PREVIEW: A.S. LIVORNO - A.S. ROMA
The Serie A season gets underway this weekend with expectations sky high for Michael Bradley and Roma to make a formidable challenge to the status quo in the Italian top flight.
Bradley is the odds on choice to start in midfield in game one of the Rudi Garcia era, who will be making his debut in charge of the Giallorossi when Roma do battle with promoted squad Livorno Sunday evening.
Roma will be looking to build on their sixth place finish a year ago and pose a threat to the anointed top squads in Italy, a list that starts with Juventus and Napoli followed by Milan, Fiorentina and Inter.
Any talk of Roma starts with ageless talisman Francesco Totti, who enters his 20th season in the Roman midfield. Totti headlines a squad whose porous defense last campaign was bolstered by Brazilian right back Maicon.
Roma's other signings of pedigree happened include young Dutch midfielder former Aresenal man Ivorian Gervinho. The winger sealed his move to the Eternal City in early August and joins a potent attack that saw only Paolo Osvaldo depart last year's high scoring strike force.
The opponent for Roma on Matchday 1 is U.S. Livorno, who gained promotion last June after knocking off Empoli.
The Maroons of Livorno are lead by striker Paulinho, who found the back of the net 22 times last term to lead the promotion effort.
Kickoff is set for Sunday evening at 8:30 local time in Tuscany as Livorno welcomes Bradley and the Giallorossi.