Roma will try to bounce back after the inexplicable loss against Catania that gifted Juventus of the title without even playing. Roma are basically a war machine at home: 15 wins, 3 draws (Sassuolo, Cagliari, Inter), 0 losses. They have been able to put together three streaks of five consecutive wins and they are currently riding one of those. They have also never trailed at home, which is remarkable.
They have won the last two home matches against Juventus: last season’s one and the Coppa Italia one in January. Roma haven’t won two consecutive home matches against Juventus in Serie A since 1995. In the final matches of the season, motivation is everything. Juventus could lose and still grab the all-time Serie A point record by beating Cagliari at home, while the 100-point mark is really meaningless.
On the other hand, Roma could make a statement, proving that they are not inferior to Juventus. A win could trigger the talking heads: “Roma are the real champion! They beat Juventus! Roma are going to dominate next year!” Obviously forgetting that Juventus took care of business in a majestic fashion at Juventus Stadium to reaffirm their superiority.
Roma and Juventus share many records. They have the two best attacks (Juventus 76 goals, Roma 72) and the best defenses (21 goals conceded). Roma are the team that shot the most (447), while Juventus are second (433). Roma made the most passes (543), Juventus are a close second (520). Juventus allowed the least shots (358), Roma are second (393). Safe to say that they have been the best two teams in the League.
They play a very entertaining possession football, whose forte are Totti and Pjanic’s creativity and Gervinho’s quickness and dribbling skills. They create many chances, mostly using through balls. Players like Florenzi and Destro, which will return from him controversial (but fair) four-game suspension, are excellent in lurking and striking at the right time.
Their counter-attacking game is amazing. Gervinho is incredibly agile and unpredictable, while Totti can feed his teammates on the open floor at ease. They also score a lot off set pieces. They are what we Italians like to call “the cooperative of the goal”, since they are the team with most players that scored at least five goals.
Rudi Garcia will field his usual 4-3-3. Romagnoli is suspended, while Strootman is rehabbing from a torn ACL and Balzaretti probably forgot he is a football player. Dodo has a bruised foot and Torosidis might replace him. Gervinho has trained on his own recently to recover from a minor muscular problem, but he is likely to start.
Benatia and Castan seems to be fit, which is the key of Roma’s defense. The choices in the midfield are obligated: Pjanic-De Rossi-Nainggolan. Upfront the situation is more fluid: Destro has returned, Gervinho is banged up, Totti, Florenzi, Ljajic and Bastos are available. My best guess is the trident Gervinho-Destro-Totti, with Florenzi replacing Gervinho if he is really hurt, but it is wide open. It’s reported Skorupski will get the start over De Sanctis on goal.