Friday 15 December 2017

Roma host Juve in 'must-win'

AS Roma's coach Rudi Garcia gestures
AS Roma's coach Rudi Garcia gestures

Roma go into tonight's showdown with Juventus (Live BT Sports 1, KO 7.45) knowing it is make-or-break time for their scudetto ambitions.

The Giallorossi are nine points adrift of Juve in the Serie A title race and must win at the Stadio Olimpico to have a realistic chance of overhauling their opponents.

Roma are unbeaten at home in the league this season, but the last five of those matches have ended in draws.

"The only thing that matters is this game," Roma coach Rudi Garcia (inset) said. "We want to return to winning ways at the Stadio Olimpico.

"I am certain that my players will give their all to take a win."

"We must defend our second position and also remain as close as possible to Juve," Garcia said. "We have to take advantage of the confidence that we got from our performance in Rotterdam."

Last Thursday's 2-1 triumph at Feyenoord allowed Roma to progress to the Europa League last 16, where they will face Fiorentina.

Juve also tasted victory in Europe as they beat Borussia Dortmund 2-1 in Turin on Tuesday in their Champions League last-16 first leg.

The outcome followed their 2-1 league triumph over Atalanta.

"We are doing well," Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "But we still have a lot of work to do.

"The game in Rome is very important, but it's not crucial for the scudetto. There are still 13 games remaining after this one."

Despite Roma having drawn six of their last seven league games, Juve will not take them lightly.

"Roma have very few weaknesses," Allegri said.

Serie A

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