term. The new signings should be able to help.

After a trophy-laden seven-year stint at Juventus, Dybala is aiming to solidify his Serie A legacy in Rome. Partnered up with Tammy Abraham, the Argentine forward will be tasked to improve Roma’s relatively underwhelming scoring ratio of 1.55 goals per league game last season. Scoring away from home oftentimes proved daunting throughout 2021/22.

Indeed, Roma netted one goal or fewer in six consecutive Serie A road trips before a 3-0 thumping of Torino on their final league travel last season. Regardless of their prolificacy, the Giallorossi will feel confident about getting the new top-flight off to a flying start. That’s because Mourinho has never lost a Serie A opener as a manager (W1, D2).

Team News

Though Salernitana fans cannot wait to see star signing Botheim in action, they will have to be patient. Sidelined with an injury, the Norwegian will skip this clash, along with Emil Bohinen and Matteo Lovato.

As for Roma, Mourinho will have all key first-team members at his disposal for this trip.

Salernitana vs Roma Potential Line-ups

Salernitana (3-5-2): Luigi Sepe; Norbert Gyömber, Federico Fazio, Lorenzo Pirola; Wajdi Kechrida, Lassana Coulibaly, Leonardo Capezzi, Grigoris Kastanos, Pasquale Mazzocchi; Federico Bonazzoli, Franck Ribery.

AS Roma (3-4-3): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Rick Karsdorp, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nemanja Matic, Nicola Zalewski; Paulo Dybala, Nicolò Zaniolo, Tammy Abraham.