AS Roma host Genoa in the first game of the Serie A weekend. Jose Mourinho’s side strengthened the squad’s depth and quality with two new signings in the winter transfer window. Genoa also made moves including in the managerial front in their bid to avoid the drop.
Oliveira wasted no time in impacting Roma’s season
From the moment the window opened, it was clear Portugal international Sergio Oliveira is the main priority for Mourinho. Since Oliveira has been at Porto for two decades, the transfer wasn’t easy to trigger especially in midseason.
But Porto missed out on qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League and Roma get their man with an initial loan deal. Roma also signed Ainsley Maitland-Niles with a similar arrangement from Arsenal.
With the presence of Englishmen Chris Smalling and Tammy Abraham, Maitland-Niles will find it easier to adapt to life in Serie A. As for Oliveira, he quickly impacted Roma’s season with two goals and an assist in his first two games.
When and where to watch?
The match kicks off at 14:00 on Saturday 5th February 2022
Only five points adrift of safety despite a single win
On Matchday 3 at Cagliari. That was the only time Genoa picked up three points in this season. After two promising draws against Atalanta and Sassuolo to end 2021 and start 2022, they lost to direct rivals Spezia at home.
But the most damaging defeat came in a crushing 6-0 loss to Fiorentina, in Dusan Vlahovic’s last game for the Violas. They picked up another point last weekend at Udinese for a 13 points tally in 23 games.
This forced them to make a huge squad turnaround in midseason. Nine players signed while Lennart Czyborra was recalled from his loan from Arminia Bielefeld. They spend $20mil for the transfers in addition to a marquee loan deal for Nadim Amiri as they hope to avoid meeting club legend Goran Pandev, who signed for Parma, in Serie B next season.
Afena-Gyan star of the show in the reverse fixture
Felix Afena-Gyan has been one of the fairytale stories of the season in European football. The youngster who was brought up from a difficult upbringing shone in the final ten minutes at Genoa earlier this season to land himself his favorite boot. Mourinho favored the Ghanian ahead of Nicolo Zaniolo and he repaid the trust with a spectacular brace.
AS Roma & Genoa CFC Team News
Ebrima Darboe is expected to be available after a memorable AFCON campaign with the Gambia. Leonardo Spinazzola is working his way back to selection following a recovery from an ACL injury. Skipper Lorenzo Pellegrini is also a doubt for the game.
Andrea Cambiaso, Domenico Criscito, Yayah Kallon and Paolo Ghiglione are all injured for Genoa while Hernani tested positive for COVID-19. There would be lots of debuts for the visitors, however, as they look forward to a new start under Alexander Blessin.
Roma eye a third successive win
The German coach Blessin salvaged a point in his first game at the helm of Genoa against Udinese. For Roma, the target is to win three successive Serie A games for the first time after they started the campaign with three wins out of three.
Draw9/2 (5.50) 888SportUnder 2.5 goals5/4 (2.25) 888SportTammy Abraham to score anytime11/10 (2.10)888Sport