Roma seek revenge win

2015-02-26 14:55
Rudi Garcia (AFP)

Rome - The best teams in Serie A face off on Monday when AS Roma host Juventus, with the home side hoping they can reverse the 3-2 defeat they suffered against the champions in October to close the gap at the top of the standings.

Prior to their first meeting, Roma coach Rudi Garcia boasted that his team would win the league because "we're better than them", words the French manager must now be regretting as his side have slipped nine points off the pace in recent weeks.

Roma's dip in form has seen them draw six of their last seven league games to leave themselves in serious danger of being caught by Napoli who, after defeating Sassuolo 2-0 on Monday, are only three points adrift.

The poor run began when Ivorian forward Gervinho left for the Africa Cup of Nations at the beginning of the year and Manuel Iturbe suffered another injury setback a few weeks later.

Garcia's main attacking strategy relied on the pace of the two wingers to break through opposing defences but without them, Roma have become predictably one-dimensional and directionless in possession.

Gervinho returned to the side two games ago but his contribution has been limited, the player looking jaded from his international exertions in helping Ivory Coast claim a second continental title.

However, according to Garcia, Roma's biggest loss has been "faith in themselves", an opinion shared by talismanic forward Francesco Totti ahead of the side's Europa League clash against Feyenord.

"If we win tomorrow (Thursday), our confidence would grow and our mindset against Juventus would be different," Totti told a news conference on Wednesday.

"One match can turn everything around. If we win tomorrow, we will defeat Juventus."

Roma are in Rotterdam for the second leg of the last-32 tie, facing an uphill task after they could only draw 1-1 against the Dutch side at home.

With a nine-point cushion, Juventus can afford to sit back and wait for Roma to come forward and look to punish their opponents with the same counter-attacking style they adopted on Tuesday to defeat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in the Champions League.

Juventus remain on course for a fourth successive title but will line up against Roma without key playmaker Andrea Pirlo, who injured his right calf against the German side.

Juventus coach Massimilano Allegri is likely to replace him with Argentine Roberto Pereyra, who will sit in behind the attackers with Claudio Marchisio moving back slightly to shield the defence.

Napoli visit Torino on Sunday in search of a sixth win in seven games but face an in-form opponent who are undefeated in 11 league matches.

Eighth-placed Inter Milan will be looking for a fourth straight win when they host fifth-placed Fiorentina, who currently hold the final Europa League qualifying spot on 39 points, four ahead of their opponents.

Read more on:    juventus  |  roma  |  serie a  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Who was the best summer signing in the EPL?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.