Pescara vs AS Roma, Preview: Bergodi makes his bow against the returning Zeman

Valerio Pennicino

It’s out with the old and in with the new, as Pescara welcome Roma to the Stadio Adriatico.

Cristiano Bergodi faces a tough first game in charge of the Delfini, while Zdenek Zeman returns to the side he guided to promotion last season.

It's a very different Pescara to the side that took Serie B by storm last season. Star players have since been sold on and goals have been hard to come by - a foreign concept if you're Zeman.

Both sides are in the top three when it comes to goals against, although the Giallorossi secured a rare clean sheet in last week's 2-0 victory over Torino.

Appointed on Tuesday, Bergodi certainly has his work cut out to pick up the Pescara players and boost morale, after they reportedly lost faith in Giovanni Stroppa and stopped listening to his instructions.

Despite having no previous coaching experience in Italy's top flight, Bergodi has previously managed CFR Cluj in Romania and Modena in Serie B. He also spent five years as a Pescara player during the mid to late eighties.

Speaking at a press conference, he said: "I know this team well, and I believe we have all the means to avoid relegation. I am very excited, and I want to thank the President for giving me the opportunity to return to the city that loved me."

Vladimir Weiss is tipped to regain a starting place after beginning the last few games from the bench. With key players injured and a trio sitting out due to suspension,

Bergodi is expected to throw caution to the wind and try to use the home field advantage to experiment with a more attacking line-up.

Roma have suffered a setback with the news that prolific scorer Erik Lamela faces a three week spell on the sidelines. Mattia Destro is expected to fill in.

Shot-stopper Maarten Stekelenburg is also not ready to return so, young Uruguayan Mauro Goicoechea will continue to deputise.

Pablo Daniel Osvaldo missed training on Friday due to illness, so his participation on Sunday is up in the air.

Zeman had kinds words to say about his former employers in a press conference.

"In my view Pescara can still achieve safety. I hope the change of management helps them."

He added: "Don't forget last season people said Pescara would be fighting to avoid relegation into Lega Pro, but instead we won the League with more than 90 goals scored. They changed a lot over the summer, which is why they still haven't found their tactical identity, but I am still worried to be facing them."

Pescara injuries and suspensions

Out: Manuele Blasi, Giuseppe Colucci (injured) Emmanuel Cascione, Damiano Zanon, Marco Capuano (suspended)

Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Erik Lamela, Maarten Stekelenburg (injured) Daniele De Rossi (suspended) In doubt: Pablo Daniel Osvaldo

Match Date/Time: Sunday 25th November 2012, 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Adriatico, Pescara, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), beIN Sport 1 (U.S.)

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