By Petar Todorovski
Roma face with perfect opponent for gaining a badly needed victory. Giallorossi are ninth placed with 23 points, four points away from Cahmpion League spots and ten from leaders Milan, but they were closer two weeks ago so they want to retain their position. Roma seemed to be on track to make a serious challenge for the title but they won only one point in last two games, while Rossoneri kept winning.
Now dropping points is not an option in Rome. They haven’t won last three games in all competitions, two of them in Serie A. On Wednesday they secured spot in Champions League last 16 with draw on the pitch of Romanian side Cluj, missing the chance for away win in last ten minutes. Lupi were pleased because they qualified for knock-out stage. However, they didn’t keep the lead again, just like three days before in Verona.
That’s why Coach Claudio Ranieri called for maximum focus by his players. “We should always have maximum focus because if you don’t concentrate until the final minutes then you lose. I think we have many expectations, but it is positive nerves that need to be translated into attention,” he said.
Captain Francesco Totti seemed to be very motivated for Sunday game. After his statements that he wants a Champions League title with Roma, now he eyes the Scudetto. “We are looking ahead now. On Sunday we play Bari and want to conquer the points because the title is still on, but we must ensure we do not lose further ground,” said Roma best player.
Roma is going to play this game without the first option keeper Julio Sergio, who will miss until the end of calendar year. Mirko Vucinic is also out, as are Jon Aren Riise and Simone Perrotta. Daniele De Rossi is suspended due to sending off with Chievo.
Their opponent Bari is the weakest team in the league so far. They sit the last 20th place with 10 points of 15 games. They have only two wins, both on home turf, while on away games they drew twice and lost five, scoring miserable four goals in the process. In last game they were smashed by Sampdoria with 3-0, while the result could be more convincing. By the way, they will miss few first team players. Salvatore Massielo, Ghezzal, Barreto, Parisi, Castillo and Kutuzov are all injured.
Even if Bari could count on all players they have Roma would still be favorite. Giallorossi have impressive record at home and Biancorossi are not rival that could change that. They need victory to keep tracking the leaders, they’re too good for the weakest team in Calcio and it’s very probable that they will succeed.