AS Roma hasn’t won the Scudetto since the 2000-01 season, when Francesco Totti was the team’s captain and Gabriel Batistuta was the top scorer. That could change in the upcoming season, for which the Wolves are considered the top dark horse to dethrone AC Milan as the Italian Serie A champions.
Having Jose Mourinho, also known as the Special One, as their manager has a lot to with that, but not as much as the great work that the front office did during the offseason. Roma ended up signing some of the most coveted free agents.
That’s also why they come in as the soccer betting favorites to defeat Salernitana in the season opener. Nevertheless, the first match of the campaign is always tricky, especially when it’s on the road.
Salernitana: Determined to Turn Things Around
Salernitana’s main objective is the same as last season: to avoid relegation. The thing is that there’s a huge difference between fighting to avoid relegation from 10th to 14th place and doing so at 16-17 place. Last season, the Garnets suffered way more than expected and finished only one point ahead of Cagliari, one of the three teams that were relegated.
Determined to turn things around, at least in the Serie A, Salernitana’s front office also did a nice job rebuilding the team. Overall, they signed nine new players, including Matteo Lovato from Atalanta and Federico Bonazzoli from Sampdoria. There’s also Franck Ribery, who decided to postpone retirement for another year.
The Garnets’ season began on Sunday. They played host to Parma in the first round of the Coppa Italia and lost 2-0. Let’s suppose that in Salerno they usually see the glass half-full. In that case, being eliminated from the side-B tournament will allow them to focus on Serie A.
That result also prompted a change in the Las Vegas odds for Sunday’s game. Salernitana opened at +400 and now is +525. There’s also the fact that last season they finished with a 3-6-10 record when playing at home. If they want to avoid relegation, winning at home isn’t negotiable. If that doesn’t motivate them, nothing will.
AS Roma: No Excuses
Last season, AS Roma didn’t meet domestic expectations. The Wolves finished sixth in the Serie A, meaning they didn’t qualify for the UEFA Champions League. Internationally, things were completely different as they won the UEFA Conference League.
This season, their priority is to finish in the Serie A top four. That’s why they went out and signed Zeki Celik, Paulo Dybala, Nemanja Matic, Mile Svilar and Georginio Wijnaldum. Dybala, Matic and Svilar didn’t cost a thing while Wijnaldum is on loan from PSG.
As if that wasn’t enough, Tammy Abraham, Nicolo Zaniolo and Lorenzo Pellegrini will return. Abraham had a wonderful first season with the team after scoring 27 goals in all competitions (53 games). As for Zaniolo, several European powerhouses knocked on his door, but nothing happened. Tottenham remains highly interested, though. Last, but not least, Pellegrini is one of the best dual-threat midfielders in the world.
The Wolves finished the preseason in style thanks to a 5-0 victory over Shakhtar Donetsk. Pellegrini, Zaniolo, Gianluca Mancini, Yukhym Konoplya (own goal) and Edoardo Bove were the scorers. Overall, they finished with a 4-1-1 record, 13 goals for and four against. They scored in every game and conceded in only two.
Summing up, the visitors deserve to be the betting online favorites. In fact, after opening at -175, they are now offering a -210 price. That means you need to invest $210 in order to win $100. Last season, they finished with an 8-3-8 record on the road. Curiously enough, they scored more goals on the road (33) than at home (26).
Salernitana vs AS Roma Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 8
- Salernitana Victories: 1 (7 goals)
- AS Roma Victories: 7 (19 goals)
- Draws: 0
Last season, AS Roma had no trouble defeating Salernitana at Stadio Arechi. The Wolves won 4-0 with Pellegrini as the Man of the Match after scoring twice. Abraham and Jordan Veretout also scored.
Later, at Stadio Olimpico, Salernitana put up a better fight, but it wasn’t enough. The Wolves came from behind and won 2-1. Carles Perez and Chris Smalling were the scorers. It was a very physical game and the referee ended up showing 13 yellow cards.
Salernitana vs AS Roma Game Information
- Date: Sunday, Aug. 14
- Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
- Location: Stadio Arechi, Salerno
- Salernitana vs AS Roma Live Stream: fubo.tv
Salernitana vs AS Roma Betting Lines
Salernitana vs AS Roma Prediction
Again, the first game of the season is always tricky. In this case, it’s going to be tricky for AS Roma as Salernitana already played an official match. Therefore, we expect a close battle, enough to recommend including the Draw-Roma (half time/full time) in your soccer picks. Salernitana invested in three new center-strikers, but the visitors are one of the best teams when it comes to playing on the counter-attack. In other words, you can also expect the total (2½ goals) to go over, just like it happened the last four times they met.
Score Prediction: AS Roma 2, Salernitana 1