We speak to Alessandro De Pietro, journalist for Radio Verona, about Hellas Verona's campaign so far...
Sunday's game at the Stadio Olimpico kicks off at 20:45 CET, as the second half of the 2020-21 Serie A season officially gets underway...
Coming off the win over Napoli, what can Roma expect from Verona this weekend?
"A squad full of confidence, a side that has only lost against Inter Milan this season among the big sides. Maurizio Sarri once said that you can't play against Verona. I wouldn't say that you can't play against them, but they do find a way to keep you a long way from their goal with their high pressing, which is hard to overcome.
"They are not a team that accepts the role of underdogs, as so often happens when a big side comes up against a smaller one. Verona play in a very combative fashion."
So, the way to beat Verona is to get beyond that initial press?
"Yes, that can be one way. Although Verona have defenders that can recover well too: one of the standout moments from last season was debutant Marash Kumbulla [now at Roma] recovering 70 metres to tackle Cristiano Ronaldo.
"It's clear, however, that if the opposition has players capable of getting around that initial pressure, players that know what they need to do before the ball arrives, then everything becomes a little easier. Last season the one team that best showed they had that code learned was Roma."
What differences are there between the Verona team now and the one that the Giallorossi faced on the first day of the season?
"Last season, Verona played with pretty much the same XI throughout. It was a settled side. This year, however, Ivan Juric has almost had to start things again from scratch. So the team that hosted Roma on the first day of the season was very much still under construction. Now there is a much better understanding. They have a clearer idea about their attributes."
If we accept that Juric's 3-4-2-1 system won't be changed, what differences might there be from the line-up that started against Napoli?
"We still need to see how they integrate the new signing Kevin Lasagna, who will be a centre-forward in Juric's way of playing. He's the sort of player that the ex-Verona man Gianluca Falsini - who now works in the Roma youth system, I believe - called an 'armadio veloce' (roughly, 'a speedy wardrobe').
"I don't really know how realistic it is, however, to think that Juric might take out Nikola Kalinic to put in a player that has just joined the club. And at the same time you definitely can't leave out Barak or Zaccagni (the two playmakers behind the striker). Verona will still be without Veloso, Sturaro and Magnani, and I don't think Mert Cetin will be involved. Beyond that, I don't think there will be major changes from the game against Napoli."
Who has been the key player for Verona this season?
"Last season I would have picked out Veloso. Right now, however, I would have to say Zaccagni. Although Barak presses really well, scores some brilliant goals and can play in the middle of the park or further upfield equally well."
And which Roma player would Verona most like to steal?
"Jordan Veretout. Hellas play and press all over the pitch and so you need your central players to have great stamina and be brilliant on the ball too."
What is your prediction for the game on Sunday?
"Verona are a really solid side. I would say 2-2. Because, all that being said, Verona can concede at times too."