Roma in better position to continue good Serie A start this time round

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Having won their first 10 league matches of 2013/14 it looked as if Roma would take all the beating in Serie A last season. But a late inconsistent patch, coupled with Juventus delivering the opposite, meant the trophy stayed in Turin.

A massive 17 points separated the teams at the final whistle last season, but the capital club’s performances so far this campaign have signalled that things could be much closer this time round.

Three wins from three, as well as a comfortable victory in their Champions League opener would in most cases put Roma really in the driving seat.

That is, had Juventus not done exactly the same.

As it stands the Giallorossi sit top of the pile on goal difference, yet are a much bigger price to be there come May.

Ladbrokes have Rudi Garcia’s side as 9/5 second favourites behind the defending champs at 17/20, and we see that as some cracking value.

The signings of Ashley Cole and Kostas Manolas has added plenty of stability to their defence, which is yet to give up a domestic goal in their three games to date, while the rejuvenated Gervinho, and progressive Mattia Destro are providing plenty of fire-power up front.

Whereas last season, the sheer number of draws that they were resigned to could have been a major hamper on their title charge, the arrival of Juan Iturbe could be a major boost to their finishing credentials, demonstrated with a well taken goal in the Champions League.

And with Manchester United target Kevin Strootman on his way back to full fitness, there could be more to come from the Stadio Olimpico outfit.

While they look the value bet, there is very little to play down the chances of Juve securing a fourth straight Scudetto.

Their success at keeping hold of Arturo Vidal could be key for the Bianconeri, as new boss Massimiliano Allegri looks to hit the ground running.

They, like Roma, have yet to concede a goal to their fellow countrymen, and will surely be there or thereabouts come the end of the campaign.

With third favourites Napoli out at 10/1, it really does look a head to head battle between the top two, a view that has been backed up by both Juventus director Giuseppe Marotta and ex-Italy boss Marcelo Lippi, with the latter stating: “It’s rather predictable. You don’t need a magician to see this. Milan and Inter have had a good start and did well in the transfer market, but they are not at the same level yet.”

It is too early to make a confident pick on which way the pendulum will swing, but with very little between the two sides, siding with Roma looks advisable at the current odds.

All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.